Interesting: 4 Ways Atheists Have Made Me A Better Christian

Christian blogger TE Hanna has a post that I want to share with you. It’s called, “4 Ways Atheists Have Made Me a Better Christian.”

See what you’ve done, atheists. You’re not supposed to make Christians “better”.

Don’t you feel like a failure?

His four betters are a little vague, but Hanna tries to explain himself:

  • Ask the hard questions.
  • It’s ok not to have all the answers.
  • Talk is cheap.
  • Love wins.

His four explanations for Christian enhancement could probably be narrowed down to three reasons, as asking the hard questions and not having all the answers is about the same thing written in similar language.

In the “Ask the Hard Questions” bullet point, Hanna writes:

The hard questions, when faced, actually force us to look for answers, force us to dig deeper, force us to cultivate a theological grounding which can only make us more intellectual honest and spiritually deep.

If anyone is intellectually honest about faith, they would retire belief.

It’s not that atheism is superior. It’s just that saying you can’t answer the questions, and the answers you do have include belief in an un-seen deity who really isn’t all that great takes “intellectual honesty” and throws it out of a moving car whilst laughing.

While I like that Hanna has counted four ways that atheism has made him a better Christian, I failed to see any improvement based on the reasons.

How is Hanna asking the “hard questions” if he accepts a genocidal mystery being who sent himself to die for you to save you from an unreasonably unjust crime of being in the lineage of two people who disobeyed in a middle eastern jungle?

Hanna and other Christians may be asking all the hard questions, but are they listening to all the hard answers?

He’s right. It’s okay not to have all the answers. And while talk is cheap, Christians must act in a secular fashion to receive acceptance so I fail to see how that’s important.

And, yes, love wins. I’m sure if I met Hanna, I’d love him. I already have a fondness for the guy, and I don’t know him.

He appears to be doing good work for his cause. And I hope his followers are benefiting.

But if those are his four reasons for being a better Christian through his conversations with atheists, I fail to see anything that sets him apart from most Christian messages without having met atheists.

8 thoughts on “Interesting: 4 Ways Atheists Have Made Me A Better Christian

  1. Last night on Australian National TV (Progam is called Q & A), there was Richard Dawkins on a panel with the leading R.C. Archbishop Pell.

    It was overwelmingly won by Richard Dawkins, but what amazed me was how the Archbishop was floundering and did not appear to know his own subject.

    Religion is based on faith so there is no proof, but he found it so hard to say that. It looked like he had not approached a debate on the subject for years and he did not know much about the history of evolution.- I think his problem is that he tells so many lies from the pulpit, that he has forgotten how to have a rational debate.

    Mind you, there is no solid proof about the “big bang theory” or how evolution started or how our world started, but there are many scientific theories. However to onus of proof was on the religious ideas and it just fell flat.

    For all the waverers out there, the Archbishop did say that “God” would still allow “good” athiests into heaven when they pass on. – He never said though, whether God had told him that or if he made it up !!!!

    1. I encourage you to experience the presence of God through an experiment. You need to be alone for starters in your room, or in a garden. Sit and be still. You may close your eyes. Ask God to be near you. Be still and ask God to reveal Himself. Most Christians know God through faith though even doubting Thomas believed only after a sign. You too may ask and you will receive. If you are not willing to take this simple step, we cannot blame you, shame you, or argue with you, only be saddened by what is keeping you back. If ever, you truly want the answers you seek, I challenge you to have the courage to do as I suggested. Blessings.

      1. I’m glad you won’t fault me, because I’ve tried it. I’ve done exactly what you’ve asked … many times.

        I’ve believed the experience to be as true as any one of your experiences of God-inspired truth.

        But it didn’t stick, Nicoleta. I listened to the doubts and they won.

      2. Okay dear Jeremy, I’ll add you to my prayer list. I had the privilege of reading prayers for an old friend who passed away; Rebecca said something similar to what you wrote once, but she did welcome me to be by her bedside in an old fashioned way. Her smile, her peace was as real as her laughter and chit chat over a cup of tea. I look for signs because we live in a physical world. I seldom consider coincidences weird. I simply accept wonderful events, sensible solutions, and miraculous events as divine gifts. Being very still, quiet, and with an open heart fills me with more grace, love, patience, kindness, and strength. I don’t blame you or anyone for not “getting it”; I just guarantee that you will, if you persevere, or just really want to know God. It’s not insane. It’s a quieting of the mind. It’s a lifting of your heart to the power of goodness. It’s actually quite freeing. It’s a practice…like sitting down, lifting your legs a bit, and with both feet writing the alphabet to strengthen your ankles, etc…I call it wiggling your feet in the clouds. This is good for your limbs. Prayer is my prescription for divine awareness.

  2. Killa,

    Thanks for you comment.

    I’m particularly fond of being up front — like you did — about the downfalls of evolution and the big bang.

    I think we’d all have a better relationship with believers if they were a bit more open to criticizing faith. At least understanding how it is criticized.

    Cheers, mate. Thanks for reading.

  3. Dear Nicoleta, I appreciate that you want to bring great joy to my life, however I have already achieved this without the aid of a crutch. I know you believe that we cannot possibly have joy in our lives without a belief in God, however this is possible, believe me.

    If I do as you say, and hear a voice, how would I know it was God and not Satan or a lost soul or even in my own head. There are billions of people on Earth who prey to God at any one time. How do I know that it is God who will answer? – I have a dear friend who does hear voices, but if she tells anyone else she will be committed to a mental hospital. Are these voices coming from God?

    There are billions of people on this Earth who need God’s help more than me, Why should we in the developed world take up his time, when there are starving people in Africa etc.

    God demands to be worshipped. I believe that it is unhealthy to want or have to worship anybody. – Love, like, respect, dislike, but never worship.

    1. I just reread my note to you as it was written in response to how can anyone experience faith, as i understood. I only suggested you experience God as many do and therefore have faith. Rereading your note I see responses perhaps to others regarding joy, and worship. Maybe someone wanted you to be more joyous and suggested prayer. Maybe someone else said God demands worship, and it may be that those who pray as a devoted discipline annoy you, but did I say you would hear a voice? I never have, but those who believe they hear God’s voice usually mean receiving a clear knowing. I don’t know for sure. I am always saddened to hear the accusation of believing in God being a crutch. I believe you do experience joy in your life if you say so; why do you think I would question your joy? I believe God loves all of us, including the less fortunate. We are born with a purpose and to love is to kindly serve one another. Because our talents are unique, we are happiest when we can make share our best with all. World peace does begin at home, and as difficult as that may be, we shine when we give and support to help. Some of us are driven to go to Africa. Others have assignments at home with family, friends, neighbors, or needy that require care. Even they serve us in giving us fulfillment and integrity. It’s a big circle we live in, and the wider we make it , the more can belong in peace.
      At the end of the day, I find that quiet space, and thank God for what I had the strength to do. I cry to know others hurt. I would take my own immediate family’s aches and pains if I could. I feel blessed to help, and know my fortitude is from a greater, divine force. I’m not sure that’s called worship. No one should attack a praying human being, and I mostly thank God. I trust and have faith that we will ultimately know world peace. It is tough being human because we make a lot of mistakes, but as we awake to loving kindness, we strive to be our very best. This is my mission from God. I seek self reliance and service. Discernment is our best tool in recognizing right from wrong. In my quiet moments if ever a disturbing thought comes to mind, I simply dismiss it. I don’t attend a church but support their mission to be a gathering place for people seeking a community of love. As you know, many have fallen short of being models of goodness. Our imperfections unravel trouble. We can overcome them in our own way. Most of us look up to God, call Him Saviour, and feel an inexplicable peace.
      When you look up and see a star, please remember that I too see thousands from our hill, and I will pray for you, Killa. Why? Well, just because I think you are a good soul, and I pray you too will some day say, thank You, God…for the earthly beauty, for all that is good in my life, for the gifts I can offer, for the people who are kind to me, and…for the joy I feel.
      With blessings and love…

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