Atheism, like other false systems of thought, has enough content with the ‘ring of truth’ to it that some people are attracted to it. Of course atheism is not monolithic, but the following themes are prevalent.
1. Atheism rejects moral-ism.
Atheists think it is absurd to follow the whimsical preferences of an egotistical deity. Christians must acknowledge that the commands of God flow from His loving nature and are for His glory and our good.
Atheists hate the very notion of having a bunch of ‘rules’ forced upon them concerning how to act, think, and live. Christians must acknowledge that legalism is every bit as sinful as the most obvious external disobedience to a command of God.
Atheists generally cannot stand it when Christians attempt to ‘legislate morality.’ Regardless of where one stands on this issue (and there are many different positions on this topic within Christianity), it must be acknowledged that Christianity is spread not through the strong arm of the government, not through the sword, but through the Gospel.
2. Atheism rejects a literal interpretation of the Bible.
Atheists think it is absurd to cut one’s hand off, or drink a man’s blood, or believe that the sci-fi-like descriptions in documents like Revelation are actually real. Christians must acknowledge that Scripture is to be read not (always) literally, but in its literal sense (sensus literalis) or else one will never make sense of the whole of Scripture.
3. Atheism rejects anti-intellectualism.
Atheists are right to point out that blindly following after a mere man who tells you a bunch of stories and opinions for half an hour each Sunday is foolish. Christians must be like the Bereans who searched the Scriptures to see whether or not these things were so, and Christians must recognize that God gave us brains for a reason, knowing what we believe and why we believe it.
4. Atheism rejects intellectualism.
The so-called “New Atheists” exploit the allegedly common sense nature of their position while rejecting ivory tower mumbo jumbo. Christians must seek to present their worldview as the most common sense system of all, for it alone describes reality as it actually is, and it alone provides the pragmatic pieces to address the everyday problems of the world.
5. Atheism rejects God.
Atheists give articulate, noticeable expression to their hatred for God and willingness to sin against Him. Christians must remind themselves of the horror of their own sins, ceasing to sanctify them as though consistently carried out and given their true expression; they would not rival the atheists’ rebellious thoughts in foolish intensity.
The Gospel comes as a solution to humanity’s failure to obey the law of God. It is the infallible, inerrant Word of God communicated to us by means of narrative, propositions, history, poetry, and various other forms of literature. The Gospel is easy enough to be understood by a child, and yet deep enough to busy the greatest intellects in the world for a lifetime and more. It is applicable to the most mundane tasks and practical situations imaginable; sustaining marriages and restoring friendships. The Gospel is the truth that Jesus Christ lived a fault-less life under the law of God, was executed in the place of those who have sinned against God and deserve that execution, was put into the grave just as we all will one day be, and was resurrected by God to live forever just as all of those who turn away from their sin and trust in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ are. Those who believe the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ recognize the greatness of their sin, and that their Savior is much greater.