How To Read Atheists’ Blogs

If Christian’s apologist bloggers wish to effectively communicate their worldview in a language, beliefs, values, symbols, traditions and practices that are already familiar to atheists, then reading atheists’ blogs could be the key and a treasure mine which will help them understand the diverse atheistic worldview.

As a Christian, who love to learn, think and share the reasons for what I believe and why I believe, reading opposite worldviews and see how they challenge my Christians worldview is an important part of correcting, reforming, changing or abandoning some perspectives that I hold. It also help me communicate Christian worldview in a way I can be understood.

Before I share a list of my favorite ordinary atheists’ and agnostics’ blogs I found edifying, engaging and wonderfully provocative, I shared 10 stages that will help you enjoy and respectfully engage with atheists bloggers as you read and trying to understand their worldview in their own context, finding the common grounds, challenges, edifying ideas, and provocative positions that will ignite deep thoughts and reflections.

Stages of How To Read Atheist’s Blogs: Modified Adler & Doren’s Method

1. Find what the article is about. Find the major subject matter. Define the problem(s) the blogger is trying to solve or setting and try to correctly outline the whole article.

2. Come to terms with the blogger by interpreting his key words, grasping leading propositions in his most important sentences.

3. Know the blogger’s arguments by finding them in, or constructing them out of, sequences of sentences.

4. Do not begin criticism until you have completed reading and rereading the article, correctly interpreting the blogger’s words, understand and outline his argument. “Do not say you agree, disagree, or suspend judgment, until you can say “I understand.”- Mortimer J. Adler

5. Do not disagree disputatiously or contentiously.

6. Demonstrate that you recognize the difference between knowledge and mere personal opinion by presenting good reasons for any critical judgment you make.

7. When criticizing, try to use as few, clear and kind words to show wherein the blogger is uninformed, misinformed, illogical or incomplete.

8. Avoid disagreeing on minor details.

9. “Pick your battles”. Do not comment on the topic you are not familiar with. Study, ponder, and come back when you are familiar with the topic at hand.

10. Be quick to point out your own errors. Quick to admit you were wrong, and quick to correct your mistakes.

Here are my list of my favorite atheists and agnostics’ blogs worthy reading:

Grome Soapbox – Larry, Richard and Jack wonderful and provocative blog.

Robert Nielsen – Economics and Politics student.

Tearmatt Thoughts From The Frontline -Creative, thoughtful and sweetly provocative.

The Dixie Flatline – Religion from an atheist perspective.

Myatheistlife – How one atheist sees life.

Conflicting Thoughts – Tafacory’s philosophy (ethics, religion/theology, metaphysics, epistemology, politics)

Eternity in an Hour – James Ee Suen Zheng’s philosophy, economics, and literature.

On the Nature of Things – Clay Simpson. A 24 year old atheist, college student, and former collegiate baseball player.

Question To Christian Apologist: Do you read or follow atheist’s blogs? Give reasons

N.B: If you are a wordpress atheist blogger who love philosophy and Christian-atheism discussions done with respect and kindness, exploring and criticizing the arguments and ideas and not the people holding them, then do leave your blog link and share a little about your blog.

“Knowing how to respond to seekers in their own life context,” explained E.D. Martin, and “how to contextualize the gospel without compromising the message, how to communicate the good news of Christ clearly, and how to keep methods consistent with the message—these are essential ingredients for faithful witness.”

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36 thoughts on “How To Read Atheists’ Blogs

  1. Very interesting visit. I enjoyed this post. I totally agree with Noel – agreeing to disagree – respecting others with different beliefs and viewpoints – so important.

  2. Pingback: Wednesday Link List « Thinking Out Loud

  3. Prayson, this is a great reminder of the importance of being respectful to others in spite of differences. I too have been sharing ideas with atheists and other people who don’t necessarily agree with my views but we can certainly learn from each other ..

  4. Reblogged this on jamiebrandonjr and commented:
    This is the first blog I’ve read by Prayson Daniel and it’s a good one. In the shadow of all the Chick-Fil-A debates, Prayson makes some points that can those of us on both sides of the debate (and those trying to stay out of it). My favorite point that he makes is #4: “Do not begin criticism until you have completed reading and rereading the article, correctly interpreting the blogger’s words, understand and outline his argument.”

  5. I think its great that you are advocating for reading conflicting opinions and writings, especially in a way that is open and respectful. It’s a great way to not turn people away from Christianity too. Thanks for sharing

  6. excellent! my experience publishing a blog over the past years has been invaluable! i encourage any Christian who wishes to better engage the culture to learn and know the arguments from the other side. jump in! have that conversation online. it’s a great tool for learning and will help you when you finally have it face-to-face. i can’t tell you how much my faith has grown and my walk with Christ has been strengthened over the years because i went to the Word to see what God says about the things atheists are saying. again, a priceless experience and a deeper relationship with God!

    there’s this notion today in Christianity that Christians don’t need to think… that more intelligent people are atheists. that’s simply not true! sadly, many of my friends don’t share my views or value the things you have posted here and see it as a waste of time to even engage atheists in debate.

  7. Good advice here, although I don’t often visit athiests’ blogs. Being retired military, I spend a bit of time at Christian blogs in the Army’s discussion forums. There is a regular group of atheists who come around, however for the most part they are really not well read and resort to mostly mocking without serious argument.

  8. Thanks for the mention and I’m glad you enjoy my blog. I’ll admit that I greatly enjoy reading religious blogs for the same reasons you gave. I think its great to debate and exchange ideas, if only to clarify what it is you really believe. Its a good list too, and one I try to follow myself

  9. This is the kind of simple and polite advice that I (regrettably) notice a lot of people cannot follow when having a religious discussion (sometimes, myself included). That’s understandable though, it’s a topic where emotions do run deep and misinformation is frequently spread–which can make it feel like you are intentionally being lied to.

    That said, I don’t know why I keep a blog dedicated to atheism (it’s not the blog you get if you click on my name, it’s allalltor.wordpress.com). I suppose I’m just trying to refine my own world view while also getting a chance to properly understand other people’s.

    I do find it disheartening when a discussion is halted by a person’s reluctance to discuss even the simplest of ideas. The my-idea-is-not-up-for-discussion approach is antithetical to any sort of progress or personal honesty.

  10. Thanks for making me feel less weird about reading everything from every viewpoint “for science;” really, for understanding people so I can love them better. And thanks for liking my blog post about my nonprofit and our work on the White Earth Reservation!

  11. “10. Be quick to point out your own errors. Quick to admit you were wrong, and quick to correct your mistakes.”

    For some pointing out their own errors is easier said then done.I suspect (from my old way of thinking) that one reason for this is that people think if they admit that they are wrong, that somehow this translates into them thinking they are being seen as wrong on the every point. For others is pride (maybe both). The way I like to view it when I am wrong now is, that when I’m wrong and admit it. I show that I have learned something new. And show that I have personal credibility in the conversation as I am open to new things. But It took me a long time to learn that lesson.

    Any ways great post.

  12. My previous comment seems to have not gone through; probably because I included a direct link to my blog. Why I did that, I have no idea. Anyway, click my name for my blog. Hopefully you will find it “edifying, engaging and wonderfully provocative”. 😀

    • Hej Robert,

      I found it in spam and retore it. I believe because it was to short and had more than two links. Thank you for a brilliant blog. It is definitely a keeper.

      Prayson

  13. Interesting. It’s nice to see commentary that strives to encourage believers to approach atheists with respect and openness. As an atheist, I strive to return the favor. It’s not always easy, but it’s essential when debating ineffable ideas. I look forward to reading more.

  14. These sound like good guidelines for more than just reading atheists’ blogs. When reading any material with which you disagree it would be wise to keep these things in mind. Nice post 🙂

  15. Prayson, again I want to say thank you for your support on my blog. You are well-read and thoughtful. I am truly impressed with the wide variety of topics you touch on here at your blog. I get the sense that you are still seeking answers to questions. Your method is admirable. Thank you for sharing your findings with us!

  16. These are good principles. We should all follow them, regardless of our metaphysics. I bet we could build a good political system based on them, even.

  17. Great blog.
    The article is concise and well written and contains valid principles for a any debate. I am not sure, however, if reading Aetheist blogs is more than an intellectual exchange. While it is true, that the core of any atheist/Christian debate is a difference of worldviews, IMHO those do not matter in a relgious.debate. Speaking to god and god speaking to us is the same thing – it is highly personal. If this communication does not happen to another person (lets say an atheist, nothing I can do about.

    Thanks for stoping by http://stottilien.wordpress.com

  18. Hello Prayson, I appreciate you stopping by and “Liking” my post entitled:
    “Jesus & Hypocrites”– My goal in THIS life is to hear Jesus tell me, “well done…” in the NEXT. The only way I know to get to that level is to do things the way Jesus did them: “Love one another.”
    Personally, I think it brilliant of you to suggest reading Aetheist blogs. Reminds me of Jesus having wonderful dinner conversations with Publicans and all manner of people who didn’t see things the same way the “Temple-system” dictated in those days. Again, many thanks. Stop by anytime. Be Blessed!
    http://www.tnlighthouse.wordpress.com
    The Lightkeeper

  19. A superior instruction set for philosophical bloggers who are also ladies and gentlemen, as many atheistic bloggers are.
    Seems to me, though that mamy others push atheism to de-Christianize government, as a means for increasing government power by removing competition. Here, we’re not dealing with philosophers nor with ladies and gentlemen for that matter; we’re dealing with politicians and others pursuing power. That’s a wholly different crowd and perhaps, could use a different instruction set… The old U.S. Civil War advice to soldiers comes to mind in this case: “Git…or get got!” 🙂

  20. I read atheist blogs often. the biggest thing I would point out is that we, as Christians, need to be able to identify worldviews. At the bottom of every atheist/Christian debate is the difference of worldviews. If my worldview can explain how things are better than yours, then the debate is over. If I have a basis for truth and you don’t, then the debate is over. If my worldview explains logic and yours doesn’t, the debate is over. It all boils down to worldviews.

    Thanks for the post and for following my blog man,

    Travis (AnotherChristianBlog.org)

  21. This seems like good advice for anyone reading and discussing views with people of contrary opinions. I think though I’d like to add
    10a) not only might you have made a mistake or had a minor error, be ready to admit you are entirely wrong.
    At the end of the day our purpose should not be to debate, but to find as much truth as we can.

  22. Wonderful principles for a debate that is filled with gentleness and respect that ultimately can lead to a real outcome that exceeds bounds of a mere argumentation and is reflected in life of those debating.

  23. Prayson, this is an excellent post. You are the kind of debater that I strive to be. Cheers for this.

  24. My blog, Prepared for the Worst, is still kind of new (I’ve only been at it for a few months), but it’s something I try to stay active with. Most of my religious posts are responses to Christian apologists’ work, or reviews of arguments/books. I’m in the process of starting my own atheistic arguments, but I’m still in the research phase for that. I take most of my cues from the works of Nicholas Everitt, Graham Oppy, and Michael Martin.

    Hope you enjoy it or find it useful!

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