How To Read Atheists’ Blogs

A noble apologist is driven by an active love of God that seeks deeper knowledge of God. St. Anselm’s faith seeking understanding. If you are Christian blogger who wishes to effectively communicate your worldview in a language, beliefs, values, symbols, traditions and practices that are already familiar to atheists, then reading atheists’ blogs could be the key to help you understand their diverse atheistic worldviews.

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

Here are 10 points that will help you to enjoy and respectfully engage with atheist bloggers.

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 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.

Remember, a noble apologist seeks proofs of certain doctrine of her faith not for the sake of attaining to faith by means of reason, as Anslem of Canterbury once said, but that she may be delighted by understanding and meditating on those things which she believes and always ready to convince any one who demands of her a reason of that hope which is in her.

Go be a noble apologist who walks in wisdom toward outsiders, makes the best use of the time. May your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Col. 4:5-6)

Recommended Reading: How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Lincoln Van Doren

17 thoughts on “How To Read Atheists’ Blogs

  1. Pick your battles. Pick your battles. Pick your battles. It cannot be said enough. I’m glad to see someone actually write down the set of standards I try to emulate. And I see that your interaction with opponents of our worldview are always humble and gracious. Great job, Prayson!

  2. I say that anyone who believes that a child can be born to a virgin, or that someone was raised from the dead, has issues. The first being an inability to accept reality. Furthermore and my last retort is that anyone who actually reads the Bible, Torah or Koran fully must admit that the God that is claimed to be behind the books is a psychopath. But then, that’s just my humble opinion.

    • You are very correct Paul. I will say it not only an issue but foolishness. I think we, Christians, forget how crazy is the beliefs we hold.

      Paul the foolishness and craziness of Christianity arises because you and I hold two opposing worldviews. In mine, God exists. If this is so, then acts that are above naturally are possible. If God chose to reveal Himself I do not think that virgin birth and resurrection though foolish in other worldviews quite possible.

      I am looking forward to know you Paul. I see we are united by Man. Utd. I hope we at least end up 5th :)

    • @Paul: I say that you suffer from an inability to accept reality. You’re under the false assumption that everything can be explained, or that “science” can explain everything. It cannot. There are several things science CANNOT explain. You can Google it to find out. If you have 100 doctors pronounce someone as terminally ill from an irreversible case of cancer that cannot be cut out, poisoned, or whatever the other option is for dealing with cancer, and the person and those around begin to pray, and then all 100 doctors can find NO trace of cancer and cannot explain what happened, how are you going to explain it away? Miracles happen every day, and anyone who denies such suffers from the inability to accept reality, as you obviously do. You clearly have no idea what reality is. Reality is not things you have never witnessed before. If that were the case, then reality says there is no such thing as China or Russia or the Mediterranean. Why? Because I’ve never witnessed them before. There’s no logic to your argument. It’s interesting that you would make a claim about God being a psychopath without having read the Bible yourself, and/or understood it.

  3. I like your 10 points for reading and evaluating an Atheist’s blog. I would point out that these points work well for any topical or opinion blog whether religiour or non-religious.

  4. I am rather curious why you ” liked” my post?
    (liar, lunatic, or lord and /or) did you read it all the way through? I appreciate the like , but after viewing a bit here must say it left me puzzled.

    • I love reading views that are different from mine and I believe you presented a picture which also some, sadly, Christians also hold.

      I think there is good historical data that scholars both none-Christians and Christians agree on historical Jesus and only mythsists doubt the actual existence of Jesus.

      I do no like posts because I agree but because I think they rose fair points that stir thinking and challenge what I think to be true. I hope that answered your question.

  5. The obvious fallacy is that you – and every Christian – approach any such discussion with the preconceived belief you are right based on faith. Every argument seems from this , first and foremost.
    Faith does not require evidence;in fact the Church (and all the many schisms and cultic offshoots it has spawned ) actively discouraged investigation for hundreds of years.
    Even in this day and age, Evangelists (and other Christian sects) are encouraged to believe in the complete veracity of the bible, thus discouraging any form of meaningful discussion with the express objective of finding the truth. Evangelists like William Lane Craig are obliged to sign a Statement of Faith before commencing employment at the seminary he works at. No doubt other seminaries have similar employment practices.
    More liberal Christians are not so dogmatic, yet they will, in most case, uphold the Nicene Creed and rationalize most of the difficult theological questions from this standpoint.

    Thus, there is no possible to way to have a truly honest and open discussion with a Christian, or any other religious adherent, while faith, and not truth holds sway.

    • I understand your sentiment here, but I’m not sure that such a fallacy exists. You may disagree with their epistemic grounds of justification, however it is not universally fallacious to remain locked into a certain belief. If I am wrong here, it would be helpful if you provided the name of the fallacy you are referring to here.

    • @Arkenaten: Your claims are ironic considering evolutionists demand faith in their imagination, speculation, philosophy, religion, and theory they attempt to call “science,” though they have NO proof to substantiate their claims. It takes more faith to be an evolutionist than it does to be a Christian. Evolution is a fairy tale for grown ups. They’ve replaced the kiss with time. No amount of time will allow for evolution because 99.999% of all mutations are fatal. If you understood anything about DNA, you’d realize that if .001% occurred positively, it would set off a chain reaction negatively. Information can be lost (a child born with no limbs) or mutated (a child born with extra limbs), but it CANNOT be added (a child born with wings). Clearly you do not understand what truth is, and so your argument is doomed from the start.

  6. These are very good advice once one has made the decision to comment on a blog, as per rataukyy. A humbly critical, and self-critical, approach is to be preferred (my friends called it epistemological humility in college). But what are the rules of deciding to engage?

    If I want to be understood, your Mortimerian advice is worth considering but under what circumstances do I need to rally to the defense of something on another’s blog? What is the impetus of love for which I need to provide an answer, well-constructed and helpful or not?

  7. As an atheist and a blogger, I would recommend your ten advices to any commenting on any sort of blog. It is not like we need to come up with a totally new etiquette for the internet. Common rules about politeness are quite adequate.

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