Arguing with an Atheist

The book review I posted yesterday most certainly was by Divine appointment, at least to get my thoughts going if nothing else! After school, my teenage daughter handed me a note that a ‘friend’ at school gave her, and she asked me to help her respond. As I looked at the title, I inwardly groaned.  She asked me to do what I do not enjoy doing, and that’s arguing with an atheist.  Here is what it said:
This Is Why I’m Atheist:  Your God –
1.    Creates disaster – Isaiah 45:2
2.   Is a man of war – Exodus 15:3
3.   Instructs to kill – Exodus 32:27-28
4.   Kills pregnant women – Numbers 31:17
5.   Kills 1/3 of mankind – Revelation 9:15
6.   Jealous – Exodus 20:8
7.   Makes a victim of rape marry her attacker – Deuteronomy 22:28-29
8.   Kills children – Hosea 9:11-16
9.   Instructs how to treat slaves – Exodus 21:2-6
10.                Is sexist – Genesis 3:16
11.                Is NOT pro-life – 2 Kings 15:16
12.                Says a bat is a bird – Leviticus 11:13

“The best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible” – Mark Twain
Religion had its chance to run the world. It’s called the Dark Ages.
If you ever want to think logically, we should talk.
(There’s much more if you need it. I’ve got an endless supply).

For knowledge, logic, science, and vanquishing ignorance

I’m not certain if he is truly an atheist, or if he is really trying to understand God.  His argument seems to really be “why do we worship a God who we claim is good but His actions are bad?” Is he trying to make sense of God instead of proving He doesn’t exist?
In D’Souza’s book God Forsaken, he presents a chapter that argues the atheist remark that if God exists, then He is the perpetrator of evil, violence, and suffering.  But I found very little of his arguments agreeable on this topic – I disagreed with things like the idea that God doesn’t have feelings but humans give him anthropomorphic qualities, and the Bible exaggerates things to make a point. So I realized I was just going to have to think for myself and guide my daughter through her thoughts.
We looked up each verse and considered its context and what it says about God (haven’t yet consulted any commentaries or done any research).
1.    Isaiah 45:7 – He created the light and the darkness, prosperity and disaster. He allows both good and evil. He is both good and just at the same time. He created people with free will to choose.
2.    Exodus 15:3 – Moses sang a song calling God a warrior. God had hurled Pharoah’s chariots into the sea.
3.    Exodus 32:27-28 – God instructed the Levites to kill the Israelites that God had set free from Egypt when they rejected Him and built the golden calf to worship.
4.    Numbers 31:17 – Moses instructed the warrior to not let anyone live unless they were virgin girls. This wasn’t God speaking.
5.    Revelation 9:15 – Angels will be released to kill 1/3 of mankind. This is prophecy and hasn’t happened yet.
6.    Exodus 20:8 – One of the 10 commandments to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.  I think he meant to reference the following verse that refers to God being a jealous God. Not a short answer for this one.
7.    Deuteronomy 22:28-29 – cultural issue – not a short answer for this one.
8.    Hosea 4:11-16 – Hosea’s prophecy.
9.    Exodus 21:2-6 – Instructs how to treat slaves.  Every known culture at that time used slavery. This passage recognizes it was ingrained as a human institution and offers grace, a way to be kinder to slaves.  Cultural issue.  Actually historically, Christians (and no other group) mobilized to end slavery.
10.  Genesis 3:16 – God is sexist? God gives punishment for Eve’s rebellion. In the next verse, Adam was punished too.
11.  2 Kings 15:16 – States that Menahom sacked Tiphsah and ripped open all the pregnant women. Not God. Not endorsed by God nor instructed by God.
12.  Leviticus 11:13 – A bat in the bird list.  So…? Is the accusation that God is stupid for not teaching the people about mammals and calling a bat a mammal? Or maybe for the English translation of the Hebrew word, bat was the closest translatable word.
In some of these verses taken out of context, evils attributed to God are actually the result of human characters doing things for their own purpose.  Also, it should be noted that the Old Testament times were barbaric times.  Consider it in context with what was going on in the rest of the world at that time. It is easy to sit here today and assume the people were all decent peace-loving people who were arbitrarily and mercilessly slaughtered.  The Canaanite people and other cultures practiced human sacrifices.   And are we so innocent of not warring? And is it always bad? Think of recent history – Aztecs, Nazis, Japanese imperialism, 911….When a grave offense is afflicted against the innocent, we tend to seek justice!
“The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed; the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed.”  The Bible is a love story. Try reading the whole thing in context.
Christianity IS logical.  But logic won’t win an atheist. Maybe love will.


  1. Wow. That is a powerful note. It makes me think of a few verses but especially Isaiah 55:8-9 and 1 Corinthians 2:14. But aside of that wow.
    He is really thinking...wonder if he is wounded. So often people who turn against God have a personal experience that goes deep. Thanks for visiting with a comment today, Dawn @ Beneath The Surface.