Admit It: Atheists Have a Point

Mitch Stokes

Years ago, when I began earnestly addressing my questions about the plausibility of Christianity, I often found myself disappointed when I found answers. In fact, I sometimes felt that it would have been better to not have voiced my doubts at all. “If this is the best we can do,” I thought, “then I guess my concerns were well-founded.”

Of course, there’s a legitimate reason for finding an answer unsatisfactory: perhaps there isn’t a good answer. But this usually wasn’t the case, and it certainly wasn’t the most troubling kind of case. Rather, the responses that bothered me most were those that didn’t seem to see the real weight of my question. When people underestimated the difficulty of my objection they usually gave distressingly facile answers, which, to my mind, immediately discredited their competence (even if not their sincerity). And along with that credibility went a little bit of Christianity’s believability.

But whenever I found an author who unblinkingly acknowledged the difficulties—who admitted that the opposition had a point worth addressing—I found immediate relief. In fact, even if the response to the objection wasn’t enough to fully alleviate my doubt, merely knowing that someone else understood the issues gave me solace and breathing room. I then had time and space to work through my questions slowly and carefully.

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