I've been going over to Debunking Christianity to mix it up with the Atheists for quite a while now. I think they might be fed up with me, so I haven't been replying to any posts for a couple of days. However, the blog director and chief atheist, John W. Loftus, just posted an interesting article from Dr. Douglas Groothius, professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary. He has a new book coming out defending Christianity against the attacks of the New Atheists and he posted on his web site a primer of the book. Mr. Loftus put Groothius' primer up on his site so that his atheist friends could throw rocks at it. You can read Groothius' post at DC and the atheist responses to it here: http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2009/03/guest-post-by-dr-douglas-groothuis.html
When I started reading posts over at Debunking Christianity I noticed that the posts and comments were a lot of straw man arguments about God, Christians, and the Bible, etc. At first I tried to keep my mouth shut and be agreeable to show some understanding with sympathetic comments. However, after a while I felt like they were getting away with bullying Christianity, so I simply tried when and where I could to show them some of their false and exaggerated arguments. For instance, one of their favorite straw man arguments is to describe the Biblical God as blood thirsty, capricious and very angry. "Who would want to believe it that God?" is their point. Another one is the false comparison between the Christian Faith and belief in "imaginary friends" and "spaghetti monsters". "Jesus is just a figment of our imagination", is this point. But, to support this claim they have to make up a "belief" that Jesus was just a mythical figure. Of course, they are completely outside of mainstream scholarship when spouting that belief. Yet, it is finding remarkable popularity today. Another common atheist straw man is depicting the historic Christian Church as wicked, hypocritical and genocidal. "See, religion breeds evil people, not good people," is the point here. They don't ever, and I mean ever, cite one example of the benefits Christianity has brought to the world since Christ was born. I just thought it was not fair to let these exaggerations go unchecked. If they are going to make a stand against Christianity they ought to at least use arguments that are meaningful, instead of these spin doctor tactics.
When I read the synopsis by Groothius at DC I almost started shouting at my computer, YES! Finally, a scholar with more refinement and more verve than I could muster has been posted at DC addressing many of the same things I have been trying to say. But, then when I read the comments by the atheists I saw the same old false criticisms. No change! I wonder if the explanation for the problem has to do with what Paul said in Romans 1:18-23, where he describes the unbeliever as comitted to supressing the truth of God. What do you think?