“Atheist” describes a person who doesn’t believe in the existence of a god or God by extension. There have been many who did not believe in the existence of “God” or any other god. Some of them include David Hume and Immanuel Kant, who gave influential critiques of the traditional arguments for existence of God in the 18th century. In the 19th and 20th centuries Nietzsche, Feuerbach, Marx, Freud and Camus set the stage for modern atheism.
Atheism is divided into parts namely, narrow atheism and wide atheism. The narrow atheist does not believe in the existence of God, while a wide atheist does not believe that any god(s) exist, including God. The wide atheist denies that God exists, and also rejects the idea of the existence of Zeus, Gefjun, Thor, Sobek, Bakunawa, etc. The narrow atheist does not believe that God exists and does not take a stronger view about the existence or non-existence of other supernatural beings. One could be a narrow atheist about God but still believe in the existence of some other supernatural entities. This is one of the reasons that it is a mistake to identify atheism with materialism or naturalism.
Atheists have taken an evidentialist approach to the question of God’s existence. Therefore, how do they get witnessed to?
Evangelism or witnessing is an act that takes the believer making the first move, and then God, through His Spirit finishes the work. So, by this understanding, whenever you are witnessing to somebody, you need to know that you have a part to play as well.
Jesus said to go into the world and make disciples, an order that looks like we have a bulk of the work to do, because the spirit is always willing.
When interacting with people who do not even believe in the existence of God to begin with, it is somewhat more difficult. They are not like the unbelievers at Athens who Paul was able to quickly convince that the “god” they thought they knew was actually the Living God, but they needed to make some amendments to their order of service. These people already had the understanding of the existence of a “god”.
When you meet people who do no believe that there is a God, try to bring in some logic into the conversation. For example, if there is no God, then what is the most powerful force in existence?
The thing is that we do not go in our wisdom, but also wisdom is profitable to direct. Just as Jesus needed to apply wisdom in using parables and real-life occurrences to teach the people the eternal truths, we can also do the same.
These arguments have gone on for some time now. I remember the movie “God is not dead”, how it took a lot of time and arguments between the college student and the professor.
We may not have that much time when we go out on the streets or meet somebody on the bus, but some vital information should always be at hand.
Always try to establish the fact that the world could not have just sprung up out of nowhere; there had to be a Creator. (Genesis 1:1).
The argument is always that God does not exist, so honestly, it might have to take a supernatural occurrence to get somebody on that level convinced.
The apostles went out in this manner doing miracles as signs as they were sent by Jesus, and we also should if we must be effective enough.
“And the apostles went out announcing the good news everywhere, as the Lord himself consistently worked with them, validating the message they preached with miracle-signs that accompanied them!”
- Mark 16:20 TPT
The bible says that the apostle Paul went on doing signs and wonders, confirming the word of the Lord as well:
“By the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ”
- Romans 15:19 ESV
This is why the dimension of signs and wonders was given to the church. Sometimes, it is not only in words, but in power:
“And my teaching and message were not delivered with skillful words of human wisdom, but with convincing proof of the power of God’s Spirit.”
- 1 Corinthians 2:4 GNB
This is the use of it, that when people hear that there is a God that is All-powerful, then the accompanying signs of this power are shown in tandem.