I love my atheist friends. Not only do they brighten up my work days with interesting emails, the also get me thinking quite a bit about what we do right and wrong as Christians.
The Internet Monk has entered into his own little dialogue with an atheist – it’s interesting reading.
That old “morality” chestnut comes up. One of the things atheists seem to find profoundly annoying (apart from being generalised and slandered as a bunch, and references to Hitler) is the idea that you can’t be a moral person without God.
This is a communication breakdown. When I say “you can’t be good without God” it’s because I believe in God, believe humanity to be totally and naturally sinful, and believe that God graciously allows sinful people to act morally. Other people mean something different – they mean that you can’t be moral without “believing” in God. They’re different. And I think we need to be careful to express the difference in meaning. Non-theists are capable of moral behaviour. Theists believe that’s because God lets them, atheists don’t feel that compulsion because they don’t believe God is there to do it.
The internetmonk article also brings up the question of indoctrinating children and whether or not this constitutes “child abuse” – which it can’t possibly, if God is there. And I believe he is.