These past few weeks I’ve been working to complete my book Is the Atheist My Neighbor? Rethinking Christian Attitudes toward Atheism. This is a book that I believe should be read by every Christian and every atheist.
Of course you’d say that, Rauser. Heck, why not just say that it should just be read by everybody?
Okay, it should be read by everybody.
You see, the book lampoons a persistent and indefensible assumption (i.e. prejudice). It is the assumption that atheists are all in rebellion against God.
But if you look and listen you can find Christians quietly subverting this notion. Consider Rob Bell. He wrote the foreword for Hemant Mehta’s book I Sold My Soul on eBay: Viewing Faith Through an Atheist’s Eyes (Colorado Springs, CO: Waterbrook, 2007). Mehta’s book provides an engaging account from an outsider to Christianity who visits several Christian communities and offers his own impressions based on his experiences. In his foreword to the book, Bell observes, “As you try to figure out what exactly his agenda is, you’ll probably arrive at the same conclusion I did. I think he’s simply after the truth.” (xi)
If you blink, you might miss the significance of Bell’s statement. So let me underscore it. He believes Mehta isn’t sinfully suppressing belief in God. Rather, he really does want to know the truth. At first blush, this might seem too obvious to mention. But set against the stock Christian attitudes toward atheism and it really does constitute a quiet revolution.
Hopefully when my book comes out things won’t be that quiet.