Let’s begin with a tweet from Christian apologist Andy Bannister:
Andy’s a great guy and I very much enjoyed meeting him this past spring and doing several interviews/events with him (including our Islam discussion on Bold Cup of Coffee, my interview on Bold Cup with Andy on his book, his debate/dialogue on Islam that I moderated, and his appearance on my podcast).
However, tweets like this just aren’t helpful! Christian apologists shouldn’t misrepresent and strawman the views of their intellectual opponents, and this tweet does both.
First off, atheism isn’t a worldview, it’s a denial of the existence of God which can be part of many different worldviews.
Second, piling up negative adjectives and polemical descriptions merely invites an equivalent reply. Does Andy want atheists to treat Christianity like this?
“Christianity is an empty, sterile worldview, that makes us pawns of a capricious tyrant who will damn many of us in eternal fire for his glory.”
Is this the description of Christianity that Christian apologists want atheists to be tweeting? Presumably not.
But then Christian apologists need to lead by example by representing the views of their opponents with charity and nuance. Consistently following the golden rule of hospitable dialogue with those with whom you disagree is the first step in presenting a credible apologetic to a skeptical world.