purple-state-of-mind.jpg To you, I’m an atheist. To God, I’m the loyal opposition.
–Woody Allen, Stardust Memories

From Craig Detweiler’s Purple State of Mind: Finding Middle Ground in a Divided Culture:

In listening to [John’s] hard questions, I am processing my own. German theologian Jurgen Moltmann asks the humbling question, “Is not every unbeliever who has a reason for his atheism and his decision not to believe a theologian too?”

Perhaps atheists offer Christians a great gift, some much-needed perspective. We can be strengthened and even encouraged by the loyal opposition…

Today’s atheists continue Nietzsche’s important idol-smashing work. They rightly expose toxic expressions of faith. They decry abuse of power and resistance to scientific progress, places where organized religion brought death rather than life. Just as ancient Israel needed correction, so the Christian community needs such critics. It is far too easy for us to get defensive.