Atheism’s Gift by Christopher Killheffer

Atheism’s Gift

Christopher Killheffer on the Good Questions That Dispel False Beliefs

In discussing the nourishing character of Scripture, C. S. Lewis noted the importance of confronting the Bible in all its moods and voices, even “something in itself so anti-religious as the nihilism of Ecclesiastes.” It’s a striking idea, that Scripture should speak in the tones of the anti-religious, and perhaps it’s an even more striking idea to suggest that exposing ourselves to those caustic tones could somehow be beneficial to us. What good could a blast of anti-religious nihilism do for a Christian life?

It’s a question well worth asking in our own day, when anti-religious forces, especially the proponents of atheism, are both on the rise and growing more confident in their challenge. Richard Dawkins’s much-discussed The God Delusion is only the most successful of many recent books by the so-called New Atheists, a school whose newness is found mostly in the assertiveness and even aggressiveness of its tone.