Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Baptist Speaks Out On Atheists

Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has a blog post up on Crosswalk titled, "Coming Out of the Closet -- Atheist Style." His article references the recent New York Times column by Laurie Goodstein. Unlike what some atheists might expect, Mohler's comments are basically positive and informational. There is no attack on atheists or atheism at all. Instead, he notes that atheism and other forms of non-belief are growing, and that

the emergence of a more visible presence for atheists -- even in a deeply conservative state like South Carolina -- does signal a change on America's religious landscape.

Mohler describes efforts of atheists following a strategy similar to the gay rights movement as a "shrewd move." He points out that "new assertiveness" from atheists means that Christians are more likely to run into self-identified atheists. Mohler urges fellow Christians to be ready and open to debate, and renounces any effort to force atheists "back into the closet." 

It is good to see this sort of positive response to atheist activities in South Carolina, particularly from a leader of a conservative Christian denomination. He recognizes what atheists are trying to accomplish, and welcomes it as an opportunity to try to spread the Christian message to difficult targets. This is a nice contrast with those who seem to regard the mere existence of atheists as an affront.

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