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Jun 5, 2019

How Do You Evangelize an Atheist?

The Ascension Team

It’s hard to start proclaiming the kerygma, “God loves you and has a plan for your life”, when someone doesn’t believe in God. Dave “All Thriller No Filler” VanVickle and I wade into the world of apologetics as we address a listener’s question about how to evangelize an atheist.

Our faith is rational. Don’t fear questions about what we believe, because at some point over the past two thousand years, that question has already been asked and answered. We just have to find it.

We want to hear from you! Email us at eksb@ascensionpress.com with your story, question, or comment—or if you’ve got a new nickname for Dave.

Snippet from the Show

“Catholic students need to understand that faith is not irrational. We don’t leave our minds at the door. That’s the Catholic tradition, it’s OK to question.”

SHOWNOTES

How to Evangelize to an Atheist

  1. Dig in and learn the arguments.
    1. You have to understand where they are coming from.
  2. Christianity has reasons for its beliefs.
  3. Fundamental Theology
    1. Start with Jesus as a man, his birth and resurrection.
      1. Start with the historical information leading up to his birth.
      2. Show the information in the Bible proving the Resurrection.
  4. Pray and ask others to pray with you for conversion.
  5. Remember, when dealing with high schoolers, it is normal for them to question.
  6. Ask questions:
    1. What is your moral absolute?
      1. What do you base your morality on?
  7. Look into metaphysics
    1. Teaching even a little bit of it helps people look into things and start thinking.
  8. Atheism is being embraced so widely now because it is the “default.”
  9. Keep the conversation about their relationship with God, but you will need to learn about apologetics at least a little bit.
  10. Have material around that they can “stumble on.”
  11. Make sure they understand we welcome and encourage questions about our faith.

5 Practical Tips

  1. Think about how you would change your testimony if you knew there was an atheist in the audience.
  2. Memorize names and facts about your community members to show that you care about them.
  3. Pray with us for the conversion of the boys at this high school.
  4. Build a database of online answers to atheism.
  5. Practice reverse mentoring. Ask someone younger than you to teach you something.

Resources from the Show


Meet Your Hosts


Michael “Gomer” Gormley

Michael “Gomer” Gormley

Michael has been leading evangelization and ministry efforts for the past ten years, both as a full-time parish staff member and as a speaker and consultant for parishes, dioceses, and Catholic campus ministries.

He is also the founder and creative director of LayEvangelist.com, and the producer and cohost of a Catholic young adult podcast Catching Foxes, which discusses the collision of Faith and Culture.

He is married to his college sweetheart, Shannon. Together they have about 1,000 children and get about 3 hours of sleep a night, which is alright by him.

David “Dave” VanVickle

David “Dave” VanVickle

Dave VanVickle fell in love with the Lord at the age of fourteen. Since then, he has dedicated his life to bringing others into a radical relationship with Christ.

He is a speaker and retreat leader. His programs focuses on proclaiming the universal call to holiness, authentic Catholic spirituality, spiritual warfare and deliverance. Additionally, Dave has over ten years of experience assisting Priests with their ministries of exorcism and deliverance.

Dave resides in Pittsburgh with his wife Amber and their five children: Sam, Max, Judah, Josie and Louisa.

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