Angry Atheist at the Street Fair!


It’s the Memorial Day weekend and you have the only booth representing Christ in a pagan street fair called the Fiesta Hermosa (see our photo album here). An angry atheist (the “New Atheist” kind) walks up, you try to share your faith with him, but he won’t let you get a word in edge-wise.. He’s angry, confrontational, belittling; he can’t stand Ray Comfort, insults your God, and is just plain ornery. What should you do? What do you say to someone so irrational that they can’t—won’t—believe in God?

Next week I’ll show you how to answer any atheist, no matter how antagonistic, and fulfill your commitment to share the Gospel with every creature—even recalcitrant, incorrigible unbelievers.

Greg Koukl, from Stand to Reason, offers a great perspective on what atheists believe with this article:

Atheists no longer believe there is no God, apparently.  Instead, they merely lack belief in the divine.  They are not un-believers.  They are simply non-believers.  And non-belief is not a claim, so it requires no defense. Click here to read the rest.


  1. Hi Steve,

    An angry atheist (the “New Atheist” kind)

    I have no idea what you mean by this. Were the “old atheists” not angry? Are all “new atheists” angry?

    Am I a “new” or “old” atheist?

    you try to share your faith with him, but he won’t let you get a word in edge-wise.

    So, in other words, he’s using your style.

    What I called “jerky evangelism”.

    Which you defended.

    What’s good for the goose appears to be good for the gander, so I’m not clear on why you would mention this.

    Was he under any obligation to either listen to you sharing your faith, or to letting you get a word in?

    He’s angry, confrontational, belittling;

    I would need to see a video to see evidence of this.

    And aren’t you confrontational, Steve? Don’t you see that as a good thing?

    Also, you already mentioned that he was “angry”, so a little redundant, but let’s ask this: do you understand why he’s angry?

    (Without seeing a video, I have no idea if he actually was angry.)

    he can’t stand Ray Comfort,

    Most non-believers that I know who have watched or talked with Ray feel the same. I wouldn’t say that, specifically, about myself, but I do think that Ray uses some awful arguments whenever he tries to speak on math, and he continues to use them even after being corrected.

    insults your God,

    Just as you and I have insulted the muslim God. Although, again, I would be interested in seeing evidence.

    Regardless, if you’re going to bring up your God in a conversation, you HAVE to know that some people might criticize Him.

    and is just plain ornery.

    Much like all of “jerky evangelism”. Which, again, you defended. Orneriness isn’t something that I think you really oppose, Steve.

    Neither do I, for that matter.

    What should you do? What do you say to someone so irrational that they can’t—won’t—believe in God?

    Without evidence, non-belief is the rational position.

    Of course, it’s easy enough to ask “What do you say to someone so irrational that they can’t–won’t–believe in Allah and the writings of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh)?”

    Next week I’ll show you how to answer any atheist,

    Wait… so it’s something that you’ve never done to me or ExPatMatt or BathTub or Azou?

    Or is this just the “buildings have a builder” argument all over again?

    even recalcitrant, incorrigible unbelievers.

    Awww, shucks, such flattery! 😉

    Greg Koukl, from Stand to Reason, offers a great perspective on what atheists believe with this article

    Uh, no, he doesn’t. He offers a perspective on what he thinks atheists should believe with that article.

    Let’s have an agreement: I won’t tell Greg Koukl what he believes, since I can’t read his mind, and he won’t tell me what I believe, since he can’t read my mind.

    Seriously, I read Greg’s article and all I thought was, “has this guy EVER met an atheist?”

    Steve, look at the posts I’ve written, or by BathTub, or by ExPatMatt, or… and so on. Do we match Greg’s article? Seriously? Really?

    Be well,


  2. Steve, please post this one instead:

    From Greg’s article:

    There’s another problem, though, that apparently has escaped the notice of those atheists who claim the high road of reason as their own. Given any point of view (e.g., “God exists”), there are only three possible responses to it. You can affirm it (“God does exist”), you can deny it (“God does not exist”), or you can withhold judgment (“I don’t know”), either for lack of information or lack of interest.

    False trichotomy.

    I could answer, “what do you mean by ‘God’?” Or “I don’t know, but I don’t see any reason to think there is one.” Or, “do you have evidence?”

    Greg’s argument is just bad.

    The only way out of this logical trilemma…

    Is to acknowledge that it’s a false trilemma.

    Nice try, Greg, but maybe you should ASK an atheist, instead of assuming you know how I think. Especially when your assumptions are so far off the mark.

    And lastly, this howler from Greg:

    Since 99% of the people in the world believe in God

    Bwahahahahahaaaa… oh man, making my sides hurt here. Anyone want to try to support that claim? I would LOVE to see the research that shows THAT calculation.

  3. I’d say you’re confused, but by now I know better. This is erecting a strawman for the purpose of burning it.

    There is a difference between not believing in a god and asserting that no Gods exist. The former requires knowledge of existence that few atheists claim to have. What knowledge we DO have suggests that there are no gods of any kind. While we lack a belief in gods, we are certainly open to the possibility. But it requires more than a tract to convince us.

    Agnostic is not a third category, but descriptor. An agnostic theist may believe there gods do exist, but is not entirely sure which and may consider that there are none at all. On the other hand, an agnostic atheist does not believe in gods, but is not closing all alternatives.

    The burden of proof is not upon us. No God runs around talking to us. Miracles are solely contained within ancient books, having happened many years ago and then conveniently drying up years before we could verify them. Proving a negative is incredibly difficult, which is why the burden is on the positive.

    Your article is also incorrect. The third largest group in the world is nonreligious: 16%. Half of that claims to be weakly theistic, so that’s 8% for atheism around the world. More than several popular religions like Hinduism. That’s eight times higher than the 1% your link claims.

    And I should add that the number is growing, and in no small part due to dishonesty such as this.

  4. recalcitrant, incorrigible unbelievers

    It took me a bit to get this. I *knew* I had heard those words used in that order *somewhere*. 🙂

    You’re always more than welcome to join our discussion over there, Steve. In fact, I’d say that we’d encourage you to join.

  5. Oh this should be entertaining.

    “Since 99% of the people in the world believe in God”

    Hahahahah oh dear. My sides are hurting already.

  6. Hey.

    Could you take the time and explain the layout that you have on your table and what you guys do. We are beginning to do a prayer station at a local flea market and we’d like some ideas of activities to add.

    Thanks for your help.

  7. Really, david? Do you honestly need help figuring this out? You can take any subject and then find some way to link it to death and get the fear going for your Jesus sales-pitch.

    They have the IQ test, which gracefully slides into the subject by asking questions to “test” your IQ. Then it asks the big afterlife questions to hit you with the gospel.

    Works with anything. ANYTHING.

    How about waffles? Put up a display about waffles being linked to obesity, which causes death. Speaking of death, do you know where you will end up when you die?

    Video games? Yeah, video games. Have a fake ad for a video game, a good war game or something, then lay it on by saying that life is not a game! You need to consider where you will go when you die! Bam, they enter Gospel Town.

    It’s called “bait-and-switch”, david, as the evangelist’s toolkit bares a remarkable similarity to the man selling snake oil.

  8. David,

    You can go to this link and get a good idea:

    The Living Waters link doesn’t work at this article, but if you go to and look through their free resources, you can find the materials we use. I’ll also have an instructional video out soon.

    Azou is correct, of course (and by the way, I don’t know if that was the “new Atheist’s” name). You can tailor any conversation into a Gospel presentation. Look what I did when someone asked me about my varicose veins:

  9. Our plan involves everyone hating New Atheism so they’ll flock in droves when we release Atheism Classic.

  10. Miracles are happening today. Out Pastor went to Africa and saw a child brought back to life.

    My wife had double vision for 3 months and an elder from church prayed for her and it was gone the next day.

    I shared the gospel with a person on the street who I called out by his first name who I had never met before and did not realize till after I was done talking to him what had happened.

    A EMT person from our church had a broken ankle and was prayed for at our Wednesday night prayer meeting and was healed.

    A grandfather of church member was diagnosed with cancer which was confirmed by a x-ray. The granddaughter prayed for her grandfather and the cancer was gone and confirmed by another x-ray.

    The most important miracle is when your life is changed along with it’s desires. Try not to sin in though, word or deed for a month. See how you do. What is sin. God gave you a conscience to know what you ought to be doing.

  11. As I told you before, Steve, you love to make up a confrontation so you can claim you are a martyr. You seem to really crave the attention which may be a result of using meth in years past. Your logic is really off base.

    Being a christian myself, you are an embarrassment to say the least. Just calling people “pagans” at the fiesta is out of line.

  12. @ elizabeth

    you just slid into a juvenial mode when you use character assassinations.

    look, there are all kinds of personalities in the world and when your a real Christian you are apprecitive for the gift of Eternal Life through the drastic measure of Jesus Christ going to the cross and bearing your sins. when one realizes the joy, after repentance and trusing in Jesus’ suffering and then defeating death by raising from the dead…well then we just have to proclaim the Good News from the mountain tops.

    how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? steve’s heart is in the right place yet by your comments here but, i wonder about yours.


  13. Thank you, Jeff, for those wholly anecdotal pieces of evidence. If true, it’s comforting to know your GOD can heal people but just does it in a abitrary. I guess my grandfather’s church just didn’t pray enough to cure his cancer.

  14. Azou,

    I am sorry to hear about your Grandfather’s cancer. But with regard to miracles you should remember that even though God chooses to heal some people sometimes, there comes a day when everyone dies. Even those people Jeff mentioned will someday die. That means that for EVERYONE, regardless of prayer and intercession, there comes a day when God refuses to heal us. But, that doesn’t nullify all the times we recovered from sickness or avoided death because of His intervention. Every one of those times was a miracle.

    The fact that any of us is breathing and typing on this blog is a miracle. Some day we will be dead too.

  15. That really doesn’t get to the heart of my post, which is that Jeff is either confusing things for miracles or straight-up lying.

  16. Azou,
    I am neither lying nor am I confused. You said “God doesn’t perform miracles” so I offered you some of the miracles I have seen or heard from directly by people involved. I too, am sorry to hear about your grandfather. I pray that you will come to know the Lord so that one day you can ask Him why that prayer was not answered as you expected.

  17. Jeff, do you understand what anecdotal evidence is and why it isn’t acceptable?

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