The Unusual Questions of Atheists Should be Followed Up On

I have noticed that some atheists ask some questions that may seem odd or unusual to a Christian.  However, these questions should be encouraged and followed up on.  This is because the odder the question seems to a Christian, the less the atheist may have grasped the basic concepts of Christianity, and thus the atheist is arguing against an argument that he or she doesn't fully understand. So it is important that Christians follow up on 'odd' or 'unusual' questions.

As an example of such a question, I was once asked "Does your religion give you a sense of comfort or safety?"  While it is true that the answer for most Christians may be "Yes", this would still be viewed as a very odd question.  This question, to an atheist, seems quite reasonable.  But to a Christian it is odd.  This is because a Christian believes in Jesus because he or she honestly believes this is the truth. Now, a sense of comfort or safety may be a side-effect for some Christians.  But this is not WHY Christians believe in Jesus - they believe in him because it is the truth. [Frankly, many Christians also have a sense of awe and wonder which may often dwarf any sense of comfort or safety but we won't go into that now.]

To use an analogy to this question, a gardener trying to be as self-sufficient as possible might be visited by someone who observes his plants.  This visitor observes the pretty flowers on the bean plants.  "Do you derive a sense of pleasure and beauty by looking at these flowers?" the visitor may ask.  "Yes", answers the gardener.  But what the visitor fails to ask is "Why are you growing these plants?".  The gardener would reply "I am growing them so I may eat well and feed my family with these beans."  The beauty of the flowers, in this instance, is a mere side-effect of the growing of these beans for sustenance.  Likewise, a sense of comfort is a mere side-effect of Christianity. And, as I mentioned earlier, a sense of awe and wonder (not altogether pleasant always) comes hand-in-hand with the comfort, at least for me.  So most Christians would not like to be accused of using Christianity as a crutch.
I am not saying that Christians need to point fingers at atheists for asking questions that are deemed odd by Christian standards.  Instead, I am saying that a question from an atheist that strikes a Christian as unusual, odd or puzzling should be followed up on to make sure the atheist at least understands where the Christian is coming from, even if the atheist may never agree with them.  To use the analogy, gardeners need to answer the unasked question, like why you are growing the beans.

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