I’ve started reading a blog called Friendly Atheist by Hemant Mehta. Sometimes I’m frustrated by the posts and/or comments, but there are several reasons I’m keeping it in the reader.
- The guy’s a good writer and he has interesting things to say.
- It’s good to challenge my own thinking and see how I would respond to what non-Christians might say.
- It’s good for me to see how Christians are perceived by people who (generally) don’t like us. Some of the negative things they say about us will be true, and I can try to work on those in my life. Some won’t be true, but knowing they perceive us that way can help me know what to work on too.
- It’s a chance to interact with people (although not as good as face to face), and hopefully I can have a shot at being a friendly, thinking, generally winsome Christian.
- Some of the things he posts I totally agree with. The kitsch evangelicals can come up with is unbelievable.
- When the author or a commenter says something that really ticks me off, it’s a good chance to take a deep breath and not respond sinfully-and remind myself that it’s not my job to always get the last word.
As I write this I’m thinking some of it sounds arrogant. (And I’m realizing Hemant might find this link and read this. So if you do, Hemant, hi, and I don’t mean to be arrogant.) But deliberately reading stuff from a non-sympathetic source is, I think, a good exercise, both as a reality check and as an opportunity to confront and fight your own weak spots.