Most debates around atheism (and Christianity) are not about God. They’re about epistemology. Don’t be an apologist. Be an epistemologist.

And what is discouraging is that most Christian apologists are focused and adept at dogma, rhetoric, and dogmatic rhetoric, and not so good at critical thinking skills, objectivity, logic, and reason. Popular audiences do not help with this problem as confirmation bias is pandemic.

In order to have epistemological acumen, and thus debate competency, we must first recognize when and where we conflate our perceptions, ideas, and language about God with God. What we think about God is not God. What language we use to describe God is not God. The concepts to which we adhere to understand the character and attributes about God are not God. And, if we are serious about having a conversation about God, we must begin with the premise that all concepts, ideas, and terms are not only inadequate, but distortions of God.

“Never once in my life did I ask God for success or wisdom or power or fame. I asked for wonder, and he gave it to me.” ― Abraham Joshua Heschel

Refuse to conflate what you think you know with what can be known, and what you believe with what is. In other words, don’t be an apologist. Be an epistemologist.

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