I'm not an atheist, but you never win someone over to your point of view by insulting them and being hostile. It's better to be kind and lead by example, especially in instances like this. You can't argue someone into believing the way you believe.
Some folks have been a little snippy but I don't think it's any better to hide our faith and never defend it.
It's better to be kind and lead by example, especially in instances like this.
I don't quite understand -- all we can do in here is put down words to the best of our ability. No-one in this forum can see me leading by example, they can see only my words. While on the other hand, if I remain always and entirely silent in the face of criticism, folks who are watching and may be sitting on the fence may conclude that since I said nothing, maybe the atheists are right after all. Also, Jesus was not always gentle with critics either -- read Matthew 23.
You can't argue someone into believing the way you believe.
As a general proposition, that's not true. If you make a cogent case and your opponent is willing to hear you, you can often persuade someone to your point of view. If that was not so, all forums and blogs and discussions about any disagreement about anything would be futile and people would have long ceased talking to each other except to say hello and pass the salt.
And besides, such discussions are not always just for the folks involved in the discussion -- there is almost always someone watching and listening.
BUT...in the case of Christianity, it is true. The only thing that turns a non-believer into a believer is a direct encounter with the risen Lord, not sheer force of argument. At best, believers can only pave the way in someone's mind for that encounter to take place. But one of the ways to do that is to gently but directly answer critics and not be afraid they'll think we're mean.