After last week’s article, the following conversation ensued. For clarity the atheist’s words appear bold and italicized.
I recall many studies showing how atheists, in general, are more knowledgeable about the Bible than many Christians.
I've not seen the "many studies" but the many atheists I've spoken with evidence the contrary. [There haven’t been “many studies” but one study grossly misrepresented.]
The atheists with whom I've interacted or watched in formal debates have very little knowledge of the Bible or church history. In fact, it seems that what they "know" is simply recycled among them. That is, they all "know" the exact same things and nothing more.
I think many of the "celebrity" atheists just use the same arguments again and again. Although, so do the religious apologists.
And in my limited experience, every-day-atheists tend to merely parrot the "celebrity" atheists—thus the in-house recycling.
The "celebrity" atheists (and their disciples?) tend to say the same things of the Bible and Church history over and over and over...no contemplation...no nuance. (Hence the scare quotes around "know.")
The scope of their "knowledge" of the Bible and Church history pertains to these themes: genocide, slavery, misogyny, crusades, and inquisitions. And that's about it! That's both the scope and the depth of their “knowledge.”
In other words, what they "know" of the Bible and Church history is extremely narrow and incredibly shallow. It is caricatured "knowledge" at best. What they "know" of the Bible and Church history could be contained on a bumper sticker. It's little or nothing more than sloganeering.
Furthermore, it seems that most atheists' "knowledge" simply serves as a rather blunt object with which to bludgeon believers in debate and not as a means of understanding or an impetus for furthering inquiry. This is reflected in nearly every dialogue between atheists and Christians I've ever seen, heard, or participated in.