Yes it’s a bit of nonsense statement. But a few days ago I said it out aloud. I literally thanked God that atheists were there. Well maybe it was because of the rather disgruntled nature of my faith. Also, the early Christians were referred to as Atheists although in the slightly older sense of the word. Or maybe it is that I actually do agree with atheists on certain things. After all if we claim that something is there that cannot be measured by any of the senses or instruments we need the language and the logic to express what our claim actually means. Possibly, the language of Christianity has become much richer through it’s interaction with atheism even though fundamentalisms on both sides have tried to screech each other out .
Of course I don’t believe in the ultimate place of rational thought and empirical science. That belongs to a strange brown man who did things with fish and wood. But sometimes I am an atheist. Whatever beliefs I have are dry rotten thoughts. But very ocassionally… in such times… the wood… the fish… and the blood… brings tears to my eyes.