Let's Have More Books From Atheists

Ken Masugi has another of his marvelous interviews with Fr. Schall. In theory the occasion is promoting Schall's new book,The Mind That Is Catholic: Philosophical and Political Essays. But the good padre is too modest to talk about himself for long, so it's largely a praise of other people's books. I've never asked him a question about his own writing that didn't get the response of praise for several other people's works. One highlight from the opening, and then you're on your own.

Masugi asks about all the spate of atheist books. This is the best and most right response of anyone, ever.
I notice that the atheists have recently become missionaries. They are out to convert the world, which makes me suspect where their atheism came from in the first place. The ancient atheists seemed more logical, that all their thought would allow was as much inner peace as possible until it's all over. I think that Christians and other believers, to strengthen their own faith, should encourage atheists to write more and more books on why they are atheists. There is no more convincing proof for Christianity than the reasons the atheists give for their being atheists.
Plus a good many of them, by focusing obsessively on the question, may write themselves right into Church, which would be enjoyable all the way 'round.

In the same section he makes a further point which I appreciate the more for being a confirmation of my own understanding (if Schall says it, it's possibly wheat and not weed). In college I used to tell my atheist friends who scoffed at religion for being an "easy" answer and Christians for being too "black and white," unable to handle the shades of gray in "reality" that in fact they were the hopeless utopians in search of easy answers. They were the ones unable to bear for a moment the fact of human weakness. Accepting the doctrine of original sin, I wasn't surprised to find evil in the world, whereas they were willing to throw God and eternal salvation overboard because they found sinners in the world. So who needs things black and white more than you, my atheist friends?
[Nietzsche] was scandalized not because God did not exist, but because believers, who were supposed to act as if he did, did not so act. His disbelief is closer to scandal than to philosophy. But the other side of Nietzsche is a passion for the "what would it be like if it were true?" His famous aphorism, "The Last Christian died on the Cross," is nothing less than the plea of a utopian who is searching for ultimate being.