In reading the “new” atheists, I see confirmation of the Apostle Paul’s assertion that their unbelief is not due to the lack of evidence but the suppression of it. There is a large difference between those who are truly seeking answers to difficult questions and those who are unwilling to believe no matter what the data suggest.
At times Jesus gave some hard answers to seekers (i.e. “go and sell all your possessions”) but was willing to engage them in a loving manner. He reserved his anger for those who came with certainty about their grasp of the truth. Every believer who pauses to reflect on the issues of life has moments of doubt and questions about what he has been taught and questions about what he observes in the culture around him. Contrary to what some think, doubts and questions are not condemned in Scripture, nor are they outside the experience of believers through the ages.
I have come to realize that those who refuse to believe (it is a will issue, first and foremost) have to spend a lot of energy whacking down those truth moles as they pop up. How are you going to respond to the claims Jesus made about himself? How could the complexity we see in biology happen by chance? Can you really live as though there are no absolute truths? Why is it that so many believe in the supernatural? These are examples of questions, like moles, that pop up and must be swept aside to remain antagonistic to belief. Those who are truly wrestling with these questions are more open to dialog.
Perhaps this is why the tone of several of the recent popular atheist manifestos is so angry. Maybe they’re tired of whacking those moles . . . .