"I respect this (atheist) friend because he takes seriously the ultimate questions of life and he is endeavoring to make sense of the world; I believe he respects me for similar reasons. While we often end in disagreement, there are those rare occasions where he finds harmony with the Christian perspective on compassion, humility, consumerism, and careerism, for example. While I disagree with my friend’s worldview, I cannot condemn it as being thoughtless. He has invested tremendous energy and effort into trying to understand and work out his perspective of life and the world. More so, I fear, than many professing Christians.
Furthermore, my friend remains willing to engage in spirited discourse that constantly challenges his beliefs, something that far too few Christians are willing to do even with each other, despite the fact that Scripture calls on us to “exhort one another” daily (Hebrews 3:13, ESV)."
h/t Dakota Voice, where you can read the rest