Why God speaks more loudly to some, is a great mystery beyond words. And I believe he even speaks to and through atheists. Doubt and doubters have their role to play in keeping the conversation going, and God seems to like it that way.
Atheists tend to use their own lack of experience with God as the standard by which to judge God’s existence. I’ve never been to the moon or China, but I believe both exist, and that should not brand me delusional.
To be sure, we do have some borderline scriptures, that taken at face value do make us seem delusional in the modern world. But where I believe many atheists get it wrong is in assuming all Christians treat all scripture the same, -as if it’s all God’s voice, and therefore, it must NOT be God’s voice because there’s some strange and uncomfortable shit in there, to be honest.
It’s too easy to cherry-pick your arguments (for or against just about anything) from an ancient book written by ancient people. (Though personally, I love the strange stuff in there too.)
Jesus is God’s interpretation of scripture. He often took what was written and evolved it, saying things like, “you have heard, but now I say….”
Here’s my standard for understanding/interpreting/prioritizing scripture:
Can I imagine it coming out of Jesus’ mouth while he’s up there hanging on the cross? Up there, would he bother to argue the historicity of Noah or degree to which we can say God punishes sin? No, God has more important things to say than that.
Truth is, we could bag all the words, and just show a picture of him up there. Every verse worth quoting is up there on the cross. The rest is just interesting and wonderful in its strangeness.
I Corinthians 1:27 “God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to confound the strong.”