Christianity Today. Christians do themselves a disservice when they assume that the atheist (or any opponent of evangelical Christianity) is the product of some personality disorder or traumatic experience. It is true that some very smart people go stark raving mad when it comes to their opposition to the Christian faith (Richard Dawkins comes to mind). Even Hitchens went off the rails sometimes, but generally he presented smart, credible challenges to the too-easy answers with which we comfort ourselves. I find few people on the "other side" of whom this is true (Camille Paglia would be another, but she has largely and lamentably fallen silent of late).
Many people in my circles (and I chide myself here) are satisfied with very pat answers, and are unwilling to allow their faith to be challenged by the good arguments of the other side --this is true in terms of every aspect of the Christian world-view --politics as well as religion. So, we end up repeating mantras instead of thinking deeply. Scripture is altogether different. Ecclesiastes stares into the abyss and finds some discomforting things there. Job wrangles with pain and evil and finds his ultimate answer is no answer at all --simply a call to leave it to God, and a confident resolution that God will triumph in the end. That is faith --but we need to understand why it is not always intellectually satisfying.
The larger point is to find the best opponents of what you believe and read them or, if you have the chance, wrangle with them in person. If your faith is too brittle to withstand those sorts of onslaughts, it needs to be strengthened.
One of my mentors in the ministry is an incredibly smart man, intellectually curious across the field of human endeavor. A conversation with him is at once fascinating and intellectually daunting, as topics fly by in a flurry. During his ministry in one place, a mutual friend introduced him to the notable, vociferous atheist forty-year pastor of the downtown liberal church. Yes, I said atheist. This man was not a "pat answers" universalist liberal --he denied the existence of God, and told his free-thinking congregation as much. This group would meet regularly at the same spot, in an inklings-like friendship: my friend (pastor of a large, staunchly orthodox and Calvinistic church), the acquaintance (a notable Christian Reformed intellectual), the atheist pastor, and another liberal pastor (best described as a Calvinist turned Unitarian). I once had the temerity to ask my mentor why he did this. His answer was simple, "He keeps me honest."
I think the confessional Reformed tradition suffers today from an insularity --the same people saying the same things to friendly audiences, and it can create a stifling atmosphere. My answer is not, of course, that we become liberal --it's that we develop stronger answers for why we're not, and cordial relationships with those that are. We need to have our iron sharpened, and we can only do this as we learn to intersect with those with whom we disagree. Their arguments are stronger than we think, and sometimes ours are weaker than we think. We can only change that by interacting with them.