Suppose you’re looking at a painting of a crowd of people, and you remark upon the painter’s intentions in producing the work. Someone standing next to you looking at the same painting -- let’s call him Skeptic -- begins to scoff. “Painter? Oh please, there’s no evidence of any painter! I’ve been studying this canvas for years. I’ve gone over every square inch. I’ve studied each figure in detail -- facial expressions, posture, clothing, etc. I’ve found plumbers, doctors, dancers, hot dog vendors, dogs, cats, birds, lamp posts, and all kinds of other things. But I’ve never found this painter of yours anywhere in it. No doubt you’ll tell me that I need to look again until I find him. But really, how long do we have to keep looking without success until people like you finally admit that there just is no painter?”Too often atheists treat God - the God we theists actually believe in, that is - as if He were a big bearded guy living on a cloud somewhere. Their arguments (like the comparison between God and a "Flying Spaghetti Monster") would be devastatingly power, if we were pagans worshipping Mars or Thor or the Eagle Spirit (that is being that are a part of the world) but completely miss the point when talking about the God we actually believe in, and the God men like Abraham, Aquinas, Augustine, Aristotle, and Plato believed in. This God is the Creator of the material world (just like Leonardo is the creator of the Last Supper) and it makes just about as much sense to look for God within the world as does to look for Leonardo in his painting. For an atheist to say "Aha! God isn't in the material world at all!!" is for him to say the exact same thing we theists have been saying for the last few thousand years and is certainly no proof against God's existence. It would be like me claiming Richard Dawkins doesn't exist because I throughly searched my entire garage - every square inch, mind you - and not a trace of Dr. Dawkins was to be found! Of course, not. He simply isn't where I'm looking and no one ever thought he was in the first place. Or would be like a zoologist announcing to the world that elephants don't exist after an exhaustive study of the antarctic where he found not a trace of a single specimen. Such absurdities can't be argued with, they can only be chuckled at.
Needless to say, Skeptic, despite his brash confidence, will have entirely misunderstood the nature of the dispute between you and him. He would be making the crudest of category mistakes. He fundamentally misunderstands both what it means to say that there is a painter, and fundamentally misunderstands the reasons for saying there is one. (source)
By the way, Dr. Feser's book on Thomas Aquinas is an absolute must read. I've read many books on the thought of Aquinas and recommend this one without hesitation. If you haven't read it, you're really missing out.
I've heard good things about his book specifically addressing the "New Atheism" (he was once an atheist himself), but I haven't read it yet,