Adam Roberts argues that atheists have something to teach the followers of Jesus:
God is happy with his other creations living their lives without actively believing in him (which is to say: we can assume that the whale’s leaping up and splashing into the ocean, or the raven’s flight, or the burrowing of termites is, from God’s perspective, worship; and that the whale, raven and termite embody this worship without the least self-consciousness). On those terms, it’s hard to see what He gets from human belief in Him — from human reduction of Him to human proportions, human appropriation of Him to human projects and battles, human second-guessing and misrepresentation.
He goes on:
What should believers do if they discover that their belief is getting in the way of their proper connection to God? Would they be prepared to sacrifice their faith for their faith? For the true believer, God is always a mysterious supplement, present in life but never completely known, always in essence just beyond the ability of the mind to grasp. But for a true atheist, this is even more profoundly true: the atheist embraces the mysterious Otherness of God much more wholeheartedly than the believer does. To the point, indeed, of Othering God from existence itself.