Comment: Hey, I was surfing the web and stumbled across your site. I am a Christian and extremely happy to be one. I have read several comments on the different topics listed. I actually want to commend you on answering the hatred emails with respect and decency. Letters from Christains like that give the rest of us a bad name, and it is unfortuanate that people feel the need to react that way. I myself, would love to be able to contribute to changing your mind about being an atheist. However, calling you names and such is a horrible way to try and do that, and is not emulating what Jesus preached and that is love.
I do agree with several people who claim they are atheists who stated in one fashion or another that many people who are Christians are hypocrites or are like sheep blindly following what the church tells them. I think to a degree it does happen. I even admit sometimes when I am in church, I feel like I am going through the motions. This does not, detract from my reverance or love for Jesus Christ. I don’t think anyone can be bubbly or gung-ho about their faith(in God) 100% of the time. It is just not possible. People have doubts, fears, down days about their faith and religion, just as they have the same doubts, fears, and down days about everything else in their life; marriage, jobs, their own abilities, their sports teams, etc.
I was curious about your personal story and if you have that posted somewhere on here. I would like to read it. I was also curious that having said you have read the bible several different times, if you have read any material from authors who were once atheists and are now Christians. Josh McDowell is one example, and I believe Lee Stroebel (spelling?) is another. If you have what are your thoughts on their material and writings? Another question I have is do you believe any of the bible is true? What I mean is, do you believe any of the people in it actually lived? Do you believe Jesus actually lived on earth? Not so much that he is who he said he was, the Son of God, but just that he did live and was a real person?
Thanks for your time, if you choose to answer this note, and even though I may offend you, God Bless.
You’ve said nothing that could possibly offend me, and I’m pleased to answer your questions. That’s how we learn, right?
I think that there are many more Christian hypocrites than you might think, but I also believe that many of them do not know that they are being hypocrites. Much of the religious teaching I have experienced or seen does very little to teach people how to apply Christian beliefs to their every-day lives. For example, I have found an unfortunate number of Christians who don’t really know what “thou shalt not murder” or “thou shalt not steal” means in concrete terms, or who don’t know what it means to keep the Sabbath holy. I don’t blame these people (and in practice I probably wouldn’t even call them true hypocrites), but I think that their education should be improved. I would say the same type of thing about many atheists, by the way.
I don’t have a personal story posted anywhere, although I have answered some questions about my past. The only information I can think of that is relevant to the topic at hand is that I was raised Catholic and became an atheist in my late teens while doing copious research into religion.
I have indeed read material by authors who became Christians after being atheists. I read Josh McDowell’s Answers to Tough Questions many years ago. I’ve also read several of Lee Strobel’s books (in which he presents other people’s thoughts reporter style much more than speaking of his own philosophy). Although I learned quite a bit from all of these, I found none of them particularly compelling. I also felt that some of the people that Strobel interviewed in some of his books contradicted each other, which makes the situation even more complex.
Regarding the Bible, I do believe that some of the historical information in it is correct, and that some of the information that may or may not be correct is still sufficient reason for historical investigation. There is good non-Biblical evidence that some Old Testament individuals existed (mainly people after David). I have read arguments on both sides of the question of whether or not Jesus was a real person, and my feeling is that he likely did exist but that we have significant obstacles when trying to decide how much of what is written in the Bible can reliably be attributed to him.
One small point in closing: you use the phrase, “people who claim they are atheists”. I’d be careful about saying that, in that it has a little implication that the people might not be being honest in their claim. If I called you a “person who claimed to be a Christian,” wouldn’t that sound odd?
Please let me know if you have any more questions. I’m happy to correspond with you!