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Book Plunge: Still Unbelievable

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  • #16
    Wrapping it up.

    ------------

    How does it all end? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    We return to Sophie to find out where her story ends.
    Where the rubber really meets the road though, is in the personal experience of god. It’s where Christians return to, and what they rely on.

    Johnson, David; Knight, Andrew; Atkinson, Ed; Skydivephil; Taylor, Matthew; Brady, Michael; Dumas, Sophie. Still Unbelievable: Why after listening to Christian arguments we are still skeptics . Reason Press. Kindle Edition.

    Not me. I will point her consistently to the Thomistic arguments and to the case for the resurrection of Jesus. Personal experience usually only convinces those on the inside already and is way too subjective. The irony here is that throughout this chapter, Sophie talks about her personal experience regularly as a now non-Christian.
    It was woven into my being, but for me there had not been a defining, dramatic conversion. It is fair to say I knew no “before” but I had, what I considered to be, a personal relationship with the Christian god through Jesus and there was nothing more normal to me than that. I could hardly conceive how people functioned without it. During my deconstruction, eventually I had to take a cold hard look at this aspect of my belief, and my overall feeling on the matter boiled down to this; How most unremarkable this ‘walk’ with the Lord was. How completely underwhelming this supposed supernatural, life-to-the-full experience had been. How completely hidden this deity had been despite purporting to desire deep connection.

    Johnson, David; Knight, Andrew; Atkinson, Ed; Skydivephil; Taylor, Matthew; Brady, Michael; Dumas, Sophie. Still Unbelievable: Why after listening to Christian arguments we are still skeptics . Reason Press. Kindle Edition.

    Which is a reason why I encourage Christians to NOT go by personal experience. We present Christianity in a way that is outside the experience of most people and then they feel let down, when it was really never Jesus that let them down, but an idealized version of what He’s supposed to do. If your Christian walk is built on anything other than the resurrection of Jesus, your walk is going to fail.
    I didn’t seem capable of discerning God’s will, I just had ‘hunches’ much like secular folk.

    Johnson, David; Knight, Andrew; Atkinson, Ed; Skydivephil; Taylor, Matthew; Brady, Michael; Dumas, Sophie. Still Unbelievable: Why after listening to Christian arguments we are still skeptics . Reason Press. Kindle Edition.

    Which is again nothing that has been part of historical Christianity.
    I was assailed by anxiety, depression and fear as much as the next terrified little humanoid. There was no peace in the storm, there was Xanax.

    Johnson, David; Knight, Andrew; Atkinson, Ed; Skydivephil; Taylor, Matthew; Brady, Michael; Dumas, Sophie. Still Unbelievable: Why after listening to Christian arguments we are still skeptics . Reason Press. Kindle Edition.

    We need to show grace to people suffering from mental stress beyond normal. I take medication for anxiety. It’s great for me. Since my divorce, I was regularly in the throes of panic. If we can go to doctors for physical healing and take medications, we can do the same for mental healing.
    I eventually had to concede that, despite trying, there was no “personal relationship” with God. I had tried but found it lacking and I could hardly see the point, much less muster up the enthusiasm anymore. I stopped communicating.

    Johnson, David; Knight, Andrew; Atkinson, Ed; Skydivephil; Taylor, Matthew; Brady, Michael; Dumas, Sophie. Still Unbelievable: Why after listening to Christian arguments we are still skeptics . Reason Press. Kindle Edition.

    I have argued against the idea of Christianity as a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus is my king. I am His slave.
    The amazingness of us even being on earth has given me goosebumps, awe and gratitude.

    Johnson, David; Knight, Andrew; Atkinson, Ed; Skydivephil; Taylor, Matthew; Brady, Michael; Dumas, Sophie. Still Unbelievable: Why after listening to Christian arguments we are still skeptics . Reason Press. Kindle Edition.

    Sure, but gratitude to who?
    If I’ve learnt anything from the experience, it is that I am not qualified for the job of evaluating this religion and its claims. I don’t have the theological training, the language expertise in Greek or Hebrew, and I have neither evolutionary biologist nor cosmological background. I don’t have sufficient historical information that I can evaluate on how much Christianity copies from other religions, or just how much neuroscience can explain spiritual phenomena. Needless to say, it’s a minefield with the added difficulty of the credibility of the sources and the cognitive bias present in almost everything. And that, that in itself, is enough to discredit it. Surely God would not have made the matter so hard that reasonably intelligent, truth-seeking people end up on either side of the fence and it’s just down to chance as to whether you can make the leap of faith or not? It seems it is. For that reason alone, I find it therefore quite improbable that this particular god exists.

    Johnson, David; Knight, Andrew; Atkinson, Ed; Skydivephil; Taylor, Matthew; Brady, Michael; Dumas, Sophie. Still Unbelievable: Why after listening to Christian arguments we are still skeptics . Reason Press. Kindle Edition.

    Go back and listen to old sermons preached centuries ago and find that the common man was being taught what we would consider difficult today. However, if you say you don’t possess the ability to evaluate, then why are you just doing this evaluation right now? Once again, I don’t think Christianity is Sophie’s problem, but an idea of Christianity instead.

    in the end, Sophie looks to be open. I hope she is. I hope if she ever reads this blog she will reach out. I would love to introduce her to a Jesus who doesn’t want you to find “His personal will for your life”, but just asks that you serve however best you can. You aren’t supposed to listen for His “Still small voice” but you’re supposed to study the Scriptures diligently. He doesn’t always take away the storm, but He is there with you and no, you won’t always feel it.

    Also, if this book is ever redone, the only parts worth keeping are the ones by Skydive Phil and Ed Atkinson, even though I highly disagreed with them still. Definitely find someone better than David Johnson who regularly had some of the worst argumentation. Overall, this one really won’t provide you with decent argumentation for the most part.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    (And I affirm the virgin birth)
    How does it all end? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out. We return to Sophie to find out where her story ends. Where the rubber really meets the road though, is in the personal experience of god. It’s where Christians return to, and what they rely on. Johnson, David; Knight, Andrew; Atkinson, Ed; … Continue reading Book Plunge: Still Unbelievable Conclusion

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