Open-Mindedness from an Atheist

Just came across one of the most thought-provoking blog posts I’ve read in a while, and wanted to pass it along. It’s at the blog De-Conversion, and it’s titled “Don’t Ask Me to Read Your Holy Book.” The discussion is amazing in the comments – you’ll find my comment somewhere around #180-190.

As a Christian, reading through this is both somewhat sad and somewhat exhilarating. It’s sad because, as you read through it, you start to realize how guilty you can be as a believer at asking people to just blindly take on your way of thinking, without fully considering where they’re at in their life right now. It’s exhilarating because it makes you think, and there are lots of great thinkers posting awesome thoughts in the comments.

Enjoy.

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11 responses to “Open-Mindedness from an Atheist

  1. Sometimes it’s more about the journey than the destination :)

    Paul

  2. Roopster – Isn’t from that great American philosopher Steven Tyler? (See Aerosmith song Amazing)

  3. destination: Heaven, sounds pretty good to me.

  4. 1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,”

    That blog post and string of comments just show how important it is to have a good reason for someone to believe what you believe. Some will read the Bible and decide to follow Christ. Others, for many different reasons, are much harder to convince that what the Bible says is true. That’s where good, solid apologetics comes into play. Some will never see the truth, but a strong, logical, even scientific, defense of the Christian faith will lead some to Christ in the end.

  5. Good read, where is what I said,

    “There is something bigger than me (and you) I call it (Him) God. Starting with the understanding that I’m not the center of the universe, I believe God to be beyond my ability to fully grasp, so I look for the revelation of God. Also believing that this God would be good (a blatant presupposition, but one that if incorrect, then it doesn’t really matter anyway), and would therefore reveal Himself to me. So what God seems best? Christian God, He claims to be beyond everything and not part of this life. That seems to fit best with reality. If there’s a God, He’s beyond everything, and Christian God is the one claiming that. You could say the same about Jewish God, but it’s more explicit in Christian God. Beyond that, arguments seem to start with the idea that I’m smart enough to figure-out God, and if I could, then I’d be God – and that’s silly.”

  6. Few4th – Thanks for the reminder on how we are called to be prepared to give an answer. That’s a tough one sometimes, because going too far down that road makes your faith way too intellectual and can often suffocate the relationship. At the same time, completely ignoring that road makes your faith next to useless, especially in terms of affecting others.

    Harris – Nice comment. I love the admittance and logic behind “a blatant presupposition, but one that, if incorrect, then it doesn’t really matter anyway.” Never thought of it that way, but it’s so true.

    So here’s a question – how do you talk Jesus with someone who does not consider the Bible to be factual? Where do you start?

  7. I start with, the Bible is true. If they say “I can’t believe that” I take them at their word, wipe the dust from my feet, give them my email address and move on…

  8. Harris, I like it.

  9. I read a life changing book called Permission Evangelism by Michael Simpson. The key it to get people to ask you if they “can read your Holy Book” I too often wanted to jump in with “my story” and what God has done for me…before I even knew what their definition of a Christian was I would blurt out something that would totally close down the conversation.
    John Mark Harris – you are right on about walking away…the HolySpirit will lead them to ask if when they are supposed to! How many times have people contacted you down the road 3 mos 6 mos etc…and ask something like “Remember that time you were talking to me about Spiritual things..I’ve been thinking and I want to know more…” I bet you’ll say that happens all the time.

    Simpson is speaking at a event in August at my church in Des Moines Iowa I am really pumped

  10. KJW – thanks for the book review. I know (from our previous emails) how highly you think of it. I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but I look forward to reading it soon.

    I struggle sometimes with walking away when they don’t believe in the Bible. It’s probably because I don’t completely accept that the actual work being done is completely by the Holy Spirit. It’s so easy to lose sight of that, but as you say, KJW, that’s exactly what’s happening. So we need to know that we are merely instruments.

  11. Pingback: A Carnival on Holy Books: To Read or Not To Read « de-conversion

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