Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ever since I left the Nazarene Church as an early teen, I've spent ungodly amounts of time arguing with Christians against essential Christian teachings concerning God, Jesus, sin, and hell.

Before the Internet came along, I argued mostly face-to-face with people. After I got on the Internet, I've done most of my arguing by baiting Christians into heated online debates over their beliefs or by posting blog entries elsewhere attacking Christian beliefs.

I don't know why I've been so preoccupied with critiquing Christianity over all these decades. Christians have often told me it's because God keeps calling me to Him so powerfully that I can't just ignore Him; yet, rather than openly heed His call, my wicked pride compels me to rebel against Him by relentlessly attacking, albeit ineffectually, the "one, true faith" that represents Him.

Needless to say, I don't accept this explanation. Even if it were true, I'm not conscious of it being true, and I sincerely believe that I can offer more plausible explanations for why I'm so negatively preoccupied with Christianity.

For starters, Christianity has immensely influenced American culture right up to the present day, and I think baser versions of it wield inordinate influence over culture and politics. That is, I see politicians using religion not so much in order to draw the diverse peoples of this nation together in mutual respect and common purpose as to divide them into "us" Godfearin' conservative Christians and "them" Godforsaken liberal heretics and atheists so that they can rally support that gets them voted into or kept in office where they can carry out a political agenda of aggrandizing the rich, imperialist warmongering, and legislating a narrow morality with which I hotly disagree. Thus, I want to neutralize this Christian menace or, at least, lash out in angry frustration against it even if my efforts are too weak or Christian resistance to them is too strong for them to do any tangible good.

Another reason I could cite is that I've just always been extremely interested in religion. Not so much in its practices as in its guiding principles or teachings. And since I live in a still predominately Christian culture rather than a Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist one, Christianity is what I focus on disproportionately, albeit not exclusively. Furthermore, because I don't believe in Christianity as I understand it, I focus on refuting it.

I could further speculate about why I think, talk, and write so much against Christianity, but the bottom line is that I plan to keep doing it because I enjoy it too much to stop and don't see good reason to stop. In fact, I even have the fanciful notion that I might be able to earn money writing about Christianity if I can learn more about it and why it's as implausible as I think it is.

That's where this blog comes in. I plan to engage in a deeper and more systematic investigation of Christian teachings than I ever have before, and I'd like to record the essential results of that effort here and share them with anyone who wants to follow along with me or comment on what I have to say.

I won't be able to record everything I read, hear, or think about during my investigation, but I will challenge myself to post here what seems especially important. And I've decided to begin by summarizing and, to a lesser extent, at least at first, evaluating William Lane Craig's formidable introduction to Christian apologetics, On Guard: Defending Your Faith With Reason and Precision.

I will have more to say about this in my next blogpost.


  1. I look forward to joining you in your journey and seeing what discoveries unfold themselves to you along the way. I'm really interested in what you have to say regarding your reading of William Lane Craig's book, On Guard. I've heard many people talk about it but haven't read it yet. I'm eagerly awaiting your summary and thoughts on it!

  2. Thank you, Jessica. It's encouraging to know that I have at least one reader starting out.

    I would strongly suggest that you get a copy of "On Guard" and follow along with me at the same slow pace I take instead of reading it as rapidly as you do most of your other books. Since you've indicated previously that you plan to read the book anyway, this would be a great way to do it.


    (The buttons on that page are what I was talking about.)