Constructing God

September 18, 2008 at 12:01 am 53 comments

God, as a personal deity, is expected to be trusted no matter what.  Doubt and disbelief in such a God is mostly seen as an anomaly, as a kind of sickness that requires healing.  Fortunately, there are voices that consider doubt a virtue, such as Peter Rollins.  He is a rare breed in an arena crowded with voices claiming with all certainty that God is this and God is that.

I once thought that I had God pinned down, and that I had a vital relationship with him.  Now, I wonder whether that was just wishful thinking.  I really don’t think religion or atheism are right-and-wrong positions (Rollins delves into this beautifully); they are simply conceptual frameworks for identifying with certain positions.  Anything – and I mean anything – that is said about God is no more than language, no more than a signifier.  If you are experienced with philosophy at all, you may begin to suspect that I am delving into the subjective-objective domain here, and you are correct.  But regardless of how technical I get at describing faith and belief (or lack thereof), it does all come back to ideas.

The concept of God is not static.  It is a construction over thousands of years involving the mental projections of men and women (primarily men, given the most common gender-typing of God as He).  Does the projection accurately reflect the reality of that which it points to?  The Bible (and other sacred scriptures) is an attempt to create a static impression of God, however even the concepts contained therein are dynamically interpreted to fit within particular worldviews.  Even still, the Bible itself contains no static impression of God, but has apparent contradictory (or maybe paradoxical) accounts of his nature and being.

I see the Bible now more or less as a conceptual framework that unites certain people in the belief system contained therein.  People have all manner of reasons why they hold to faith, and all manner of personal experiences that testify to the reality of their faith.  It is not a question of whether they are right or wrong, or whether their concepts accurately reflect a domain of existence that is not objectively verifiable.  I am more interested in questioning concepts themselves, and living within the domain of paradox.

Certainty is so yesterday ;)

- Gary

Entry filed under: Gary. Tags: , , , , .

Obstacles to Critical Thinking I’m not sure I want to be called an atheist anymore

53 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dd  |  September 18, 2008 at 5:09 am

    Interesting thoughts. And thanks for the link to Rollins’s blog. I haven’t stumbled onto that before.

  • 2. The de-Convert  |  September 18, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Looks like Rollins is a part of the whole Emergent Church fad which, according to Mike’s recent blog ( http://emergingpensees.blogspot.com/2008/09/distancing-from-emergent.html ) is falling apart. I guess the church really isn’t ready to be that liberal :)

    In case you haven’t read Mike’s guest post here, here’s a link:

    http://de-conversion.com/2008/03/05/i-might-have-become-an-atheist/

    Paul

  • 3. dd  |  September 18, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Damn, I hope the emergent church isn’t falling apart. I really thought it held some hope for the future. Although I personally find postmodernism to be ridiculous.

  • 4. freidenker85  |  September 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    This is just sidestepping the issue. Are you suggesting that people don’t refer to God today as they did in the past? Why does this matter – no one has any experience with any God-thing as they do with, say, a moon-thing. Everybody hears about this God person some point in their lives and find him to be whatever it is they’re compelled to believe because of their own natural inclinations. This is no different than what every person might feel once he hears about Hamlet or Hector or Achilles. Fictiotious characters ALWAYS result in subjective definitions. There’s no reason to believe why this has changed in the past and this is where I endorse you the most when you wrote that the idea of God is not static – the fictitious story about him grows and evolves and the frame in which subjective perceptions of him evolves as well.

    It’s also not okay to say that “Religion and Atheism are not right-or-wrong positions” – If the real world and evidence-based reality is your criteria for “right and wrong” (in the factual sense) – then atheism and religion ARE opposed. You can’t lead a life where evidence is the soul anchor to any belief and accept religion as an exception to that rule. Religion would be a blight on such a person because his worldview would be inconsistent with his behavior.

    I do believe that it doesn’t quite matter if people are religious or not, as long as they don’t do any harm with it. If it’s just some weird hobby or cultural tradition – then I’m all for it. But religion is usually a lot more serious than a hobby, and when people get serious, they get dangerous.

  • 5. nick.huelsman  |  September 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    an insightful post. i wonder what part history has in this idea that religion is static. The Bible, the books themselves AND their content, is THE most historically supported ‘source’ of all time. A Christian apologetical response to your post would be this: that faith is not only spiritual, but holistic, it has a place in the history of the world, namely Jesus Christ (fully God) lived here among us. As for the paradox: of course there would be paradox when a perfect God would come into and speak into an imperfect world, i.e. the limitations of man cannot fully understand the unlimited God.
    Just some food for thought.

  • 6. Marianne  |  September 18, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Hello Gary

    You are not alone. Your thoughts are very typical of many people who lack the presence of the Holy Spirit to properly interpret, and understand, the scriptures and the nature of God. This is called natural thinking. It is like the door is closed, and all you see is words.

    God is a person. So is the Holy Spirit, and so is Jesus. Unless you have personally met and encountered the presence of God, nothing will really make much sense to you. It will not be true to you. Religion has failed you. What you need is a relationship with God, not religion.

    Forget dry religion and philosophy. Try to reach for a person, not a bunch of facts and opinions of man. If you reach with the right intent and are sincere, He will meet you where you are at.

    blessings
    marianne

    http://heavenawaits.wordpress.com/

  • 7. cooper  |  September 18, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Well put Marianne.

  • 8. peacelovekindness  |  September 18, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Try my religion of peace, Gary. God is not a person but is the Creator of the whole universe (including us, men!).

  • 9. orDover  |  September 18, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Well put Marianne.

    Only well put if it was intended to address a person completely unfamiliar with the faith. For those of us, Gary included, who have been there and back again it is just the same old tired drivel that we ourselves used to spout.

  • 10. SnugglyBuffalo  |  September 19, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Well put, orDover ;)

  • 11. LuminaryMind » Blog Archive » God is Not Static  |  September 19, 2008 at 1:45 am

    [...] certaintly cannot place any impression on the Great Architect. Read his full blog post titled, Constructing God. Tags: Bible, God, Holy Bible, One Great Power, Philosophy, Projection, [...]

  • 12. Kat  |  September 19, 2008 at 3:09 am

    “I am more interested in questioning concepts themselves, and living within the domain of paradox.

    Certainty is so yesterday.”

    Love it.

    The writer F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

    I think the same can be said for a first-rate faith.

  • 13. nick.huelsman  |  September 19, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Marianne said: “Forget dry religion and philosophy. Try to reach for a person, not a bunch of facts and opinions of man. If you reach with the right intent and are sincere, He will meet you where you are at.”
    You are missing the point. “Reaching with the right intent and with sincerity” is exactly what Gary is doing. His intention is to find truth and He is sincere about it. But the problem is that when sinful man with his “natural thinking” will never ever ever find God. Let to ourselves, there is no hope of attaining to ultimate truth or a true relationship with God. For this reason, God reaches down to us, to “find” us. This is called ‘grace’.
    We have all these different religions in the world, and all of them do one thing in common: reach out for God. But there is one religion which does not teach a reaching out, but instead a receiving: Christianity. The ‘philosophical’ and ‘theological’ difference between Christianity and all other religions is this very thing: Man can do nothing spiritually, it is all up to God.
    He takes us into Himself. He does this through “means” (means of grace) through His Word in Holy Scripture. The core of this Word is this: When Jesus died on the cross, the corruption (evil) in man, whether that be his actions or his thoughts, have nothing to do with His spiritual health or relationship with God. So, to believe that Jesus died on the cross for “my sins” is the only thing necessary for a ‘relationship with God’. There is no requirement of man, this is what is peculiar to Christianity.
    Also, to say “Unless you have personally met and encountered the presence of God, nothing will really make much sense to you,” is silly because believing is having the relationship.
    Again, intention and sincerity have nothing to do with the relationship with God OR finding ultimate truth.

  • 14. Brad Feaker  |  September 19, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Nick # 13

    Again, intention and sincerity have nothing to do with the relationship with God OR finding ultimate truth.

    Then what DOES it take – the Bible says that those who seek with all their heart will find god. And I am sorry to say – nobody is at home. It takes a special kind of hubris to believe blindly and contrary to all evidence that you have a ‘personal relationship’ with a (mythical) being that can create something like our universe.

  • 15. nick.huelsman  |  September 19, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Brad,
    It takes God descending upon earth in the form of man. This is not only ‘contrary’ as you say, but paradoxical, contradictory, illogical. Reason alone cannot comprehend this mystery. Why is it a mystery? Because of the corruption of man. You have to agree that man is corrupt, that is evident. If man is corrupt, then there must be things He cannot comprehend by His reason; this is why belief is necessary. Belief is only blind insofar as the mind cannot grasp it.

    You mention ‘evidence’. What is evidence? What is logic? If you take logic as deep as you can, you will find that logic is based on a set of assumptions; most notably that we hold these logical ‘truths’ because they have not yet been contradicted. Just because man’s corrupted mind cannot think of anything different than the way things appear to be around us, doesn’t mean that they are impossibilities. The ultimate conclusion is that EVERYTHING is based upon faith: faith in assumptions. To this end, reason does not inform faith, faith informs reason.

    It takes a special kind of hubris to think that a person can explain or understand the mysteries of the creation of the universe.

    As far as the Triune God being “mythical”: The Bible is the most supported (based upon other writings of the time, including secular writings) piece of history of all time.

  • 16. BigHouse  |  September 19, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    It takes a special kind of hubris to think that a person can explain or understand the mysteries of the creation of the universe.

    Indeed. And this is a premise that Christians would be well-advised to think about as they preach their version of the ‘understanding’.

  • 17. Brad Feaker  |  September 19, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Nick,

    It takes a special kind of hubris to think that a person can explain or understand the mysteries of the creation of the universe.

    What do you know about modern cosmology? Because they have gone a long way in doing just that – WITH evidence.

  • 18. theshippingnews  |  September 19, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    I think the idea of certainty is very appealing to people. After all, so many parts of the lives of ordinary people like me seem so far beyond our control these days, especially in the crazy economic and social times we’re living in.

    I can see the certainty of faith serving an important purpose, though I also believe such certainty is very dangerous to the long-term survival of the human race.

  • 19. nick.huelsman  |  September 19, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    ‘certainty’ and ‘evidence’ and ‘understanding’ are still all informed, in the end, by faith (see my comments in #15). faith in the ‘laws of nature’ or faith in the ‘revelation of God’ or a mix of both. For the Christian, faith in the laws of nature and faith in the revelation of God work together, though they don’t always work together (revelation trumps reason at times) since we are limited in our intellectual abilities (as evidence of this, we constantly see paradigm shifts in science as new discoveries are being made).

  • 20. Marianne  |  September 19, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    I think the presumption here is that if we reach out, we will find what we want on the first try, and who we want.

    Sometimes, we do not know how to reach out, and thus we reach in the wrong way, innocently, and get the wrong thing.

    Also, we cannot really approach the Father until the Holy Spirit leads us. Each person has a set time known only by God that is “his time” for salvation and the relationship he seeks.

    Certainty is not due to hubris, if one has had a true spiritual encounter, because the encounter is very humbling.

    Nick quoting me, said, “Unless you have personally met and encountered the presence of God, nothing will really make much sense to you,” is silly because believing is having the relationship.

    Believing is not the same as the experience. I can believe I have met the queen of England, but it is not true.

    I just encourage Gary to ask God for the real thing, Himself, not something man has to offer, or something from a disparate imagination.

    What I am hoping to explain to Gary, is until he has a knock down, face to face encounter with Jesus, where he feels the power of God come upon him, and he is blown away with it, to the point that he forgets who he is, then he has not had the experience yet. He should still seek God, and God will respond in his own sovereign way, and in His own timing.

    To Gary, do not give up because you have been disappointed so far. Your time will come.

    blessings
    marianne

    http://heavenawaits.wordpress.com/

  • 21. nick.huelsman  |  September 19, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    marianne,

    You say: “He should still seek God, and God will respond in his own sovereign way”
    God responds? How do you know that God is the one knocking you down? What gives you that certainty? Does the Bible promise that? If so, I would like to see it.

    By the way, my time of salvation is when Jesus died on the cross.

  • 22. Brad Feaker  |  September 19, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Nick,

    For the Christian, faith in the laws of nature and faith in the revelation of God work together, though they don’t always work together (revelation trumps reason at times) since we are limited in our intellectual abilities (as evidence of this, we constantly see paradigm shifts in science as new discoveries are being made).

    Revelation trumps reason? Revelation from what? – a voice in your head? – the bible? Please…

    And a paradigm shift in science is not unusual – science follows the facts – not some mystic ‘revelation’.

  • 23. nick.huelsman  |  September 19, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Brad,

    My point is simply that shifts in scientific paradigms are proof of limited human understanding. Science does follow the facts; until it is proved otherwise, with more certain and verifiable evidence. That’s the point: a trust, or FAITH, in the new findings. faith informs reason/logic.

    For some, revelations from voices in their head do trump reason, but we call them schizophrenic or at the least neurologically imbalanced.

    Divine revelation is found in the bible.
    This statement is an example of how reason and faith work together for the Christian. God gives us faith to believe that the Bible is His inspired, inerrant Word. He gives us this faith through means, such as a knowledge of the evidence of the Bible as historically accurate.

  • 24. orDover  |  September 19, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    I think the presumption here is that if we reach out, we will find what we want on the first try, and who we want.

    You’re presuming that we de-converts didn’t give it several tries. We did. Some of us tried for years. And there was nothing.

  • 25. orDover  |  September 19, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Science does follow the facts; until it is proved otherwise, with more certain and verifiable evidence. That’s the point: a trust, or FAITH, in the new findings. faith informs reason/logic.

    No. It isn’t trust or faith in the new findings. The new findings are evidence. We don’t need to have faith them, they are there, they are empirical. One of the reasons that paradigm shifts are so rare is because scientists have to gather tons of evidence that verifies a certain line of evidence. They aren’t going to shift the standard until they are certain the standard must be shifted. There is no faith there.

    Divine revelation is found in the bible.
    This statement is an example of how reason and faith work together for the Christian. God gives us faith to believe that the Bible is His inspired, inerrant Word. He gives us this faith through means, such as a knowledge of the evidence of the Bible as historically accurate.

    Ohhh!!! Oh my gosh! I didn’t know that! If only someone would have explained that to me before, I wouldn’t have de-converted![/sarcasm]

    Okay. Now prove that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant message of God without using the Bible itself as proof. Establish independent evidence that confirms your statement of the divine veracity of the Bible.

  • 26. orDover  |  September 19, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    I should add that historical accuracy doesn’t equate to divinely inspired holy writings.

  • 27. Cooper  |  September 19, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Only well put if it was intended to address a person completely unfamiliar with the faith. For those of us, Gary included, who have been there and back again it is just the same old tired drivel that we ourselves used to spout.

    OrDover—

    Sorry you see it as “tired drivel”.

    He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
    Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. (Luke 24)

    Only Jesus through the Holy Spirit can make the Scriptures truly understandable. An atheist can read through the whole Bible with the natural mind and see lots of things—–but only as the Spirit illumines do we actually see Jesus in all the scriptures.

    Then what DOES it take – the Bible says that those who seek with all their heart will find god. And I am sorry to say – nobody is at home

    Brad—–

    Often on this site the de-cons upbraid Christians for using their “experience” as an indicator that there is a God. But you appear to be doing the same thing. You say “I am sorry to say—nobody is at hiome”. Says who? You do. Why? Your own experience in trying to get an answer from God. But others do get an answer from God—-because you don’t “experience” the same does it mean God does not exist?

  • 28. Cooper  |  September 19, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Meant to say “only as the Spirit illuminates” not “illumines”

  • 29. orDover  |  September 19, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Only Jesus through the Holy Spirit can make the Scriptures truly understandable. An atheist can read through the whole Bible with the natural mind and see lots of things—–but only as the Spirit illumines do we actually see Jesus in all the scriptures.

    First of all, it isn’t that I didn’t understand them, it that I don’t believe the things that they claim. Second of all, I didn’t read the Bible as an atheist, I read it as a passionate born-again Christian who could argue apologetics with the best of them, and yet I still found scriptures lacking when I had the first stirrings of doubt. Even when I had “Jesus in my heart,” even when my religion was the most important thing in the world to me, even when contemplating the love of God and the sacrifice of Christ was enough to move me often to tears, I still didn’t see Jesus in the scriptures when I started to have questions. I wasn’t an atheist looking at a book that I already didn’t believe in, I was a devout believer searching for a little comfort, a little clarity, and a little assurance.

  • 30. orDover  |  September 19, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Often on this site the de-cons upbraid Christians for using their “experience” as an indicator that there is a God. But you appear to be doing the same thing. You say “I am sorry to say—nobody is at hiome”. Says who? You do. Why? Your own experience in trying to get an answer from God. But others do get an answer from God—-because you don’t “experience” the same does it mean God does not exist?

    We actually go one step further than personal experience. We evaluate empirical evidence and attempt to rationalize problems like the existence of “evil” and the prevalence of other proud and self-assured religions. We don’t decided we don’t believe in God just because we don’t “feel” a God, although that may very well be a good starting point.

  • 31. Cooper  |  September 19, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    orDover—

    Thanks for clafiying the point about reading the Bible as a believer–I was only thinking of now and your deconversion. My apologies.

    Regarding the personal experience—I often see posts saying “God isn’t there”, but it is usually prefaced by a statement about having prayed and read etc. in a “personal” manner–it implies the person has come to the conclusion God does not exist because he hasn’t answered THEM personally.

    Regarding Christian “experiences” :

    This is probably a bad example once again :) but take the term
    “deja vu”. I have “experienced” deja vu. So I know such an experience exists. But for someone who has never “experienced” it, it is only something they hear people “say” they have experienced. You can define “deja vu” to them—a “feeling” that you have seen or been in a place before, even though you know it is the first time you have been there. But if they have never experienced it, they are likely not to be believe the actual experience is real. Trying to explain the “feeling” of deja vu is very difficult—-one needs to experience to know what the term actually means.

    In the same vein, a Christian speaks of an “experiece” with God–but because the other person has never had that experience, they say it isn’t a real experience at all. So they doubt the Christian’s “experience” based on the fact of their own “non-experience”. They are actually both quite subjective sources.

  • 32. Cooper  |  September 19, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    The above may not apply to all de-cons, because I am sure some had genuine experiences when they were “born-again”. I am only referring to those who have cast great doubt on any experience a Christian has as meaningless—-yet if they themselves had had this experience, they would realize just how real it really is. Some have come to doubt the experience they “once had” before deconversion, where it appears others never had an “experience” at all.

  • 33. SnugglyBuffalo  |  September 19, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    So they doubt the Christian’s “experience” based on the fact of their own “non-experience”.

    You misunderstand, I think. I don’t doubt that other Christian’s have experiences that they attribute to God. I doubt the attribution to God itself.

    I realize that I have sought God and not found him, while others have. I don’t doubt that others have experienced something while seeking God, but I do doubt that their experience is actually God. The Bible says that if you seek God, you will find him. Since some “find” him, and others don’t, it seems likely that those who find him are really experiencing something else.

  • 34. john t.  |  September 19, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    I am only referring to those who have cast great doubt on any experience a Christian has as meaningless—-yet if they themselves had had this experience, they would realize just how real it really is.(Cooper)

    Cooper, the thing is that its not meaningless for you but it is for the people who dont experience it. But the thing is you can bring no actually tangible evidence that your experience was real, other than to you. This is true of every “spiritual” experience of people, so with that said you cant prove your point because theres no evidence that would be accepted in court, so why would any Logical person believe it?

  • 35. Cooper  |  September 19, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    I realize that I have sought God and not found him, while others have. I don’t doubt that others have experienced something while seeking God, but I do doubt that their experience is actually God. The Bible says that if you seek God, you will find him. Since some “find” him, and others don’t, it seems likely that those who find him are really experiencing something else.

    But you are using your own “non-experience” as a reason to make invalid what others say are very true experiences. Yes–God says that everyone who seeks him will find him—but is he specific? Does he say everyone will find him in 3 days, or 3 weeks, or 3 years? Some have extraordinary emotional experiences, while others feel almost nothing. If we make feelings the gauge for “finding him” we will always fall short, as others have some glowing tale of their conversion experience. Matthew 7 says (and the Greek has an on-going sense to it) ltierally “he who keeps seeking shall find, and to him who keeps knocking it will be opened, and to him that keeps asking it shall be given”. Do we really believe? Is God testing that “professed” faith? He alone can see the hearts. Does giving up and renouncing our faith show we never really had it, even though we GENUINELY professed it? I know I am beating a dead horse here, but I am always led to ask that same question.

  • 36. Cooper  |  September 19, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Cooper, the thing is that its not meaningless for you but it is for the people who dont experience it. But the thing is you can bring no actually tangible evidence that your experience was real, other than to you. This is true of every “spiritual” experience of people, so with that said you cant prove your point because theres no evidence that would be accepted in court, so why would any Logical person believe it?

    John T.— again I would mention “deja-vu”. Many people claim that they “experience” it. It will be listed as an experience that is “claimed” to be real by a multitude of people. Of course, to them the experience is very real, but the actual deja vu may not be real at all. But there are many who DON’T experience it at all. To them it is just a story people are making up about a supposed feeling they had about having been in a place before, when they really hadn’t. It is one thing to deny the actual deja vu—but it is another thing to call the experience of deja vu itself bogus just because one has never “experienced” it.

    So, just because I have not experienced a feeling of deja vu does not make other’s experiences of it invalid. And if we cannot truly invalidate the experience they had, how can we completely invalidate deja vu itself? This is just an argument by the way—I have truly experienced deja vu—but feel it may just be a burp of the brain—the brain thinks it has seen the event before, when it really hasn’t–like a skip on a record.

    I have experienced deja vu and have come to believe it is a brain burp—-but I have never been able to deny the experience of being born-again, because how it happened, and what happened afterwards are too real for me to reject.

  • 37. Gary  |  September 19, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    Now faith is the assumption of things unseen, the belief in that which cannot be known by the senses (my adaptation of Hebrews 11:1).

    With tears have many of us deconverts wrestled with our faith, struggled over the scriptures, crying out to God for answers, and all we get is silence and emptiness. We could only make sense of the world when we let go of the need to believe.

  • 38. john t.  |  September 19, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Gary

    “We could only make sense of the world when we let go of the need to believe.”

    For me belief in a designer/creator makes perfect “sense” to me. I just dont have the need to quantify that belief. I love the Mystery, yet still trust my “sense” of connection.

  • 39. john t.  |  September 19, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    And if we cannot truly invalidate the experience they had, how can we completely invalidate deja vu itself? (cooper)

    No one is trying to invalidate your “deja vu”, just try your best to refrain from making it the “absolute” truth.

  • 40. BigHouse  |  September 23, 2008 at 9:25 am

    I have experienced deja vu and have come to believe it is a brain burp—-but I have never been able to deny the experience of being born-again, because how it happened, and what happened afterwards are too real for me to reject.

    Great for you. Of what relevance is it to others?

  • 41. Cooper  |  September 23, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    I have experienced deja vu and have come to believe it is a brain burp—-but I have never been able to deny the experience of being born-again, because how it happened, and what happened afterwards are too real for me to reject.

    Great for you. Of what relevance is it to others?

    Bighouse—

    Relevant enough for you to comment on 4 days later I guess. :)

  • 42. BigHouse  |  September 23, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    No, I mean relevant in the sense of what others’ are supposed to do about their beliefs given this anecdote? You admit to changing your mind on de ja vu, perhaps you will down the road about being saved too.

    And before you cry out NO WAY, remember, we were like you were at a point in our lives. But of course, you always seem to forget this little tidbit.

  • 43. Cooper  |  September 23, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Bighouse—

    Actually the anecdote had more to do with leaning towards belief rather than abandoning it. One who has never experienced “Deja Vu” thinks the whole matter is hogwash. Once they have experienced that feeling for themselves they will conclude the “experience” is a real one. They will need to conclude for themselves though whether Deja Vu itself is real.

    I admit the “experience” or “feeling” of Deja Vu is very real. Whether Deja Vu itself is or not, I am not sure. I lean toward thinking it might just be a mind burp. My point though is that those who say being “born-again” is not a valid experience, often are those who have not truly experienced it. They should not invalidate being “born-again” until they can invalidate the experience itself. And how can they invalidate being born-again, if they have never had the experience?

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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