Best christian living books according to redditors

We found 7,182 Reddit comments discussing the best christian living books. We ranked the 2,676 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Christian Living:

u/LordGrac · 524 pointsr/Christianity

After reading through your responses here, I feel the need to clarify for you exactly what an argument is and what it can do. You list examples like evolution and heliocentrism and ask how those might affect one's faith. In reality, these arguments do nothing to disprove God, and are in fact separate issues entirely.

The way you've been speaking so far, it seems like the arguments you're assuming are these:

  • The church believed the sun revolved around the earth
  • The earth in fact revolves around the sun
  • Therefore, God does not exist


  • Some Christians say evolution is false
  • Evolution is not false
  • Therefore, God does not exist

    Do you see the leaps here? The statement "God does exist" is not a logically valid inference from these arguments. They, in fact, cannot say anything about whether or not God exists; such is simply not a possibility in the premises. What they really can do is this:

  • The church believed the sun revolved around the earth
  • The earth in fact revolves around the sun
  • Therefore, the church was wrong


  • Some Christians believe evolution is false
  • Evolution is not false
  • Therefore, some Christians are wrong

    Now, does "the church was wrong [on this occasion]" and "some Christians are wrong" equate to "God does not exist?" No. It means that it is a logical possibility, yes, but it does mean that is certain or even probable.

    In addition, you'll find that these arguments are not conflicts at all for the vast majority of Christians, especially those who frequent r/Christianity. This is why:

  1. It is possible in our theology for the church to be wrong. The church is made up of human beings, and though those human beings have the power of the Holy Spirit, they are still humans and therefore quite capable of sin and being wrong.

  2. The "heliocentrism debate" centered around Galileo is often blown way out of proportion. The issue was how the Church was going to handle someone challenging their authority. Heliocentrism itself was almost a negligible issue, though it was indeed an issue. Additionally, Galileo's proof for heliocentrism was lacking for the science standards of his day (natual philosophy of this time was strongly influence by Aristotle and his deductive method - induction was not considered valid, and heliocentrism relies on induction). See this article on the issue.

    You should also be aware of the philosophical foundation for science. Science is inherently naturalistic, which means that it cannot interact in any way with things outside of nature (related: it is also incapable of 'proving' anything, only math and logic can do that; science can only disprove and assume that which is most probable given the evidence). This includes God, as he exists outside of the universe as we perceive it. Dealing with things outside of nature is the realm of metaphysics, and metaphysics is largely philosophy and logic, not science. Thus, any argument that claims "science has proven God does not exist" is an argument resetting entirely on false beliefs about what exactly science is. This is what others in this thread have been saying.

    Given all that, you'd do well to know exactly what arguments do set out to disprove God - and there are very few of them that do so in a valid way. Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theogica, was in the habit of stating a point, giving three positions on this point, and then stating his view which was contrary to the three and then arguing against the three first points. In his section on "Whether God Exists?" he only lists two reasons; this is because very few of the arguments that claim to disprove God can actually logically do so. These are the arguments he lists:

  • God is an all-good, all-powerful being
  • An all-good, all-powerful being would be capable of eradicating evil
  • Therefore, an all-good, all-powerful being must eradicate evil
  • Evil exists
  • Therefore, God is either not all-good, not all-powerful, or does not exist
  • The God of the Bible is necessarily all-good and all-powerful, therefore the God of the Bible does not exist


  • Things that were previously explained using God are now explained without God
  • Humanity will continue to find explanations for things now explained with God
  • Therefore, humanity has no need for God to exist
  • Therefore, God does not exist

    Note that these aren't the arguments exactly as he lists them; I've updated them slightly to better reflect how they are used today.

    The second argument is yet another argument making a logically invalid conclusion from the premises. Whether or not mankind needs God to exist is irrelevant to whether or not he actually exists. Thus this argument falls flat.

    The first argument is known as the Problem of Evil, and it has been a huge issue for theists for a very long time. It has not been answered in a way that most theists find existentially satisfying, meaning that no matter how the problem is answered, evil is always a big problem in everyone's life, and it's always hard to understand why God won't just take it away. That said, the Problem of Evil relies entirely on this premise:

  • Therefore, an all-good, all-powerful being must eradicate evil

    We have to ask is that really so? And the answer is, we have no idea if it is or not. It is logically possible that an all-good, all-poweful being could co-exist with evil, even if we don't know how that is possible. Ultimately, this argument is an argument from ignorance, meaning that it relies on the fact that we don't know something to make its claim (The "God of the gaps" argument does the same thing, by the way - it says "Look, we don't know how x or y happen, therefore God"). This is a logical fallacy, and as a result the problem of evil also cannot logically disprove God - though the answer does very little to comfort someone dealing with evil.

    I highly recommend you watch Tim Keller on the Problem of Evil at Google. Tim Keller is a big-name pastor in New York in addition to being a popular apologist (meaning one who defends an intellectual stance - in this case, Christianity).

    I feel it's worth mentioning what is probably the most common argument against theism, and especially Christianity, most especially on the internet. This is the argument:

  • Theists believe things that I find crazy
  • Therefore, God does not exist

    You should be able to tell by now that this argument is not a true argument at all. The conclusion has nothing at all to do with the premise. It sounds crazy to some people that Christians believe in life after death, but that does not mean it is false, and it certainly does not mean God does not exist. It sounds crazy to some people that some Christians believe that bread blessed by a priest becomes the body of Christ, but that does not mean it is false, and it certainly does not mean God does not exist (a lot of the popular arguments against evolution use this tactic, and are also invalid). This tactic is the one most commonly used by Richard Dawkins.

    Ultimately, that 'argument' fails because it relies entirely on the perception of the individual and has absolutely nothing to do with logic. It merely disguises itself as logic.

    Now, if you really want to read more about why people believe God can logically exist, you want to look into books on apologetics. There are a whole lot of those, as it has been a popular topic for hundreds of years now, but two that are quite accessible and quite strong are The Reason for God by Tim Keller, who I mentioned above, and Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis, of Narnia fame. These two books deal with how God can logically exist, but there are a wealth of books on other apologetic issues, like how we can trust the Bible to be accurate (Reinventing Jesus is a very good book for this issue).

    Edit: error corrections, some paranthetical statements.
u/LaTuFu · 473 pointsr/AskMen

Here are a few books I would highly recommend for men (and women as well):

  • Wild at Heart by John Etheredge. For Men. The companion book for Women is Captivating. These are Christian books, discussing God's design for men and women. Even if you are not a Christian and have no desire to be, I think you may find some of the discussion very revealing or at the very least intriguing. These are not so much good "learn to communicate" books, as they are "understanding who I really am on a basic level" books.

  • Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. Another Christian Book, this one on the biblical view of marriage. Again, if you're not a Christian, I still recommend it as a resource for marriage. There are some fundamental principles of marriage that transcend religion that can benefit both spouses. For men and women.

  • Codependent No More by Melanie Beattie. This book is required reading if you or your partner grew up in a household with an addict (parent or sibling), an abusive parent, or single parent/divorced home with high conflict. It is not faith based, for men and women.

  • The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This is a great book that breaks down how we're all different, and we get our needs in a relationship satisfied in different ways. Understanding what your partner needs is fundamental to having a healthy relationship.

  • The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work by John Gottman. This is another great resource for understanding effective communication within an intimate relationship, whether you are male or female.

    After that, if you have more specific issues in your story, like childhood trauma, there are more specific routes to go down. I also strongly encourage enlisting the aid of a counselor, therapist, and/or pastoral counselor if you or your partner are struggling with childhood baggage.

u/TooManyInLitter · 81 pointsr/DebateReligion

How about the evolution of Yahweh/Allah as a second-tier God in a large henotheistic polytheism into a straight monotheism where there is only one God, where that God is Yahweh/Allah?

Here are some references on the growth of monotheistic Yahwehism from a historical polytheistic foundation to the development of the henotheism/monolatry, and then monotheism of early Biblical Israelites:

u/BeenBeans · 65 pointsr/Catholicism

Hi there! Also a former raised-Catholic-but-not-really-former-atheist/agnostic revert here.

There are numerous - almost endless - amount of resources out there, regarding the Church. (Considering the age of the Catholic Church, it's not surprising.) If you had more specific topics you were looking for, I'm sure people here would be more than willing to point you in the right direction.

For more general sources by platform:



  • There actually is a "Catholicism for Dummies".

  • Mere Christianity is a classic read for all Christians. It is not explicitly Catholic, but it gives a good foundation.



  • Father Mike Schmitz does a great job of explaining things concisely and with enthusiasm.

  • Bishop Robert Barron is also extremely popular on social media among Catholics. Great content.



  • Catholic Stuff You Should Know is one part goofy banter and one part reflections/discussions on Catholicism. I listened to them regularly when I had 1+ hour commutes each way :)

  • Catholic Answers is also a well-known podcast among Catholics. Haven't listened to them yet, but I always hear good things!



  • Regarding mass and its structure/meaning. Here is a link to a USCCB page that breaks down the mass structure and explains the significance of each section/prayer

  • On how to pray the rosary. Learning the rosary can be a big hurdle for neophytes, but it would still be fruitful to begin with perhaps just one decade.


    This subreddit is generally good at giving solid answers and advice, if you had specific questions/doubts/inquiries. It was actually probably quite an instrumental player in my reversion to the Church. And like you said, head to confession ASAP! Welcome back home, friend.
u/SIWOTI_Sniper · 45 pointsr/atheism

To Train Up A Child is fucking evil. You can imagine my suprise when we received it as a baby shower gift!

u/mirroredfate · 41 pointsr/NeutralPolitics

From an economics perspective:

u/crayonleague · 40 pointsr/atheism

Bart Ehrman - Jesus Interrupted (2010)

In this deliciously satisfying book, the author, a New Testament scholar, carefully reviews and assesses the New Testament with a detailed and extremely thorough analysis of the figure we call Jesus. This is not a rant, not an attack on Christianity, this is an objective and critical analysis of the New Testament, showing how the entire Jesus myth and indeed, all of Christianity is a purposely-designed fabrication rife with contradictions, inaccuracies, and sometimes outright falsehoods.

John Loftus - Why I Became an Atheist (2008)

If you want a one-stop total critique of Christianity, this is the book you're looking for. The author is a former Christian apologist turned extremely angry and prolific atheist. In this book Loftus attacks the full span of Christianity, addressing the philosophical arguments against theism, the historical incompatibilities and inaccuracies of the Bible, and the contradictions between creationism and modern science, and throughout it all is an undercurrent of personal experience as Loftus explains his own deconversion from devout evangelicalism to enraged atheist.

Concerning atheism.

These are for the people going "Well, I'm an atheist. Now what?" There's more to atheism than eating babies and posting fake facebook conversations on r/atheism. There's much more truth, beauty, and value in a universe without a celestial supervisor, where humans are free to make our own purposes and dictate our own paths. Thinking for yourself and recognizing the natural wonder of the universe is far greater than the false consolation any religion can provide you. These books show how.

Michael Martin - Atheism: A Philosophical Justification (1989)

In this book, Martin attempts a two-pronged defense of atheism: first by attacking theistic arguments regarding the implausibility of morality and purpose without God, second by defending against attacks specifically on atheism. In such a manner he makes a strong case for both negative and positive atheism. Though extremely dated, this book is a classic and a must-read for any atheist.

Erik J. Wielenberg - Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe (2005)

In this book, Wielenberg advances a naturalist philosophy and addresses the problem of nontheistic morality as weakly espoused by the likes of Dostoevsky and C.S. Lewis. First he challenges the claims of theistic morality, next he advances naturalistic ethics and displays how theological justification is unnecessary for a good and moral life. Concepts such as intrinsic morality, inherent human tendencies such as charity and altruism, and the idea of moral obligations are all addressed.

Richard Carrier - Sense and Goodness Without God (2005)

In this book, Richard Carrier, perhaps most well-known as one of the major modern debunkers of the Jesus myth, continues the trend of expanding metaphysical naturalism, but this is a more complex and thorough work covering the full spectrum of a developed worldview, addressing nearly every topic beyond just morality, and presents a complete philosophical outlook on life that is easy to comprehend and evaluate. A solid starting point for the newly atheist.

My personal picks.

Now, since this is my list after all, and after typing up all of that, I think I've earned the right to make my own recommendations. These are books that I think people should read that don't necessarily have anything to do with atheism.

Markos Moulitsas - American Taliban (2010)

This book reads like a collection of loosely-related blog entries, some of them written by angry teenagers, and Moulitsas himself is no philosopher or professor, but is still an important read for those of you who haven't been paying attention. In this book, the founder of Daily Kos draws the extremely obvious and transparent similarities between the religious right of America, and the Islamofascists across the pond, and displays how modern conservatism has largely been hijacked and/or replaced by a complex political machine intent on maintaining the power of a small group of white, male, Christian elite.

Chris Hedges - American Fascists (2007)

Okay, time for a more sophisticated take on the issue than Daily Kos stuff. Those of you who plan on staying and fighting in the US rather than simply getting the fuck out while you still can need this book. With a critical and objective eye, Hedges displays the dark and tumultuous underbelly of America and shows how an extremely powerful and well-organized coalition of dominionists is slowly taking over the country and seeking to transform it into a theocratic state. Those of you who are moderate Christians and similarly despise the lunatic fringe of Christians should also read this book. Hedges analyzes this Christian Right movement, allied with totalitarianism and a denial of reality, that has declared a jihad (or a "teahad", if you're a Tea Partier) on secularism and even on Christianity itself, utilizing religion for its darkest and most sinister purpose - committing cruelty and intolerance upon others in the name of divine supervision.

CJ Werleman - God Hates You, Hate Him Back (2009)

This is one of my favorite books and is a great book to unwind with after a critical look at Christianity. The biggest problem with the Bible is not the contradictions, the outright falsehoods, or even the blatantly made-up and ridiculous bullshit about magic and miracles and supernatural nonsense - it's the fact that, taking it all at face value, the God described in the Bible is the single most despicable and terrifying fictional villain ever imagined by humanity. This is a character that seems to actively despise mankind, and in this book, Werleman shows why with a hilarious and thorough analysis of the Bible. This book reads like Monty Python and is just as funny - not meant to be taken seriously of course unless you're a Biblical literalist, but still a great read.

Well, that's all I got. This list took about half a day to compile and is itself also woefully inadequate, there's quite a bit of books I haven't gotten around to reading yet. But, it should be much more sufficient than the current r/atheism reading lists and I've done my best to include the most recent works. If you have any books to add that you feel are noteworthy, please feel free to post them. I hope this list can help many people in their understanding of philosophy and atheism.

u/HaiKarate · 40 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Elliot Freeman -- breaks down the composition of the first five books of the Bible, and why it seems a little funky to the average reader (hint: multiple authors and editing for each book).

The Bible Unearthed -- One of the top archaeologists in Israel today demonstrates why the foundational stories of the Bible can't be literally true.

A History of God -- Explains the known history behind the idea of the god of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and how that idea evolved from polytheistic roots.

The above three books would represent where most Bible scholars are on the issue of the historical authenticity of the Bible's stories.

u/naraburns · 39 pointsr/TheMotte

Right-wing news sources are running with Ronan Farrow's assertion, in a panel on Real Time with Bill Maher, that Bill Clinton "has been credibly accused of rape." Clinton's exploits are old news, of course, but in the interest of not talking about Epstein, I don't actually want to talk about what Bill did or didn't do.

My question for the Motte is: does anyone have a good handle on the history of the locution, "credibly accused of rape?"

I feel like I've seen it a lot lately, though I first noticed it during the Kavanaugh appointment hearing. I found its epistemology extremely troubling at the time. To refer to someone as having been "credibly" accused of anything is to embed a question-begging assertion into what might be taken on the surface as neutral reporting. Traditionally, American news media avoids suits for libel by reporting the allegation of criminal acts. There are probably some interesting arguments for why they shouldn't even be allowed to do that, but set those aside for now; assuming we're okay with the news media reporting allegations so long as they are clearly labeled as allegations (and remember that by "okay" here I mean "should not be held liable in tort"), doesn't the phrase "credibly accused of rape" violate the rule?

After all, "credibly" means believably or plausibly. But the plausibility of an accusation is precisely what juries are supposed to determine in a criminal prosecution.

In fact the phrase "credibly accused" seems like a linguistic troll on the order of "it's okay to be white." It is an invitation for people to express disbelief, which is outside the Overton framing of "believe all women," and so it is a locution people generally allow to pass without comment. It seems like a sneaky way to shift people's priors.

So I think it is pretty clever, as rhetoric goes, but it seems like a relatively recently-weaponized phrase--

--until I check Google Ngrams, anyway. And then I notice that it was and is a common phrase in the discussion of Catholic clergy and sexual abuse (appearing e.g. here in 2007). In this context, "credibly accused" looks like a way of saying, in effect, "yes, we know that sometimes people make spurious accusations, but these don't look spurious and so we are giving them our full attention." But the epistemic problem still seems to be there: the word sounds like a way of saying "we are taking these accusations seriously," but--is it possible to take an accusation seriously without putting the burden of persuasion on the accused to, essentially, prove a negative? The "credibly accused," in short, are not merely accused--they are nudged into the territory of "presumed guilty."

So, I was able to determine to my own satisfaction that "credibly accused" (of sexual misconduct) was not a phrase invented for today's culture war battles, though the roots of its current popularity do seem to be in the 60s or 70s. But its current associations with sexual misconduct, I can't find a clearer history on. I do seem to recall seeing the phrase recently deployed against Donald Trump in connection with extant impeachment inquiries, also, but I can't find that article now, likely thanks to Ronan Farrow. So whatever its origins, it does seem to be steadily increasing in popularity.

But it does look like rhetorical sleight-of-hand to characterize allegations as "credible accusations." And I am left wondering when the phrase made the transition from "a way of distinguishing between spurious and plausible stories" to "a way of taking the victim's side." The timeline seems to very roughly track America's coming apart. If we assembled a list of similar rhetorically-weaponized phrases from today's culture wars and ran them through Google Ngrams or similar, would it parallel these charts?

u/Valendr0s · 38 pointsr/atheism

Here's my subscription list in YouTube in alphabetical order:

  • C0nc0rdance - dedicated to cutting through scientific hype and helping the laymen understand the real science behind the hype. Not so much anti-religion as pro science.

  • cdk007 - Evolution explanations. General creationist lie busting. Try his "Logic of Religion" Series.

  • DarkMatter2525 - sort of a humorous site, he pokes fun more than most, but he exposes some fallacies.

  • DonExodus - His older stuff is better IMO, but still a very solid channel.

  • dprjones - some good stuff here, he's more up on the YouTube drama than some of the others.

  • Evid3nc3 - Some interesting, "how I became an atheist" stories. But the real gem of this collection has to be: A History of God part 1. Which is essentially a book report on the book "A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam"

  • GreatBigBore - His newer stuff is way off base of his older stuff... He used to do critiques of creationist/atheist debates, creationist papers, and religious propaganda, pointing out every logical fallacy he can find. Try the "God's Quality Control 2.0" series.

  • Jon LaJoie - not religiously related, but HILARIOUS nevertheless, you needed a break anyway - start with everyday normal guy and keep the laughs coming.

  • National Center for Science Education - The group trying very hard to keep Evolution in schools and Religion out of them. Dr Eugenie Scott is probably one of my personal heroes.

  • NonStampCollector - very funny, has lots of biblical contradictions in here. He loves em. Funny guy. But if there is a hell this guy's goin there unless god's got an infinite sense of humor too...

  • Philhellenes - If there was an atheist church, this would be the pastor. Warning, it can be a tear jerker... Science Saved My Soul. Deliberately uses religious tactics to invoke emotions in scientific minds to great effect.

  • potholer54 - Another personal hero. Former science news correspondent, destroys creationist arguments with his huge hammer of justice. Also has Potholer54debunks.

  • ProfMTH - again, older stuff is amazing. His "Brief Bible Blunders" series was really good.

  • QualiaSoup - Now we're cooking with fire. This guy is who you're looking for. He destroys religion's base arguments. He decimates every argument with his soft accented voice. Putting faith in its place is where I'd start.

  • A single video by smsavage32 - Was Jesus a Myth? - very enlightening.

  • TheraminTrees - Here's the brother of QualiaSoup. Deals with the psychological effects of religion. Amazing two guys here, can't go wrong with them. I'd suggest Atheism as congruence and Transition to Atheism for his personal story.

    To recap, almost everything in TheraminTrees and QualiaSoup's channels are just amazing.
u/ChaoticAgenda · 37 pointsr/aaaaaatheismmmmmmmmmm

I was a little over-zealous so the first thing out of my mouth after introductions was, "Why do you guys worship somebody who murdered so many people?"
They were a little confused since they couldn't think of any times he did that so I reminded them of the flood where he almost destroyed the entire human race and Sodom and Gomorrah.
They tried to justify it by saying that God can judge us for our sins. I pointed out that sin could only exist if God decided to stay silent while watching Eve get tempted. You can't honestly expect a person with no knowledge of good and evil to understand that what they are doing is wrong, yet we are punished for it to this day.

At this point they wanted to just cut their losses and leave me with one of their books so I offered to give them my copy of A History of God too and they could learn about how the polytheistic Canaanite religion led to polytheistic Judaism and from there to monotheistic Judaism. The trade was declined, but one of the guys said he would look into it.

I felt pretty good about the whole exchange. I didn't change any minds, but I defended my position solidly where they could hardly think of what to say.

u/The_New_34 · 31 pointsr/Christianity

As a Catholic, I can assure you Catholics ARE Christians. Mel Gibson is a Catholic... sort of. He's a Sedevacantist.

Man, call yourself a Christian! I would also recommend looking into the Roman Catholic faith or the Eastern Orthdox faith (we're the OG Christians, lol).

Yes, get a Bible, but DON'T read it cover-to-cover. Once you get to Leviticus, you'll be like, "What the actual f--- is going ON here?" Start with the New Testament, specifically one of the Gospels. I personally love the Gospel of Luke because of how it portrays Mary, but the Gospel of John is quite good, too. It's very symbolic and is perhaps the one you could study the deepest.

if you're finding it hard to understand some of the New Testament of the Bible (the part with Jesus, the letters of Paul, and the Book of Revelation,) I would recommend buying the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. It's an actual, readable Bible that contains commentary throughout. The version I linked is only for the New Testament. The Old Testament analysis is still being compiled, but it's almost done.

Also, listen to Scott Hahn's podcast where he breaks down various sections of the Bible.

As for reading materials outside the Bible, I can highly recommend Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis, Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton, and Chesterton's other work The Everlasting Man.

Oh yeah, PRAY! Just have a conversation with God! Talk to him about anything you want! Pray to God, ask the Blessed Mother for intercession, or any of the saints

If you're confused about the various denominations of Christianity, Here's a basic flow chart.

Here's the Nicene Creed, which is a mash-up of what (most) Christians believe

Also, I highly recommend the Podcast Pints with Aquians! It's an analysis of the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, who's life mission was to combine faith with human reason and prove that it was not unreasonable to believe in God, but perhaps it is unreasonable to not believe in God.

I, along with everyone on this sub, will be praying for you! Good luck on your faith journey!

u/AnneWH · 28 pointsr/blogsnark

Google Blanket Training. I bet Chelsea uses that technique and that's why the poor baby hid her hand.

ETA: Read the reviews.

u/fajitachimichanga · 27 pointsr/videos

For an incredible counter-argument from someone exponentially smarter than I am, I recommend CS Lewis' book The Problem of Pain. Amazon link:

u/Anteater1138 · 27 pointsr/TrueAtheism

One that is quite popular in the culture of conservative Christianity (think Southern Baptists) is I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist. I read portions of it years ago, and it seemed to largely be a regurgitation of common theist arguments, in what was admittedly a reasonably well-written, if not fallacious work.

Link for the lazy

u/rainer511 · 26 pointsr/Christianity

tldr; There are millions of us that feel the same way. I hope you don't forsake Christ in name in response to those around you who are forsaking Christ in deed.


I'm writing this during a break at work. Since I have to make it quick, I'll be recommending a lot of books. There is really too much here anyway to do justice to all of the questions you've put up, so even if I were to give a real, detailed response, I would probably have to resort to suggesting books anyway.

> 1.) I don't think that all of the Bible can be taken literally. I strongly believe in the sciences, so I think that Genesis was written either metaphorically or simply just to provide an explanation for creation. Are there others here that believe that or something similar? How do others respond to your beliefs?

There are many, many, many others who believe similarly. And not just recent people responding to evolution, there has long been a tradition of taking Genesis metaphorically. For a good group of scholars and prominent Christians that take a stand for a reading of Genesis that respects the way that science currently understands origins, see the Biologos Forum.

For a good book that shows the error of inerrancy, how it stunts your growth as a Christian and a moral agent, and how inerrancy limits either human free will or God's sovereignty see Thom Stark's excellent new book The Human Faces of God.

> 2.) Why does it seem that Christianity is such a hateful religion? I am very disappointed in many Christians because they spew hatred towards other instead of spreading love. I think that the energy that is going into the hatred that many spew could be used for good. Why aren't we putting these resources towards helping others? This would help bring people in instead of deter them away.

Again, millions of us feel the same way. It makes me sick as well. However, I don't think the answer is forsaking Christ in name in response to others forsaking Christ in deed.

There are many strands of the Christian faith that have strongly opposed violence of any sort. Look into the Anabaptists, the Mennonites. Podcasts from Trinity Mennonite are pretty good.

For a good book about Jesus and nonviolence see Jesus and Nonviolence by Walter Wink.

> 3.) How can people be against gay rights still? This is clearly religious issue and not an issue of morality. If you choose to follow the parts of the Bible that are against homosexuality, then why do you not feel the need to follow many of the other ridiculous laws that are in the Old Testament?

I'd like to stress that, again, there are millions of us that feel the same way. And many, many of those who still believe it's a sin think that we have no place emphasizing that in a world where LGBT teenagers are killing themselves from the humiliation. There are many, many of us that think that whether their lifestyle is "sinful" or not the only thing we should show them is love.

For more about interpreting the Bible in light of today's social issues, see Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis by William J. Webb and Sex and the Single Savior by Dale B. Martin.

> Do you believe that the government has the right to say who can and cannot get married? Why can't this just be left up to each individual church?

I'm actually strongly in favor of civil unions for everyone. I wholeheartedly agree that I don't want the government defining marriage... and the only way for the government not to define marriage is for the government to take its hands off marriage altogether; whatever the sexual orientation of those getting married.

> 4.) This was a question that I was asked in my other post that I was unable to answer.

Yes, the penal satisfaction view of atonement has its shortcomings. It's not a completely bankrupt idea, but it takes a lot of nuance to convey it in a way that isn't altogether abhorrent and senseless.

The first Christians believed something similar to what we call today "Christus Victor" atonement.

For a picture of the varied atonement theories available for understanding what Jesus did on the cross, see A Community Called Atonement by Scot McKnight. For a list of ways to understand atonement in a contemporary context, see Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross by Mark D. Baker. For more on a view of God that is consistent with the love of God as revealed in Jesus, see Rob Bell's Love Wins: A book about heaven, hell, and the fate of every person that ever lived.

> 5.) I asked this in the other post, so I feel that I should ask it here. How many of you do or will teach your children about other religions? Will you present them as options or will you completely write them off?

I'd be wholeheartedly open to exposing them to other religions. And I'd want to do it in a way that does them justice. Most Christian "worldviews" books frustrate me due to the way they portray other's religions. In the long run if you don't accurately portray the rest of the world and you try to shelter your children from it, they'll simply feel betrayed when they grow up and finally learn what's out there.

I believe Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. I actually believe this. Why wouldn't I try to raise my children as Christians?

But again, I wouldn't want to misrepresent the other religions and I certainly wouldn't want to shelter my children from them. For a book that I feel shows the good from many of the world's most prominent religions, see Huston Smith's The World's Religions.

u/KeanuReevesPenis · 26 pointsr/JordanPeterson

You might want to actually learn about CS Lewis.

In Mere Christianity, Lewis bluntly states, quote, that “a Christian society would be what we call Leftist.” His references to capitalism (competition, profit, the accumulation of wealth, marketing, inequality, self-interest) are always critical, often hostile. He insisted that “If you are a Christian you do not have to believe that all the other religions are simply wrong”.

He also routinely criticized British Imperialism, the continuing effects of slavery, and critiqued glorified notions of “the family”. His buddy was crypto-commie George Macdonald, and he was surprised that the United States did not have a “socialist” English-style National Health Service, which he treated as common sense.  On more than one occasion - and in print - he called for economic equality.  When Churchill, in the reactionary 1950s, wanted to award him a “CBE”—Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Lewis turned it down, because he did not want to be associated with, quote, “anti-leftist propaganda.” He was also a friend of Edith Nesbit, the friend of Karl Marx’s daughter and repeatedly condemned fascism and the far right (especially in Spain) and detested conservatives like Evelyn Waugh. His attitude toward nationalism is especially revealing; he opposed the, quote, “fanatical Nationalist who tells me to throw away my scruples about universal justice and benevolence and adopt a system in which nothing but the wealth and power of my own country matters.”  “Universal justice and benevolence” are basic liberal values he explicitly said on more than one occasion. He even consigned two of England’s hero-sized nationalist monarchs—Henry V and Henry VIII—to Hell.  He also was buddies with the great English Marxist, William Morris, and notice how often the theme of social revolution turns up in Lewis’s books for children. 

And, though he has a reputation in America as a kind of evangelical Christian, Lewis abhorred mixing religion with politics.  “Of all bad men religious bad men are the worst”.  His language is blunt.  “Theocracy is the worst of all governments” and he openly called his beliefs “liberal” and “humanist” and expressed sympathy for the socialists hauled up before the McCarthy hearings, which he did not approve of. Up until he death, he expressed that humanity needed a new economic democracy, and his much touted "Mere Christianity" (perhaps his most popular book in the west) has surprising things to say about capitalism:  “Moses and Aristotle and the Christians agreed in forbidding interest. . . . three great civilisations had agreed in condemning the very thing on which we have based our whole life under capitalism". In a Christian society, he said, “There will be no manufacture of silly luxuries and then of sillier advertisements to persuade us to buy them. A Christian society would be what we now call Leftist”.

But of course, like Orwell (and numerous civil rights leaders), CS Lewis is whitewashed in the west.

u/elbowbrunch · 26 pointsr/Christianity

The question you're asking yourself is God moral? And if God is not moral then why should I serve him?

>The existence of suffering in a world created by a good and almighty God — "the problem of pain" — is a fundamental theological dilemma and perhaps the most serious objection to the Christian religion.

I recommend this book it'll answer your questions far better than I can. When it comes down to it and this for every person in any religion. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism.

>with fear and trembling your own salvation work out,

u/JackGetsIt · 24 pointsr/JoeRogan

Social networks especially for men have been on steep decline since the 70's. A highly accredited academic wrote about it a while back and he got shit for some reason because he partially blamed multiculturalism. Even if you dismiss the multiculturalism angle which I do his research was very well done and shows a bleak picture of the American social landscape. Charles Murray also wrote about this stuff in Coming Apart.

I will add that the reason men have struggled more with this is because men's groups are exclusive rather then inclusive. Or rather the inclusiveness is based on some metric. I.e we all lift, or we all ride bikes together, or we all enjoy climbing. Female social groups are inclusive. You're welcome here no matter what you do as long as you don't do anything to rock the boat.

Surprisingly both groups are still hierarchical. Female social groups rank hierarchy by the most social person that distributes rewards with equal allocations. Male social groups reward the man that gives out the most the equitable shares.

Explained more simply women give each person in the group an entire pie and the most popular is the one that finds the pie shop. Men work together to make a pie and the leader is the one who carves up the pie and gives it out fairly. I.e. the males that contributed the most ingredients or more involved in preparing the pie get bigger pieces. Men that take the pie all for themselves or give up the pie to others are considered too dominant or too weak.

This goes all the way back to male apes going on hunts while female apes stayed back and waited for meat to be brought to them.

Our modern society is shifted to favor the female schema over the male one and men will suffer until more balance is reached.

u/Chisesi · 23 pointsr/JordanPeterson

First off, I don't think it's helpful to take the hard position of "there is a war on boys/men" unless you can thoroughly argue that position. A "War" implies aggressors and defenders which puts people you're trying to convince on the defensive. Even if you believe it's true, taking such a hard position without having your arguments air tight just defeats your purpose. Even if you do have your arguments on point, it's easy for people to use a strawman to say you think women are oppressing men. Even worse they will take you as saying women seeking equality oppresses men, or that you're saying men are powerless, then dismiss your claims based on that misunderstanding.

I would recommend making a softer assertion along the lines of "the well being of men has been declining in the Western world." That softer claim is much easier to defend, just look at suicide rates, incarceration rates, education stats, life expectancy rates etc. Take an approach that is closer to "we are all int his together so we should all want both men and women to do well and right now men need help." That triggers the leftist desire for collectivism and cooperation.

Tucker Carlson is running a Men in America segment every Wednesday this month about how men are in trouble these days. He provides a ton of stats and statistics on the topic. I'll edit this if I can find links to the segments.

March 7 Tucker: Something ominous is happening to men in America

March 14 Tucker: Washington not worried about male wage crisis

With any of these books, I highly recommend looking up video interviews with the authors to get more information and to see how they condense their arguments.

The war against boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men by Christina Hoff Sommers.

Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why It Matters Paperback –
by Helen Smith PhD

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 Paperback – January 29, 2013
by Charles Murray

The gender gap stuff has been going on since the 1970s. Economist Thomas Sowell, student of Milton Friedman, has been explaining how asinine the claim is for decades. Here he is dismantaling it back in the 1970s.

[Here is another take down from more recently.](
) This interview covers his book Economic
Facts and Fallacies, the chapter Male-Female Facts and Fallacies would be a good resource for you to read and take notes on concerning the pay gap myth. Here are some good quotes from that chapter.

>“History shows that the career paths of women over the course of the twentieth century bore little resemblance to a scenario in which variations in employer discrimination explain variations in women’s career progress.”

> “The proportion of women in professions and other high-level positions was greater during the first decades of the twentieth century than in the middle, all before anti-discrimination laws or the rise of the feminist movement.” Further, “There is no pay gap for full-time workers 21-35 living alone,” and, “As far back as 1969, academic women who never married earned more than academic men who never married.”

>In another study, from 2005, “Among college-educated never married individuals with no children who worked full time and were from 40 to 64 years old, men averaged $40,000 a year and women $47,000.” What, then, explains cases when the numbers tilt the other way?

Here is a transcript of the above interview. Here is a good one...

>Interviewer: Well, you're right. I'm gonna quote you again. "Among the many factors which influence male-female economic differences, the most elusive is employer discrimination."

>Dr. Sowell: Yes, that when you correct for all the various factors such as the number of hours worked, the continuous employment versus taking a few years out to have children and so on, you take all that into account, the differences between men and women become quite trivial. If you look at the academic world or as far back in 1969, women who were
never married and earn higher incomes than men would never marry. They became
tenure professor at a higher rate than men who would never marry. And then later on if
you look at the general population, if you take the women who are past the childbearing
years and they work continuously, their incomes were higher than men who would work
continuously and so on. So the difference is that not that the employer is paying them
differently, but that they have different characteristics.

>Interviewer: So, the central variable and explaining economic differences between men and
women is not employer discrimination, not the rise of feminism, it's that women--it's
child rearing, marriage and child rearing, that's the variable.

>Sowell: Yes.

>Interviewer: As that varies, a woman's arrival or participation rate in higher level occupations
varies with that, that's—


>Interviewer: Okay. Now in principle, you note, family responsibilities could be perfectly evenly divided between fathers and mothers. But that isn't the way it has worked in practice.
Quote, I'm quoting you again. "Since economic consequences follow from practices
rather than principles, the asymmetrical division of domestic responsibilities produces
male-female difference in income." Question, what are the policy implications of that?
If we become fixed on eliminating male-female income differences, is it the case that the
only choice, the only route for doing that is to involve the government in redesigning the
very nature of the family?

The Pay Gap Myth and Other Lies That Won’t Die

Thomas Sowell takes down the gender 'wage' gap


Milton Friedman - Case Against Equal Pay for Equal Work - Professor Friedman explains how support for "equal pay for equal work" helps promote sexism.

This is an interesting argument but to fully understand what he is referring to you need to understand that minimum wage laws have traditionally been used as a way to oppress weaker social groups.
If there is any work where being a man or being a woman makes an individual more qualified for a job or better suited to the job, then the only power the unsuited party has is to offer to work for less money. If you insist on equal pay though you remove that one economic incentive the less desired group has to convince someone to hire them, they cost less.

This is captured well in the generally true claim "No man hates another more than he loves himself." You can be the biggest racist or sexist in the world but it's very rare for that prejudice to be motivating enough that you would see your business where you derive your livelihood and the security of your children fail just to spite someone. There are so many examples of very racist people putting their prejudices aside in order to hire minorities simply because it's cheaper to do so. Establishing equal pay or minimum wage laws completely removes the economic incentive to put your own prejudices aside. They remove greed as a motivating factor for giving people opportunity.

Economist Walter E Williams has written a book on this called South Africa's War Against Capitalism based on his study of the country during apartheid. Milton is making a similar argument against equal pay as Williams did concerning minimum wage. Williams point was that if you have racism in a society where people are irrationality predisposed not to hire a certain group, then the only power that group has to get a job is to offer to work for less. That's why white, racist labor unions have always been the ones to push minimum wage laws when confronted by a minority population competing for jobs. You saw the same thing happen in the US when black men moved North and competed with white laborers for railroad jobs. The white unions pushed for our first minimum wage laws which removed the economic incentive from employers to hire minorities.

If you take the feminist argument seriously, that there is rampant sexism in certain industries, then it makes no sense to force those industries to pay women an equal amount. Rather than hiring them despite their sexism because they can pay them less, those employers will simply stop hiring women altogether because they hate women. To me this shows the irrationality of the claims that feminist make about sexism being the cause of a lack of representation in certain fields. It's not because of sexism but because of self-selection. In countries with higher levels of gender equality you see even higher rather of self-selection in jobs. There are far more women in tech in countries that rate low on women's rights. Russia for example.

Economist Walter E Williams - Minimum Wage as a Racist Tool 2:20

u/djork · 22 pointsr/worldnews

People can and do suggest such a thing about Christians. And in fact some Christians in America have beaten their kids to death[3] on the advice of people who advocate such "training up"[1] of children.

If you were to ask evangelicals, you would find that they do in fact believe that they have a religious basis for spanking. In fact, that survey[2] has been done and found:

> Our survey research reveals that, on average, evangelical parents spank their children considerably more often than their non-evangelical counterparts.

Having spent plenty of time in church, I would not hesitate for a second to suggest that Christians believe they can beat their kids, because I know they do.


u/tazemanian-devil · 22 pointsr/exjw

Hello and welcome! Here are my recommendations for getting those nasty watchtower cobwebs out of your head, in other words, here is what I did to de-indoctrinate myself:

Take some time to learn about the history of the bible. For example, you can take the Open Yale Courses on Religious Studies for free.

Read Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Elliott Friedman

Also read A History of God by Karen Armstrong

Next, learn some actual science. For example - spoiler alert: evolution is true. Visit Berkeley's excellent Understanding Evolution Website.. Or, if you're pressed for time, watch this cartoon.

Read Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne

Read The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

Learn about the origin of the universe. For example, you could read works by Stephen Hawking

Read A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Learn about critical thinking from people like Michael Shermer, and how to spot logical fallacies.

For good measure, use actual data and facts to learn the we are NOT living in some biblical "last days". Things have gotten remarkably better as man has progressed in knowledge. For example, watch this cartoon explaining how war is on the decline..

Read The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker

Another great source is the youtube series debunking 1914 being the start of the last days.

I wish you the best. There is a whole world of legitimate information out there based on actual evidence that you can use to become a more knowledgeable person.

You may still wonder how you can be a good human without "the truth." Here is a good discussion on how one can be good without god. --Replace where he talks about hell with armageddon, and heaven with paradise--

Start to help yourself begin to live a life where, as Matt Dillahunty puts it, you'll "believe as many true things, and as few false things as possible."

u/MoralJellyfish · 21 pointsr/AskHistorians

A History of God by Karen Armstrong is a pretty good and accessible text about how the God concept changed over time

u/PmUrHomoskedasticity · 21 pointsr/neoliberal

What about hearing him speak about his most recent (incredibly relevant) works?

Very highly received by scholars and non-academics, btw.

u/succhialce · 20 pointsr/TrueAtheism

I don't find that funny, I find it hugely disturbing. Learn about how your Bible was created and then see what that does for you.

Also please don't just downvote this guy because he's a religious person, that is counter-intuitive to the discourse here.

u/WastedP0tential · 20 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

You wanted to be part of the intelligentsia, but throughout your philosophical journey, you always based your convictions only on authority and tradition instead of on evidence and arguments. Don't you realize that this is the epitome of anti – intellectualism?

It is correct that the New Atheists aren't the pinnacle of atheistic thought and didn't contribute many new ideas to the academic debate of atheism vs. theism or religion. But this was never their goal, and it is also unnecessary, since the academic debate is already over for many decades. If you want to know why the arguments for theism are all complete nonsense and not taken seriously anymore, why Christianity is wrong just about everything and why apologists like Craig are dishonest charlatans who make a living out of fooling people, your reading list shouldn't be New Atheists, but rather something like this:

Colin Howson – Objecting to God

George H. Smith – Atheism: The Case Against God

Graham Oppy – Arguing about Gods

Graham Oppy – The Best Argument Against God

Herman Philipse – God in the Age of Science

J. L. Mackie – The Miracle of Theism

J. L. Schellenberg – The Wisdom to Doubt

Jordan Sobel – Logic and Theism

Nicholas Everitt – The Non-Existence of God

Richard Gale – On the Nature and Existence of God

Robin Le Poidevin – Arguing for Atheism

Stewart Elliott Guthrie – Faces in the Clouds: A New Theory of Religion

Theodore Drange – Nonbelief & Evil

[Avigor Shinan – From Gods to God: How the Bible Debunked, Suppressed, or Changed Ancient Myths and Legends] (

Bart Ehrman – The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings

Bart Ehrman – Jesus, Interrupted

Bart Ehrman – Misquoting Jesus

Burton L. Mack – Who Wrote the New Testament?

Helmut Koester – Ancient Christian Gospels

John Barton, John Muddiman – The Oxford Bible Commentary

John Dominic Crossan – Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography

Karen Armstrong – A History of God

Mark Smith – The Early History of God

Randel McCraw Helms – Who Wrote the Gospels?

Richard Elliott Friedman – Who Wrote the Bible?

Robert Bellah – Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age

Robert Walter Funk – The Gospel of Jesus

u/xb10h4z4rd · 19 pointsr/exchristian

>Any books you can recommend covering this?

[a history of god] (

>Old Testament actually referred to other Gods actually being thought to exist. Do they not read it?

i've been apollogetizied on those already, they are either not real gods but metaphors for worldly things or it was taken out of context /s

u/[deleted] · 18 pointsr/Christianity

"You can't use the Bible to prove the Bible!"

You attempt to debunk this argument by pointing out that the Bible is a collection of books. You say that you use John's testimony to corroborate claims in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

Well, you can't exactly use Luke or Matthew to corroborate Mark's claims, because Luke and Matthew used Mark as a source. These are not three eyewitnesses writing independent biographies of Jesus; Luke/Matthew literally copy parts of Mark, often using the exact same words in the exact same order.

So, imagine we're in the court of law and I call a witness to the stand. We'll call the witness "Mark." Mark gives his testimony. Then, after hearing Mark's testimony, another two people—Matthew and Luke—come up to the stand and parrot what Mark said. Have they corroborated Mark's testimony, by parroting? No, they haven't.

Now, the even bigger problem is that Mark isn't even a witness:

>...all the Gospels were written anonymously, and none of the writers claims to be an eyewitness. Names are attached to the titles of the Gospels (“the Gospel according to Matthew”), but these titles are later additions to the Gospels, provided by editors and scribes to inform readers who the editors thought were the authorities behind the different versions. That the titles are not original to the Gospels themselves should be clear upon some simple reflection. Whoever wrote Matthew did not call it “The Gospel according to Matthew.” The persons who gave it that title are telling you who, in their opinion, wrote it. Authors never title their books “according to.”
>Moreover, Matthew’s Gospel is written completely in the third person, about what “they”—Jesus and the disciples—were doing, never about what “we”—Jesus and the rest of us—were doing. Even when this Gospel narrates the event of Matthew being called to become a disciple, it talks about “him,” not about “me.” Read the account for yourself (Matthew 9:9). There’s not a thing in it that would make you suspect the author is talking about himself.
>With John it is even more clear. At the end of the Gospel the author says of the “Beloved Disciple”: “This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true” (John 21:24). Note how the author differentiates between his source of information, “the disciple who testifies,” and himself: “we know that his testimony is true.” He/we: this author is not the disciple. He claims to have gotten some of his information from the disciple.
>As for the other Gospels, Mark was said to be not a disciple but a companion of Peter, and Luke was a companion of Paul, who also was not a disciple. Even if they had been disciples, it would not guarantee the objectivity or truthfulness of their stories. But in fact none of the writers was an eyewitness, and none of them claims to be (Jesus, Interrupted, pp. 103-104).

So, we have 3 Gospels written by people who never knew Jesus. These Gospels were written decades after Jesus' death. Matthew and Luke copied off of Mark. [NOTE: If you're an eyewitness, you'd write your own account in your own words; not copy someone else.] And then we have John, writing as late as a century after Jesus' death.

If I write a biography of Adolf Hitler, in 2019, am I 'corroborating' what other people have already written about him? No, and this is the reason we cannot say the author of John is 'corroborating' the Synoptic Gospels: He was writing about an individual he never knew, who died nearly a century prior to his writing.

Can we use 1 or 2 Chronicles to corroborate other books in the Old Testament? No, not really. As Wikipedia explains: "Much of the content of Chronicles is a repetition of material from other books of the Bible, from Genesis to Kings." Re-writing what somebody else already wrote is not "corroborating."

Which other book and/or author in the Bible confirms the authenticity of Paul's letters? Nobody does, and as it turns out, quite a few of Paul's letters are forgeries.

The Bible is a collection of books. You're right about that. But the Bible is NOT a collection of independent reports from 66 eyewitnesses who are all describing the same events, with everyone's testimony mutually supporting everyone else's testimony.

When you ask Christians why they trust the Bible, many will point to 2 Timothy 3:16-17. In doing this, they are assuming the trustworthiness of the Bible in their attempt to justify belief in the trustworthiness of the Bible. This is called begging the question, and it's a logical fallacy. This is why atheists are known to say: "You can't use the Bible to prove the Bible!"

EDIT: Yay, gold! Thank you :)

u/terevos2 · 18 pointsr/Reformed

Well, he's not a cessationist, but even cessationists love it: Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology.

Banvinck's is good too.

u/stirfrizzle · 18 pointsr/atheism
u/Mungbunger · 18 pointsr/exmormon

Let me just say how sorry I am for your pain. I know how it hurts, how confusing it is, how bleak the future, like the rug has been pulled out from under you. But know this: things do get better. You are going through the stages of grief and it sounds like are very much in the bargaining stage: "If the Church were true, why don't we see more specific revelation about current events?", "If the prophets have such foresight, how could they have completely missed how bad their hiding of history will look when the internet comes around in 50 years?" "If homosexuality is such an abomination, why are the scriptures, especially the BoM--the keystone of our religion and written for our time--completely silent about it?" etc. (At least those were some of my questions I wrestled with when the most obvious solution became more and more apparent: the Mormon Church just isn't what it claims to be.)

I really recommend this book: Leaving the Fold by Marlene Winell. It helped me to work through a lot of issues that I hadn't even considered were issues with leaving religion like self-esteem, shame, guilt, assertive communication, etc.

I don't know how comforting this will be at this time but know that many have walked this path and come out even stronger on the other side. I know that there's no way I would go back to the way I thought before I went down the rabbit hole even with all of its pain and confusion. "Better to Socrates dissatisfied than a pig satisfied." - John Stuart Mill. Make sure and take care of yourself and do plenty of self-care. Things really do and will get better for you. Best.

u/herbiems89_2 · 17 pointsr/de
u/dmcable · 17 pointsr/atheism

You chose the red pill, friend. Welcome. Now you get to see how deep the rabbit hole really goes.

Sounds like you need to read some Hitchens. I strongly recommend god is not great. He shared some of the same views you clearly have on religion - that it is inherently pernicious and disparaging.

u/samreay · 17 pointsr/DebateReligion

Sure, so apart from a lack of reason to accept those extraordinary claims I listed before, I would also defend the statement that we have firm evidence that Christianity is a human invention, a simple product of human culture.

This should not be too outlandish a claim, as even Christians can probably agree that most of the worlds religions are creations of our changing society (after all, Christians probably would disagree that Hinduism, paganism, Nordic, Hellenistic, aboriginal religions were divinely inspired/authored).

By looking back into the origins of Christianity, and the origins of the Judaic system from which it is derived, we can very clearly see changes in religious deities and stories, as the religion began incorporating myths from surrounding areas and as general patterns of beliefs changed. From what we can currently understand, it appears the the origin of Christianity started as a polytheistic pantheon with at least Yahweh, El, Baal and Asherah. It then moved slowly from polytheism to henotheism to monaltry to monotheism, as was relatively common in the Axial Age.

All of this points to the religion not representative of singular divine inspiration, and instead being representative of being a product of human culture, changing along with society.

This is a rather large topic of course, and if you want further reading, I recommend:

u/ADM_21 · 16 pointsr/TwoBestFriendsPlay

He probably prefers this one

u/eric_md · 15 pointsr/Christianity

I know that this might not be exactly what you were looking for, but here's my story, which I hope might help. I appreciate your open mind and willingness to seek answers, and your question is quite welcome here. (This response blossomed into quite a long post! I hope you'll read it anyhow.)

I was raised in a loosely Christian household by a working single mother who worked several jobs to support us, with grandparents who were Christian. I often went to a Methodist church, never learned much, but considered myself a 'believer'. When I was a teenager, as we all do, I began to rebel and question everything. The pivotal moment came when I approached our pastor and asked him a pointed question. I don't recall the exact wording, but I believe I asked something along the lines of "How do we know anything in the Bible is true, and not just some fairy tale made up by people hundreds of years ago?" His response, which at the time seemed terse, was essentially, "Because I said so." I stopped being a 'Christian' that day.

I spent about six or eight years after that, bouncing from one ideology to another. I was Wiccan, Buddhist, Taoist, Atheist/Agnostic, and probably a few I'm forgetting. I considered myself worldly, intelligent, and smart enough to figure it all out on my own. I didn't need a God, and I certainly didn't need any more pastors. I thought that people who had faith were somehow broken, inferior, and clinging to a fantasy to make up for their lackluster reality. I spent many many hours debating - antagonizing and belittling - a high school acquaintance, criticizing his beliefs and questioning his logic. Despite my obnoxious insistence, he never backed down, and always seemed to enjoy having discussions with me about faith and Christianity.

The Truth found me when I was 21. However, I have to preface this part of my story by conceding that I cannot - and do not - advocate this way of finding faith. I would probably question the validity of a person's faith if this was their story, but it is true none the less. About a year before I actually found Truth, God sent me an angel. She was cute, smart, and she enjoyed challenging me. I think the only reason we kept talking was to debate faith, but neither of us really expected to convince the other. She would later refer to this as evangelistic dating. Anyhow, I started to fall for her, and so for a while I pretended to agree with her faith. I figured, I could talk the talk and fake it for my whole life, if it meant I got to keep this hottie.

We had met, but we were dating long-distance for a while, and I even started going to church. I went back to a Methodist church, which appealed to me mostly for the music, as the hymns brought me back to happier times with my grandparents, and it felt great to walk right in and know all the songs. I even joined the choir. I still hadn't found Truth, but I kept up the act. Some unexpected life changes caused me to relocate, and soon I was living near my girlfriend, and we continued dating.

I will never forget the night that Truth found me, and not only because I felt the blessing of the Holy Spirit. It was October 31st, 2005 - Halloween. It started with a bit of a fight, because I just thought it was plain stupid that her mother wouldn't allow her siblings to trick-or-treat or do anything with Halloween, because it was of the devil or something like that. We were debating fiercely, and I don't even remember at which point it happened. I think I may even have been winning the argument, but the impact on me had very little to do with the actual discussion.

God touched my heart. I know that sounds silly, especially to those that haven't felt that, and it is hard to explain, but I felt the Holy Spirit within my body, and I knew with absolute certainty that Christ was real and with me. God reached inside me, grabbed onto my fears and doubts and ignorance, and freed me from them all. I was overwhelmed by it, and I began to sob. Now, I'm a big guy, and I don't cry. I mean, I just don't! I certainly don't weep spontaneously during an intellectual argument. This was a profound moment. I knew that Christ was the Truth which I had been searching for, and he found me.

From that moment forward, I opened my heart and my mind. I still consider myself a 'beginner' Christian, and I certainly don't know half the Bible, but God is in my heart and in my life. I have sought him intellectually for quite some time, and I will always be learning. I have found that you simply cannot convince someone of God's existence using strictly logical arguments. I can certainly talk to someone about the stories of the Bible, I can discuss historical facts, and I can tell people how I feel, but it takes faith to believe in God.

One book that I enjoyed, which you might wish to read, is called I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Norman Geisler. I picked it up mostly because it sounded absurd, and I thought it would be a bit different from the dry rhetoric which is the norm. TL;DR: Geisler makes a case for God based upon simple logical concepts. Both Christians and scientists believe that the world appeared out of nowhere (the Big Bang), and it makes more sense that was the work of a creator rather than a meaningless 'something out of nothing'. The whole of Creation contains such infinite complexity, that to think that 'natural selection' and other phenomena could give rise to the current ecosystem of this planet requires more faith than to believe in a Creator. (A great example is The Queen of Trees, a PBS documentary about the African fig tree.) Also, evolutionary science is based on things like DNA similarities between creatures, which I believe to be the fingerprints of a single divine Creator. To believe that those similarities are due more to an incredible natural game of chance takes a lot of faith! If any of that interests you, I'd recommend picking up that book.

In the end, we all have faith. Either God exists, God does not exist, or it doesn't matter. It all starts there. I have sought the Truth with my heart and mind, and I have faith, and nothing else makes sense to me. I saw how wretched I was toward my 'friend' in high school, and I reached out to apologize, but I can't begrudge him for not embracing me. Instead I got a fairly lukewarm 'oh, good for you'. I lost track of that one pastor, but I know now that he was young and inexperienced (very new to our church), and he was unable or unwilling to provide a simple answer and thought that I would just accept his statements. I don't hold it against him either. We are all fallible and sinful, but we are one with Christ. Oh, and I married that girl. I question Christianity all the time, and I sometimes wonder if it is all a bunch of baloney, but every time I return to God with a stronger faith. Faith in Christ is a journey, a lifelong experience, and not a singular state of existence. I am a Christian.

u/admorobo · 15 pointsr/Buddhism

I think it may be helpful to have a series of discussions about why you are looking to learn more about Buddhism. For many Christians non-Abrahamic religions are very difficult to understand (source: me, an agnostic raised by an Evangelical Born-Again father and Catholic mother). Part of the process for you and your girlfriend could be learning about Buddhism together, and understanding how it is both different and similar to Christianity.

As someone who comes from a Christian background myself, as a teenager I found Thich Nhat Hanh's works Living Buddha, Living Christ and Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers as effective ways of comparing and contrasting various concepts and values of both the religions. As long as you and your partner are having an ongoing open discussion about your spiritual journey I think you'll be OK.

EDIT: I'll also put forward that if part of your reason for looking outside of Christianity is that you're "not much of a social guy", you should be aware that community (Parsa or Gana) is very important to Buddhists as well.

u/LifeasaReader · 14 pointsr/lgbt
u/lineolation · 14 pointsr/exchristian

As a victim of spiritual abuse, I have found this book valuable.

u/EACCES · 13 pointsr/Christianity

Talk to your priest!

>And honestly I'm also afraid of doing the same thing over and over again in Heaven worshiping and playing church music 24/7.

This is an easy one - that's not what we believe is going to happen. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. If you want something to read about this, try Surprised by Hope.

u/private_ruffles · 13 pointsr/atheism

Books and Concepts:

A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam:

Well-sourced Wikipedia articles describing the evolution of Jewish monotheism from polytheism:

Enuma Elish:

Library of Ashurbanipal:

Canaanite Religion:

Did Jewish Slaves Build the Pyramids?:

Taanach Cult Stand:

Israel Enters Recorded History in Egypt at 1200 BCE:

Jeremiah's Monolatrist Polytheism:

Exodus Renaming by P verified in The Bible with Sources Revealed:


All excerpts used in this video are either copyright-free or covered under "fair use" in Title 17 § 107 of the USC, including:

The Prince of Egypt:

Vector Attributions:

A huge thanks to Snap2Objects for the many businessmen vectors I use:

Iron Age Israel and Judah:

Cloaked Israelite Women:

Gods and Israelites of War:


Asherah and Baal:







Deuteronomy Flourishes:


Paint Splatters:

Image Attributions:



Babylonian Tablet:

Babylonian Exile:

Baal Epic:

u/astroNerf · 12 pointsr/atheism

> Christian here, and I am honestly looking to find what atheists believe is the best evidence against christianity or the Bible.

The best argument against it is that there is no credible evidence to support it in the first place. This might not agree with your current thinking but I will politely challenge you to come up with the best evidence you think demonstrates that Jesus is/was the Earthly avatar of the creator of the universe.

The bible itself is not evidence. The bible is the claim. Consider that there is no evidence outside the bible from the time the bible takes place that supports the existence of Jesus. All the mentions of Jesus outside the bible occur many decades after he was supposed to have lived. Worse, the gospel accounts are anonymous.

We know enough about the history of the bible from a literary perspective to know that it was written by men. (See my notes at the bottom of this comment.) What you think of the bible today is a collection of documents that was edited and copied repeatedly, then voted on by the Council of Nicaea - some books were omitted from the canon even though they are referenced by other books in the bible that are canon.

A few things worth pointing out:

  • If you accept evolution, then there was no first human. If this is the case, then where did original sin come from?
  • The Exodus did not happen. Even Jewish religious scholars almost universally agree that the evidence that should be there just isn't.
  • Think about why Mary and Joseph had to travel in order to be counted for the census. Romans were far more efficient than that and were interested in where people lived, and not where they were born. The short answer is that the prophecy required Jesus to be born in Bethlehem, so the census was used as an excuse to explain why he was born there and not in Nazareth, where his parents lived. The bible is filled with these kinds of odd things.

    Those are three things off the top of my head. Here's one list that has many more. Another list. One more.

    In the end though, there's no credible evidence for anything supernatural in any religions. I don't believe in Jesus or Yahweh or Zeus or bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster for the same reasons - no credible, compelling evidence.


    Some additional resources as I think of them.

  • A History of God by Karen Armstrong. Summarised in video form here. Details how Yahweh went from being one god in the Hebrew pantheon to the one true god of Abraham. There originally were several gods mentioned in the books that would become the bible, but were replaced by Yahweh. This explains a lot of really unusual things about Yahweh as a literary character. For instance, the first commandment suddenly makes sense - it was intended to cement the supreme authority of Yahweh in a time when many people were polytheists.

  • Check out Bart Ehrman's work, such as Misquoting Jesus. It's a great introduction to textual analysis.

  • Lastly, if you're still here and have not angrily closed your browser window in frustration, I strongly urge you to check out Qualia Soup's video titled The Burden of Proof. It demonstrates why it is your job to support your claims, rather than it is our job to disprove them. The person who makes a claim (ie, a god exists) is the person responsible for providing support for that claim.
u/ZenMasterMike · 12 pointsr/Buddhism
u/Bakeshot · 12 pointsr/Christianity

How about NT Wright's Surprised by Hope?

Only 3 bucks if they got a kindle!

u/TruthHammerOfJustice · 12 pointsr/Catholicism
u/Irish_Whiskey · 12 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

Sorry, I'm being way too wordy here, and I'll try to keep future responses shorted. I divided the answers into "Biblical accuracy" and "Morality" for the sake of clarity. Thanks for the considered responses and the patience to read it.

>My Reasons to Believe in Christianity: As I mentioned before, this is not the time for me to respond to your comments regarding my reasons to believe (although I would really love to another time) lets stay focused.

I should have earlier said something which is a standard caveat in theistic debates:

I care whether my beliefs are true. I accept that not everything I believe is true, and want to change accordingly. I do not wish to compromise knowledge of truth with that which is convenient, easy, or even may lead to otherwise positive outcomes. If any argument rests on favoring such factors over truth, it's not one I can accept.

In addition while I'm willing to not question further your reasons for believing that means any point you make which rests on assuming your belief, is essentially an empty noise, because I'm still ignorant as to why I should consider it true. I can understand your position, but without that knowledge I can't agree with it.

>If that were true that the core beliefs changed sure I would agree, I'll have to ask you for a source as well on this these claims

Sure, here's the wiki on Yahweh which, of course you shouldn't just assume true, but contains the relevant links for each statement, as well as books by Karen Armstrong, Mark Smith and others. Studying the history of the Hebrews show people who integrated stories from different cultures they assimilated with, ideas of gods changed over time, bits of which were then taken by later groups to be the only unchanging truth, even when we know that isn't the case.

That's the reason the God of the Old Testament is obsessed only with one tribe, fails in his goals repeatedly and has limited powers, why the earlier versions of the texts don't mention a Christian Satan or hell, and talks about not worshipping the lesser gods. Because while it was rewritten to conform to later beliefs, it was born from a polytheistic tradition.

>Again if you can prove significant changes to the texts of the Bible only then you would have a case here, if you cannot, identifying how it spread does not seem to have any relevance.

The story of casting the first stone isn't found in any earlier copies of the Bible, nor is handling snakes, as I said. Much of Mark's story of Jesus' death, and most of Paul's letters, were written by later scribes. The delineation of the trinity only shows up in one passage, and was discovered during the time of Erasmus, an admitted forger who said scripture and documentation should be based on providing 'medicine' for the people rather than truth, and who was called out as a fraud by fellow Christian historians of the time. It probably wasn't Erasmus himself who came up with it, but rather the faction of theologians pushing the trinity. Earlier scholars such as Origen mention nothing about it, even when discussing the concept. And then of course there's the King James Bible, a book written with flawed methods based on inaccurate sources with a political agenda in mind.

Also NaphtaliC is bang on. It's simply absurd to call any book translated between two languages 99.5% accurate that's longer than two pages. For several languages across many centuries? It's impossible and easily proven untrue by anyone whose read the earlier versions. If I pick up two copies of the Bible in the store today by different publishers, they aren't 99.5% accurate with each other, let alone ones from thousands of years ago in different languages.

>however the point remains that they are extremely accurate given the time span of its existence and given the comparison to the accuracy/# of copies of other ancient texts we have.

Right, hopefully you can step back for a moment before we get into details, and think about this as if the Bible weren't a book you believed in, and were trying to analyze objectively.

We have no originals, or copies of them. What originals did exist came only after decades of oral transmissions. Which means we could have 5 billion copies of first editions, and they would be reliable only as to their content, not as to reality.

This whole thing about 'given the time span' and 'in comparison' is completely irrelevant to the question. In a court you can't say "Well it's less hearsay than that hearsay" to make it reliable.

It is used because historians do often have to work with unreliable materials, and that's fine. But when we question the Bible more than other ancient works, it's not because there's a double-standard, it's because historians admit those other works are also not reliable, we just work with the best we have.

In addition the textual accuracy compared to other books ignores two key points:

  1. We can prove many parts of it aren't true. There are factual claims as to events and geographic details which are wrong, because they weren't written by people who were there. Textual accuracy is an indirect way of trying to prove what factual accuracy directly disproves.

  2. The nature of the writings impact reliability. Paul was a self-confessed lunatic and murderer who had visions and claimed to bring people back from the dead himself. The gospels of John and Matthew were a few among many competing political/religious factions of Christianity trying to define the growing religion. For any other religion, you'd agree it's obvious such sources can't be treated as reliable without independent confirmation. Yet for all the contemporary historians examining Judea in that time, there is no record of Jesus. Something which is plausible if he was a very minor figure, but not with the accounts of mass miracles and turnouts and political turmoil that the gospels claim of him.

    Every argument you've made for the Bible's accuracy better fits the Quran and the Book of Mormon. They were better recorded sooner in time from known sources. But they also aren't true.

    >Homer's Illiad is commonly cited as the next runner up in terms of this criteria and frankly does not hold up quite as well as the Bible did.

    Thanks for proving my point. Homer's Illiad isn't true. It's a story of gods, possibly inspired by real events, that was written after oral transmission. So even if we had a first edition signed by the author, 100% word accurate with our copies today, no one would pretend this made it accurate history, unless they were a Greek worshipper looking for justifications for belief, rather than a historian.


    Yeah, I knew Carm would be cited because they're the main source for this stuff. Carm is unapologetic about putting the Bible first, and facts seconds as needed to get people to believe the Bible. Their numbers have been examined, and it's all based on arbitrary standards as needed to manufacture impressive statistics. That there were thousands of references to Christianity in the mid-1st century proves Christianity existed, it's not at all the same as proving the stories from the time were accurate, or that those stories match the accounts we have now, except where we have surviving fragments from that time, of which we have very few.
u/Kelloggs801 · 11 pointsr/TrueAtheism

I've just finished reading this:

I recommend it if you're looking for something like that.

u/LukeTheApostate · 11 pointsr/exchristian

Anger is a perfectly normal reaction as you begin to process trauma. So is sadness. There's a psychologist who talks about "Religious Trauma Syndrome" and has a trio of articles you might find helpful, as well as a website and a book.

Yes, I spent some time rather angry. It's been two or three years now, and while I'm quickly blunt with Christians who inappropriately insert their religion into conversation I'm not labeling and discarding religious people.

Fear of Christians won't be the result of your distancing yourself from them; it's the cause, more less, yeah? It's okay to step back from people or a community that are too close to a trauma you're trying to heal from. I personally had to back off of some friendships temporarily and cut some off entirely when I deconverted, for my own emotional health. When I felt able to, I came back, and my emotionally healthy religious friends were happy to have me in their lives again.

Do what you need to do to feel happiest in the long term, man. And if you can't see the long term, be happy in the short term. You deserve it.

u/superlewis · 11 pointsr/Reformed
  1. YouVersion has some great Bible reading plans. I would suggest McCheyne's
  2. A great companion for reading in a McCheyne plan is D.A. Carson's For the Love of God Part 1 Part 2
  3. One of the best pieces of advice I can give you as you read scripture is to look at the big picture. Try to see where the passage you are reading fits into the grand storyline of the Bible.
  4. May I also suggest picking up a book that will cover Bible doctrines? It's really helpful to have a grasp on what the Bible says about God and how He interacts with His creation. On the layman's level I would suggest Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem. If you feel like going a little deeper, check out Grudem's bigger book Bible Doctrine. If you feel like really digging in, go with Grudem's massive Systematic Theology, which I believe is the most readable systematic theology available.
  5. I'm a Baptist so I think getting rebaptized is great, assuming you are a genuine believer at this point, which I have no cause to doubt. In fact, if I was being a cranky Baptist I would tell you you're not getting rebaptized, you were just a wet sinner the first time. However, I'm only occasionally a cranky Baptist, and have nothing against my paedobaptist brothers (other than thinking they're wrong on this one).
  6. Get into a good church. I know you mentioned you're following Christ and not a church, but the local church is one of the primary means of doing so. Maybe you already have done this, and I am misinterpreting what you were trying to say. Lone ranger Christians are unhealthy Christians. If you are looking for a good church check with 9Marks and The Gospel Coalition.

    I hope this helps.

    edit: spelling
u/Witty_Weasel · 11 pointsr/TrueChristian

For me I'm going to go a bit old school. First "The Abolition of Man" by C. S. Lewis, which argues for a sort of 'Universal Truth'. I thought it was endlessly fascinating, and it's really an easy, short read. (The audio book was only an few hours long). There's also Lewis's "Mere Christianity" which is once again easy and short. In it he sort of starts with a shortened version of the argument found in Abolition, and from there discusses why Christianity itself works as the 'Universal Truth'.

If your looking for something thicker, I would suggest G. K. Chesterton's "Heretics", which blasts away the philosophy of his contemporaries (Which is still applicable today), "Orthodoxy" which discusses his own conversion and his own search for truth, and "The Everlasting Man" which discusses the history of mankind and Christianity's role in it. (This was also the book that converted Lewis' intellect).

Chesterton is not necessarily a difficult read because of lengthy words, or because he references something no longer fashionable, but because of his ideas. I like to think I can understand things fairly well, but I had to pause often to go over a phrase, or to really think about a thought he presented. But both authors are very enjoyable.

u/Ask_Seek_Knock · 11 pointsr/Christianity

First, no one can convince you of God's existence except Him. I know, I was not raised Christian, not even close. I came to Christ as an adult, much to the amazement of my Christian friends and much to the horror of my secular friends and family. Ask, seek, knock Matt 7:7, it sounds like an easy solution but it isn't. If following God were simple then Jesus' death would have been unnecessary. If following Jesus were easy in a fallen world, then there would be no apostasy, there would be no need for caution, there would be no hypocrisy; but in reality there is.

Second, God calls us to love him with all that we are. Our hearts, mind and soul. God does not want mindless zombies. [Luke 10:27 & Deut 6:5] If you know a Christian who isn't thoughtful, then you probably know one who is deceived. In fact, throughout history you will find that many of the best educated people were Christians. All but one of the first universities in the fledgling US were Christian schools. Why? Because God warns us to be discerning so that we will not be deceived by lies, well told lies but lies all the same.

Third, read the Bible and study its' history. There is a lot of information available on these topics. Also study prophecy. Prophecy is given to the Church for several reasons, one of which is to testify to God's nature, the nature that allows him to lay out history before it happens.

Give God a chance and HE will show you his character and nature, but you do have to seek Him out. I'm sorry if that's not what you want to hear but it is true.

Resources, by far a drop in the bucket of the preponderance of information:

Is Jesus Real? Non-biblical evidence Short video, that goes over some of the information for a historical Jesus. Much is taken from the next link, The Divine Evidence.

The Divine Evidence Article Index Tons of articles to go through here.

Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul

Christian Martyrs Several part series, from Foxe's book Christian Martyrs of the world. This is an important part of Church history, it's good to see where the Church has been.

Mere Christianity Someone else suggested this and it's a good read. Some people have a negative view of Lewis, but I think his story and published writings are pretty inline with the Bible. At least the ones I have read.

u/VexedCoffee · 10 pointsr/Christianity

If you are really interested in this topic I would recommend you pick up N.T. Wright's Surprised by Hope

Here is an interview he did with TIME magazine:,8599,1710844,00.html

Here is a video interview:

u/AgentSmithRadio · 10 pointsr/Christianity

Int. Auditorum

Christian walks up to podium, taps microphone

"Death is terrible."




In between all the talk and speculation about Paradise/Heaven, it's easy to miss a few essential concepts to Christianity.

  1. Life is good. We are living beings made in God's image and our existence is a good thing.

  2. The human body is inherently a part of our being. As C.S. Lewis once described us in the Screwtape Letters, we are "amphibians." We're not just soul, we're not just flesh, we're both, and we're incomplete when we are without a living body. This is inherent to our design, and we underestimate the tragedy of that loss.

  3. Death is terrible because it removes the ability to live. Living is good, this makes death our enemy.

  4. Death is our punishment for sin. One does not relish hastening their punishment unless if it is for a greater cause. Celestial hedonism is not such a cause.

  5. Death doesn't stop being terrible until the resurrection of the dead. The whole "making things new" part is essential because it, well, kills death, and stops this terrible part of our existence.

  6. Even if one may be "better off" by being dead now, the rest of the world suffers from their disappearance. No quantity of free Churros dulls the pain of death.

    I mean, yeah, the Christian afterlife (pre and post-resurrection) are pretty great, but do not undersell how bad death actually is. The whole point of Jesus defeating death, and his coming victory over all that has been lost, and should never be sold short.

    Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright goes into this subject in excellent detail.
u/MoonPoint · 10 pointsr/atheism

The Time article Is Hell Dead? covers Rob Bell's book
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
. He's a pastor of a church that attracts 7,000 people every Sunday. He's also written Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality, Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile and Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith.

The description for Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile states:

>There is a church not too far from us that recently added a $25 million addition to their building. Our local newspaper ran a front-page story not too long ago about a study revealing that one in five people in our city lives in poverty. This is a book about those two numbers. Jesus Wants to save Christians is a book about faith and fear, wealth and war, poverty, power, safety, terror, Bibles, bombs, and homeland insecurity. It's about empty empires and the truth that everybody's a priest. It's about oppression, occupation, and what happens when Christians support, animate and participate in the very things Jesus came to set people free from. It's about what it means to be a part of the church of Jesus in a world where some people fly planes into buildings while others pick up groceries in Hummers.

u/YourFurryFriend1 · 10 pointsr/samharris

> Atheism now has a strong foothold in western society.

Blatantly false, unless you consider approximately 3-7% of the population explicitly identifying as atheist as a "strong foothold":

  • In Canada: "Christians, representing 67.3% of the population, are followed by people having no religion with 23.9% of the total population." Those explicitly identifying as "atheist" were a tiny fraction of the 23.9% identifying as having no religion, which can be found in the statscan data.
  • In the United States: "According to the Pew Research Center, in 2014, 22.8% of the American population does not identify with a religion, including atheists (3.1%)".
  • In Europe, numbers are slightly larger: "According to another poll about religiosity in the European Union from 2012 by Eurobarometer, 16% are Non believer/Agnostic, and 7% are Atheist".


    > (Peterson on Belief) It’s not in dispute that human beings are a biological product of an evolutionary history.

    Although Peterson incorporates evolutionary arguments in his work, he also clearly has pretensions to a dualist position on the nature of being and consciousness: From an interview with Peterson

    > You can say consciousness is an epiphenomenon of the material world, and you can make a perfectly coherent set of tools out of those presuppositions, but those set of tools do not cover everything that you need, and it's no more viable as an explanation than the explanation that, no, consciousness is somehow fundamental to being, and of course being is different than material reality.


    > The new atheists, the four horsemen (Harris, Hitch, Dawkins, Dennett) that think the belief in god is false, and religion corrupt and outdated.

    Although they all share the common belief that God does not exist, there are some actual differences in their positions. Dennett, for example, argues we should teach religion in schools, but he wants it presented as objectively as possible. That is, by providing the facts about all religions without any spin or bias to any one particular religion. . Also see is book Breaking The Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon
u/mr_pleco · 10 pointsr/atheism

To Train Up A Child is the go-to source for biblically approved methods of child abuse.

Here's a great article about the chapter in the book that discusses "disciplining" your infant to sleep:

u/happyhooker485 · 10 pointsr/childfree
u/MiningdiamondsVIII · 10 pointsr/dankchristianmemes
u/Istadan · 10 pointsr/atheism

Haha. Thanks for your help man.

He is focused on apologetics. He uses as his main source of arguments.

I've heard him speak briefly. He was a HUGE proponent of the idea that God has "hardwired" a set of morals inside us all.

u/sbsb27 · 10 pointsr/TrueAtheism

One of the main and repeated sources Christopher Hitchens cites in his "God is not Great" book is Jennifer Hecht and her book "Doubt: A history: The great doubters and their legacy of innovation from Socrates to Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickenson.

While not argumentative it is full of careful study and resources.

Karen Armstrong and her "History of god: The 4,000 year quest of Judaism, Christianity , and Islam" is a wonderful read as well.

I think the point about confrontation is a good one. So while there may not be many women debating about religion on the public stage, there are women writing great reviews of the development of religions.

u/themsc190 · 9 pointsr/Christianity

Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology is popular (if severely flawed).

u/NoSheDidntSayThat · 9 pointsr/Christianity

The JW position is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the Greek in John 1. I won't completely rip off Wayne Grudem here, but their translation of:

>Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.


>In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god

rather than

>In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God

is incorrect. They say that the lack of a definite article before theos (θεὸς) indicates that it should be translated as the JWs do. This is, frankly, ignorant of basic Greek grammatical rules, which do not require the definite article, instead using the context of the sentence to determine if it should be "was God" or "was a god". The context of the sentence and those around it give every indication that it must be translated to "was God". Watchtower (the JW newsletter) I believe acknowledged the error not too long ago, but stood by their translation, saying something to the effect of "the context of the rest of scripture" supports them.

this is not only irrelevant for translation purposes, but false on its own merit.

Wayne Grudem goes into a lot of detail on this in Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine -- not a cheap book, but it is perhaps the best work of its kind ever written. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Parts are available on google books. There is quite a bit on this issue that isn't available online though.

Desiring God has a nice article on the person of Christ, but not as full and complete.

u/ldpreload · 9 pointsr/Christianity

Possible answers include:

  1. Actually, nobody is good enough. The Christians you know are, on their own merit, going to Hell. The non-Christians are also going to Hell. The Christians are saved from Hell by grace "through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." A perfectly almighty and just God would send everyone to Hell; an almighty, just, and yet loving God manages to save some people on the grounds of something other than their being good.

  2. It is certainly possible that a loving God would save people and let them enter heaven even if they do not manage to believe all the doctrines like they're "supposed" to, and whatever the condition is, it is neither being morally superior or being theologically better-read. "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you."

  3. Actually, popular theology is all wrong and that's not how heaven and hell work at all, and this is, though heterodox, Biblically sound.
u/Jim-Jones · 9 pointsr/atheism

[To Train Up a Child] (

> As a child that grew up in an abusive household, this book makes my stomach turn and heart ache. I truly wish child protective services would track down those raving about beating their children into submission by beating them with rods and take them away. I have a 4 month old, and in this book they advocate beating them on the back of the legs with a switch at 4 months old. I began crying once I read that for that poor defenseless newborn baby who was being beaten. This book is pure evil. It is not the word of the God I know or any God I would ever pray to. This is not Christianity. This is Child Abuse. This is Evil, and illegal. Those who apply these practices will get judged by God for their sins.

u/NoMoreCounting · 9 pointsr/exmormon

Here are a couple books to consider reading together. They can help him understand and deal with the pressures he's under, and also help you know what he's going through.

u/jlew24asu · 9 pointsr/DebateReligion

> I've had spiritual experiences I believe are from God, so in a way, yes.

but you've never met him. the answer is no

> I've never met President Obama. Should I believe he doesn't exist? That's your best evidence?

neither have I but others have and we can prove his existence. are you trolling?

> I'll agree with the ones other than Christianity that I've researched.

ah, so you are an atheists towards other gods.

> Can you provide what convinces you of this in regards to Christianity?

this is going to require some research and time which sadly I dont think you'll do. but here are a few. I could go on and on and on if you'd like.

this, this, this, this, this, this

u/DaSoleil14 · 9 pointsr/Catholicism

In terms of the existence of God, it was largely Anthony Flew's "There is a God" and C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity" that got me to a place where I could at least be open the idea of the existence of God.

u/TronXD · 9 pointsr/

In actual fact, I submitted it because the headline is absolutely jaw-dropping.

I assume you think I submitted it because I wanted to score a point against religion. But that's ridiculous, since philosophers deal with the Problem of Pain all the time - it's nothing new.

What I'm really perplexed by is the fact that you seem quite threatened by this, as if you really think it is a point against you. What are you afraid of? Terrible things happen by the Will of the Almighty God all the time, and it's never bothered you before.

On the other hand, billions of human beings believe your religion is the direct path to Hell, and God has struck down five innocent adherents via its ultimate symbol. Perhaps I can understand your concern.

u/kerrielou73 · 8 pointsr/exmormon

Yup. Once I had determined Mormonism was false, I researched Christianity and determined it was also false.

While I read others, these two books by Karen Armstrong killed any kind of literal interpretation of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam for me.

The Spiral Staircase

History of God

u/SsurebreC · 8 pointsr/DebateReligion
u/iwanttheblanketback · 8 pointsr/Christianity

New Evidence that Demands a Verdict

More Than a Carpenter

Cold Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels On my to read list.

Faith on Trial: An Attorney Analyzes the Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus

The Case for Christ

The Case for Faith

The Case for a Creator

The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus On my to read list.

The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ On my to read list.

Besides the apologetics books, you can watch John Lennox on YouTube. He is a very well-spoken and kind (doesn't attack the other debater) debater. Very well thought out responses. The Dawkins vs Lennox debate was awesome! Ditto Gary Habermas as well.

u/rabidmonkey1 · 8 pointsr/Christianity

I think I first have to shatter a paradigm in your thinking.

Christianity isn't about getting into Heaven. Yes, a lot of churches in the West sell it as a "get out of Hell free" card. Yes, Jesus is "sold" to a lot of people that way. But that's not what the Bible really says, at least, not fully. It's a partial picture, at best, and a misguided one at worst.

Christianity, is first and foremost about God's work to lovingly restore mankind and creation to full life. Relationships are about distance, and it's about God closing that gap between us and Him.

What do I mean by, full life? The idea starts with us realizing that there is something deeply wrong and broken in the world, and in each of us, as individuals. We come from broken homes, warring countries, feuding families, a world of scarcity, pain, and death. We all feel inadequate in some way; there are these fault lines in our souls that we attempt to spackle over with things like relationships, hobbies, aspirations, occupations, other people's approval, etc.

We are literally slaves to death, in this paradigm. We strategize how to spend our remaining time, maximizing our comfort and happiness, and if we can, helping those we like along the way (often because they provide us with a kind of identification that makes us feel less precarious).

Christ (and the Law) were given to us to break us out from under that slavery.

The Bible tells us the Law came first to make us aware that we were even under slavery in the first place. Oftentimes, we're so broken, we actually prefer being in slavery. We can't see, hear, touch, taste, feel our enslavement - or if we can, we're so accustomed to it that we stick with it. Addicts are an extreme example of this, but there are manifestations of this in all our lives.

The Exodus story provides an early example of this. The Bible tells us it took the Israelites 40 years as they were guided by God to get from Egypt to Israel. Well, look on a map; they're not that far away. What took them so long? Was God, who was guiding them, lost?

The Rabbinic scholars basically sum it up thusly: God could take the Israelites out of Egypt in a heartbeat, but He also needed to take Egypt out of the Israelites.

When you're a slave for 400 years, you get accustomed to it. You move like a slave, you think like a slave, you sleep like a slave, you generally act like a slave. Your parents were slaves, and you will be too, so you don't even expect right from life any more.

But imagine, then God suddenly comes in and tells you, no, you're my child (aka, divine royalty) - and, all of the sudden, these former slaves are supposed to know how to act like royalty?

God made them stop many places along the way; taught them what victory looked and felt like, taught them to be conformed to His ways (literally, to begin moving like the King), and provided food, water, and everything they needed along the way during those 40 years of reconditioning.

(As a sidenote, I often hear critics of the Law approach the Law as a negative thing on the face of it. I want to challenge them to approach it as a good thing designed to give wisdom and life. Often times the amount of laws (613) is listed as this staggering amount that no man could keep. Well, yeah, God knows that. That's why no human being is supposed to keep all the Law. Certain Laws are only for men, or only for women, or only for priests, or only for subsets of priests, or only for certain occasions; etc. When someone lists the amount of Laws as their chief objections, I immediately say in my head, "Okay, this person doesn't know much about Torah law." But this may be neither here nor there in terms of chief objections).

So then, we have the Law and that that "Old Testament" stuff, and then Christ enters the picture and says things like:

>You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery. But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

What was Jesus getting at with things like this? He was pointing to a deeper reality that the Law can't serve as something that will bind up your cracks and make you presentable to God (much in the same way we use relationships, hobbies, aspirations, occupations, etc.) The people who were following the Law that way had missed the point! The Law highlights our absolute need for restoration (and a restorer!) by showing us exactly how we are broken.

This is where the Resurrection comes into play, because the ultimate reality of Jesus' work isn't to funnel souls into Heaven, but to prepare them for their own resurrection. There will be a day when God will restore the Earth (namely, by bringing the Kingdom of Heaven down to it), establishing his rule, and bringing it back to the Paradisical, Edenic state.

I mean, this might be a big concept to wrap your mind around now, but if you want to see the Biblical basis for this, check out N.T. Wright's Suprised by Hope. Jews always believed in the Resurrection and the world to come (aka, Tikkun Olam). The Orthodox Church has always preached the doctrine of the Resurrection. And it's in all the creeds. (Yes, Western Christianity has misunderstood and misrepresented it for ages).

So in a sense, you're kind of right about morality. Jesus isn't so concerned about morality as much as he is about relational distance. God wants to be close to you, to see your wounds, heal and restore them, and then use you to help restore others and all of creation (sidenote: this is why the Orthodox are particularly "green"). That's the fundamental nature of Grace, and truly, we are under Grace.

I mean, Paul practically wrote Romans 6 in response to your blog:

Seriously. Take a moment. Read the chapter. It answers just about every objection you raised, though I think in a way you wouldn't expect (because you set it up as a dichotomy, and really, there's a third way).

C.S. Lewis once said:

>We are so little reconciled to time that we are even astonished at it. “How he’s grown!” we exclaim, “How time flies!” as though the universal form of our experience were again and again a novelty. It is as strange as if a fish were repeatedly surprised at the wetness of water. And that would be strange indeed; unless of course the fish were destined to become, one day, a land animal.

Deep inside, even if we had the best life we could imagine for ourselves, we'd still know that something is seriously wrong in the world. This is because God didn't design us for sin and death, yet we experience it's effects on a daily basis.

In the end of the chapter, Paul talks about us being slaves to either sin, or slaves to righteousness. Being a slave to sin leads to death, because the wages of sin are death. Being a slave to righteousness leads to life, because it is close to God, the author of life.

Christianity isn't about "being good." It's not about getting all your holy ducks in a row and hoping it'll appease an angry God who wants to burn you forever and ever and ever.

It's all about relational proximity. God is drawing close to us, particularly through the advent, death, and resurrection of Christ, and yes, thank God He's more interested in restoring everything than he is in destroying it.

u/RPrevolution · 8 pointsr/DeepIntoYouTube

Yeah, maybe he said the reverse of what he had to say. But for anyone interested in God being a meme, check out Breaking the Spell

u/knyazmyshkin · 8 pointsr/Christianity

Some of this has to do with the phenomenon that Charles Murray described in Coming Apart. In short, increasing social stratification, and the collapse of community and social capital among those on the bottom rungs of the social ladder. That concurs with this study - Christians with less education are still more likely to consider religion important, but are also less likely to go to church.

So this isn't cause for celebration ("yay, educated people are still Christian, take that, people who believe that education causes secularization"), but rather a symptom of a disaster that's striking less educated people. As both Ross Douthat and Peter Beinart have pointed out, a post-religious right (and a post-religious politics in general) is cause for concern, for everyone.

u/DiscontentDisciple · 8 pointsr/lgbt


So both the Passages in Leviticus are about what's called the Holiness Code. This is the standard for ritual purity associated with entering the Holy of Holies (where G_d's Presence resided). The book of Leviticus contains lots of rules which are to be observed to keep people in condition to allow them to physically commune with G_d. There's a prevalent belief in the OT that uncleanliness is transmittable, in fact that belief persisted to a sect of Jews alive in Jesus' time called the Pharases (of which Paul was one - hence the good samaratin parable refuting this belief). So this passage is about maintaining ritual purity in the population. Yes, it's absolutely horrible, Yes, it undoubtedly resulted in the death of gay people. But one of the points about in incarnation of G_d as Jesus was the removal of the temple system (hence the curtain of the Holy of Holies tearing as Jesus Dies). So Jesus' death negated the need for the holiness code, as now everyone was holy enough to commune with God as a result of Jesus' death.

So yes, this passage is horrible, but it's not that black and white, and through Christ incarnation death and resurrection the need for ritual purity has been abolished.


I, like many Christians believe that the Bible is not without the bias of it's authors. So what you see worked into the Holiness code are a significant number of issues that we're associated with the taboos of the culture at the time. Within the Jewish tradition for instance anything non-penetrative wasn't sex, hence no condemnation of lesbianism in the OT. There's also a strong belief that things that are outside of the "normal" or cross the boundaries of their "type" are unclean. So Shellfish don't have scales like all "fish" should, they are unclean. Pigs have split hooves unlike other domesticated animals, unclean. Mixed Fiber clothing is neither cotton nor wool, so unclean. And so it was with the genders, men who do not take the sexually dominate, that is penetrative position and instead take the submissive, receptive position (women's position) are "mixing" the genders. So unclean.

So basically, this text is included because of a lot of issues, theological, cultural, and historical, that affected the authors of this text and no longer affect Christians today.

Note about the NT texts: they are not condemnations of modern, monogamous homosexuality, but about idolatrous worship. There's lots of books of the topic if you want, I recommend "What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality" generally for the textual issues. For a more theological look at the issue, check out Jesus, the Bible and Homosexuality.

u/pajam · 8 pointsr/atheism

My folks didn't need to send me to no school. They learned me good the right way through what they read in To Train Up a Child.

u/erikbryan · 8 pointsr/atheism

Leaving the Fold
~ Marlene, Winel

My ex left the church of her father (a minister) and she recommended that I read this to understand the repercussions of her leaving her family's faith. Perhaps 'Leaving the Fold' will help you understand what challenges lie ahead.

Product Description From Amazon

This book by psychologist Marlene Winell provides valuable insights into the dangers of religious indoctrination and outlines what therapists and victims can do to reclaim a healthier human spirit.... Both former believers searching for a new beginning and those just starting to subject their faith to the requirements of simple common sense, if not analytical reason, may find valuable assistance in these pages. -
Steve Allen, author and entertainer

u/Hot-d0g-Water · 7 pointsr/Cringetopia

No, I got rid of it almost immediately. But I did find it on Amazon

u/GlowingStrand · 7 pointsr/todayilearned

This book was required reading at my Christian seminary.

Two other relevant, interesting and easy-to-read texts from my M.Div. program were Denzey’s Intro to “Gnosticism” and Ehrmam’s The New Testament

u/picado · 7 pointsr/atheism

This is satire, but the idea of beating your kids for Jesus is horribly real. The bible really does say those things, and some follow them. You've got books like To Train Up a Child, parents who follow it and kill their kids and even an entire Christian community practicing non-stop, indiscriminant child beating.

u/RxDealer · 7 pointsr/atheism

I always recommend "Jesus Interrupted". It has a non-harsh approach to showing inconsistencies in the Bible and specifically the gospels. The author is a former fundamentalist Christian scholar turned atheist.

If you give them something to aggressive, they will just shut down immediately.

u/MarcoVincenzo · 7 pointsr/atheism

I'd suggest Dan Dennett's Breaking the Spell. He's got a very smooth presentation and is unlikely to offend, which means the book may even get read.

u/mrdaneeyul · 7 pointsr/Christianity

Hey, welcome to the sub. :)

First off, you have the right attitude (more than many churchgoers, it seems). You want to understand and wrestle and have it be real. Good news: you're on the right track. Faith is hard, at least most of the time. I'm sorry others looked down on you for asking questions and trying to figure things out; they were wrong to do so.

I agree with what others here are saying: Genesis is probably not the easiest place to start, and you'll get even more bogged down in Numbers or in Chronicles. Start in one of the Gospels. I saw Luke suggested, and I'll throw in John. Luke's writing has more details, and John's might be easier to read.

Starting in the Gospels has a purpose: Jesus is really the major focus. There's a lot to gain from reading his words firsthand, and seeing his actions. You might find it a lot different from what the culture says about him. Take your time and soak it in, and I think you'll find him pretty compelling.

After that, Paul's letters are pretty great. Philippians might be a good one to read first, though they're all really short and won't take long.

I might also suggest reading a different version of the Bible. The NRSV is accurate, but can also be archaic and difficult to understand. There are a lot of debates over Bible versions, but don't sweat them for now; I'd suggest the ESV or the CEB (if you want to study deeper later, the NRSV might be better then).

You'll probably want to find a church. This can be hit-and-miss, depending on so many factors. You won't and shouldn't fit into a church that looks down on you for struggling with faith. To start, even though it might feel silly, talk to God about it. Doesn't have to be fancy, just a conversation asking him to help you find a good church. Visit a couple, and see if they try to follow the Jesus you read about in the Bible.

(And if you're in the Dallas area, let me know... you can visit ours! :D I know a couple other great churches in the area too.)

If you're looking for more resources, it depends on what you're interested in.

  • if you want to read the Bible online. Tons of versions (again, I'd go with CEB or ESV). I find it harder to read online, but it's good to have on-hand anyhow.
  • I second Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. It's a great read with some heavy concepts explained simply (Lewis was fantastic at this).
  • For the Resurrection (central to Christianity), check out Willaim Lane Craig's books, The Son Rises and Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?, and, for a debate, Jesus' Resurrection: Fact or Figment?
  • For the creation story, Reading Genesis 1-2: An Evangelical Conversation is a must, as there are several viewpoints on Creation (another reason starting with Genesis might be difficult).
  • For doubt, I recommend Disappointment with God.
  • How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth is a good one for... well, pretty much what the title says it's for.
  • Along the lines of Mere Christianity, try G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. It's free, but might be a bit harder to read.

    BUT... don't go crazy. Start with the Gospels and maybe Mere Christianity, and go from there.

    If you have questions about what you're reading, feel free to come to this sub or /r/TrueChristian and ask. To be fair, there will be several opposing opinions on more controversial issues, which is a double-edged sword sometimes. But most everyone is welcoming, kind, and happy to discuss anything.
u/discipulus_eius · 7 pointsr/Christianity

God bless you! :) I love how you have shared your testimony.
I'm a young Christian guy and, unfortunately, struggle with porn and masturbation as well. So I do relate to your troubles there.

As someone who is new to the Christian faith, you might find this book REALLY helpful:

It is called "Mere Christianity" by C.S Lewis, who, fun fact, is also the auther of the "Chronicals of Narnia" fiction series.

C.S Lewis was a devout Christian and has wrote many great books on the Christian faith. I would also reccomend his book "the Screwtape Letters" which is a book about demons. And it might help you with temptation, as you shall realise the spiritual reality of what happens whan you go through that tempation.

You also mentioned that your parents are Catholic, so they might appreciate that you learn Theology from the renowned Theologian,
Thomas Aquinas:

Thomos Aquinas is not only one of the greatest philosophers of Christianity, but one of the greatest philosophers PERIOD.

Just by reading, you can really learn a lot about the nature of God, what it means to
pray, how to properly interpret Scripture, understanding your
sexuality, the proper use of meditation etc.

Just reading one book can inform you a LOT.

I say this because, a lot of times, new Christians ask how or where
they can learn more about Christianity. Which is funny because the
answer is right in front of them. :) You learn more about religion
just as you learn more about everything else iln life. Through books.

Anyways. God bless you in your newfound relationship with Him.
May you grow in faith and find righteous abstinence from sin.
Pray for me as I shall pray for you.

Deo Gratias! +++

u/TweaktheReaper · 7 pointsr/latterdaysaints

I am listening to C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity right now and in it he goes over exactly this. Basically he says that saying one should do something because it's "good for society" or because it's "nice" is redundant and gets someone absolutely nowhere when trying to explain why someone ought to do or be something.

Instead this commandment to be good goes back to two things: The first is that God and Christ are good and all knowing, so when they ask you to do something it isn't as though they haven't thought through "why". And secondly, because God and Christ are good and something of them is within us (made in His image, as it goes) then that means there is something good within us that is worth respecting and nurturing because it is divine in nature. I like to call that goodness empathy, because without it we lack the ability to empathize, even with things we've not experienced.

Going off the second point, empathy is the best way to explain goodness for its own sake to anyone without a spiritual background. Empathy allows us to metaphorically experience the lives and situations of others without having to actually do it, and to some degree feel as they do in those situations. Because of empathy and the ability to feel as others do, we can discern the need to not do things to others, because it could cause a stir in us called guilt, or shame, or sometimes we can even feel the pain we inflicted on them, but within ourselves. Barring some kind of emotional perversion (read: sadism or masochism) we typically would not willingly desire to put ourselves in a state of discomfort, so ergo we should not put others in one either, lest we should feel that shame, guilt, or pain all over again. This is the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Without empathy the golden rule holds no weight, and empathy is by this premise something of a spiritual nature so it should be heeded.

To address your specific grievance, you must also consider the eternal nature of our lives. You're not inherently incorrect when you say that our lives are inconsequential in the scope of eternity, in fact I'm inclined to agree with you. However in the context of a spiritual progression, and one outlined by He on most high, it would be prudent to heed all what He has told us. We are told He loves us, that He created us all, individually, and that we are all, individually, the most precious to Him. We are also told that this life is simply a step in our journey, and the things we learn here and leave with are certainly not inconsequential because mortality has allowed us the ability to progress far beyond a spiritual form would ever allow.

Knowing this and operating under this premise, it is only logical to treat everyone well because we are all precious in His eyes, and to do everything we can to better ourselves because this is the greatest opportunity to do so. If you were given a kitten by someone you greatly respected, whose life and well being was in your charge despite it having its own free will, would you not cherish it (even if only to prove to whomever gave it to you that you cared as much as they did)? And if you were given the opportunity to go study under the greatest mind in whatever your chosen field is for the span of several hours, would you not soak up every single word they uttered? We need to be kind because we need to extend a certain amount of respect toward the work God has done to create us, as we are His children and He created us this way, such as we are, and He's proud of that. And we need to use that kindness and practice it here as mortals, because mortality is one of the greatest gifts of all.

Sorry for the wall of text, but this is pretty intense philosophy we're exploring here. I would also highly recommend either reading or listening to Mere Christianity, as C.S. Lewis is far more eloquent in explaining these things than I am since he was an educated philosopher, and I'm just a 24 year old trying to figure life out =)

u/love_unknown · 7 pointsr/DebateReligion

I have a couple of things to say. Nothing philosophical, really—you've looked at the philosophical disputes already, and ultimately I think what you need to make up your mind is time, contemplation, and journeying. Don't think this is something that you need to determine instantly; if there is a God (as, I think, the best evidence indicates there is), then he must be compassionate and certainly is not displeased by someone who deliberately takes the time to figure things out and pursue truth with an open heart.

You're 17. Do you have any plans to go to college? If so, do the institutions you're looking at offer any philosophy of religion courses? Self-study is great, but sometimes coming at an issue in an explicitly academic context helps people really determine and refine what they think.

I, for one, cannot imagine the God in whom I believe sending such a sincere seeker of the truth to hell. Christians believe that God is love, that love is God's very essence (and indeed, if they are correct, the philosophical arguments over at /r/ThroughAGlassDarkly should establish that one of God's characteristics is being all-loving). If you have the time, I'd recommend picking up the book The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, a marvelous exposition into contemporary Christian thought regarding heaven and hell. In short, heaven is the condition of living in love, and hell is the condition of living without love—those who live in love presently on earth are already in an 'anticipated heaven,' as it were, while those who have surrendered to their own selfishness have already descended into a hell of their own making, a prison of their own subjectivity. I can't say for sure, obviously, but from this and other posts you don't strike me as someone whose concern for the satiation of subjective urges outweighs the longing for objective truth.

God is just, loving, and merciful. If you love others and act according to your conscience, I don't think you have reason to fear. Yet by no means cease from exploring. Read widely. If you're at all interested in Christianity I would recommend picking up C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, any popular-level work by N. T. Wright, and perhaps Ratzinger's God and the World or any papal encyclical issued since 2005. If for now you're just trying to wrap your head around the question of whether God exists, I would suggest that you continue to study independently, and plunge headfirst into life, being open to ideas, to people, to new experiences. The reality of God is apprehended not just in philosophical argumentation but also experientially; if in your journeying it becomes evident to you that there is something more, something greater than the hum-drum of everyday life or the experience of material satisfaction and transient happiness, then perhaps you will understand that God is out there, and that he loves you.

u/prudecru · 7 pointsr/Catholicism

>I feel empty
>lack of God’s presence in my heart

Don't take this the wrong way, but feelings are irrelevant. Jesus asks you to assent to and accept the gospel and the beliefs of the Church; he doesn't ask you to feel anything. You don't need to emote anything to be saved.

Sometimes we go through spiritual deserts where we feel nothing and it seems - it seems - we pray into the void and labor in our duties under an empty sky. We still pray and do our duty.

>If the devil was responsible for my depression, then why didn’t an all-powerful God save me from it in my prayers?

This is a trial for you. The command to take up your cross is absolutely real. No one said it was going to be easy.

Regarding why God would do this to you, I would suggest reading The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis.

I would continue therapy. Continue to pray as you have. It's possible you may use medication temporarily or permanently. It's possible your life situation may change - I went through a phase like this at this age, and then later I got married and had children and it passed. But I stopped going to Mass at the time and it would have been better if I had continued.

Edited to add: I've been meaning to read this other book as well: The Catholic Guide to Depression by Aaron Kheriarty.

Read and pray some of the Psalms, such as Psalm 22: O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer; and by night, but find no rest etc.

u/davidjricardo · 6 pointsr/Reformed

Kudos to you for wanting to diversify your reading list. Reading or listening to only one person is always a dangerous thing, no matter who that might be. I've made a bunch of book recommendations on this sub in the past. Here are a few I think are a good fit for you specifically. In general, I'd also highly recommend all of the works by the authors listed.

  • Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition by Jamie Smith. This is always my top recommendation for the young person looking for more depth. It's a quick easy read best digested in small parts. It does a great job of providing an overview of the Reformed tradition that is accessible, theological, and pastoral. It's aimed at those who have a 'come-to-Calvin' moment from within other theological traditions (Smith was Pentecostal) but would benefit everyone.

  • Chosen by God and/or The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul. Sproul is simply the best at explaining complex theological concepts in an easy to understand manner. These are his two best books in my opinion, but anything he has written is worth a read.

  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. This is a satirical work where Lewis describes temptation from the vantage point of a junior and senior demon. The discription may sound odd, but it is full of insights into the state of mankind. Given your comments about temptation, I'd call this one a must read. Lewis was a master communicator, consider Mere Christianity as well.

  • Deep Down Faith by Cornelius Plantinga. This one is a devotional aimed at young adults, but an excellent explanation of Reformed Faith. Highly recommended.

  • Knowing God by J.I Packer - This is a classic book that, in the words of Elizabeth Elliot, "puts the hay where the sheep can reach it--plainly shows us ordinary folks what it means to know God." I don't know that there are many books that every Christian needs to read, but this one is definitely on the list.

    Lastly, I'd encourage you to read through some of the Reformed Confessions. Begin with the Heidelberg Catechim and the Belgic Confession. If you want a more modern approach, I'd encourage you to also read the Christian Reformed Church's Contemporary Testimony Our World Belongs To God, too.
u/Shmurphy7833 · 6 pointsr/Catholicism

Every single person on this earth has their own idea about what religion is and how it originated, and you will encounter many more people with many ideas contrary to what you believe, so don't let your friends discourage you. You seem like you have a genuine desire to believe in God, so believe in him. In this life we are constantly being presented with new ideas and new experiences that shape the way we view things, the question is how will you chose to go about interpreting these new ideas and new experiences? Will you let something that challenges what you believe mold you and change your convictions, or will you fight to understand what you believe to be true, that there is a God and Jesus is his son? I write this as someone who has doubts everyday. Someone who questions constantly, and struggles with what you are struggling with now. However, I have come to learn that there will be a time to choose. What is it that you believe? And when you know it, fight for it, and hold on to it. Relish in the questions, take joy in the challenges, you are not loosing your faith, you are on the search for Truth, follow His voice.


Specifically, I think the most important place to start when trying to understand the miracles of Christ is His resurrection. Bishop Barron has a really good video on this.

I'll list some good books below which have helped me with these questions as well.


u/EsquilaxHortensis · 6 pointsr/DebateReligion

To be honest -- and I promise that I'm making this as not-a-copout as I can -- my feeling is that if you're even taking the position that the entirety of the Bible is authentic and accurate, there's such a gulf of understanding between us that trying to bridge it would be well outside of the scope of a few posts.

I'll try to summarize as best I can, here.

Old Testament: The Torah was not given to Moses by God. Large portions of "God's laws" existed in other cultures before even the Jews claim that they were given to Moses. Like, word-for-word, verse for verse, verbatim. Sometimes with minor changes. The Law is clearly not entirely divine in origin, if any of it is (personally, I think I see the hand of God in places in Deuteronomy, but I'm not sure). Similarly, a great deal of the OT is founded upon pre-existing myths from other cultures in Mesopotamia. We're able to discern several different agents at work in the text, including people who clearly have very different conceptions of God, writing at different times, as well as any number of redactors. In some cases, it's pretty clear that the final version of the text was based upon a later writer completely failing to understand the original writer. In some cases, multiple incompatible versions of stories were combined into the text serially by redactors who clearly had no idea that the text was supposed to be "perfect". Check out the stories about how David met Saul, for example. Also, a lot of the traditional interpretations of things came about when the Jews noted the many flaws, inconsistencies, and absurdities in the Torah, and invented all sorts of amazing (and often ridiculous) explanations for them.

For more on this, I cannot recommend highly enough James Kugel's How to Read the Bible. It's written by a very intellectually honest orthodox Jew, which is very valuable to me because it's as unbiased as possible while still being sympathetic and open to the theist view. No joke, I will buy this for you in a heartbeat if you send me an address. It will radically transform and improve your understanding of these things.

As to the Gospels, you ought to be able to find any number of websites describing its inaccuracies and contradictions. Of course, there's a strain of fundamentalism that insists, through astounding intellectual dishonesty, that there are no contradictions. To assert this, one must use a definition of "contradiction" that would be prima facie absurd in any other context. The differing accounts of Jesus' birth, the date of the Last Supper, and so, so much more. Also, many of the accounts of Jesus' life are clearly, shall we say, modified to make the points that the authors cared about, such as Jesus's genealogy falling into nice round numbers that it actually didn't. Also, a lot of details seem to have been invented after the fact to give the impression that Jesus fulfilled prophecies that he likely didn't (As a Christian this doesn't bother me; I don't see the OT as inerrant, so it's not surprising to me that many of its prophecies were wrong). For example, the narrative wherein the family has to travel for a census (never happened) so that Jesus could be in the city that prophecy said the Messiah would be born in (he probably wasn't).

For more on this subject... I like Marcus Borg. Actually, this book by him and N.T. Wright does a great job examining such matters from multiple perspectives, as it's written in a format where they disagree with each other and give their own takes on things. Borg represents (IMO) rational but honest scholarship taken too far, whereas Wright represents a more traditional but still informed perspective. This book covers many important topics, such as many of the miracles, the nativity, the resurrection, and so on. If you want to be able to defend yourself against atheist attacks, buy this book if only for Wright's sections. But read Borg's, too. They'll open your eyes to so much.

Okay, now let's talk epistles. The wikipedia article on the subject of the Pauline Epistles is a great jumping-off point. For a more in-depth treatment, I really liked Ehrman's Jesus, Interrupted though it definitely deals a lot with the gospels as well.

I'd like to make two more points in closing. The first is that there's just no reason at all to think that the Bible is accurate and authentic in its entirety. None. It doesn't even claim to be. It can't. It wasn't fully compiled until hundreds of years after its constituent parts were written, therefore it logically cannot be self-referential. When (not) Paul wrote that all scripture is God-breathed, he couldn't have been including the books that hadn't been written yet. Also, as you'll see if you read Kugel's book, much of scripture is clearly not inspired. Some would argue that it's still the book that God wanted us to end up with, but that raises the question of why there are so many different versions. Some bibles have books that others don't. Some translate things in contradictory ways to others. There is just no way to suggest that there's some kind of special force watching out for this book; we'd first have to posit that there's a single "right" version and then ask how we know which that is.

Secondly, consider so many of the things in the Bible that are, to put it mildly, inconvenient. Are iron chariots God's Achilles heel (Judges 1:19)? Why didn't any contemporary writers (including the other gospel authors) say anything about the zombie horde that broke loose in Jerusalem (Matthew 27:52-53)? Oh, and let me tell you a story:

God made the world and he saw that it was good. Except, it wasn't. So he decides that he's going to kill everyone except for one good guy and his family. So two (or seven) of every kind of animal gets crammed into -- well, we'll skip this part, you know it. But anyway, afterward, God realizes that he's made a huuuuuuge mistake and promises not to do it again.

And that is where rainbows come from.

u/NukeThePope · 6 pointsr/atheism

I think you're being unrealistic about this. As a first-order approximation, to counter all extant religious beliefs you'd need an amount of text equal to the sum of the texts behind those beliefs; i.e. you'd need one 1000-page book to thoroughly refute the Bible, one for the Upanishads, one for the Koran and so on. And that hasn't yet started talking about philosophy or sociology or the wealth of information that science brings to the table.

Realistically, an author of an atheist reference needs to restrict his focus or risk creating a work that is too big for even a consortium of authors to write and too big for any normal reader to read and use.

Once you do that, you discover it's been done before and is constantly in the process of being done.

  • Look at Dawkins' seminal introductory work, The God Delusion as a starter.
  • A more philosophical/scientific outlook is in Dan Dennett's Breaking the Spell.
  • Sam Harris devotes a whole book, The Moral Landscape to a discussion of what morals could work like if not defined by religious dogma.
  • In The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking explains how the universe didn't need a god to come about.
  • The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan is a classic lamenting the gullibility of the public regarding supernatural phenomena.
  • Bart Ehrman has spent much of his life writing a whole series of books, such as Jesus, Interrupted to show how the Bible is inconsistent and a haphazard collection of human errors from antiquity.
  • David Fitzgerald devotes a whole book, Nailed, just to explaining why the central figure of Christianity most likely never existed.
  • Richard Carrier explains in Sense and Goodness Without God one possible world view for atheists, Metaphysical Naturalism. Many others are possible!

    In theory, your book would have to combine all these and more. In practice, what people do is read and recommend books like these, and then if they discover a question they feel has not been adequately addressed or that they have special insight on, they write yet another one.


    EDIT: I guess a collection of important atheist classics would not be complete without Darwin's The Origin of Species - this link is to the complete book text of the First Edition, online. Not an atheist work in and of itself but the ramifications of Darwin's theory blasted a gaping big hole in the Biblical concept of creation and Biblical inerrancy - perhaps even more so than the Copernican (among others) discovery of heliocentricity.
u/sp1ke0kill3r · 6 pointsr/AcademicBiblical

Bart D Ehrman Misquoting Jesus and Jesus Interrupted would be a valuable place to start.
There are also some videos on youtube of related lectures or debates.

Edit, I would add Dale Allison's book, The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus.

u/Nicoon · 6 pointsr/atheism

There are several books on the topic:

u/MJtheProphet · 6 pointsr/DebateAChristian

If we're going to get into the Bible as the source for a description of god, then we certainly have an issue. Which Bible are you reading? If its one of the millions of Bibles in the US, then its likely an English translation, and it isn't actually describing the god worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For that, we have to go back to the Canaanite religion, which we've learned about from clay tablets found at the Ras Shamra site. The Canaanites were polytheists who worshiped a great number of gods. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were primarily followers of El Shaddai, "God of the Mountains", another name for El Elyon, or "God Most High". El Elyon appears to Abraham in human form at one point. Jacob is described as asking El Elyon to become his elohim, or primary god, in order that he might receive special protection. He also climbs a ladder to heaven and speaks with El Elyon in person, and later even wrestles with El Elyon.

Its also not the god of Moses. Moses was a follower of Yahweh, the war god of the ancient Israelites. Yahweh wasn't a Canaanite god, but he also wasn't a monotheistic god. In the (likely mythical) story of Exodus, the Israelites even note after gaining their freedom "Who among the gods
is like you, Yahweh?
Who is like you—
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
working wonders?." (Exodus 15:11) It helps the verses make more sense to get the full context; upon reaching the promised land, the Israelites stray and worship other gods. That seems silly in today's version; why worship Baal or Asherah when you know that there is only THE LORD? But when you realize that Yahweh was just the war god, as Ares was to the Greeks, it makes more sense. Once you're no longer in a time of trouble, why not worship Baal (god of fertility and storms) or Asherah (the mother goddess) instead of Yahweh (god of the armies)? And its a lot more obvious why the Old Testament god was so obsessed with blood and death; he was the war god, like Ares.

Yahweh didn't become the primary god of Israel until the reign of King Josaih, a strict Yahwist, in about 640 BCE. This was the period of the Deuteronomic reforms; it was at this time that the book of Deuteronomy was "found" in the temple, supposedly a new book of law written by Moses that placed Yahweh above all other gods. However, its rather convenient timing and the linguistic signature indicate that it was actually a forgery, created for political expediency. Even here, though, there is still evidence of polytheism, in the Ten Commandments themselves. "6 I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 7 You shall have no other gods before me." (Deuteronomy 5:6-7)

Only in about 570 BCE, when the Israelites were exiled into Babylon, did the monotheistic god "the LORD" appear. An author known as Second Isaiah had his words appended on to the original Isaiah, the book of Leviticus was authored, and the history of Israel was rewritten to say that El Elyon and Yahweh were the same god, and that this god was the only god. The other books extant at the time were rewritten to make it look like there had only ever been one god of Israel. So despite the story saying that this god has always existed, he only appears in the archaeological record 2600 years ago.

A very different picture appears when you know where all the stories came from, and put them in their proper historical context. The Old Testament just screams polytheism, even through the multiple rewrites and translations. I recommend A History of God by Karen Armstrong for more details. Or, you can find a good summary on YouTube from Evid3nc3.

u/lucilletwo · 6 pointsr/atheism

so_yeah does a great job clarifying the reason; if (as we do) you assume that the supernatural aspects of the bible are inaccurate, the logical next step is to examine the non-supernatural claims (the purely historical ones) to see if they are also flawed. After all, if you believe some portion of a source document is flawed, you should also examine the rest to look for more flaws.

If you are interested in the factual, historical, literary origins of the bible, I would highly recommend "The History of God" by Karen Armstrong (link)

It details academically the history of the authors, the events, and the social and political pressures which shaped the creation of different components of the 3 main western monotheistic religions (Christianity/Judaism/Islam). Highlights include:

  • The original shift from polytheism to monotheism
  • The distributed authorship of the pentateuch (first 5 books of the bible which form backbone of OT belief system)
  • The historical evidence (and lack thereof) for the figure of Jesus as the bible portrays him
  • The origins of the theology of the early church, such as the concept of Jesus dying to 'pay for our sins' (~70 AD), and invention of the concept of original sin (4th century).
  • The political pressures which shaped and created these concepts, and which lead to the adoption and spread of christianity through the roman empire

    It's very dry and intellectual, but I can't recommend a better book when it comes to understanding the origins of western monotheism. It is absolutely not a "new atheist" book written in an attempt to disprove individual stories or facets of the bible, rather it assumes from the start that many stories are some combination of fact and fiction, and focuses instead on the contemporary (at that time) reasons they were written and the factors that caused them to take hold, as well as how and why they mutated over time.

    TL;DR: The social and political history of western religion, and how it influenced the creation and adoption of individual stories and theological tenets.
u/CalvinLawson · 6 pointsr/atheism

Oh yeah; I was brainwashed hardcore. Ever heard of A Beka? I'll bet you have...

It's like any grieving process; it takes about a year, so you're getting close. Not that there's a sudden change but it does get easier.

There are some things you can do to help the process along.

Before you do anything, order this book. It's a short read and it will set your soul free.

Stay involved in your Christian friend's lives. Hang out with them; talk to them about religion. You'll quickly figure out what friends are worth keeping around. Also meet some new friends! Start building a community that isn't based on faith.

Stay in touch with your family. Don't cut them out of your life. You need family, even if they're kinda fucked up. You're going to have to deal with religion again, but make sure they understand you aren't hanging out with them to be preached at. And remember, family is more than just blood relations, especially just the immediate ones.

Lastly, but of utmost importance, educate yourself on religion. Learn more about Christianity than Christians do. Focus on religious history and learn to interpret the bible using higher criticism. Karen Armstrong is a good start for a lot of people, her book A History of God is a bit of an informal "Religion 101" textbook.

Hang in there!

u/FloydFan6 · 6 pointsr/TrueAtheism

God is not great by Christopher Hitchens. If you are looking for someone that had a sound knowledge of Christianity, its history and scripture, Hitchens is the man.

u/MyDogFanny · 6 pointsr/atheism
u/rasungod0 · 6 pointsr/atheism

> are there any books written from a Christian point of view that don't make us look like complete idiots even when read from an atheist point of view?

I cannot recall any of the top of my head.

>Also if you have any book recommendations that will help a Christian understand atheism then it'd be a appreciated.

God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens is the best introduction to atheism I've read.

u/doge_designer · 6 pointsr/videos
u/madtracking · 6 pointsr/anime_irl

They could have at least tried to get you with Manga Jesus.

u/uberpirate · 6 pointsr/exchristian

There's even a book about it.

u/WeAreAllBroken · 6 pointsr/Christianity

I'm reading:

Church History in Plain Language

A General introduction To the Bible

Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem

And I really learned a lot from William Lane Craig's Defenders Podcast. Over several years he covered the major topics of Christian doctrine in depth. The best part is the Q&A time at the end of the class.

u/scardeal · 6 pointsr/religion

It sounds like you've got a jumble of thoughts there, which isn't all that unusual. I can't really address all your points in my limited time to make this comment, but I can point you to a few things:

  1. This article seems to dispute your "no evidence" claim of Jewish peoples in Egypt.

  2. You might want to check out The Case for Christ (book). A journalist goes into an in-depth investigation for the historical reliability of Christianity.

  3. Much of the rest I do not have handy links to send you or get into a huge discussion about at this time. As a Catholic, though, I find that the Catholic teachings regarding the development of doctrine, salvation of non-believers and its stance towards people who would identify with LGBT to be firm in its commitment to truth while still remaining compassionate to human frailty. It's a huge swath of topics that I'm not prepared to discuss (I have maybe 2 more minutes to devote to this...)
u/Reasonable_Thinker · 6 pointsr/exjw

Dude, you need to research your shit. Stop this apathy and get some knowledge, it's the only thing that I know of that can stop the guilt your feeling.

The witnesses are wrong in a lot of ways, you made a really good step by joining this board. You need to be the change you want to see, research the bible and history, figure out what you actually believe and learn it well enough that you can defend it.

This will help you get over the guilt, IDK what to do about your family situation. That is something else entirely but I think its a really good idea for you to gain some real knowledge about the witnesses past and about their theology.

I recommend starting with "The History of God" by Karen Armstrong:

Its a great book, easy read, and I think it will help a lot. Good luck brother.

u/JesusHMontgomery · 6 pointsr/exchristian

So, first, and I realize this isn't exactly comforting, but there will be a freak out time no matter what. There will be some time where you feel like the world is ending, and no matter what you do, it will still feel that way. It was that way for me (though we aren't the same, so maybe your experience will differ): every night, up late, praying and sweating and crying. Is there someone in the real world you can talk to? Having a meat body to grab onto for comfort is huge. Also, I wish I'd known about Reddit (not sure if it existed yet) when I went through my biz. This subreddit would have been amazing.

Ironically, part of what pushed me out of Christianity was learning more about it: being really on fire for it. When you learn church history from the church, it's very skewed and specialized, but when you step out of that and examine it from an objective historical point of view, things get crazy. And more calming.

In case you missed it elsewhere in this thread, John Shelby Spong was very comforting for me.

I think A History of God gets mentioned on this sub at least once a day. It's not an easy read, but immensely illuminating as it shows that, essentially, the guy we call god with a capital G is really just a lesser Canaanite deity worshiped by an insane shepherd. But because of Abraham's weird life, all of western history plays out.

It's been awhile since I read Jesus Interrupted, but if I remember correctly, it's about how what the historical Jesus probably said (because we can't possibly know) has been manipulated by history to satisfy different political goals.

Zealot tries to recreate to the best of the author's ability Jesus' world, the philosophies he grew up with, and the philosophies he most likely would have taught. Some parts of this read like an amazing novel, and it has some crazy historical stuff. It really blew my mind.

I read Pagan Christianity right at the start of my dark night. I've mentioned it before, and it confirmed a lot of my suspicions about Christianity actually being fancied up paganism (Zealot discusses that a little as well). It's written from very much a contemporary Christian perspective, so it has some errors that drive me nuts: i.e. Jesus almost certainly wouldn't have ever meant he and god were literally the same, because no half-serious Jewish person of any era would assert that.

It's stupid late where I am (and my toddler already makes sure I'm constantly sleep deprived), so the last thing I'll leave you with:

When I was going through my "dark night of the soul," I still considered myself Christian afterward for quite awhile. It's just that the kind of Christian I felt I had become was so radically different from what I had been that it warranted night sweats and crying. Since then, each progressive deconversion has been less and less painful by magnitudes. But while I was going through it, I kept thinking about a quote in some book I'd read about how, "God made you with the brain you have, the talents you have, the interests you have, and the curiosity you have: pursue that and glorify god." I reasoned (and I feel this is pretty solid) that if god were real, he'd have to be so outside our everyday experience that no one is getting it right; because if he weren't that alien to us, if he was even slightly comprehensible, he couldn't be god. And if god were real, he'd (it?) know how incomprehensible he is, and unless he were insane or evil, he couldn't possibly be just in punishing us for doing whatever we thought was best and in good conscience. The process was still painful, but it definitely made me feel better about ripping off that hairy band-aid.

If you don't already, I'd recommend writing as you go through all this. If you can stomach it, put it some place public, like a blog, so people can bear witness.

Dammit. I said I was going to bed 20 minutes ago.

Sorry-but-not-sorry for the wall of text.

u/djtullox · 6 pointsr/atheism

I don't think that there's a one word, simple answer for this question. A very thought provoking (and perhaps apologetic to a fault) read is Daniel Dennett's Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. Its long. Its dry. But its terribly interesting.
Watch some of Dan Dennett's TED Talks to get a brief idea of his approach.

u/ShadowIBlade · 6 pointsr/personalfinance

This may look impossible to overcome, but it can be done. Good news is you have a great income. The only way out of this mess is to get yourself on a strict written budget, cut up every single credit card and never use them again, and increase your income even further with a second part time job. Pay the minimum on everything while putting all extra money on the smallest debt. Once you pay that off, move onto the next smallest debt. This will begin to add up and you will start to make progress if you stick with it, but it won't be easy. Bankruptcy is a last resort and ultimately won't solve your terrible spending habits. Not everyone on this subreddit agrees, but I think you should really read Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover. Pick it up from your local library because you don't need to spend anything to read.

u/Diviertete1 · 6 pointsr/beyondthebump

I agree with everyone, sell the car and get a little reliable beater to drive until you get your feet underneath you. i am a huge Dave Ramsey fan, as in he completely got us out of debt and changed our lives. Listen to his podcast and read The Total Money Makeover. Dave would tell you to get rid of that car today!

u/terkla · 6 pointsr/childfree

For everyone of these comments suggesting domestic violence (oh, sorry, I mean "physical discipline"), congratulations. That's how you train up a child!

This woman is going through hell -- that's a valid reason to make it a "holy shit I'm extra not having kids now" sort of thing. Not a valid reason to advocate domestic violence.

Here's what happens when parents use violence against their children:

> The child knows that the pain originates from us, and is not a natural result of his actions.
> As a consequence, the child may end up learning the wrong lessons, including:

  • Hitting, slapping, and biting is a fun game that my parents play with me. Let me try playing it with them, and with others. A child may arrive at this conclusion when the pain is not delivered with enough force. Too much force, however, may result in fear aggression.
  • Mom's/Dad's hand or face coming toward me is a bad thing. I should run away from people, or be violent towards the thing that is a threat to me.
  • My parent, or any person, coming toward me means pain. I should stay away from people, or keep them away by being violent.

    What, was that some namby-pamby, spoil-your-child bullshit I just quoted? Nah, it's from a blog about taking care of your dog. I just changed the specifics to fit the current context. (Dog -> child, owner -> parent, biting/barking/clawing -> violence.)

    Children can be fucking monsters. That doesn't mean we get to treat them as subhuman, or worse. If your child or pet is reaching toward the hot eye on the stove, fine -- slap them away as fast as you can. If your child or pet has violent tendencies, well -- you've got a lot of work ahead of you. Responding with violence means you probably shouldn't be a parent or responsible for a pet.


    If you wouldn't use a certain kind of "discipline" on a pet, don't act like it's somehow okay to do it to a child.
u/puss_parkerswidow · 6 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Interestingly, a very high profile child abuse case in WA state that involved the death of a child due to starvation and hypothermia was connected to the parents' religious beliefs and a book they had called "How to Train Up a Child." Scary book- it was mostly about how to abuse a child and force them to submit.


Only click that if you can handle reading something extremely sad and rage-inducing.

Edit: here's the awful book-

u/RantnThrow · 6 pointsr/exchristian

Really enjoying the book Leaving the Fold right now. It helps realize more clearly the negative impact religion may have had on you and helps normalize what you are feeling. There are also optional exercises at the end of each chapter to process the material.

Then there is the Recovering from Religion website with articles for different topics. A live chat as well with someone who can help point you to resources & see if there is a anonymous support group in your area.

u/blessed_harlot · 5 pointsr/Christianity

What The Bible Really Says About Homosexuality, by Fr. Dan Helminiak Ph.D.

That's one place to start. It's well worth the eleven bucks, but the Amazon page also summarizes a few key points from the book for free.

u/Waksss · 5 pointsr/OpenChristian

The first moment, I remember was like my third day of greek class when my professor mentioned how the greek word translated homosexuality doesn't necessarily represent the concept writers, such as Paul, would have been conveying. He talked about a couple of the passages.

I read a book some time later by Mark Achtemeier called The Bible's Yes to Same Sex Marriage. He was a conservative theologian who used to travel around speaking against homosexuality. He had a pretty big change of heart, which gives me hope, and now he goes around speaking against what he used to do and advocating for those in same sex relationships and their full inclusion in the church. Another book, titled What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality is another book I recommend. It's pretty similar to the other book.

There is another book, I can't remember the name right now. But, it is a history of the concept of sexuality. It was based of Foucault's book on the subject. In short, they do a more expansive survey of the development of sexuality. Saying that homosexuality, as we understand it, is an 18th century development. So it would be difficult to maintain truly, that biblical writers would have been disapproving of same sex relationships as they exist today.

Lastly, there is a book called Struggling with Scripture. They write a book about wrestling with interpretation of scripture and use homosexuality as an application point. They kind of, in my mind, synthesize the material between the first three books I mentioned to think about how do we understand biblical texts in light of a changing culture. And give a good balance about how to see the scripture as authoritative texts but also how to think of them in our cultural context.

So, that's a small bit of what I have read. I've shown and told these arguments to many who have asked me. I know a number of people, mostly younger, who have had a similar change as I have. I've had many conversations where we are just talking past each other or who think I'm twisting the Bible. Those are always unfortunate.

u/peckrob · 5 pointsr/OpenChristian

You are created by God in his image and loved just the way you are. He created everything about you: your thoughts, your doubts, and your feelings on who you love. :)

This book really helped me when I was younger, and I highly recommend it.

u/kcos · 5 pointsr/gay

If you really want to take a Biblical approach to homosexuality you can read this and be a little prepared.

That being said you're 16 and still under your parent's house and on their dime. I'd stick out the 2 years and wait till you were out on your own and secure before you tell them. It won't be easier it will mean you won't be subjected to some of the "pray the gay away" bullshit.

u/KilroyLeges · 5 pointsr/atheism

He's the author of a decent selling parenting book.

It has been used by parents all over the US as justification to beat their kids on a regular basis at the behest of the bible. A few are now on trial for murder.

EDIT: I made that assumption on reading it before going further down the posts to see where the source of this text was. I stupidly misattributed this text. However, this same concept is in the book that I cited above. So both of these guys are d-bags who promote child abuse based on biblical teachings.

u/Mikesapien · 5 pointsr/AskReddit

To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl. It's essentially a child abuse handbook with detailed instructions on how to beat your children... for Christ!

u/schoofer · 5 pointsr/atheism

>As long as they don't hurt anyone with their ideas

Like a few million gay people? Like children who have died from lack of medical care in favor of prayer healing? Like children abused because their parents wanted to train them up? Like the idea (from Genesis) that global warming isn't real? Like how creation "science" is being injected into public classrooms?

Just because they aren't hurting you doesn't mean they aren't a real, tangible problem.

>I can't imagine why we would want to crush their beliefs

I want to know how you would crush someone's beliefs. I'm honestly curious, because I don't think that's how religious beliefs work. I don't think they can be "crushed."

>As long as we respect each others beliefs

I absolutely will not respect a belief if it is harmful, backwards, or otherwise malignant. Respect is earned.

u/gettheromacrust · 5 pointsr/atheism

I was venting to my boss about how my 3 year old is being a jerk about going to bed lately (my boss is Mennonite) he asked if we spank him. I said "I have only spanked him twice" usually I can sit with him and talk about what he is doing and we work through it"

He then told me to get the book "to train up your child" He said my son would test my limits the first few days, but if I used the spankings for love and discipline and not out of anger, his attitude would turn right around line his kids did.

I checked into the book on Amazon. It got 2 stars. Apparently it's written by some fundie couple who advocate the repeated beating of kids as young as 4 months old with a rod on the bare legs! WTF! And to hit them ten or more times, even if they squirm, cry, or beg you to stop. You are supposed to wait till they calm down, and continue the beating until you have literally beaten them into utter submission. She wife talks about beating a 14 month old over ten times for "not paying with a child she told her to play with"

This is the fuct up thing about how they view abuse. They believe that if they are doing it out of love and teaching you something, it's not abuse, it's discipline.

I hate my boss even more now because now I know this is what he has done to all 4 of his kids.

Edit: the book -]

u/Frankfusion · 5 pointsr/Christianity

If I can let you know, you're not alone. I'm 32 and hopefully next year my gf of 4 years and I are planning on getting married. It isn't easy, but waiting is possible. Being with likeminded friends helps. And perspective takes time. In the bubble of school a lot of things look fun. But in the real world, with real consequences, not so much. These things do have emotional and psychological consequences that you will take with you into your future relationships. Waiting is a means of protecting those future relationships.

Now for those questions, yes they can get annoying. But you don't have to reinvent the wheel. There have been many smart Christian writers, theologians, artists, philosophers, apologists, etc... who have given these issues a lot of thought and you would do well to get acquainted with them. I'd recommend something like Grudem's Systematic Theology for basic doctrine. For specific questions, Tim Keller's The Reason For God is pretty popular, and I'm liking philosopher Douglas Groothuis's Christian Apologetics.

u/bryan-forbes · 5 pointsr/Reformed

I'm not sure about articles, but Wayne Grudem is an historic pre-millennialist and defends it (rather convincingly) in his Systematic Theology. It's full of references and may help you out.

u/NomadicVagabond · 5 pointsr/religion

First of all, can I just say how much I love giving and receiving book recommendations? I was a religious studies major in college (and was even a T.A. in the World Religions class) so, this is right up my alley. So, I'm just going to take a seat in front of my book cases...


  1. A History of God by Karen Armstrong

  2. The Great Transformation by Karen Armstrong

  3. Myths: gods, heroes, and saviors by Leonard Biallas (highly recommended)

  4. Natural History of Religion by David Hume

  5. Beyond Tolerance by Gustav Niebuhr

  6. Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel (very highly recommended, completely shaped my view on pluralism and interfaith dialogue)

  7. The Evolution of God by Robert Wright


  8. Tales of the End by David L. Barr

  9. The Historical Jesus by John Dominic Crossan

  10. Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography by John Dominic Crossan

  11. The Birth of Christianity by John Dominic Crossan

  12. Who Wrote the New Testament? by Burton Mack

  13. Jesus in America by Richard Wightman Fox

  14. The Five Gospels by Robert Funk, Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar (highly recommended)

  15. Remedial Christianity by Paul Alan Laughlin


  16. The Jewish Mystical Tradition by Ben Zion Bokser

  17. Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Elliot Friedman


  18. Muhammad by Karen Armstrong

  19. No God but God by Reza Aslan

  20. Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells


  21. Buddha by Karen Armstrong

  22. Entering the Stream ed. Samuel Bercholz & Sherab Chodzin Kohn

  23. The Life of Milarepa translated by Lobsang P. Lhalungpa

  24. Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by John Powers

  25. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones compiled by Paul Reps (a classic in Western approached to Buddhism)

  26. Buddhist Thought by Paul Williams (if you're at all interested in Buddhist doctrine and philosophy, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not reading this book)


  27. The Essential Chuang Tzu trans. by Sam Hamill & J.P. Seaton


  28. Atheism by Julian Baggini

  29. The Future of an Illusion by Sigmund Freud

  30. Doubt: A History by Jennifer Michael Hecht

  31. When Atheism Becomes Religion by Chris Hedges

  32. Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith
u/Bab5crusade · 5 pointsr/Christianity

Actually there is a good book that answers your question.

Here is an 15 video summarizing the ideals of the book that the current god came from a mixture from the polytheistic gods of Canaanites and Babylonians.

u/Joseph-Urbanek · 5 pointsr/Catholicism
u/JJChowning · 5 pointsr/DebateReligion

I'm not sure where I land on this, but here are a few possibilities and resources I know of for looking into them a bit more in depth:

  1. A less literal take would be that the fall is not a historic event, but a description of the state of man [1],[2]. This opens up many questions as to why mankind, and the world before man, is "fallen".

  2. A more orthodox take would maintain that the fall is reflective of an event or events in early human history, and that the brokenness of the world is the result of this fall, a fallen world being a fitting home for a fallen humanity. How does this work with the fact that death, predation, and pain immensely predate humanity? I'm currently reading The End of Christianity which proposes that the effects of the fall were retroactively imposed. God in his foreknowledge created a world that would be the fitting home for a humanity that would fall.

  3. Some propose God allowed the devil to monkey with and pervert creation before man. I think C.S. Lewis presents this in The Problem of Pain, but I don't recall him being sold on it.

  4. Some propose that there is no answer from a human perspective. God created predation, pain and suffering, and as limited creatures we cannot understand why - you might get that theology from the book of Job.

  5. Some propose that God intentionally gives the creation over to un-ordered, indeterminate processes, and allows for the emergence of things like pain and suffering. This is somewhat like what is stated in Death Before the Fall.

    As I said i'm not sure what makes most sense. I think the problem of evil is the biggest intellectual difficulty for theism in general and Christianity in particular.
u/tom-dickson · 5 pointsr/Catholicism

The Problem of Pain is a good book on it.

Many people (such as I) approach the problem intellectually; but it's not an intellectual argument (though it is one of only two objections Aquinas brings against the existence of God).

u/TrimetTribble · 5 pointsr/lotrmemes

Great post. If you think about it, those issues are all central to Christianity. Why does God allow shit to hit the fan? Why, if he's so powerful, did he send himself (in the form of Jesus) to essentially be a powerless Hobbit?
Heck, Lewis even has a book called The Problem of Pain.

u/DeusExCochina · 5 pointsr/atheism

No answers yet?

Many of the atheists here agree on Bart Ehrman as a good source. He's a Bible scholar who used to be Christian but whose studies have left him an atheist. He's written a whole series of books about how the Bible was cobbled together and, self-plagiarized, forged and fiddled, and so on. There's a field or method of study called critical analysis that makes the Bible's authenticity problems apparent, and Ehrman writes that stuff into popular books.

Two of his hits have been Misquoting Jesus, Jesus, Interrupted and Forged. The latter is perhaps his most explicit indictment of the intellectual crimes behind the Bible. Lost Christianities and other books talk about the many gospels and other writings that never made it into or were excised from what's known as the Bible today.

Ehrman also has a bunch of talks on YouTube where he engagingly presents those same ideas.

There are alternatives, of course, and it could be argued whether Ehrman is "the best." But he certainly knows what he's talking about (mostly), is a recognized authority on this kind of stuff, and presents it well. Best of all (from our point of view) he doesn't Lie For Jesus.

u/redwoodser · 5 pointsr/philadelphia

Thanks. The article was written by Christopher Hitchens, the author of God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. He was while alive one of my favorite people on the planet. His politics at the end were not as progressive as they had been for many decades, but his genius for taking down everything religious was imho, the best the world had ever seen in thousands of years. In fact I saw him in person at the Library, just down the street from the new Mormon buildings on Vine Street, not long before he died. I wept like a child when he was gone. My hero.

u/zeroJive · 5 pointsr/exchristian

I went through almost the exact same thing. After leaving our main church, my wife and I stopped going all together. Several years later, after we moved because of jobs, we started going again. Needless to say, that didn't last long.

My wife and I both come from very strong Christian backgrounds; my wife's father was a Southern-Baptist minister for decades, and my dad went to Dallas Theological Seminary and taught church classes most of his life. So let's just say that leaving wasn't an easy thing.

However, my own search led me to realize the truth. Since my wife and I are very close, I talked with her about these things but was very careful about what I said. I'm still careful. I approach the discussions from the standpoint of "searching for answers" rather than declaring that I've already decided.

My mantra over the last few years has been "If it were possible to know the truth, and one of the possibilities was that God didn't exist, would you really want to know?" Well, my answer is yes. I don't want to be a blind-follower Christian. If God is real, then I want to know for sure!

I recommend approaching it like that. It let's your spouse see that you are truly searching for answers. The truth is all we really want, and we can't use a 3000 year-old book to do it. We need real answers, not mythology.

Be sure to talk about it a lot, and be open minded to your spouse's point of view. Let them know you still care for them deeply.

This sub-reddit has been so helpful and caring, so good job starting here. Also grab some books or find some web-sites that discus these things. Here are a few I recommend:


u/ScientismForNone · 5 pointsr/badphilosophy

I follow the words of the great Prophet Harris (Peace be upon Him). But I have great respect for followers of Dawkins, for they are people of the book.

u/33saywhat33 · 5 pointsr/AskMenOver30

I'll add one myself. Wild at Heart is a man's man book. It really helped me get motivated for life. Amazon has over 2,000 reviews at gives it 4.5 stars. He hits issues head on. I won't kid you this book jolted me. It's sold millions of copies for a reason.

It's OK to be a fuckin' man!!

It does have a Christian author but any man can get a lot out of this book. At the end of each chapter he lists some some versus that support his points. No biggie.

Consider audiobook if you commute.

u/LeonAquilla · 5 pointsr/bookscirclejerk
u/gomer11 · 5 pointsr/Buddhism

Look in the sidebar over there>>> under BASICS. Click Christian and there are a number of resources in the threads found there. Also, obligatory recommendation of this book.


u/kvrdave · 5 pointsr/Christianity

Here's a good book you might enjoy to understand his position better. I hang out with several Buddhists who would tell you they have a relationship with Christ, though they also wouldn't identify with the Christian label.

>He also does not plan to join a church as he thinks that organized religion isn't good stuff and is a nest of hypocrisy and corruption.

Sounds like he's listened to enough Jesus to understand how the churches are run. I don't blame him here. Jesus calls out the religious leaders more than anyone else because they are hypocrites and corrupt. Very little has changed

u/Sampajanna · 5 pointsr/Buddhism

I think this comes down to the elephant in the room: you want to be seen in a way that clearly your mother has not seen you. However, she has literally been that way for four-fifths of a century plus, and now you want her to think in a certain way so that you can be understood in that way. This is a beautiful and bittersweet issue to have at this late stage in life. So I do sympathize here.

You said you went to college to find common truths, and clearly you're an intellectual type that still seems to think in the 'book club' way. Is it really crucial for your mother to value logical fallacies before she dies, or is it because you value them very much and want her to as well, etc etc, if you know what I mean. I would dig into that urge for understanding, consider what that means, and consider that maybe this craving puts pressure on her (will you feel deep un-ease that will only lessen if she starts to value critical-thinking, or whatever?) which is possibly not appropriate (especially if she doesn't have the energy for it).

Here's also something to think about: most of her idea of spirituality seems to be about living and seeing in a certain way, and none of your story mentions her spending nights drenched in scripture, dissecting stuff like Saint Acquinas's treatise on theology, or being inspired by a persuasive argument or set of propositions. In no way is that a diss, by the way.

Honestly, I wish I was more like your mother. Too much of our generation mistakes the thinking for the doing. Me included, bigtime. An ounce of embodiment is worth a pound of theory. People who really practice seem to think that 'book club' bonding is sort of like comparing your town's street signs to their town's street signs. It might be nice to discuss how much they match, but no feet hit pavement at the end of the day.

All of this being said, you might let her check out 'Living Buddha Living Christ,' which I criticized in one of my other comments — but lots of people seem to get a lot out of it. Sometimes you gotta meet people where they're at even if it is a little misleading in the process.

u/gillish · 5 pointsr/personalfinance

I am just like you. Except that I didn’t come to this realization at 21. I finally woke up to my debt when I was 28 and by then had $20K in credit cards and $80K in student loans. Do not be like me.

You need two things:

  • Dave Ramsey’s Book
    This book has literally changed my life. If you call Dave Ramsey’s radio show and tell him your story he may send this book to you for free! I personally am not Christian so I skip the few religious references. (Bonus: r/DaveRamsey)

  • YNAB
    This software keeps me on budget with my expenses and debt repayment. It’s amazing and there are ton of free classes and resources. As a student you qualify for a discount. It pays for itself so don’t be put off my the money. Do the 34 day trial before paying for it. (Bonus: r/YNAB)
u/trolling2day1 · 5 pointsr/exchristian
u/Shoeshine-Boy · 5 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Personal research, mostly. I'm a big history nerd with a slant toward religion and other macabre subject matter. I'm actually not as well read as I'd like to be on these subjects, and I basically blend different sources into a knowledge smoothie and pour it out onto a page and see what works for me and what doesn't.

I'll list a few books I've read that I enjoyed. There are certainly more here and there, but these are the "big ones" I was citing when writing all the comments in this thread. I typically know more about Christianity than the other major faiths because of the culture around me.

Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years - Diarmaid MacCulloch

A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam - Karen Armstrong

The next two balance each other out quite well. Hardline anti-theism contrasted with "You know, maybe we can make this work".

The Case for God - Karen Armstrong

The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins

Lately, I have been reading the Stoics, which like Buddhism, I find to be one of the more personally palatable philosophies of mind I have come across, although I find rational contemplation a bit more accessible to my Westernized nature.

Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters - Translated by Moses Hadas

Discourses and Selected Writings (of Epictetus) - Translated by Robert Dobbin

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius - Translated by George Long

I'm still waiting on Fed Ex to deliver this one:

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - William B. Irvine

Also, if you're into history in general, a nice primer for what sorts of things to dive into when poking around history is this fun series on YouTube. I usually watch a video then spend a while reading more in depth about whatever subject is covered that week in order to fill the gaps. Plus, John and Hank are super awesome. The writing is superb and I think, most importantly, he presents an overall argument for why studying history is so important because of its relevance to current events.

Crash Course: World History - John Green

u/MrPeligro · 5 pointsr/DebateAChristian

That's not much of an argument. A better source. Here's a book by a christian theologian that talks about the history of God. I still find it surprising she remains christian after this, but shes a theologian. Most theologians find evidence to contradict their beliefs but ignore it anyway.

Delusion for sure.

u/tedivm · 5 pointsr/religion

Jesus Interrupted is a fantastic book that explores the actual history of the bible. It goes over how they've dated each book, how ideas have evolved over time, and what can or can't be considered accurate.

I highly, highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the bible as a historical document as well as anyone who wants to know how christianity has grown and evolved over time.

u/Flyby34 · 5 pointsr/Christianity

Hell is one of many areas that Christians have a good deal of disagreement and/or uncertainty about.

One Christian approach to the question of hell is the hope or belief that everyone will go to heaven, which is known as universalism. This theory was raised by Origen in the 3rd century, so it's an idea almost as old as Christianity itself. A good assessment of universalism by a Catholic priest is here. A Protestant pastor named Rob Bell published a book on this topic last year, which generated plenty of debate among Christians.

In response to your suggestion that a more just God would put everyone in heaven, imagine a hockey game where the referee didn't send any player to the penalty box, even if some players were committing lots of hockey sins. Would this seem like a just hockey game to you?

u/TheFlyingBastard · 4 pointsr/europe

Np. If you like this kind of stuff, you should look into the books by Bart Ehrman. He's a New Testament scholar that writes about this stuff in a very easy to understand way. Misquoting Jesus and Jesus, Interrupted are the two books he became known for, and they have ruffled a lot of feathers, but his other books are very readable too.

u/jarklejam · 4 pointsr/TrueChristian

Read Surprised By Hope by N.T. Wright. The concept of "Heaven" as a destination (as presented by the pastor you heard) is a lot different than the "New Heaven and New Earth" we are promised.

Jesus is the first fruits of a physical resurrection. He ate with the disciples to prove this point.

u/scottklarr · 4 pointsr/books
u/Repentant_Revenant · 4 pointsr/TrueChristian

The "problem" you seem to have is something that every Christian on earth struggles with - the disconnection between knowing something in your head and knowing it in your heart.

This is something I struggle with - there's a stark difference between being intellectually convinced of the existence of God and actually feeling like He exists.

There's a difference between knowing "Yeah, yeah, God loves me." And actually feeling the incalculable, unrestrained love of God.

There's a difference between knowing theologically that you're forgiven and actually feeling forgiven.

It's a difficult hurdle. Fortunately, God is there to help you.

God sends the Holy Spirit to us so that we can experience the presence of God, so that our knowledge of Him can drop down from our head to our heart.

For a long time, I sought an experience. I'm an extreme skeptic, so I'm always incredibly doubtful of any of the miraculous stories I hear from others. At the same time, it's because of this doubt that I so desperately wanted to experience God for myself.

I decided that, if I were to take God seriously, I would need to do whatever I could on my end to "press into" God and leave the rest up to Him. This meant that I would go to the front of the church during worship, or ask people lay hands on me and pray for me. As a skeptic and an introvert, these were huge steps for me. And many times, I wouldn't have a tangible experience with God, and I would get disheartened.

However, there have been a number of times now when I really did have experiences with God.

God lives in you. You have the Holy Spirit inside you; Christ Himself lives in you. However, for whatever reason, God sometimes gives us strong, palpable experiences and awareness of His presence, whereas most of the time we're not aware.

As someone who was originally skeptical of the "charismas," or of personal encounters with God and His Holy Spirit, I now urge you to pursue relationship with God.

That means spending time in prayer. I grew up always praying in my head with my eyes open, because I knew that God could still hear my prayers. However, I've discovered more and more that the act of going in my room, closing the door, kneeling, and praying out loud is richly rewarding. That's how people prayed throughout the Bible. I think that it helps me to connect that I'm praying the God of the universe, rather than just thinking to myself and projecting my desires.

For me, personally, walks alone and in nature have brought me closer to God. I'm someone who's always been deeply affected by nature - even in my doubt, I see the hand of the Creator in His Creation. And some of my encounters with God have been when I've been on a walk alone, not in a church.

Nonetheless, Christian community is extremely important. The Bible affirms repeatedly the importance of the church. If you're not already, try to attend church regularly and get involved with a youth group. I'm incredibly introverted, and in high school I would have thought I'd never be involved in a social group like that. However, our desire to know God should be higher than our desire for personal comfort. We need Christian friends and community surrounding us - people who will love and encourage us, people we can confide our sins and struggles to, people who will pray for us.

Worship is also incredibly important. I didn't used to sing in church. In fact, I went to a Christian school, and I would often remain seated during chapel worship. I was a Christian, but I thought that worship just "wasn't the way I connected with God." I thought that other people who are into praise music can connect with Him that way, whereas I connect with Him in other ways. While it's true that some people connect to God through certain channels more than others, we are all called to worship. I was making worship about myself - What can I get out of it? - instead of it being about God. Ironically, the more you make worship about God and not about yourself, the more you're bound to actually get out of it. This is one of the radical truths of Christianity - the more you give up of yourself, the more you truly are yourself. The more you live for others and for God, the more you're truly alive. It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Lastly, I must mention that good sermons and good books are really helpful, especially if your mind works similarly to mine. I mentioned in another comment Mere Christianity and The Reason for God - I consider them both must-reads for any Christian, but especially the one struggling with doubt. There are other good books, some specific to a particular doubt. (For instance, if your doubt has to do with the relationship between Christianity and science, then The Language of God is a must read.)

As far as sermons go, I really recommend Timothy Keller. If you have a smartphone or mp3 player, you can easily get podcasts for free.

I'll be praying for you. Feel free to PM me with any additional questions, or any particular doubts.

u/ComeHereOften7 · 4 pointsr/Christianity

I'm happy for you and will be praying for ya. I highly recommend checking out the book Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis. It gives a well thought out overview of the Christian faith.

u/Angelusvero · 4 pointsr/Christianity

you're too quick to assume suffering is evil, and i'm not saying inflicting suffering on another is a good thing either hahaha. for a better answer, look into this And i think you should consider perspective as well. If the world were more perfect less dramatic things would seem worse. Sorta like ying and yang without darkness one could not understand light

u/playhimoffcat · 4 pointsr/Christianity

A bit of warning and advice to all who might ask this same question: don't ask hard questions if you won't accept hard answers.

Also: this question has been raised and dealt with so many times -- I would recommend the many books on that that will a) give a better explanation than I can and b) raise a better objection that you can.

Start with this:

u/Dr-Z0idberg · 4 pointsr/atheism

You sound like you want to be agnostic/atheist but your afraid of having the title associated with yourself out of fear of judgement.

Nothing you have said makes any sense if you are a real believer. Why cherry pick the Bible like that while claiming it is still divine? It makes no rational sense whatsoever.

I challenge you to read Jesus Interrupted by Bart D. Ehrman to learn a little bit of the true history of the Bible and Jesus and see if you still have the same view afterwards.

u/dmoni002 · 4 pointsr/badeconomics

Well, to borrow from Charles Murray, "Fishtown" just told "Belmont" to fuck off.

u/Boseknows824 · 4 pointsr/Catholicism

You may find Lee Strobel's book, The Case For Christ somewhat interesting. The book came out of his investigation (as a former atheist) into hard evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ and the claim to his divinity. He chronicles his in-depth interviews with some expert historians and Bible scholars.

Apart from the Gospels, a great piece of historical evidence for the existence of Jesus is the account of 1st Century Roman historian Flavius Josephus, who made mention of Jesus in his account of Jewish history leading up to that point. This is one of many pieces of evidence examined in Strobel's book. He also wrote another book called "The Case for Faith," which may also have some information you're looking for.

u/34Mbit · 4 pointsr/UKPersonalFinance

I'd strongly recommend you follow Dave Ramsey's approach. Seven steps to financial security, with the debt-snowball method.

If you have an Amazon wishlist, I'd be happy to buy his book for you.

u/isestrex · 4 pointsr/personalfinance

Here's the book

/u/astupidfish, Dave Ramsey wrote this book exactly for people like you. I HIGHLY recommend you get a hold of it and devour it.

u/mattsepter · 4 pointsr/personalfinance

Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Trust me. You can like or not like the religious stuff, either way the money talk is spot on.

u/SteelSharpensSteel · 4 pointsr/marriedredpill

On What to Read

Here are some suggestions on books and websites:

The Millionaire Next Door by Stanley and Danko -

If You Can by William Bernstein -

Free version is here -

The Investor's Manifesto. Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon, and Everything in Between by William Bernstein -

The Bogleheads Guide to Investing -

The Coffeehouse Investor -

The Bogleheads' Guide to Retirement Planning -

The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio by William Bernstein -

Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey -

Personal Finance for Dummies by Eric Tyson -

Investing for Dummies by Eric Tyson -

The Millionaire Real Estate Investor per red-sfplus’s post (can confirm this is excellent) -

For all the M.Ds on here and HNW individuals, you might want to check out and his blog – found it to be very useful. or your government’s tax page. If you’ve been reading, you know that millionaires know more than your average bear about the tax code.

Personal Finance Flowchart from their wiki -

Additional Lists of Books:

Subreddits - I would highly encourage you to spend a half hour browsing their wiki - and investing advice -

MRP References (original) (year 2)

Final Thoughts

There are already a lot of high net worth individuals on these subs (if you don’t believe me, look at the OYS for the past few months). This should be a review for most folks. The key points stay the same – have a plan, get out of the hole you are in, have a budget, do the right moves for wealth accumulation. Lead your family in your finances. Own it.

What are YOU doing to own your finances? Give some examples below.

u/cypressgreen · 4 pointsr/news

Then there's this evil bible inspired corporal punishment boo. Just read the reviews.

u/deuteros · 4 pointsr/Christianity

They wrote To Train Up a Child, a controversial book about disciplining children (called "training") which they claim is based on biblical principles. They heavily advocate spanking as a universal tool for disciplining children, including infants, for even minor infractions until they are "totally broken." They reject modern psychology and much of what they advocate borders on child abuse.

There's been several stories in the news lately about children who have died as a result of parents following their advice.

u/samisbond · 4 pointsr/atheism

No, they coexisted. The cult of YHWH was not monotheistic.

Karen Armstrong's A History of God

u/penguinland · 4 pointsr/atheism

The bible is a collection of mostly-mythology, written by several different cultures over centuries. It has its roots in Chaldean mythology, and developed from there. From the best archaeological evidence we have right now, the following never happened: the garden of eden, cain and abel, the tower of Babel, Noah's flood, Abraham/Isaac/Jacob, Joseph and his coat, the Israelites being enslaved in Egypt, Moses and the exodus, the conquest of Canaan by Joshua.

David might have been a real person, but the stories about him are more legend than fact (he was a minor chieftan at best). Similarly, Solomon might have been a real person with stories made up about him. It's plausible that Jesus was a real person, but the vast majority of the stories about him are fictitious. As far as we can tell, there is no evidence for any of the miracles described in the bible. It's very likely that Paul was a real person who wrote letters to real churches discussing the issues of the day.

For more information, I encourage you to go to your local university and talk to the archaeology department, or read A History of God by Karen Armstrong.

u/Chiparoo · 4 pointsr/TrueAtheism

A History of God, by Karen Armstrong

It's a history of how the concept of a single deity came to be, and how Christianity and Islam came to branch off Judaism.

Note: this isn't an "atheist" book per se, but an academic one revealing some great facts about the evolution of religion.

u/dangling_participles · 4 pointsr/exmormon

Perhaps it's time to move away from LDS specific arguments, and start questioning the God concept in general; especially as it relates to morality.

One argument I've always liked, is that even if there is a god, by far the strongest test of morality it could ask for is if a person will be moral while believing there is no such being, and no promise of reward or punishment.

If she is willing to read, I recommend the following:

u/porscheguy19 · 4 pointsr/atheism

On science and evolution:

Genetics is where it's at. There is a ton of good fossil evidence, but genetics actually proves it on paper. Most books you can get through your local library (even by interlibrary loan) so you don't have to shell out for them just to read them.


The Making of the Fittest outlines many new forensic proofs of evolution. Fossil genes are an important aspect... they prove common ancestry. Did you know that humans have the gene for Vitamin C synthesis? (which would allow us to synthesize Vitamin C from our food instead of having to ingest it directly from fruit?) Many mammals have the same gene, but through a mutation, we lost the functionality, but it still hangs around.

Deep Ancestry proves the "out of Africa" hypothesis of human origins. It's no longer even a debate. MtDNA and Y-Chromosome DNA can be traced back directly to where our species began.

To give more rounded arguments, Hitchens can't be beat: God Is Not Great and The Portable Atheist (which is an overview of the best atheist writings in history, and one which I cannot recommend highly enough). Also, Dawkin's book The Greatest Show on Earth is a good overview of evolution.

General science: Stephen Hawking's books The Grand Design and A Briefer History of Time are excellent for laying the groundwork from Newtonian physics to Einstein's relativity through to the modern discovery of Quantum Mechanics.

Bertrand Russell and Thomas Paine are also excellent sources for philosophical, humanist, atheist thought; but they are included in the aforementioned Portable Atheist... but I have read much of their writings otherwise, and they are very good.

Also a subscription to a good peer-reviewed journal such as Nature is awesome, but can be expensive and very in depth.

Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate is also an excellent look at the human mind and genetics. To understand how the mind works, is almost your most important tool. If you know why people say the horrible things they do, you can see their words for what they are... you can see past what they say and see the mechanisms behind the words.

I've also been studying Zen for about a year. It's non-theistic and classed as "eastern philosophy". The Way of Zen kept me from losing my mind after deconverting and then struggling with the thought of a purposeless life and no future. I found it absolutely necessary to root out the remainder of the harmful indoctrination that still existed in my mind; and finally allowed me to see reality as it is instead of overlaying an ideology or worldview on everything.

Also, learn about the universe. Astronomy has been a useful tool for me. I can point my telescope at a galaxy that is more than 20 million light years away and say to someone, "See that galaxy? It took over 20 million years for the light from that galaxy to reach your eye." Creationists scoff at millions of years and say that it's a fantasy; but the universe provides real proof of "deep time" you can see with your own eyes.


I recommend books first, because they are the best way to learn, but there are also very good video series out there.

BestofScience has an amazing series on evolution.

AronRa's Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism is awesome.

Thunderfoot's Why do people laugh at creationists is good.

Atheistcoffee's Why I am no longer a creationist is also good.

Also check out TheraminTrees for more on the psychology of religion; Potholer54 on The Big Bang to Us Made Easy; and Evid3nc3's series on deconversion.

Also check out the Evolution Documentary Youtube Channel for some of the world's best documentary series on evolution and science.

I'm sure I've overlooked something here... but that's some stuff off the top of my head. If you have any questions about anything, or just need to talk, send me a message!

u/muchADEW · 4 pointsr/motorcycles

I mentioned this in one of the other six posts about this movie, but here goes again:

> I suspect this movie will have a heavy Christian theme. The father of the guys who made this movie is John Eldredge, who wrote, "Wild at Heart," which Amazon describes as a "best-selling, renowned Christian classic ... [that] invites men to recover their masculine heart, defined in the image of a passionate God."

u/hedgeson119 · 4 pointsr/TrueAtheism

This is something that has become quite popular, I know Eric Hovind and Sye Ten Bruggencate love this apologetic, see Bruggencate's webpage.

This is also known by some theists as the "Road Runner Tactic" (as popularized in "I don't have enough Faith to be an atheist" by Frank Turek and Norman Geisler) it exists not so much to prove you wrong as to derail the conversation. As above you can pretty much say the same thing with with different words and it becomes logically valid.

For a review of the book and a deconstruction of it from an atheist's view check out this series.

u/AmaziaTheAmazing · 4 pointsr/mildlyinteresting

Hey, no need to be offensive now. I'm merely stating that this man is using weak and shallow analogies as proof that God exists. If you want some solid food for thought, look into the book I don't have enough faith to be an atheist it will really make you think.

u/fatkid1371 · 4 pointsr/Christianity

I would suggest I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek. It's kind of an all in one and a good place to start.

u/bdwilson1000 · 4 pointsr/DebateReligion

I highly recommend this book:

The author makes the case that god IS a testable hypothesis, and when consistent scrutiny is applied, the hypothesis can be disproven beyond a reasonable doubt.

u/antonivs · 4 pointsr/atheism

That's a common misconception. The traditional concept of gods is not compatible with modern scientific knowledge. For a summary of why this is the case, see e.g. God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist.

Beyond that, science provides explanations for human belief in gods that shows why so many people have such beliefs, and it's not because gods exist.

We are at a point in human history where it's possible to say, with as much certainty as we have about any knowledge, that gods do not exist, outside of the imaginations of humans.

u/mdx1x · 4 pointsr/Soulnexus

If you are embracing suffering you're still doing it wrong, i suggest you read "the heart of buddha" , "a beginners mind", and "living christ living buddha" as both holistic teachers tought the same thing, but had different methods to help people obtain the goal of unlocking the door to the inner true self, conciousness, the shadow within.

Opening the hidden door in the bible:

An entire website dedicated to finding the hidden door buddha talks about:

If you think the bible is about "God" you still havent solved the riddle.

Maybe reading up on the ancient poet Rumi would be a nice place to look.

You still havent found the door, youre embracing suffering rather than ending it.

Behind the door is a familure face, dont blink.

"Occasionally he stumbled over the truth but he always picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened. " (Winston Churchill)

u/LevelOneTroll · 4 pointsr/personalfinance

Heh, I'm still just at level one, so I find myself being more helpful than not. :)

If you'd read enough of my comments, the following probably wouldn't come as much of a surprise. I would not use more debt to handle my current debt.

What you've outlined here is a plan to borrow what amounts to about half of your gross income... and it's mostly unsecured debt (not backed by collateral), which is why you need a cosigner. These are all huge red flags!

My advice would be to pretty much do the opposite. Keep paying minimums on the credit cards, but pay extra on the card with the smallest balance. Once it's paid off, throw your extra money at the next smallest balance, and so on. This is going to take planning and being intentional with your money. Start making monthly budgets if you're not doing that already.

I'm not being ugly here, please understand, but your income is on the low side. I would pick up an extra part-time job and kick all of its income over to paying off the cards even more quickly. You could probably get an extra $500/mo by just delivering pizzas on the weekends.

After the cards are paid off, then you get to save up some cash (you'll find that you've got more of that sticking around now that the credit cards are gone), and buy a computer. Save a little more and buy a desk and chair.

I recommend picking up this book: Total Money Makeover. It's pretty much the only thing that gave me traction with getting out of debt.

Best of luck!

u/tikael · 4 pointsr/Borderlands

Well, it may help to understand that when judaism first formed it was out of many folk stories that were then woven together to create a singular culture to motivate the judean people to "reclaim" their land in the north (Israel). Part of this was to make stories connecting the two peoples (the exodus and conquest of Canaan), but also it was changing the nature of God. Elohist sources seem to favor the northern part of Canaan (Israel), while Jahwist sources favor southern Canaan (Judea). It appears that over time the Jahwist way of thinking overtook the whole of the religion, changing it from the pagan or pseudo pagan Elohism into more modern Judaism by singling out Jahweh as the one true god or the true nature of god. There are a couple of very good reads on the subject, A History of God (which is summarized fairly well by this video, though I'm sure there are other summaries out there.) and The Bible Unearthed (which takes a look more at the cultures that the stories originated in and the archeological evidence we use to determine whether parts of the bible are reliable, in short some of the figures probably existed but nearly the entirety of exodus is unreliable as a history).

u/Zamboniman · 4 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

There have been purported holy books written since probably ten minutes after writing was invented for the first time.

We know that many of the myths in the bible were copied from earlier myths. We know that many of the parts of the bible are the same story rewritten by different people.

There are many excellent sources of study in how the bible came about. You may be interested in beginning with something like Karen Armstrong or Google the various wonderful books on the subject.

The current original version of the bible, not accounting for various translations and changes in interpretation and by subsequent councils and dictatoral decree for various political reasons, was crafted during the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD where various decisions were made by voting about what content to put in, ignore, avoid, etc.

u/EntropyFighter · 3 pointsr/AcademicBiblical

This is from "A History of God" by Karen Armstrong (pp. 20-21 in the paperback version).

> The Israelites called Yahweh "the God of our fathers," yet it seems that he may have been quite a different deity from El, the Canaanite High God worshiped by the patriarchs. He may have been the god of other people before he became the God of Israel. In all his early appearances to Moses, Yahweh insists repeatedly and at some length that he is indeed the God of Abraham, even though he had originally been called El Shaddai. This insistence may preserve the distant echoes of a very early debate about the identity of the God of Moses. It has been suggested that Yahweh was originally a warrior god, a god of volcanoes, a god worshiped in Midian, in what is now Jordan.^17 We shall never know where the Israelites discovered Yahweh, if indeed he was a completely new deity. Again this would be a very important question for us today, but it was not so crucial for the biblical writers. In pagan antiquity, gods were often merged and amalgamated, or the gods of one locality accepted as identical with the god of another people. All we can be sure of is that, whatever his provenance, the events of the Exodus made Yahweh the definitive God of Israel and that Moses was able to convince the Israelites that he really was the one and the same El, the God beloved by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

^17 - L.E. Bihu, "Midianite Elements in Hebrew Religion," Jewish Theological Studies, 31; Salo Wittermeyer Baron, A Social and Religious History of the Jews, 10 vols., 2nd ed. (New York, 1952-19667), I. p. 46.

It's also worth noting that Yahweh originally was a mid-level deity in a Canaanite religion (as also detailed in the Karen Armstrong book and the book "The Evolution of God".) Baal was another mid-level god in this religion, which helps to explain why he's in the Bible. There are poems to El (the high god in the Canaanite religion) that have been found rewritten to be for Yahweh. In a literal sense, gods were transmuting and evolving in this time. This makes the answer to your question likely 'no'. But I'm extrapolating from the referenced sources. It's more like they didn't think about gods the way your question asks about them.

u/Trinition · 3 pointsr/atheism

History of God by Karen Armstrong

u/YankeeRose · 3 pointsr/atheism

Ugh. If you want to get her something she might actually read, consider "A History of God" by Karen Armstrong.

u/Shareandcare · 3 pointsr/TrueAtheism

I've never heard of this book, and I cannot find any other references to the Author 'Filius Venus' which throws up some red flags.

The Native American approach makes me think Mormons, but it could always be something more open in interpretation.

A History of God By Karen Armstrong is reputedly very solid, so whatever claims this book makes should have to line up with her account. Otherwise something strange may be going on.

u/exackerly · 3 pointsr/europe

Interestingly, the most radically orthodox versions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all fairly recent developments, dating back to about the 18th century. Karen Armstrong's A History of God is especially good on this.

u/seven_deus · 3 pointsr/personalfinance

All right; go to your local credit Union; apply for an unsecured personal loan(s) with your wife.

Be prepared, they will give you a very bad rate 14% or more for 5 years but within 2 to 3 months your credit will go backup and then you can refinance (sometime you have to refinance for a bigger amount $500 mini) with a 7%-10% interest rate (still bad but better than 14%).

Keep in mind that this is a quick fix that does not cure the disease …You guys are out of control. This will help no doubt, but this is just the you have to get rid of that debt asap and avoid credit cards like the plague.

Edit: I went to my local credit union because I had 21k in cc debt, now I have 19K in unsecured loan (to pay off 3 credits cards) at 13.9% due to my stupidity, I'd leave at that...
My credit score in January was 620 after 2 months went to 720 and now I am at 780 and I am thinking of refinancing to get a much lower rate very soon. Since then I have been following Dave Ramsey common sense principals that somehow I lost.

I use/read/listen:


/r/DaveRamsey/ - Dave Ramsey

u/jl1159 · 3 pointsr/DaveRamsey

This should give you tons of detail:
The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

u/return2ozma · 3 pointsr/WhitePeopleTwitter

Follow the easy steps in this book and you'll be set financially for life.

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

u/correon · 3 pointsr/askgaybros

You sound like you have some serious cognitive dissonance going on right now.

Talking about it with the Internet is a great first step. It shows that you're looking for help and want to make a change. But /r/askgaybros is not going to be enough all by itself. You need to do some serious thinking and evaluate your three options for ending the dissonance: (1) to prioritize God over your own happiness, (2) to prioritize happiness over religious dogma, (3) to change your conception of God and/or your own gay identity so that they are no longer in conflict.

This will not be easy. None of those options will feel "authentic" or "right" at first. (1), in particular, has serious shortcomings and will probably endanger your long-term mental health. (2) is slightly less dangerous but will be very, very hard in the short term.

My advice: pursue (3) for now. Talk to a gay-affirming Christian therapist. Talk to your "this guy" with whom you're falling in love. Talk to your parents. And then listen. Notice how all of these people still love you and think you're valuable and loveable and a good person.

If you want a more Bible-based approach to (3), pick up one of the many, many books out there about homosexuality and the Bible. (I bought this one, about 4 years after when I most needed it.)

And of course, if you fail to find a way to let yourself be happy by pursuing (3), pick a point at which you'll cut your losses and choose (2).

u/vanityunfair · 3 pointsr/books

Yeah. I get terrified of how people use religion to knock other people down. Have you ever read the book "Leaving the Fold?" I also grew up in a church like that, and this book helped me deal with a lot of that stuff.

Link, in case you're interested:

u/deepcontemplation · 3 pointsr/exjw

Thanks for this... will definitely check out more.

I have been reading this book... it is geared more to conservative evangelicals but I think there is much overlap... Of course it doesn't get into the details of the JW org, though.

u/vadarama · 3 pointsr/exchristian

Two experts come to mind:

Dr. Marlene Winell specializes in what she calls Religious Trauma Syndrome and wrote the book Leaving the Fold about recovering psychologically from fundamentalism. I also like her articles on the website Journey Free.

Dr. Valerie Tarico is great, too. Loved her book Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light.

Both are former evangelicals but get pretty deep into analyzing the effects of their learned patterns; their work is well-researched and insightful, perhaps more on the social sciences side than what you were asking for.

u/Dimonah · 3 pointsr/TrueAtheism

A book that helped me a lot was “Leaving the Fold”

Good luck on your journey!

u/third_declension · 3 pointsr/atheism
u/Bilbo_Fraggins · 3 pointsr/TrueAtheism
u/Ibrey · 3 pointsr/Christianity

Well, I wrote a comment yesterday trying to give a very broad overview of Christianity's family tree. I linked to a few historic creeds for the major branches of Christianity, though perhaps some of them won't be all that illuminating without prior familarity with the controversies they take a side in:

u/Kidnapped_David_Bal4 · 3 pointsr/Christianity

Are some of your family members Christian? You could talk to them (certainly if it's your immediate family like mom and dad or siblings). It'd be harder if it's like a cousin or uncle or grandmother, but you probably want someone to talk to who you trust. Do you have friends who are Christian? Maybe just ask them- if this is a big decision in your life, they should hopefully have your back. You might find out that some of your friends are Christian and you didn't even know because they were too intimidated to tell you that and now you made the first move so it's find to talk about it.

If you really want to read something, you could try reading one of the gospels. Maybe Mark? I also think you'd benefit by reading something a little less formal, a little more geared right at you (the gospels have a lot of context and history and previous knowledge that they expect readers to be working with, so either accept that there's stuff that's going over your head and read them anyway or get a study Bible to help). A lot of people recommend Mere Christianity or The Reason for God or others by Tim Keller. I think that's the sort of thing you're looking for.

u/Roycewho · 3 pointsr/quotes

There is neither Good nor evil. There simply, “is”.

We use words to describe something’s “is-ness”. However what it “is” depends almost entirely on the context in which it appears and/or how it is perceived by the observer. The difference between narcissism (bad) and confidence (Good) is how the phenomenon manifest.

Many of these ideas are better articulated by experts such as

Edmund Husserl and his theory of phenomenology

Also discussed by Mark Twain in “Mere Christianity”

Robert Anton in “Prometheus Rising”

u/ShavedRegressor · 3 pointsr/atheism

Sadly, some intelligent people fall for religions or cults. Mr. Lewis was one of them.

I enjoyed his fiction as a child, but I can’t say the same about Mere Christianity. It sounded like someone doing his best to rationalize nonsense.

u/lastnote · 3 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Have you thought about reading any christian theology books? I find reading opposing perspectives and ideas helps to strengthen my own. If I can make a few recommendations...

The Reason for God - Timothy Keller

Jesus Among Other Gods - Ravi Zacharias

The End of Reason - Zacharias

Christian Apologetics - Norman Geisler

Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis

I would highly recommend everyone read Wayne Grudem's "Christian Beliefs". It's an abbreviated version of "Systematic Theology". Very short but concise overview of basic christian beliefs.

I can only recommend christian material as I haven't read a lot of other religious text. Christianity is the most relevant religion where I live, so understanding has been helpful in conversing with the religious folks around me.

u/thesouthpaw · 3 pointsr/Christianity

Jesus Among Other Gods


Problem of Pain

are two that come to my mind. I think both are great reads for non-believers who were raised Christian or have a solid understanding of Christianity.

u/learnmathq · 3 pointsr/facepalm

If you're interested in this topic, you should read CS Lewis's "The Problem of Pain."

u/e_t_ · 3 pointsr/Christianity

Lots of people have asked this question. It's a subset of the problem of evil.

For a specifically Christian answer (not necessarily the answer), check out C.S. Lewis' The Problem of Pain.

u/FA1R_ENOUGH · 3 pointsr/Christianity
  1. This is known as the Problem of Evil. If you'd like to see discussion on this topic, please check out our . The attempt to answer this question is known as theodicy. There are two major theodicies that I'll briefly summarize, but in order to fully grasp the weight of these ideas, you're going to have to consult a lot of philosophical material. There's a reason why people can take many classes just on this problem. The first defense is called the Free Will Defense. In a nutshell, it says that God created creatures with free will - the ability to choose good or to choose evil. Unfortunately, some free creatures made poor decisions, and evil came into our world. The presence of this freely chosen evil is the reason for the pain and suffering we see today. Augustine is credited with one of the earliest formulations of this defense. Alvin Plantinga has published a more recent free will defense which very many people believe has refuted the Problem of Evil. The second theodicy is called the soul-making theodicy. Essentially, it says that God has a morally justified reason for allowing evil, and it is to create mature beings. Although this is obviously not a perfect world, it may be the best way to a perfect world. This theodicy asserts that evil allows for mature, perfected beings, and that without evil, people could not have been optimally perfect. John Hick is well-known for this theodicy.

  2. I don't see why that would be the case. However, I am unconvinced of a Young Earth. If you meant to imply YEC, then I'm the wrong person to talk to.

  3. This is the Problem of Hell. Again, many good discussions on this topic will be found in the FAQ. Personally, I do not believe that someone will find themselves in Hell because they believed wrongly. Salvation is not dependent upon a theology exam! I think that those in Hell have actively rejected God's grace and forgiveness. C. S. Lewis presents a compelling view of Hell in a chapter in The Problem of Pain. He says that Hell is a special prison where the lock and key are on the inside of the cell. Those in Hell will not allow themselves to be forgiven. The Great Divorce also gives an interesting look into what the heart of someone in Hell is like. All that being said, I firmly believe that salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone. It is the rejection of God, who is the source of what is good, that causes a person to damn himself.

  4. This is a restatement of the Problem of Evil, which I discussed above.
u/ceramic_pillow · 3 pointsr/Catholicism

Alrightyyyyyyy. Let's get to it. By no means take my word to be truth, but I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability. If anyone sees where I've messed up, call me out on it.
First off, I am incredibly glad to see your enthusiasm! As someone only slightly older than you, it really makes me happy to see someone even slightly interested in the Faith.

  1. Church teaching on homosexuality is also something I struggle with. The CCC shows us through [ccc 2357-2359] that we are called to respect and love homosexuals just like any other person. That does not mean we should condone them living in sin or turning away from God's teachings. Here is an interesting article about homosexuals living a chaste, religious life. Ultimately, the writer concludes that he is happy with the grace God has given him and has learned to live the Church's teaching on homosexuality despite his own desires.

  2. From my understanding, the Church has not made any official statement on belief in evolution. As far as I can tell, it comes down to your own personal beliefs. Now as to why God would allow so much pain to happen through creation is beyond me. You may want to check out "The Problem of Pain" by C.S. Lewis. [ccc 403] indicates that our human suffering comes from Adam's pride leading to Original Sin. By turning our back to God, we destined ourselves to a life of misery. Perhaps through this mechanism, natural selection has caused so much pain...? Grasping at straws here.

  3. Though I think the view of how people go to Hell is pleasant, I do not believe it meshes with Catholic teaching. [ccc 1021] shows us that Man is judged by his acts while alive. Not his post-mortem decisions. And Hell is not what modern-culture tells us. It is not Satan's kingdom where he rules with impunity and punishes the wicked. He too is punished there. Hell's pain is caused by an absence of God's love, not punishment by demons. When those in Hell chose to turn their backs to God's teachings, they chose to alienate themselves from God's love. Dante's description of Hell is allegorical and by no means Church Cannon.

    I hope I have helped even slightly with your questions and hopefully other users will be able to offer a different insight into this for you. Feel free to ask any questions. Best of luck!
u/Knodiferous · 3 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

FYI, just for future reference. It's "premise", not premiss. And precedent, not president. Consistency, not constancy. I'm not trying to make anything of it, I just proofread by instinct, and I can't use a red marker on here.

> unwritten premiss to your points seem to be that precise word for word constancy needs to be present for these texts to be constant with eye wittiness testimony

I don't think anybody's claiming that John pretends to be an eye witness to the tomb opening; after all, he said only one woman was there, so clearly he wasn't there himself. Obviously there's a lot of hearsay in the gospels.

But the events of easter morning, and my other favorite example, Jesus's last words before dying, are really really absolutely crucial. These are the fundamental parts of the whole new testament, and the whole christian faith.

The fact that all of the gospel writers get these wrong, is actually kind of a big deal. Read some more Bart Ehrman. This is actually the main topic of Jesus, Interrupted. Regardless of the fact that Jesus seems to have different personality traits in the different gospels,

How are we supposed to treat this book as the word of god, when it's clearly the fallible work of men who didn't even bother to get their story straight, and who can't remember the simple details of the most important events of their lives?

u/mormonminion · 3 pointsr/exmormon

Bart Ehrman takes an objective look at the New Testament, basically debunking the entire thing. Jesus Interrupted is excellent.

u/Borealismeme · 3 pointsr/atheism

Firstly, let me introduce you to's index of creationist claims with the correlated rebuttals. The transitional fossil notion is one that has been debunked time and time again, get your sister to read CC200 and CC200.1 and try to rebutt those points. When she admits she can't then get her to promise never to repeat this ridiculously stupid argument again. Ever. We're tired of this one being brought up when it was debunked literally decades ago.

The Prophecies of Daniels are so vague as to be interpretable to mean just about anything you wanted. And no, the bible isn't backed up and proved by history. Buy her a Bart Ehrman book.

The evidence of the big bang is in fact THE WHOLE FUCKING UNIVERSE. And no it isn't proven. The thing about talking about events that happened billions of years ago is that we didn't have video cams set up to TIVO it. As such, we're forced to do things like exhaustive surveys of background radiation and try to piece the puzzle of what happened together. This is hard work, and hard science and your sister is welcome to find raw data and try to compute it herself. If she doesn't, then she really has no background or business or knowledge to critique the work of those who have. She's talking out her ass. Even further, even if we had no idea what happened instead of the rather good idea that we do have, then our answer would be "we don't know what created the universe". Because with science, when you don't know the answer to something, the best answer is "I don't know", not "Let's make up an invisible sky fairy and say he did it".

The word "true" doesn't apply to radiometric dating. It is based on sound science and it is accurate. Again, she's talking out of her ass. Tell her to prove that atom decay is somehow magically inaccurate and then we can talk. Also, since there are radiometric dating methods for a number of different elements, it's hard to see how she can claim every single one is faulty, and yet still enjoy the comforts of nuclear power, since the principles that drive a nuclear power plant are the SAME EXACT ONES that drive any (and every) other radioactive isotope.

u/Strid3r21 · 3 pointsr/exchristian

I'd highly recommend [Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible] (

u/Khufuu · 3 pointsr/AcademicBiblical

Bart Erhman's Jesus Interrupted

or many other popular books by the same author

u/Beaver1279 · 3 pointsr/religion

Read this.

u/ronaldsteed · 3 pointsr/Christianity

Just to clarify something that may not be apparent. The Christian Hope is that after we die and in the fullness of time, we will be resurrected in new bodies... on Earth. Its not "life after death" that matters. Its life AFTER life-after-death. And its not "in heaven"... its back on Earth. And there will be WORK to do! Read more here:

u/Agrona · 3 pointsr/Christianity

Some other books on the topic of eschatology (the "end times") worth reading (or listening to):

NT Wright's Surprised by Hope

Kenneth Meyer's The End Is Near...Or Maybe Not!

u/adrift98 · 3 pointsr/ELINT

>i know jews don't believe in hell; is it only mentioned in the nt?

Hell is in both testaments. Hell in the Old Testament is mostly known as the abode of the dead that was called Sheol or sometimes the pit. It could either represent the grave, or the afterlife. It was apparently divided into two places, a place for the righteous dead, and a place for the wicked dead. For an example of the wicked side of Sheol see passages like Ezekiel 32:17-32.

Jews, and then later, Christians, believed in a general resurrection of the dead, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting death.

>i've heard the rare argument from a christian that hell is metaphorical; what is the point of disagreement?

I wouldn't call it a rare argument, as its rather well accepted. The idea that the imagery used is metaphorical comes from a number of clues within the imagery itself. First of all, when Jesus refers to "hell" in passages like Matthew 5 or Mark 9, the Greek is the word Gehenna. The Valley of the Son of Hinnom, from which the word comes, was a place mentioned in the Old Testament where followers of Baal sacrificed children by passing them through fire. The place was considered cursed by the Jews, and was later turned into a rubbish dump that continually burned day and night. The metaphor is invoking the imagery of this place. Other places in scripture hell is described as a bottomless pit or abyss, a lake, darkness, death, destruction, everlasting torment, etc. I mean, these all can't be literal descriptors of the place... you can't have a place that's both an abyss, or a bottomless pit, and a lake of fire, you can't have fire, and also a place of utter darkness. And other clear figures of speech are used throughout the Bible, so it isn't only hell that is exempt from a literal interpretation. Hell then seems to be eternal separation from the creator, and this separation appears to cause anxiety and torment.

I suppose the point of disagreement then is that some read the Bible in a more literal sense than others even where the Bible does not exactly grant an overly literal reading. I've seen both Christians and atheists read the Bible from an overly literal perspective. Most of the time, this is because they're reading the book as if it were written yesterday. When reading the Bible, or any ancient work, its needful to understand the historical context, the genre, and the original audience. Same is true of works written in the 1800s. You can't read Romance literature of the 1800s without some background on the context and the intentional use of metaphor and symbolism, so why expect you can with a book thousands of years older.

>is that similar to the jewish position at all?

The NT view would be a Jewish view (specifically, Jews of the Hellenistic period) since the NT was largely authored by Jews.

>how much does scripture play a role in these conceptions as opposed to tradition?

I'd say that scripture plays the larger of the roles. Tradition has added some concepts like Purgatory, and then later in Dante's Inferno we have all sorts of new imagery added that people use in popular media, but all of that can be stripped away by looking at what the Bible actually has to say.

If you're seriously interested in this subject, I think theologian, NT Wright's book, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church is a terrific, and easy to read introduction into the actual beliefs by both ancient Jew and Christians on the nature of the afterlife. Its only $17 something on Amazon right now.

u/concernedcitizen7 · 3 pointsr/Christianity

Praying With The One You Love

Surprised By Hope

The first one I am currently reading with my fiancee and I highly recommend to strengthen your relationship with your girlfriend and with God.

The second is one I just received yesterday in the mail. I know there's some debate on his New Perspective of Paul but from what I've read, one of his greatest works is Surprised By Hope and is something everyone can appreciate.

u/imjorman · 3 pointsr/gaming

Nope, you're incorrect. The idea of an eternal soul and "evil" body that perishes is modern Christian thought that is a concession to platonic philosophy. It's our own little form of gnosticism.

Most Christians get it wrong and like this idea of fleeting to heaven when, in fact, there is no scriptural evidence to support the idea that Christians sorta peace out. You can blame the "Left Behind" series of books for that.

Anyway, if you'd like further reading into the scholarship that is trying to change that thought, I'd recommend you check out N.T. Wright's "Surprised by Hope" as he attempts to correct this issue (

But yeah, Chocobean shouldn't really have even said anything, the original comment was pretty funny and didn't need nickled and dimed based on its theology.

u/ransom00 · 3 pointsr/Christianity

>If we are as freely able choose as God, how is God punished if he fails to love us? In fact, how is God punished for failing to love Esau? Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” (Romans 9:13)

I don't really understand your sentence. How does our ability to choose have to do with God being punished? Or even with us being punished?
We only punish ourselves by not choosing God, since it keeps us from living the abundant life we could have if we did.

As for Jacob and Esau, that's a quote of Malachi 1. In that prophecy, God is answering Israel's claim that God hasn't loved them, but showing how he has favored them in land over "Esau," which means the Edomites. Esau was understood to be the father of that people group. This doesn't mean that God literally hated the person Esau.

Likewise in Romans, Paul is quoting that to make a theological point about who is "in" as regards Israel, saying that simply being a physical descendant of Abraham doesn't make you a part of the family. It also shows that God in his wisdom chooses certain people for certain purposes, and that that is God's free choice.

Thus, this has nothing to do with whether or not God actually loved the actual person Esau. God clearly loves all people and wants them to love him back (1 Tim 2:4, for example).

>And who was the ultimate author of that temptation. Who allowed the serpent into the garden just as he allowed Satan to torture Job?

God does not tempt us (James 1:13). Satan does, because God allows him to. (I'm not sure I believe in a literal powerful evil being like Satan, but I do believe in evil spiritual forces.) Permitting something to happen is not the same as causing it. As for Job, God only allowed Job to be so tempted, because he had confidence that Job would remain faithful and not curse God.

>There you go again with that word "naturally", as though Jesus had nothing to do with it. Jesus personally cursed Adam and Eve for eating of the fruit (Genesis 3).

First of all, why do you keep referring to Jesus as the agent here? Jesus means the Second Person of the Trinity incarnate in a man, which hadn't yet happened...

God is not the "first cause of sin." Humans are the ones who sinned. God did not make them do so. God enforced the consequences of sinning, which are "natural" in the sense that they are a necessary consequence of doing things our way instead of God's way. I suppose you could get into the theoretical questions about whether or not God had to have created the universe in such a way that disobedience led to certain consequences, but that's a pointless question since there is no way to know the answer.

Per your obvious anger about God's command that they kill, I don't have an obvious answer. It's confusing to me, too. I could hazard a guess, but I'm not sure I even believe that, so I won't.

>Matthew 7:13-14 says that only a few humans will ever be saved. What kind of a dip shit god can only manage a .125 batting average?

That isn't exactly what it says. God doesn't manage a saved/unsaved batting average. God draws all people to himself, but some people refuse to accept him. Jesus isn't saying God damns anyone to the road that leads to destruction, he just says few people find it. If you've been outside of your house recently, you'll probably notice not many people are finding that road based on the number of assholes in the world.

Also, there are several people who think that eventually all will be saved. I'm not sure I buy that argument, but it is a viable option I think. Check out the book Love Wins for a very recent expression of it. (He makes good points, but his writing style is atrocious.)

Finally, we are under the curse of sin without our choosing, but it was our "parents" in the human race who caused that to be, not God. God is working out it in his time frame, but there are signs of the way things are in many miracles as well as acts of love and service in the name of Jesus. God, in his mercy, allows the human race to continue so that his church can witness to his name in hopes that all will be saved. Eventually, Jesus will return to inaugurate his reign whether anyone likes it or not, but when that will be no one knows.

u/TheDGJ · 3 pointsr/todayilearned

I recently read a fantastic book on just this subject - Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. Written by a fairly progressive minister, its about how little of what most popular Christian discourse on judgment and afterlife is actually founded in scripture.

I thought it was great. Currently has 3.5 stars on Amazon; I'd bet a nickel that many of the 161 1-star reviews are from fundamentalists who disagree with his message.

edit: 3 minute youtube teaser -

u/sirsam · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

> Were there/are there today sects of Christianity that don't emphasize hell very much, if at all?

There are actually Christians that don't believe in Hell (Unitarian Universalists come to mind), but that's not true of most denominations that you'll encounter in the US. A pastor named Rob Bell actually published a book recently which suggested that all people might be eventually saved, even after death. It was controversial, and he got torn to shreds by some better biblical scholars.

But that's all very current and you're asking more about the development of the doctrine. I suggest reposting this question in /r/Christianity; there are many scholars there better educated than I, and I'm sure it would provoke some excellent discussion.

u/BayronDotOrg · 3 pointsr/changemyview

> I know people will say "but some Christians support gays rights" yes, that's absolutely, but this support come from cherry picking the Bible.


One thing to understand is that just about every perspective about the bible is the result of cherry picking. The argument goes something like this:


  • Person A: "The teachings in the bible are good!" (insert verses about love and acceptance)

  • Person B: "You're ignoring all the bad stuff." (insert verses about sin and judgment)


    Both people here are ignoring the verses that don't support their positions. If you're going to use Leviticus, then Christianity doesn't hate you any more than it hates people who braid their hair, shave their beards, sell their land, or eat animal fat. How is it that Christians don't see any of those things as sin, but homosexuality is? That's a human distinction, not a biblical one.


    The bible isn't the divinely inspired word of God, it's not inerrant, and it never claims to be. People made that claim long after it was written. It's best to think of the Bible not as a book of ultimate truth, but as a library of poems, letters, songs, and myths that we can use to make sense of our experience.


    It's the menu, not the meal.


    I feel your reservations about respecting the religion are grounded in a pushback against those who think every word of their modern, 20th Century English translation of these ancient texts is to be taken at face value and followed to the tee.


    This simply isn't how the religion is supposed to work.


    More and more of us are moving to a place where we don't think of God as a fixed point, but as more of a direction. And so we no longer see Christianity as a fixed set of lifestyle choices and beliefs, but as a fluid, ever-evolving journey to connect with the Divine.


    The Greek word "Theos" comes from the Greek "Theo" which means to run or flow.
    Our word Spirit comes from the Latin "spirare," meaning breath. The very idea of God is one of movement, rhythm, oscillation, expansion and contraction. When living organisms stop doing these things, it's because they're dead. So whenever an institution sets out to crystallize God, it starts killing God.


    BUT, books like Rob Bell's Love Wins and John Philip Newell's The Rebirthing of God paint a more optimistic picture of the future of the Christian faith - a future in which Christianity is understood to be a living, breathing organism that continues to evolve and mature.


    I guess my point in saying all this is that I think your real problem is with the bible, not the religion, so don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. You quoted a couple verses in Matthew about the law, but you missed this one: "Do to others what you want them to do to you. This is the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets." That basically says if you read the law and consequently become a bigot, you've missed the whole point.


    Don't think Christianity is about bigotry, just because a shitload of Christians do. Yes, Moses wrote a list of rules for the Levites to follow, and yes, Paul wrote a letter with commandments to a church in Corinth. But there's no reason to act as though those letters were written to us. "Person A told Person B that God wanted them to do X 2000 years ago, therefore God also wants me to do X today." That's ridiculous, and a lot of us have come to realize that.


    Humanity has evolved in the past 2000 years, and Christianity is admittedly a bit slow on the uptake, but we're evolving too. So instead of writing it off as hateful and destructive, I'd follow Wayne Gretzky's famous advice, and look where the puck is going, rather than where it is.
u/mycleverusername · 3 pointsr/InsightfulQuestions

If you haven't read it; I highly suggest Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett. It's an entire book dedicated to this question.

u/Quadell · 3 pointsr/AskAnthropology

Here are some books that may help.

u/lipidsly · 3 pointsr/sjwhate

Charles murray, author of the bell curve:

Although this focuses on the white working class, this is a critical component of the analysis

Camille Paglia, noted feminist:

These two would be considered fairly “oppositional” to each other

However, there is plenty of research from many think tanks showing the decline of the family and some possible reasons for it from AEI to Brookings

u/Rostin · 3 pointsr/ChristianApologetics

I think I've heard more than one systematic theologian define it as the effort to make Christian doctrine comprehensible to a contemporary audience. That definition may be technically a good one, but I think it's also potentially misleading. It makes it sound as though systematic theology is almost a form of evangelism, where theologians try to address their audience's "felt needs." That's not a good description.

If you actually read a work of systematic theology, such these by Wayne Grudem or Louis Berkhof, you'll see that they are a topic-by-topic explanation of what, in the view of the author, Christianity teaches. Conventionally they begin with "theology proper", which is the study of God himself: the doctrine of the Trinity, God's perfection, His omniscience, omnipotence, etc. They'll cover things like the nature of revelation, creation, the fall, salvation, and so on. Usually it's not just the author sharing his thoughts. He's interacting with and responding to the work of his contemporaries and to concerns that contemporary people have with respect to Christian doctrines.

u/kcolttam · 3 pointsr/DebateAChristian

The Case for Christ - Once past the first chapter or so, this book falls into stride, and has interviews with lots of really intelligent people. As a former athiest, seeing/interacting with people more intelligent than myself that are Christians was the largest contributing factor to me opening up to the idea of God. Either way, bravo for at least wanting to see what all the fuss is about!

u/thenewyorker1 · 3 pointsr/AdamCarolla

back in the loveline days, and pre 9-11, he was pretty vocal about the Christian right, especially as it pertained to the morning after pill / abortion debate. he once said something on this podcast about the different types of atheists there are, to summarize 'An atheist like me doesn't believe in anything, an atheist like Penn Gilette HATES GOD.' which i find funny, but also accurate. there are types out there that rage against theism, what Christopher Hitchens called anti-theists in his book God is Not Great.

aceman is just a guy who was raised with no religion and reason to buy into one or create one, he's just a man looking out for what's pragmatic.

u/mrstickman · 3 pointsr/vegetarian

Christopher Hitchens, in his book God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, devotes a short chapter to pigs. It's a cogent bit of prose.

Oh look, here's a reading of that chapter.

u/kent_eh · 3 pointsr/atheism

> Words to live by.

Or to write about even.

u/k3x_z1 · 3 pointsr/atheism

Used by God Sorry OP

Buy this to your mother, and watch yourself get kicked of your house :P

u/atheistcoffee · 3 pointsr/atheism

Congratulations! I know what a big step that is, as I've been in the same boat. Books are the best way to become informed. Check out books by:

u/mrbergis · 3 pointsr/atheism

I'd suggest God is Not Great to really get under their skin. While they may not get past the title, there are some very eloquent arguments in there that don't stem from a scientific viewpoint.

u/Additup · 3 pointsr/atheism

Believing in the sky fairy is for those who do not want to think for themselves and need an imaginary friend who always listens to them. Organized religion has caused so much pain in the world and hopefully eventually society can move past it

u/lanemik · 3 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

Recommended reading material:

God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

The End of Faith

If Christians were closeted, if they kept their morality judgments to themselves, if they did not push for laws to enforce this version of morality, if they did not actively seek to disparage atheists for no other reason than for refusing to believe in the invisible thing in the sky that they believe in, then I'd have no reason to give a shit about what Christians believe. What does or does not happen to my consciousness after I die is absolutely immaterial.

u/Oltima · 3 pointsr/nonmonogamy

You cheated and that can't be taken back. I would suggest you do research in the phsycology behind why you felt the need to cheat. Most couples can satisfy about 80% of their partners needs and wants. You may have felt compelled to cheat because the other woman offered the 20% your wife doesn't and it feels shiny and new. That shiny newness will go away eventually. Chasing the "golden haired woman" is a mistake. You are most likely not in love with this other woman. You probably have a love for the newness and the heightened levels of dopamine your brain gives you for finding a new mate. Again that will go away.

10 years ago you loved your wife enough to commit vows to spend a lifetime together. Think about that. YOU LOVED SOMEONE SO MUCH THAT YOU VOWED TO STAY WITH HER TILL DEATH! That woman is still there. Taking your marriage to a non-monogamous point just so you can continue your affair is very shady and doesn't solve the real problem. It will most likely tear you two apart due to the mistrust, and there is no guarantee that your wife will be open to non-monogamy.

Divorcing your wife would be a mistake as well. First she didn't do anything wrong so you shouldn't want to hurt her. Second your kids deserve better.

This will be an unpopular opinion but NEVER TELL HER YOU CHEATED! Why? Because it will tear her heart out. I've been cheat on before. It hurts... A lot! Don't put her through that, and don't pull the I need to clear my conscious BS either. Breaking her heart so you can feel better is despicable. And don't for one second think leaving your wife for this other woman will somehow be a better option. She has already shown you she is OK with cheating because she knows about your wife. Plus she knows you are a cheater and the whole relationship would be built on mistrust.

You need to leave the other woman and go back to your wife and family. Be the man she deserves and put effort into re-igniting the passion that you had when you married her. If you are feeling the flame dim on the passion and romance you better believe that she does too. Talk to her. Find things you can do to bring that flame back.

Here are some starter suggestions
-Does she like shopping? Take her shopping! Go with her. Yeah its boring to be a man in a Woman's shoe store, but I bet you did it while dating. Its not about spending money its about spending time.

-Is there an activity she wants to do but you don't like IE: hiking or swimming or a road trip. Do it for her. I'm not saying do something you will regret, but something small that she is into and you have declined in the past.
Real life example: My wife wanted to drive 400 miles on a particular freeway because it was a "scenic drive". I hated the idea and she knew it, but she loves that I did it anyway for her. I'm not saying be a pushover and do everything that she wants all the time, but let her have those moments from time to time.

-Do you have a little extra padding? Start exercising and very subtlety let her know its because you want to look as sexy as you can for her. Do not suggest she join your exercising but do invite her if she asks to join. Do not try to be her coach. Let her make any fitness mistakes she wants if she joins your routine. Unless of course she is doing something that will hurt her.

-Sit down and have a long talk about how you feel. Be careful not to verbally attack her. This is where "I" statements help.
"I feel that we could have more passion", "I want to know what I can do to strengthen our relationship", "I feel like we could do more to strengthen our bond", "I want to [any action or result] and want your help/opinion to achieve [said action or result] ect. If you use the word "you" then that talk may turn into a fight. Example of what not to say- "You never do [ ] anymore", "You do [ ] to much", ect. you get the idea.

So much can be achieved when couples just sit down and express what they are feeling inside. What to take a giant leap of faith? Ask her this question " What is it like being married to me"... I know terrifying. Then shut up and listen. Do not argue and do not interrupt. No "yes buts". Internalize what she tells you. Acknowledge what you have done wrong and express a desire to work with her as a team to resolve anything.

-Couples/ Marriage counseling or similar third party interventions. Most couples shy away from this sort of thing but it helps. You don't have to go for long periods of time. Even one session will go a long way towards helping. Here is a book that I think would help. and here is the female side You should read them both. Yes they have Christian ties but even if you are not a Christian the ideas and principles are still very valid. There is also a boot camp that goes with the book and if you can attend/ afford it you and your wife should go. Here is the link. . I promise you the bootcamp it not a touchy feely lets hug and have a talk about our feelings event. It is a "this is how to be an awesome man" fun filled weekend. Campfires, cigars, gormet meals, archery, guns, and outdoor man movies to go with what they teach. Whatever you choose to do don't be embarrassed to seek guidance from a professional.

-When you two have sex do you make love passionately? or are you just masturbating inside her? Don't use her for sex... Give her what only you as a loving husband can give to her. Massage her body, caress her legs, smack that ass, run scratch marks down her back, whisper sexy dirty things in her ear, dust off your tongue and give without receiving. I don't know what she likes but you do. If for some reason you don't then ask her to guide you. Make her feel like a sex god. I challenge you to only penetrate when she is so turned on that she won't take no for an answer.

-Kids taking all your time? Get a sitter or send them to summer camp or a similar event that gets them away from you for several days. Your kids are important but so is your wife. A loving healthy relationship with her is great for your kids to see. Don't put your kids before your wife! She should hold more importance. Set a weekly time that you spend with only your wife. No kids allowed. It can be as simple as one night a week that the kids can't be in the living room while you two enjoy the TV (or other activities) just the 2 of you. And be firm if they try to butt in or suddenly start doing things to get your attention. Same goes for pets. Get them away.

There is a ton of other things but these are the basics and the overall idea is to spend more time with your wife. If you are having trouble finding that wonderful person you fell in love with then you better search harder. If you can't find gold with a shovel then you better get a bulldozer.

I promise you any effort you put into your wife and marriage will be reciprocated in full. It probably won't be instant, but she will respond in kind. This is about you too. You are going to feel fantastic knowing you can offer her your strength and power and love as a man.

Last point- Non-monogamy in all its forms is not a bandage that fixes troubled relationships. It is an experience that two loving people choose to do together to enhance what is already a healthy strong relationship. If/When you bring back that flame and you start seeing your wife as the "golden haired" woman then you can try non-monogamy. Do it as a team, together as a loving trusting couple. My wife and I swing. Not because we need things from other people, but because we enjoy sharing the experience.

I hope this does not come across and condemning or condescending. I believe in redemption and I wish you the very best of luck.

TL:DR: Don't take the easy rode. Fight for your wife.

u/Crttttt · 3 pointsr/tumblr

You joke but I actually used to own this

u/WoollyMittens · 3 pointsr/TrueAtheism

That's literally an argument I've seen made, I think in "Not enough faith to be an Atheist."

u/ioinc · 3 pointsr/atheism

I actually read the book..

u/Anenome5 · 3 pointsr/Christianity

Here's a good start: [I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist](

I too was raised Lutheran, and I too am a man of science, logic, fact. I've been convinced by the evidence and do not struggle with trust in God.

There is hard evidence out there, ie: Josh McDowell's "Evidence that Demands a Verdict"

And in the philosophic and scientific origins cases in the first book I linked. What also compels me is the case against biogenesis. I have never been able to accept the agnostic argument for how life arises from non-life. Most accept it on the basis of materialism, but materialism is an unproved assertion. And knowing something about chemistry and the function of even the simplest cells, there's no way life can come from the primordial soup they want to imagine it came from.

I also recommend Classic Christianity to escape many of the doctrinal errors you, like me, were likely raised in via Lutheranism (ie: in and out of fellowship via sin, etc.).

Anyway, good luck with your quest for truth. You'll find answers.

u/alcalde · 3 pointsr/DebateReligion

>And no one has the evidence to disprove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

They do, and have already done so.

God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist

u/efrique · 3 pointsr/atheism

You might also like to check out some of the links on r/atheistgems (start with the FAQ there).

Maybe check out NukeThePope's book list -

of the ones he has there, I guess I'd suggest (after the ones I mentioned before in my other comment) starting with these: (or, there's this essay)

as addressing particular criteria you mentioned in your post


Here's something for you to ponder: what are good criteria for evaluating the claims of other religions (say, starting with Islam, but including any religious claims, including those of say Scientology)?

What happens if you apply those criteria to the claims of Christianity?

u/CoyoteGriffin · 3 pointsr/Christianity

Yes, I think someone has noticed.

u/Angelbabysdaddy · 3 pointsr/TrueOffMyChest

Living Buddha, Living Christ was an excellent book for those that really struggle with what you mentioned a couple comments up the chain. Hahn is a buddhist that also became a christian and this book describes really well his journey through all that. I highly recommend this one, too.

u/Miragoat · 3 pointsr/atheism

I want to jump in and say that there's (imo) a great book written on the evolution of the three Abrahamic religions, and it's not written with the tone of a religious person. Here's the Amazon page.

u/darksmiles22 · 3 pointsr/atheism

Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus, Karen Armstrong's A History of God abbreviated in part of Evid3nc3's youtube deconversion series though with a few unfounded theological assumptions according to this guy, and Wikipedia articles on the documentary hypothesis and historical Jesus are all good.

P.S. It looks like I am late to the Ehrman and Armstrong parade :(

u/blairop · 3 pointsr/history

Check out Karen Armstrong's books on the subject. Very scholastic yet still original and interesting.

"A History of God" and "Fields of Blood" are great introductions that still get in depth into the subject matter.

Found them to be very good.

u/troutb3 · 3 pointsr/atheism

3.3.3 Atheism: A History of God (Part 1) by Evid3nc3. Very good video. Much of the subject matter is from A History of God by Karen Armstrong.

u/extispicy · 3 pointsr/atheism

I believe he strongly relies on Karen Armstrong's "A History of God" for his videos. I've not seen it myself, but there is a documentary based on the book.

Sometimes I feel like a broken record mentioning these videos so often, but you really can't go wrong with these Yale Univeristy Religous Studies courses. The Hebrew Bible professor is especially good, and it sounds like the history focus you are looking for.

u/tonytwobits · 3 pointsr/Christianity

I am at 3 years and counting. I am now 24. I am in the same boat as you in some ways. I NEVER thought that I could be an atheist and was incredibly involved in the church. I fully believed it and VERY much enjoyed it. Youth group, men's group, worship team, mission trips the whole works. But now, like you it is hard for me to imagine being swayed back.

For a while I wanted it to be true. After a while that began to fade as I realized how much bigger the world is without the god of the Bible. I am so much happier now. I guess a better way to describe it is I am much more satisfied and feel much more fulfilled about my life. I know it is a bit cheesy and dramatic, but this video had a big effect on me as I became an atheist. One line in particular addressed this feeling of wanting god to be true:
> Could it be that someone promised us something so beautiful that our universe seems dull, empty, even frightening by comparison?

At first that is kind of how I felt. I was promised heaven. I was promised that I was going to live forever with the creator. However, another part of the video addressed this and is one of my favorite lines:

>We were told long ago and for a long time that there was only the Earth—that we were the center of everything. That turned out to be wrong. We still haven’t fully adjusted. We’re still in shock. The universe is not what we expected it to be. It’s not what they told us it would be. This cosmic understanding is all new to us. But there’s nothing to fear. We’re still special. We’re still blessed. And there might yet be a heaven, but it isn’t going to be perfect. And we’re going to have to build it ourselves.

I know that I will never be as sure about my atheism as I was about my Christianity. But I have learned that is a good thing. It was un-healthy how sure I was in Christianity. Nobody can honestly be a true gnostic atheist and that is ok.

I will say however that I can be pretty sure that the god of the Bible is not god, but to say that I am 100% sure that there is no god is a irrational statement to say.

I did a lot of studying as I was becoming an atheist. Honestly I know the Bible better now that I ever did as a Christian. The more I learned the more unsure I was about Christianity.

There is a book you might like. It is called a A History of God. I am reading it right now and it is very good and I recommend it.

How do you feel now as a atheist? About life? About yourself? I am just wondering because I wonder if it was some of the same things I felt. I like talking to people as they are changing their world view in one way or another :)

u/plissken627 · 3 pointsr/DebateReligion

Am I still going to believe the bible is the errant man-made inspired word of with all of the [contradictions,]
( cruelty and violence, absurdity intolerance etc, and that's just in the new testament, don't even get me started on the old testament (it's on the sidebar in that site.)

And the the fact that it is generally agreed by archaeologists, historians and theology studies and evidence that the Israelite religion was derived from Babylonian polytheistic mythology.

u/falor42 · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

A History of God is a good source to explore the polytheistic roots of Judaism. It uses writing style correlation to map "authors" and revisions in the Old Testament and follows the eventual emergence of YAWH as the sole deity of the Jewish people.

u/mobydikc · 2 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

> So what? What does a vendetta against religion have to do with the truth of the claims being made by religious people?

It's a little hard to be unbiased in such a state.

> Do you agree that generally speaking, an argument stands or falls on its merits regardless of who is making the argument or their goals?

More or less. It's common to think that if anyone wants to make a point, they need to supply rock solid premises and use only deductive logic to reach conclusions.

But there is more to truth than logic. Science, for example, doesn't follow strict boolean logic. Hypotheses are proposed and compete and evolve.

> What is common Christianity? What are these low hanging fruits you speak of? Is there an uncommon Christianity? What does that look like?

If you honestly want to know, try "A History of God" by Karen Armstrong. That helped me realize that the ideas you get about God as a kid are not at all what the story is about.

u/Weirdsauce · 2 pointsr/atheism

I'm upvoting the fuck out of you... and by that i mean, precisely one upvote because... well, apparently that's all i can upvote.

Edit: This book: A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam is worth reading.

u/d3b105b · 2 pointsr/Antitheism

Bart Ehrman has some good books, I would also recommend A History of God by Karen Armstrong. She goes through the whole history of god from Abraham and up to Islam. It's really interesting, but I found it to be a pretty tough read so you might need to go through it slowly.

u/jstalin_x · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Have you read a history of god? It's not exactly what you are looking for but it does a good job of chronicling the evolution of Mesopotamian myths, through Judaism, into Christianity, and then into Islam.

I would highly recommend reading books scholarly opposed to looking at websites. The amount of research and the quality of information is much higher in books on the subject. Just remember the more books you read on the same subject the more easily it will be to pick up on the bias. Here is a quick list of some books to try.

u/parasoja · 2 pointsr/atheism

>How do you propose the universe came about?

What you're doing here is engaging in what's called the "god of the gaps" argument, in which gaps in our current understanding of the universe are filled with "god". There are two problems with this. The first is that "god" does not follow from "we don't know". The second is that the realm of things which are assigned to god is continually shrinking. It used to be that god caused everything from weather to disease to the changing seasons, but now we know better. The only two things which used to be assigned to god and which we haven't yet come up with a definitive explanation for are abiogenesis and the origin of the universe.

Since we're working on those, and have several good ideas, this position is not tenable.

>Gonna tell me that Jesus/God is not real? Prove it.

Yes. The "one true god" of judaism, which later became the god of christianity, was invented in babylon around 600 BCE, during the babylonian exile. It was built from a combination of yahweh sabaoth, the polytheistic hebrew god of the armies, and el elyon, the god abraham worshiped and the chief god of the polytheistic cannanites.

I recommend reading A History of God. You may also wish to read up on the documentary hypothesis.

>Don't judge us.

We judge you because religion causes large amounts of harm in the real world.

>The Bible helps me. Try reading it.

Many atheists became atheists because they read the bible. Have you read it cover to cover?

u/runpmc · 2 pointsr/ainbow

I would recommend you read A History of God by Karen Armstrong, which contains evidence that the monotheistic practice of Judaism which eventually fathered Christianity stemmed originally from the cult of Yahweh, a Hebrew god of war.

This is the same god who in Genesis ordered Abraham to murder his own child and slew Onan for not putting his semen where he had been told. The same god in 2 Kings sent a pair of she-bears to murder a crowd of 42 children for making fun of a man's bald head. The same god in Numbers 31 instructed the Hebrews to "Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."

But above that, the very essence of Christian doctrine is the concept of "original sin"—that you are born evil and doomed to languish in torment and a lake of fire for eternity by default, unless your evil nature is paid for by a blood sacrifice. If that's not violent sadism, what is?

The only possible reason I can believe someone honestly believes Christianity to be a religion of peace is that they've not read their own book. Unless you suggest that the Bible is itself fallible or wrong in some way, in which case I have to ask why you'd bother with it in the first place.

u/Notasurgeon · 2 pointsr/atheism

You are seriously so much like my younger self it's a little scary. I grew up believing that I was a member of God's remnant church, and that came with all sorts of obligations. I honestly, earnestly believed this (and felt some guilt at my lack of motivation to pursue it), but like yourself I had all these other things I wanted to accomplish in life first.

If you feel like you don't have a ton of time to dig into some of the hard questions at the moment (or feel intimidated by not knowing where to start and how to determine which arguments are based on hot air and which actually have some solid dirt underneath them), I'd recommend grabbing a copy of A History of God by Karen Armstrong. It's cheap, relatively short, and extremely accessible. She's very well-respected, and as far as I know doesn't make any claims that aren't supported by consensus positions in their relevant fields.

u/cashmeowsighhabadah · 2 pointsr/exjw
u/The_Mighty_Atom · 2 pointsr/exchristian

>>Finally! do you have any good book recommendations? Again, thanks!

Ooh goody, I always love it when people ask for book recommendations. :)

Here's just the tip of the iceberg:

u/jasoncaspian · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

Sweet. Pretty much any book by Ehrman is super easy to read. He's an amazing author. My two favorites by him are Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them) and How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee if you feel like exploring him further.

Please let me know if you or your mother have any questions. I love discussing these topics.

u/seifd · 2 pointsr/atheism

If the Bible is the word of God, it'd have certain properties. I'd expect it to be right about the history and nature of the world. All evidence suggests that it isn't. Biblical understanding of history and nature is right in line with what you'd expect from ancient people.

I would expect God to be able to keep his facts straight. The Bible does not. From what I've read, scholars seem to have a pretty good handle on who wrote the various parts of the Bible based on the agendas revealed by these contradictions.

Finally, if the Bible was the word of God, all his prophecies would come to pass. They have not.

Finally, I'd like to note that there are Biblical scholars that hold this view. They include Robert M. Price, Bart D. Ehrman, Richard Elliot Friedman, and Burton L. Mack. I guess they're all misinformed too. If only they had studied the Bible.

u/mavaddat · 2 pointsr/atheism

Funny you should ask, since that is the subject of his latest book.

In short, yes, Ehrman believes that there was a first-century Jewish man named "Yeshua" (the proper English transliteration of the Aramaic ישוע, which we incorrectly call "Jesus") who made messianic claims, garnered a sizable following among his fellow Jews, and was probably crucified.

However, Ehrman has made a career out of demonstrating exactly how the New Testament is unreliable as a source of historical information (see for example, Misquoting Jesus or Jesus Interrupted).

If you're interested to learn more about his new book, here is a brief reading he did for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

For more on Ehrman's opinion on the reliability of the Gospels, see his debate with fellow New Testament scholar Craig Evans.

Hope that helps!

u/B_Master · 2 pointsr/atheism

The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings - Bart D. Ehrman

I didn't see anything by him in the FAQ but I think he's a great author on the topic of Christianity and The Bible; he started out as a biblical scholar before becoming an atheist.

Edit: That book is actually a bit heavy to start with, it reads like a text book. I'd recommend starting with Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why or Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible

u/throwawayaccount94 · 2 pointsr/ReasonableFaith

We have 4 things written 30+ years after an event, based on oral stories, that all say the event happened differently. It isn't a fact, because we don't for sure know it happened. We don't have video evidence, we don't have living witnesses. I can write something saying 30 years ago my friend was Batman, doesn't mean it's a fact.

I suggest you look at these two books.

u/captainhaddock · 2 pointsr/Christianity

The book I recommend most is Surprised by Hope by NT Wright. Among other things, it explains what the actual afterlife taught by Christ and the apostles is, which surprisingly few modern Christians are aware of, and portrays Christianity as life-centric rather than death-centric.

u/jimforge · 2 pointsr/Christianity

It's a complex question with a complex answer. If we take our sources seriously, then our first clue lies in the Ascension in Acts 1. After Jesus moves up into the clouds, two angels appear and tell the Eleven that Jesus will return in the same way he left. So, we either take this that he will descend back down, or it will be a shocking event that we don't expect.

Acts 2 includes the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, which could be construed as the return, but that requires a reading of John, which Luke would not have and thus likely should not be considered an interpretation of the text.

Okay, but what about what Jesus said, because that's what really matters, right? Well, we have only a few bits of text outside of the Olivet discourses. As for those, Matt 24-25, Mark 13, Luke 21, they are a bit crazy. You have what appear to be clear allusions to the sack of Jerusalem, which make sense in regards to the prompt for the whole discussion regarding the stones of the Temple. But then comes the more abstract notions of things passing away or the goats and the sheep, so how literal do we need to be regarding all of this?

Honestly, allegorize it, because Paul does with the Thessalonians in his second letter. Heck, that's what the Church historically has done with this material. The key is not how Jesus returns, but that he will return.

So, how come Jesus never came back? Because it isn't the time to come back. We're almost done getting his name to every language on this planet, and we may have other people among the stars to tell as well. I mean, Christianity grew silently for the first three hundred years, spurted out for a century in the Roman Empire, silently again until 1500 with colonialism, though I would contend that the true growth in that regard, much like in Rome, came also silently through the true-hearted missionaries and Christians who lived the faith.

Here's an excellent book that I think really encapsulates eschatology and the mission of the church. I know I used quite a few odd words, so if you have questions, I'd be happy to clarify or expound a bit more.

u/Im_just_saying · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Read N.T. Wright's Surprised by Hope. Oh, several Bible texts talk about the Second Coming. Acts 1 comes to mind.

u/NiceneNerd · 2 pointsr/Christianity

If you want something really good pertaining to the topic at hand, I recommend N. T. Wright's excellent book Surprised by Hope. It is the best articulation I've seen of a Biblical view of heaven and resurrection and whatnot (or, to use Wright's phrase, "life after death and life after life after death).

u/yxboom · 2 pointsr/Christianity

>We will actually be living on New Earth, and I believe (though I don't have a lot of evidence for this) that we will have a profession and be part of a society. This existence will be infinitely better than our current one because we will be in constant contact with our creator, but I think it will be anything but dull or repetitious.

NT Wright does an excellent job of exploring this in Surprised by Hope.

u/gabroll · 2 pointsr/Christianity

For what it's worth, it appears as though a couple people downvoted you, not the enitirety of /r/Christianity.

And I hope to answer your lofty question from an individual's perspective, that is, my own. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I am inclined to believe my faith is shared by Christians who have studied and know their faith, rather than 'cultural Christians' who in my opinion comprise the majority of 'Conservative Right Wing' movements that always get so much air time.

On to my answer. I have heard that all behavior is results driven. This is a larger, more philosophical discussion to be had I'm sure, but let's assume this for the sake of simplicity. Agnosticts, Atheists, Christians, Mormons, Hindus... Our motives may differ in divisive ways, but ultimately they are all for a purpose. A goal. If you look specifically at theists, many are motivated ultimately by fear of judgement or anticipation of reward. Buddhists argue reincarnation to enlightenment, Mormons argue levels of heaven to world ownership, many Christians argue hell to heaven, although I would assume the majority of any of these faith's members do not know well enough the dogmas they both practice and preach.

Being a Christian myself, I am of the inclination that there is a 'reward' and a 'judgement' awaiting each of us, but only as it pertains to our Creator. I should clarify what I mean. I am entirely against the idea of 'heaven' and 'hell' being metaphorical allegories as promoted by a user above (who is not Christian but instead a member of The Course which is far more New Age than Judaistic in nature.) and I believe them to be actual destinations despite our having very little clarification for either. Hell is originally mentioned in different contexts (due to the English lack of similar Hebrew/Greek words, the same with 'love', etc) but certainly not enough for us to make wholesale accounts for the who/what/why/hows of it. I see that 'heaven' is mentioned in more specific context, and yet scripture equally promotes the idea that we clearly have no real concept of what it will be other than an intimate proximity to God. If hell is the opposite, it is not a place created by God, intended for His failures (nor is that descriptive of the character of God in scripture), it is the separation from Him in that it is the propitiation and eventuality of people's denying Him. People don't recognize him here, so He does not force fellowship with Himself later.

Scripture already echoes this in Psalm 81:12, Romans 1:24, etc, when it says "[He] gave them over to their sinful desires." This nods directly to the argument of free will v. predestination, but in essence God loves us and wants to be with us and has provided an easy way to do so that does not have to do with action, but our hearts. Our fellowship with our Creator is more so a challenge of our own individual pride than a call to 'stop smoking' or 'stop drinking.' He merely asks that we deny our pride and acknowledge His Son as having paid our penalty that we can be made flawless to enter in to fellowship with our flawless God. Romans 10:9 examines just how simple a step salvation can be, in that if you 'confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Addressing briefly the concept of works, it is commonly held by Christians that they bear not on our eventual evaluation by God, but rather are an evidence of our faith and proximity to a holy God.

Let me wrap this up. A lot of Christians are still motivated either by anticipation of heaven or fear of hell. Those motivated by 'fear' suffer an unhealthy relationship with God and a misguided perspective of him. And some of those pining for heaven miss the mark as well, still being motivated by a subtle yet selfish hope for what they will get, from the incorrectly interpreted 'mansion' and 'street of gold' to even include our being with God. I don't think this is wrong, but I have found that I believe my faith to be true. Not true for me alone, but the all encompassing, effects-everything truth under which everyone is subject. Because of that, I am often motivated more by my serving God as it pleases Him than because I will benefit. And in that way I suppose it still pleases me that it pleases Him and dissect that as much as you want. As for your question, it is difficult to answer became I am motivated by logic and reason and it's so hypothetical, "What if you just discovered there were no heaven or hell?" I cannot fathom a scenario in which that would play out short of something that both dismisses my own years of study and experience and irrefutably proves that God does not exist in which case, I would not suspend belief but follow the truth (Which, for what it's worth I cannot imagine happening, but since we're discussing hypotheticals...). As for the 'All Dougs Go To Heaven' theology, there are already thousands of Christians who believe that. Rob Bell's "Love Wins" promotes such an outcome for us, however dubious his sources are. And in my personal opinion, if somehow I realized I have been misreading scripture and it led me to that conclusion, still I would be unmoved in my love for God and therefore others as it pertains to eternity, because God has still described and even modeled what is right in regard to our conduct with others. As tempting as a 'free pass' would be to my humanity, my interest in serving God (by His strength) would steer me from much of it. I am certain I would sin. I do currently. But ultimately I am in pursuit of His glorification not/more than my own.

EDIT: I accidentally a word.

u/JonZ1618 · 2 pointsr/askphilosophy

This book made a lot of waves recently among theists. He does argue that Hell is real, people can go there, and the Christian God is also real, but most of what is thought of regarding Hell is inaccurate.

u/whiskeybridge · 2 pointsr/exchristian
u/AlSweigart · 2 pointsr/atheism

"The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. Dawkins doesn't really go into anything new or original, but the strength of the book is that is a great, concise summary of all the beginning arguments for atheism.

I'd follow it with Daniel Dennett's "Breaking the Spell", also a good recommendation. Same goes for Carl Sagan's "A Demon Haunted World"

Christopher Hitchens is a bit vitriolic for some, but "God is not Great" has some nuggets in it.

I personally didn't like Sam Harris' "End of Faith" but I did like his "Letter to a Christian Nation".

For the topic of evolution, Talk Origins is great (and free)
Dawkin's "The Selfish Gene" is also a good read (and short). Not so short but also good are Dawkins' "Blind Watchmaker", "Climbing Mount Improbable" and "Unweaving the Rainbow"

u/0x7fff5fbff690 · 2 pointsr/atheistvids

It's mind-boggling isn't. Daniel Dennett wrote a book into his investigation into this question, from the perspective that religions are memes that act like evolved viral organisms, perfectly adapted to lodge themselves into the minds of those who are without the inoculation of critical thinking ability. Contained in this idea, is that many religions hijack our brains' mechanism to fall in love, meaning that religious believers are in love with their religion and are blinded to the reality of it. Pretty interesting read;

u/ForMePlease · 2 pointsr/tabc

God is Not Great. Getting it out there, I think it's probably one of the more inevitable ones.

Losing Faith in Faith and Godless each by Dan Barker.

Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel Dennett.

First ones that come to mind. I think a few theologians may be worth reading as well. Not sure what ones though. If Kent Hovind wrote a book, we could keep a facepalm count.

u/xmashamm · 2 pointsr/atheism

Book suggestion. Check out Breaking The Spell

It's a brilliant examination as religion as natural human evolution and really assisted me with better articulating some problems I have with religion.

u/Angry__Engineer · 2 pointsr/atheism

Recommended Reading

A History of God

Check that out.

EDIT: More broader then these are probably what you're looking for:

Religion is Natural

Religion is A Nautral Phenomenom

Since there have been tons of religions, it's kind of hard to fit them all into one book.

u/ManufactureofConsent · 2 pointsr/news

Your dad reads Charles Murray and other conservative/libertarian social scientists, too?

u/nogodsorkings1 · 2 pointsr/Economics

I would say all of the above, but I'm unsure on economic security. There is no demographic group that is poorer today in real terms than they were a generation ago, even if they aren't advancing near as fast as we would like.

There is a general consensus that getting married improves one's financial position, due to the division of labor and generally lower time preference that come with such a relationship. The nature of our current welfare system doesn't help - in controlled experiements were families randomly receive welfare, those receiving payments break up at a higher rate.

Charles Murray's recent book "Coming Apart" deals with exactly this sort of topic:

I think that internet has likely advanced these trends. In the 'real world', even with traditional values on the decline, there are still heavy social pressures to live certain lifestyles, and it's hard to move just to get away from the judgement of your neighbors. At the same time, if you're living a responsible married life focused on the future, you're also likely to be surrounded by people with similar values who reinforce your chosen path.

Moving life online has had the effect of accelerating 'liberal' values. Reddit is the best example of the internet formula in action, but the effect is the same almost everywhere. Attention is allocated very intensely, breifly, and semi-randomly. Speed is rewarded over quality. Outside of the smaller subreddits, the top posts are lowest-common-denomenator content that can be upvoted fast. It seems plausible to me that those who are coming of age in this culture will have relationships in a similar fashion, especially as those relationships are just more content experienced digitally.

At the same time, the positive community effect is being subverted. Any judgment can be avoided, and any validation obtained, on the social networks of the web. To the individual, all lifestyles are now effectively laid out on the table in front of him, with none being consistently labeled as 'the right way'. It should not surpise us that when short-term satisfaction is presented as an equal choice to long-term committment, few choose the longer-term option. (This has been studied as well). It is especially harder to keep to the 'slow' lifestyle when the internet offers an endless stream of other people living the 'good' life right now. Saving for retirement or future kids is not a very attractive option when you're bombarded with images of your friends new cars or vacations.

u/txgsync · 2 pointsr/financialindependence

> what are practical options to get out of poverty?

Save up enough to move somewhere where you can surround yourself with people who are better off and learn from them. My extended family is mostly hillbillies from West Virginia. The only ones to "make it good" were the ones who escaped the cycle by fleeing the state with family, friends, the military, or even all alone with nothing but a bus ticket, and an urgent desire to work as hard and long as necessary to break the cycle.

I am a child of a single mother who made that leap at enormous personal sacrifice, and am grateful to her for doing so.

Unfortunately, even making that move requires above-average intelligence. The technology economy has created an intellectual meritocracy. Since IQ is mostly -- or perhaps exclusively -- a heritable trait, we've in fact created a family-based caste system in the USA being spread in the name of "democracy" throughout the world.

Rebellion against this ostensibly meritocratic system and the intellectual elites self-interestedly promoting it as "equal" creates predictable populist sentiment ranging from the relatively benign, incompetent reign of Donald Trump to the genocide of suspected intellectuals by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

How does this relate to financial independence? It's in the best interest of anyone investing their money and intending to retire early to foster a stable society that can consistently profit and innovate. The society we've created is one with rich technologists at or near the top of the heap and a growing chasm of outrage dividing the political spectrum. How does one promote a financially-independent viewpoint in a way that enhances personal futures without destroying the social fabric that allowed its creation?

u/upcboy · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

I highly Suggest The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

u/philziegs · 2 pointsr/PersonalFinanceCanada

it all depends on the bank and individual, every bank has both good and bad financial planners, unfortunately the only way to find out is trial and error.....FP's quite often also wont take customers that dont have investment money, their main purpose in the banks is to deal with higher dollar value clients and help them come up with a plan for retirement and other major life events like kids college, starting a business, purchasing a vacation home etc....they are supposed to look at your entire financial situation and help you develop your financial strategy as it were.....typically every financial planner I have ever known in the bank (myself included) didnt work with beating debt for clients....reguar financial advisor (account manager or whatever they are called at your FI) should be able to do this for you, unfortunately the quality of a lot of them is even worse than the FPs.....if you want to try a financial officer go ask the receptionist to book an appointment, try to find who is booking the furthest in advance because they are most likely going to be the most experienced/longest tenured officer there and going to know more (assuming they are willing to help)......


I would highly highly recommend you check you a guy named Dave Ramsey he is one of the best resources I have ever seen and he lives for helping people get out of debt and build wealth the smart way....he is pretty extreme in some of his strategies but they do work! and if you dont want to follow exactly to the letter it just takes a little longer (eg. he says no going out to eat until you are outta debt, but my wife and I did while we were climbing out, we just made sure we budgeted for it elsewhere and it just made it a little longer getting out, but not by much if you stick to the budget)


This is the link for one of his best selling books, the link is amazon but you can get an e-version as well, its cheap and pretty entertaining and a great read cuz it walks you through the "baby steps" of getting out of debt and building wealth....he also does a daily radio show/podcast that is excellent to listen to and its free!


this is the hardcover and its only 20 bucks, i think the softcover is a little less...they carry his books in chapters and any major bookstore

u/completedumpsterfire · 2 pointsr/gis

You have a job and you haven't been there that long. Keep at it another year and it may or may not lead to another position at that same company. In the meantime, here is how you make sure that one year from now you can land any entry-level GIS job you want:

  1. Read this book, then start attacking your student loan with the power of 1000 suns.
  2. Keep working on SQL and python as well as HTML/CSS/JS as much as possible.
  3. Keep yourself unmarried, unpregnant, undogowning, and generally as responsibility-free as possible.
  4. Keep an eye on and see what sorts of jobs pop up around the country while thinking about possible relocations, more than just Texas.
  5. Keep your chin up, if you put in the effort it definitely gets better!
u/Artheon · 2 pointsr/personalfinance

I'm confused, because you say rent is $850 but he lives with you so really your rent is only $425 out of your $1400 take-home... which isn't as bad as I thought since your rent and utilities is 1/2 your income instead of 90%.

r/YNAB will help regarding using YNAB.

Nick True's YNAB tutorial:

Dave Ramseys YouTube channel:

Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover:

u/IvyRaider · 2 pointsr/CFB

Here you go. This, and Total Money Makeover changed my life (just don't listen to Ramsey's advice on mutual funds and stick with indexing per Bogle). Also, use YNAB to budget every cent that you come across.


  • save $1000 cash

  • snowball your debts

  • go back and save up to 6 months of bills (some suggest 12 months in this economy)

  • max your retirement. /r/personalfinance suggests the following

    a. contribute to your 401k up until company match

    b. contribute to your Roth until max

    c. go back to your 401k until you hit the limit

    d. now you can play with individual stocks

  • pay cash for everything. If you can't afford it, save.
u/KarthusWins · 2 pointsr/LGBTeens

My coming out experience was much more... sad.

We were coming home from church, after the pastor gave an ignorant schpeel about homosexuals that had little to no reflection on what the Bible really says. Usually I was able to deflect the anti-gay message whenever it came up, but that day was different. After being tortured by the pastor's harsh words, I felt like utter shit and just wanted to cry myself to sleep at home.

But... my brother wanted In-N-Out, so my mom drove us all the way there. I said I wasn't hungry, because I had lost my appetite and was feeling very depressed. My mom knew something was up at that point since I always got In-N-Out when it was an option. I ended up ordering a double-double with no cheese to quell her suspicions temporarily.

Once the car pulled into the garage, I got out and walked inside to my room. I shut the door and started to bawl my eyes out. I heard my mom asking where I went from the hallway, and she eventually opened my door to find me in a ball on my bed, a complete mess.

The next two hours were spent with me sobbing uncontrollably while slowly picking away at my burger. I explained everything to my mom, and she was more than accepting. My brother on the other hand seemed to be grossed out and didn't talk to me for the rest of the night.

In the end, my entire family has learned more about what the Bible really says about homosexuality, and they are very supportive of me. Even my brother, who was initially disturbed by the notion of his brother being gay, came around and told me that he loves who I am.

I would just like to recommend some very good books for people who are fighting between maintaining their Christian identity while staying true to who they are as LGBT. You don't need to throw away your faith.

What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality by Daniel Helminiak

God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships by Matthew Vines

UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question by John Shore

u/Dain42 · 2 pointsr/lgbt

When I initially came out, I was religious (Lutheran), and I actually came out with the help of my campus pastor in our Lutheran Student Community. I continued active participation in my religious community, and most of my pastors after that time were aware of my identity, so don't ever feel as if there's no place for you in religious communities. In the US, at least, mainline protestant denominations (Lutheran, Anglican/Episocopal, Presbyterian, UCC) often tend to be much more accepting than so-called "nondenominational" or Evangelical churches, but there aren't hard and fast guarantees.

(Just as full disclosure, I'm no longer religious, but it has nothing to do with my coming out, and much more to do with other philosophical changes and ideas.)

There has been a lot of good advice in this thread, so I really don't feel the need to repeat it. I do, however, want to share few resources that might be helpful:

  • Virtually Normal: An Argument about Homosexuality - This book by Andrew Sullivan is probably my favorite work about homosexuality and being gay. If you have a chance to read nothing else, this would be my recommendation. It presents four arguments from four different perspectives for and against homosexuality, then addresses what Sullivan feels are their flaws and where they are misapplied. Sullivan then attempts to synthesize his own philosophy of what it is to be gay. It's something that is a bit of a cliche, but this book really did change my life. (Sullivan is a gay Catholic political conservative — the real, intellectual kind, not the reactionary kind — who is married to a man, and while I don't always agree with him, I adore his writing and value his perspective.)

  • What The Bible Really Says About Homosexuality - This is a very good book covering the theological angle, looking at passages in the Bible, and analyzing the various translations and apparent meanings of the handful of passages that ever touch on homosexuality. I read this when I first came out. Eventually, when you come out to your family, this may be a helpful resource for them, as well. (As others have said, until you are financially independent, you should probably not come out to them.)

  • God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships - I've not read this book by Matthew Vines, but I have heard very good things about it. It may be helpful both now and down the line.

    In your situation, I understand it may be hard to get these books or read them, but if you can do so privately and safely, I'd highly recommend them as avenues for exploring your identity and giving you a theological and philosophical frame to think about your identity from. I'm not sure if you're worried about disapproval or punishment from divine or human sources when you say, "I'm afraid my own religion will punish me for something that I can't control," but in either case, you may find these helpful.
u/DC_Beaumont · 2 pointsr/lgbt

What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality is a great book, but it may put her on the defensive too quickly to really read it. It can be a good second book if you are doing a continuous swap, however.

u/uncaray · 2 pointsr/atheism

Read "What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality" and, if you're still inclined, you can happily be an openly gay Christian. I was for many years (before coming to, umm, additional conclusions).

In a nutshell, the translations (other than Leviticus) don't really support the anti-gay sentiments that have been attributed them in the last century. In fact, they are more closely associated with idolatry than sexual sins (i.e., local priests were hiring male prostitutes to assist them in sacrificing seed into bonfires for the Fire God, Molech...that kind of thing).

And if Sodom was all gay, why did Lot offer his daughters to the crowd to rape? Because the crowd wasn't entirely male. The Hebrew word for crowd changes to a masculine declension when a single man is present. Plus Christ supposedly even said, "The sin of Sodom was inhospitality." Inhospitality was the code of the desert, when life was so awful that if you weren't kind to a wandering stranger, you were a terrible person worthy of severe punishment. Turns out "sodomy" is a sincere misnomer and really doesn't even just mean "anal sex" in a legal sense, which should be telling (but noooooooo...).

UPDATE: Even Leviticus has to be reviewed in the context of keeping the tribe of Israelites procreating. Human sexuality was viewed as a mechanism, not as an innate construct. Freud and sexual psychology/physiology were hardly understandable at the time.

TL;DR: you CAN cling to your Christian beliefs and be gay. It's the idiots who cling to what their idiot pastors tell them is the word of God who are in the wrong. FYI: I'm an atheist now and unable to "backslide," as they say.

u/mawkishdave · 2 pointsr/atheism

Look at the reviews

u/burnerzero · 2 pointsr/atheism

tell them you looked deep into the bible and decided to follow this book for its authentic representation of biblical child-rearing

u/Anon_is_a_Meme · 2 pointsr/politics

I'm guessing Judge Adams owns this book.

u/dr_jan_itor · 2 pointsr/atheism


and you know who else is a FUCKED UP BASTARD? this guy.

u/manureddit · 2 pointsr/JusticePorn

It appears they followed the educational advice of Michael and Debi Pearl

Link to their book "To Train Up a Child"

u/MiscSher · 2 pointsr/exchristian

There's one called Leaving the Fold that I haven't read yet but am interested in reading myself. Looks to have good reviews and seems appropriate for my own situation, may also be helpful for yours.

Edit: formatting

u/septemfoliate · 2 pointsr/exchristian

If you like the linked article, consider this book which I have found extremely helpful.

u/cjskittles · 2 pointsr/ftm

I think it would be helpful for you to find a support group for LGBT+ people of faith. My tradition doesn't teach a literal hell, so I don't have a lot of advice for you on that part, but I do think that the needs of LGBT+ religious folk are very different from secular folk, and that it is a niche where special resources are necessary.

A book that can be helpful for people leaving a fundamentalist background is Leaving the Fold which addresses the issue of how automatic thoughts like "I'm going to hell" can lead to depression and trauma symptoms.

There's also but I have no idea what the community dynamic there is like.

u/skeletorhaha · 2 pointsr/exchristian

I don't have panic attacks and anxiety now, but I did when I was losing my faith. I coped by talking with an old youth group pal who was also losing his faith, lurking on atheist / ex-Christian forums, and going through a book called Leaving the Fold, all of which really helped me.

u/NikkiHS999 · 2 pointsr/exmormon

I've been out for 8 years now and I'm still struggling too, mainly because I have nobody to talk to about it either. There are no meetups near me, no therapists in my area who have ever heard of religious trauma syndrome.
The book Leaving the Fold has some really really good worksheets that helped me process things.

u/Alethia_Elric · 2 pointsr/exchristian

Instead of spending time and energy that I don't really have to answer what I could fill a book with, I'll drop some relevant quotes from Dr. Marlene Winell's book "Leaving the Fold", which I highly encourage you to read. Warning, I'm about to drop a lot of text to read. Read it in chunks if you have to. But if you really do want to understand, please read it all, even if you have to take breaks.

Disclaimer: the author uses the terms Christianity, conservative Christianity, and fundamentalism interchangeably even though she is aware that they are not synonyms. I have only selected quotes that are generally true of almost all branches of Western Christianity (Eastern Orthodoxy is a whole different animal). I have editorialised all instances to read "Christianity" for readabilities sake.

>In Christianity you are told you are unacceptable. You are judged with regard to your relationship to God. Thus you can only be loved positionally, not essentially. And, contrary to any assumed ideal of Christian love, you cannot love others for their essence either. This is the horrible cost of the doctrine of original sin. Recovering from this unloving assumption is perhaps the core task when you leave the fold. It is also a discovery of great joy—to permit unconditional love for yourself and others.


>Another devastating assumption of Christianity is that you are helpless and hopeless without the salvation formula. Within that belief system, the only capabilities you could hope to have have been outside of yourself. All the strength, wisdom, and love considered worth anything were to be channeled through you from God. Consequently, you may now feel like an empty shell, without any core, and you may still have a residual tendency to look outside yourself for security and satisfaction.


>The notion of personal responsibility in Christianity is a curious one. You are responsible for your sins, but you cannot take credit for the good things that you do. Any good that you do must be attributed to God working through you. Yet you must try to be Christ-like. When you fail, it is your fault for not “letting the power of God work in you.” This is an effective double bind of responsibility without ability.


>Christians are also made to feel guilty when they focus on their own priorities. It is seen as wrong and sinful to be aware of your feelings, honor your intuitions, or seek to meet you needs. You should be above this kind of selfishness and consider God first and then the group. But, since people naturally have needs and feelings, sincere Christians who want to avoid guilt must, in essence, annihilate themselves. This makes for more cooperative adherents.


>The pattern of indulgence and then remorse illustrated by [the Christian] compares to the behavior of an alcoholic or otherwise addicted individual. The religious addict is attached to the benefits of religion—the sense of righteousness, the social approval, and the emotional comfort—and yet is tempted to explore the forbidden. Because of pressure to stay on the straight and narrow path, decisions to deviate are made impulsively. Then the fear of consequences sets in and the cycle continues with shame and confession. The individual is thus trying to live two lives, engaging in the psychological pattern of “splitting.” Physical symptoms such as backaches, headaches, and sleeplessness can result.


>However, the adult child of the religious addict lives in this world and he sees another way to live, while at work and on television, in books and magazines or from friends. Occasionally he tries to live in both worlds, enjoying the worldliness of work and friendships, but also returning to the “righteousness” of home. This conflict leads to confusion, self-loathing and an eventual loss of control. Isolation, physical and mental breakdowns, drug abuse, eating disorders, sexual acting-out and violent outbursts of anger could arise—always followed by guilt, shame, and fear of God’s Judgment.


>The key is that you are considered fundamentally wrong and inept, beginning with the doctrine of original sin. Everything about you is flawed, and you desperately need to be salvaged by God. The damage to self is more than hurt self-esteem. Your confidence in your own judgment is destroyed. As an empty shell, you are then open and vulnerable to indoctrination because you cannot trust your own thinking. Your thoughts are inadequate, your feelings are irrelevant or misleading, and your basic drives are selfish and destructive. You cannot challenge the religious system because your critical abilities are discredited and your intuitions rendered worthless. Illustrating the dependence that is fostered, Jerry Falwell (1982) said, “Start your day off by ridding yourself of self-reliance.”


>Once you are a believer and no longer have your own mind to rely on, it becomes possible to accept everything you are taught. You can accommodate incredible problems in the religion because you need to avoid cognitive dissonance, as discussed earlier. The stretching of credulity in fundamentalist Christianity is a frequent occurrence. Followers are expected to believe contradictory, nonsensical, and offensive “true stories” in the Bible and church teachings. This serves to strengthen blind adherence because your intuitive reactions have been annihilated.


>These expectations for personal change and meaningful community are critical for many. Thus when they are not fulfilled, or not satisfied completely, doubt sets in about the system. This issue is far from straight forward, however. Because the individual self is so denigrated in Christian doctrine, failure to experience the benefits of Christian living is usually blamed on the individual. “You weren’t doing something right. You need to pray more,” they say. “Seek the Lord, He is teaching you something. Humble yourself.” This causes sincere believers to keep trying for many years, frustrated but self-blaming. Since many other Christians maintain a positive façade, it can seem as though others are succeeding. Believers go through tortuous cycles of guilt and repentance, trying to get it right. Church attendance and Bible reading can become compulsive as an effort to fend off doubt. Moments of joy and happiness do occur, but you wonder why good feelings cannot be sustained. Many a Bible study is about how to live a more “victorious life.”


>It [Christianity] also made me less able to love people, rather than more. I was supposed to be full of this love from God, which would make it easier to see people for what they really were, but I didn’t find that to be the case. I was so full of moral distinctions, and I was so anxious to say what I thought was true and to set myself apart and to say I’m a Christian and I think this and that and this is why. I found myself increasingly moralistic and harsh. I found it harder and harder to be friendly, and I became more and more socially isolated, which was just the opposite from what I had imagined.

I know that's a lot to read, but I hope you seriously read over these quotes. They're just a tip of the iceberg for me, and I could say quite a lot in my own words if I had the time or desire.

u/otakuman · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

I think "A History of God" by Karen Armstrong is a pretty good start; it covers Judaism, Christianity and Islam. About the ancient christian movements before Roman Catholicism, I'd suggest you "Lost Christianities" by Bart D. Ehrman. (In fact, I'd suggest to read all his books, they're awesome)

About the different branches of christianity, I'd suggest you to study the history of the Protestant Reformation. I'm not sure about the history of Christianity in the U.S... here's a wild guess based only on the reviews: A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada by Mark A. Noll.

u/skankingmike · 2 pointsr/AskReddit
u/ATmega32 · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Here's a shelf cracker for you. I read this book in early 2000's and the similarities within these seemingly different religions are remarkable.

u/Muzak__Fan · 2 pointsr/atheism

Atheist here, but I study the Bible from a cultural/historical perspective. You are correct, but you could expand on the reasoning a little more. In Abraham's time, people were polytheistic (i.e, pagan). Monotheism as a concept had not been developed yet.

Human sacrifice to gods was a common practice then, and families would usually sacrifice their firstborn son because it was believed that the fertility god would use up much of his power on the first child specifically. The sacrifice was thus thought to restore the god's power.

When Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac to god (specifically, the god El), he did so without question because this would not be against the norm. At the last minute, El stops the ritual, not just because Abraham had shown his faithfulness, but also to demonstrate that El was more powerful than the other gods at the time and such human sacrifices were unnecessary.

Of course, the basic story itself makes no sense to us now because we project our own sense of morality onto the past, even if we do not understand the context of the time it was written. Still, just because someone is an atheist does not mean he is more educated than the theists who actually believe this stuff. Educate yourself.

Source: A History of God by Karen Armstrong

u/g33n · 2 pointsr/self

I've been asking myself some of the same questions, so I picked up A History of God and started reading.

I don't think there's anything pathological about your experiences or not praying, but the age at which you changed your habits may have something to with it. I was not tremendously religious as a child, but I did something similar - I could never sleep, and would always go down to tell my mom as much, and all she could do was send me back to my room. So, I started trying to banish my demons, literally - I imagined the earth floating in space, demons approaching from all directions, and there I was, in my bed, the sole defense against them. So I'd muster up all of my will and imagine releasing it, a tremendous blue sphere pushing the demons away, back to where they were the night before, so that for the next 24 hours at least the earth would be safe.

I understood even at this young age that these weren't actual demons; I understood that I was creating a metaphor and trying to resolve it in a way that could let me sleep. But I kept doing it night after night, and it didn't help any.

I've realized that, since then, I took to sleeping on my front. I thought it let me sleep easier, but that, too, came at a cost - as an experiment, I tried sleeping on my back again this month, and found myself waking up more quickly, fully, and more refreshed than anytime in the last ten or so years. I think what I had taken to doing was practically suffocating myself to sleep - I think the weight of my body was causing me to breathe more shallowly and fall asleep more easily, but also costing me rest. So I'm back to where I was in my teens: how do I banish the thoughts and worries that plague me at night?

Two responses, then.

One: If you're spiritual, read something like the book I suggested above and take to heart the ideas of a more transcendant deity than the one that Western Christianity favors. God is not personal; it is aspirational.

Two: No matter your religious views, consider practical meditation: prayer, buddhism, thinking about unsolvable problems in your favorite domain (for me, it's P vs. NP). Thinking about something that is impossibly hard to grasp, but that is interesting, can make the buzzing go away and allow you to fall asleep more easily and more peacefully.

I wish you the best.

u/mephistopheles2u · 2 pointsr/exAdventist

Read Karen Armstong's History of God and gain a perspective on how God is a conception (not a perceptiono) of man.

If you want community, try a Unitarian church. Great people and totally open and inclusive with no judgement.

If for some reason you are hung up on Sabbath being the true 7th day, read about the Jewish Calendar and how they kept a lunar Sabbath, not a solar one (even 300 years after the time Jesus is slotted into). So EGWhite's assertion that the Sabbath kept today is the same as creation is utter nonsense.

Give yourself a chance to learn how thoroughly you have been deceived. You will gain a freedom that the church will never provide.

u/PrescottSheldonBush · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

If I remember correctly, according to this book all the gods crawled out of a "primordial ooze" of some kind. It was polytheism before it was monotheism. That was adopted from another religion that already existed at the time. Here's a video on Youtube that might cover it.

u/DoubledPawns · 2 pointsr/religion

Mere Christianity is a great read. As far as a biography where he steps through his journey, I'm not sure he ever wrote anything quite like that.

Edit: Perhaps this might help

u/MojoPin83 · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Part 3: Book recommendations:

If you want to dig deep into this topic, here are some book recommendations. Perhaps you would want to read N.T. Wright's Christian Origins and the Question of God series (this is very heavy, scholarly reading). N.T. Wright is the foremost scholar on the New Testament and this is possibly the most thorough literature on the historical Jesus, early Christianity and the Apostle Paul:

Anything by N.T. Wright is well worth reading (Simply Christian and Surprised by Hope would be good introductions). Likewise, anything by Ravi Zacharias.

The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Gary R. Habermas and Michael R. Licona:

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi:

No God But One: Allah or Jesus?: A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi:

On Guard by William Lane Craig:

The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus by Lee Strobel:

Bonus reading: Heaven by Randy Alcorn:

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis:

Read anything by G.K. Chesterton, especially, The Everlasting Man

Answers to Common Objections and Questions:

Jesus’ Resurrection and Christian Origins:

The Evidence for Jesus:

The Resurrection of Jesus:

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ as Christianity's Centerpiece:

Origin, Meaning, Morality and Destiny:

Accompanying video to the link above: Why is Christianity True?:

How Do You Know Christianity Is the One True Way of Living? | Abdu Murray:

What makes Christianity unique among the world’s religions? Verifiability is a Christian Distinctive:

Is Jesus God? (Feat. Craig, Strobel, Habermas, Licona, Qureshi...):

How Can Understanding Eyewitness Testimony Help Us Evaluate the Gospels?:

Historical Evidence for the Resurrection - Can a Scientist Believe in the Resurrection? - Nabeel Qureshi:

‪Questioning Jesus: Critically Considering Christian Claims with Dr. Nabeel Qureshi‬:

Did Jesus Rise From the Dead? | Yale 2014 | William Lane Craig:

Historical Resurrection of Christ?:

‪Are The New Testament Documents Historically Credible?:

Are the Gospels Accurate?:

(Answer to the common objection: ‘the gospels are anonymous’)
Gospel Authorship—Who Cares?:

What is the Evidence That Jesus Appeared Alive After His Death?:

On Extra-Biblical Sources for Jesus' Post-Mortem Appearances:

Did Jesus Rise From The Dead Or Was It A Hoax By His Followers?:

Follow up to the previous video: ‪Did Jesus rise from the dead, or was it hallucinations by his followers?:

Did the Disciples Invent the Resurrection?:

‬Facts to show the Resurrection is not fiction, by William Lane Craig:

‬Did Paul actually see the risen Jesus, or did he simply have some sort of vision?:

What Do You Mean By ‘Literal?’:

Evidence For Jesus' Resurrection:

Death, Resurrection and Afterlife:

Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead?:

4 Historical Facts That Prove Jesus Really Did Rise From The Dead:

‪What About Pre-Christ Resurrection Myths?:

Jesus and Pagan Mythology: Is Jesus A Copied Myth or Real Person?:

Zeitgeist - Is Jesus A Myth:

Did Greco-Roman myths influence the Gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus?:

‪Does the Resurrection Require Extraordinary Evidence?:

Moral Argument For God’s Existence: How Can A Good God Allow Evil? Does Life Have Meaning?:

‪Are there Inconsistencies Between the Four Gospels?:

‪Why Are There Differences in the Resurrection Accounts?:

Don't the Gospels Contradict One Another?:

Why Differences Between the Gospels Demonstrate Their Reliability:

Why the Gospels Can Differ, Yet Still Be Reliable:

Four Reasons the New Testament Gospels Are Reliable:

Find Contradictions in the Bible All You Want:

The Case for the Historicity and Deity of Jesus:

Bart Ehrman is one of the world's most renowned ancient historians/New Testament scholars, and he is an atheist. Listen to what he has to say on the matter of Jesus' existence: ‪The Historical Jesus DID Exist - Bart Ehrman:

Bart D Ehrman About the Historical Jesus:

Extra-Biblical evidence: In addition to the gospel accounts and the letters from the Apostle Paul, we have sources outside the New Testament with references to Jesus in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus, Thallus, the Jewish Talmud, etc:

Is There Extrabiblical Evidence About Jesus' Life?:

How do we know Jesus was really who he said he was?:

YouTube Channels to browse:

William Lane Craig - ReasonableFaithOrg:


Ravi Zacharias - Ravi Zacharias International Ministries:

J. Warner Wallace - Cold-Case Christianity with J. Warner Wallace:

The Bible Project:


David Wood - Acts17Apologetics:

Nabeel Qureshi - NQMinistries:

Randy Alcorn - Eternal Perspective Ministries with Randy Alcorn:

Frank Turek - Cross Examined:

Brian Holdsworth:

u/SaxonySam · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis:

>In the beginning, the everlasting God spoke both time and the universe into existence.

Gary Baxter, A Defense of the Bible:

>God did not have a beginning as He is outside of time.

Norman Geisler, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:

>As Creator, God is as different from the universe as an architect is from his architecture.

CS Lewis, Mere Christianity:

>[Christians] think God invented and made the universe—like a man making a picture or composing a tune. A painter is not a picture, and he does not die if his picture is destroyed.

There are many more examples, but these should illustrate the point. This sentiment appears to be relatively common among evangelical and fundamentalist Christians.


>People love just making stuff up.

That's why arguments need to be honed to combat their ideas, and why I commented as I did: OP's argument won't be effective on such people.


Edit: clarification

u/etrnloptimist · 2 pointsr/Parenting

Not sure if you're really interested in getting into a disucssion about this, but CS Lewis wrote a very excellent book called Mere Christianity which I would highly encourage everyone to read, whether Christian or atheist.

In it, he basically says what you said -- that the Golden Rule dictates how we interact with others.

But he also made the broader point that you need more than that to be a good person. He talks of having a moral compass even when nobody else is around.

For instance, if you were on a desert island, where there is no other living being, there still exists both moral and immoral behavior. No action of yours could possibly hurt or be influenced by another person.

However, even though the Golden Rule does not apply in this situation, it is still possible to be a good or a bad person. You may lead an unhealthy lifestyle. Eat too much. Drink too much. Don't exercise. Be filled with self loathing or self importance. None of these would affect another person. They are all personal vices. What principles, then, govern your behavior in these circumstances?

u/IRedditbe4 · 2 pointsr/Christianity

We all have doubts. It's part of being human and being a Christian. As you mentioned you are still looking for truth and are open to the idea of theism. I would just recommend a few books for reading that are great intellectual reading about the subject. That being: The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism and The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus
as well as anything by CS Lewis notably [Mere Christianity] ( and Screwtape Letters.

All the best in finding truth friend, and although you may doubt Him (even as Apostles, greatest evangelists, martyrs, missionaries also did) I would not advise ruling out Christ just yet.

u/UnitedMethodistMan · 2 pointsr/DebateAChristian

>Unnecessary suffering, and some of it is absolutely horrific.

Here is a book written by a far smarter guy than me about the Problem with Pain and Suffering.

> I don't want to suffer, but that choice is taken out of my hands. I don't want to go to hell, but the only criteria I have to make that determination is ridiculous old stories from various religions and denominations. That is God's fault.

You have a choice in how you deal with every situation. Things happen to us that are out of our control, which is an aspect of a free world. Just because you didn't choose for something to happen doesn't mean you have a choice in how you react to it, for good or for ill. You don't want to go to hell, but you have the choice to either believe that hell is real or it isn't, and to live your life accordingly. You might be totally right, or you could be terribly wrong. But you have the choice to decide if it's real or not.

>You missed my point. Or, more precisely, the rest of that paragraph. "The child has a choice! At some predetermined date that is unknown to the child, if the child has not decided to worship the parent beating him, then the child will be beaten without mercy until the end of time. All the child has to do is truly love the parent..."

Sorry for not addressing this. While it is the popular belief of many Christians that hell is a place of eternal suffering, well, read this and see that some doctrine's have been kind of made up on the subject.

>YES. That is exactly what it means. Parents are responsible for keeping their children out of harm's way, and they do everything possible to keep their child safe while allowing their child to learn how to operate in the reality that he lives in. Unlike parents, however, God isn't stuck in our reality, with extremely limited means to teach young people how to not hurt themselves.

You are saying that a parent should hover over their child constantly, 24/7, right over their shoulder, to make sure that no harm comes to them? Do you have kids? To do something like that would be smothering them! It wouldn't allow them to grow, and if you were there to punish them every single time they did something wrong, they would resent you. Eventually you need to let your kids make their own decisions. If the child was 12 and he was running through the house, is it still the parents fault? That child knows better by that point.

> So I cannot believe in God. So if God did have a presence in this world, and I still didn't believe in him, should I be tortured forever? And if I fought against that injustice, would you think that I was wrong to do so?

If I believed that God would torture you forever if you didn't believe him, then yes you wouldn't be wrong to fight against that. However, like the article above, I don't think God sends people to Hell forever. That was a question I struggled with when my friend (who was a non-believer), was killed in an accident. I just don't see how a just God could send someone to hell for eternity for a finite lifetime of actions, especially one cut so short.

u/oxygencube · 2 pointsr/Christianity

I have wrestled with anxiety and panic attacks for 10+ years. My faith has helped me so much. Anxiety and fear can often point us to things that we idolize or elevate above God. I too had horrible withdrawls and will never go back to meds. Writing in a journal really helps, especially when things are going well. It's important to remember that God always brings you through to the other side.

I have three books to suggest:

Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest

The Anxiety Cure

The Problem of Pain

All the best.

u/ofd1197 · 2 pointsr/ems

Don't be "desensitized." You have to develop a thick skin but keep a soft heart. I know that sounds like a paradox, and it's the hardest thing to do in this field. You will see unimaginable human suffering, but you are there to help when others can not. There is a book by C.S. Lewis called "The Problem of Pain." It's not really an EMS book...but it helped me a little. Here's a link for it on amazon

u/FeChaff · 2 pointsr/exchristian

Since you know about Richard Carrier I would assume you already have read some of the well known Anti-religionists like Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Dennet, Stenger, etc. If you are talking about secular biblical scholarship and historical analysis there isn't anyone who keeps me interested as much as Carrier, but I haven't read much in that subject. Some others include Robert Price and Bart Erhman.

There are several good essay compilations by John Loftus which are more generally directed at Christianity. They include essays by Carrier and Robert Price and a number of other secular thinkers. The Christian Delusion I think is the first in that series. Hitchens's The Portable Atheist is another good collection which includes older writing aimed at all religion. Bertrand Russell is a great, too.

u/VaccusMonastica · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Fallible humans writing over many years of what they believed to be true regarding Nature and the Universe that got copied and recopied sometimes with scribes making honest mistakes while others actively changing the Bible to suit their needs making it say what they thought it should say and cutting out parts they didn't want in it.

Book Suggestions:

[Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Plus)](]()

Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them)

u/czah7 · 2 pointsr/TrueAtheism

The books mentioned. Amazon Zombie bot should be around to reply shortly.

"The Bible Unearthed" by Israel Finkelstein.

"Jesus, Interrupted" by Bart Ehrman

"Forged" by Bart Ehrman

u/plaitedlight · 2 pointsr/exchristian

I'll just encourage you to give yourself time and recognize that this might be something like a grief process. It is exciting and amazing to suddenly see so much of the world and people more complexly. But there is real loss associate with leaving the religion of your youth. Be kind to yourself.

Some resources that really helped me:

podcasts: Life After God; Voices of Deconversion

youtube: CrashCourse Big History and World Mythology; Pale Blue Dot and Humanity (short speeches by Carl Sagan)

blogs: cstroop

books: Pure; Jesus Interrupted (or really anything of Ehrman's) (these are Amazon links, but local libraries are a great option)

u/Ellemennohpee · 2 pointsr/atheism

> Also on the first page of Genesis, God says "Let US make humankind in OUR image, according to OUR likeness". Wait, I thought there was only ONE God according to the bible? The "majestic plural" crossed my mind, but that isn't used anywhere else.

Have you ever read A History of God by Karen Armstrong? Amazon Link. It does a good job explaining this.

There are actually tons of references like this in the old-testament/torah to the polytheistic religion that Judaism grew out of.

u/adamwho · 2 pointsr/atheism

For information about how the old testament has been rewritten many times to reflect changing cultures and beliefs see A History of God by Karen Armstrong or a [nice video covering some of the issues](

u/Darth_Whatever · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Karen Armstrong's A History of God

u/Gregoriev · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

The history of Jewish hatred is basically attributed to, as mattosaur said elsewhere in the comments, usury. However, it goes beyond that to another factor (or really set of factors): Jews have, historically, had a (relatively) small, tight-knight, endogamous community with views and practices considered barbaric and something selfish or unaccepting (before the rise of Christianity, the Roman empire charged a Jewish tax after the Roman-Jewish war for those who kept wanting to practice their faith. Before that, though, the mood in Greece and Rome was that all gods had some element of truth to them so they readily embraced other gods, like the Egyptian and British (Welsh now, I guess) pantheons of gods. Judaism has held, since the historic adoption of monotheism into the religion (a fascinating affair by itself, which you can learn more about by reading A History of God by Karen Armstrong or watching it summarized by the YouTuber Evid3nc3 in his wonderfully calming voice), that one of Yahweh's name is Jealous, for he is a jealous god, and that you can hold no others. As a result, they seemed somewhat odd to the all-accepting Romans/Greeks/Egyptians. Christianity obviously disliked Judaism for their lack of accepting of the supposed messiah, Jesus, as well as the issue of usury later on in Europe, and the issues with Blood Libel and the argument that Jews killed Jesus directly.

u/distantocean · 2 pointsr/exchristian

> A conflation of Yahweh and Baal? That doesn’t sound like anything the Bible would condone. Your Brain really is grasping at straws here.

No, actually OP is right about this. You might want to watch this brief video (based on the book A History of God by Karen Armstrong) documenting how they're connected. It's fascinating to see how the god of the Bible evolved from earlier polytheistic religions.

u/Dudesan · 2 pointsr/atheism

Always glad to help.

If it's not available in your Friendly Local Lending Library, check out here:

u/flyscan · 2 pointsr/JordanPeterson

Edit/response: Your comment has corrected a factual error I have made. I'm not Canadian and thus I spoke from assumption based upon a shared British tradition. In this case, it's not the courts being stripped of power, but rather the bill is too vague and divests interpretation to the existing provincial policy. It is these existing provincial policies that are incoherent and ideologically driven. I think parts of my my point still stands thou, this is not a bill that empowers and strengthens marginalized people, it feels more like a token gesture to make politicians look like they're doing something.

As for "cultural elite", my line of thinking was influenced by Harris and Murry's conversation based on Murry's work in Coming Apart, where the experiences of those making decisions are so far removed from the realities of life for the masses that they find it impossible to see society through any ideological lens than their own.

I would also like to say I'm one of these ignorant "cultural elites", privileged with a educational opportunities that my peers missed out on. After a worrying rise of nationalistic/anti-immigration sentiments in our Australian election followed by Brexit than the US Elections, I was lost and confused. The education I received was failing in its translation and the utopia I though should occur never materialized. It was only though a chance encounter with Peterson's JRE #877 that I got the first big "Ah ha!" moment since I read "The GNU Manifesto" and "Manufacturing Consent" as an impressionable highschooler decades ago.

Peterson's lecture series on Personality and Maps of Meaning presented a nuanced, high resolution explanation for our current chaotic cultural and the forces behind them. He then presents a powerful set of steps that the individual can take that are grounded in practical psychology, evolutionary biology and mythic symbolism. For example, after almost two decades of education I have never heard anything as power as his explanation on why students should be taught to write.

Anyway, sorry for the long edit and thank you /u/Statistical_Insanity for braving the down-votes in this partisan sub-reddit. I hope you join /u/yahooyellow in subscribing and continuing to contribute. Lively, honest (and sometimes messy) intellectual debate is truly what the world needs more of.

u/canekicker · 2 pointsr/ChristianApologetics

Nah, I'm totally with you on the importance of semantics. My old grad school mentor was really particular about it and I now see why. You're also dead on about the whole need for language/Japanese-speaking/etc example. I've just run into some people who confuse nature with ability so I wanted to make sure we were on the same page.

The book I was actually referring to is actually called "Systematic Theology" by Wayne Grudem. (genius title, right?) I got a chance to read it in college and I found it to be useful. Granted, that was 10 years ago and I'm sure the whole field has progressed but as far as I know, it's still relevant. You probably can find it cheap on as well. It's quite a huge book but I found it to be quite interesting.

u/closelurk · 2 pointsr/Christianity

I have an excellent reference for you! Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem

This book really helped answer most of my questions.

u/1Tim1_15 · 2 pointsr/Reformed

I had to use three different ones at a SBC seminary (2006) and my favorite is Wayne Grudem's. It's not specifically Presbyterian but it is reformed.

I like it because it is written in such a way that highschoolers can understand it. It's not as deep as you can get but it's not entry-level either...somewhat in the middle. You can probably find a used one in good condition at a low price.

u/maltzy · 2 pointsr/Christianity

I found this one through a friend in Seminary School. Great resource.

u/CaptLeibniz · 2 pointsr/TrueChristian

Well, I actually grew up in the Pentecostal tradition. I converted to Southern Baptist about two years ago, and made the switch to reformed theology about one year ago.

It really depends on the church with Baptists; they're highly variable. Some groups, like free-will baptists, are emphatically opposed to Calvin and the like. Others, like self-proclaimed reformed baptists, welcome and celebrate Calvin and his contemporaries' contributions to Protestantism. I've never attended a baptist church that wasn't at least implicitly Calvinist, though I only recently started attending a properly reformed Church that observed the 2nd London Baptist Confession. Hence, it's kind of difficult to give much advice, as I've always been in friendly territory.

If you just want to get a better feel for reformed theology in-general, there are a couple of routes. Depending on your reading comprehension and Biblical competence, I would recommend a few books.

Novice: Bible Doctrine, Grudem.

This is a decent, modern introduction to systematic theology in-general. Grudem is not what many would call reformed, but he leans that way. Whatever the case, it is a helpful look into the terminology that theologians have utilized over the years. Good place to get your feet wet.

Adept: Systematic Theology, Grudem

Reformed Dogmatics, Bavinck

These ones are a bit more academically oriented, so if you're not used to reading this sort of thing, they might be difficult to read. Bavinck's work is highly recommended, and is properly reformed, though it takes a greater reading comprehension than Grudem.

Advanced: Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin

Anything else earlier than the 20th Century (Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, etc.)

This is the bedrock of reformed theology, which I'm sure you're probably aware of. The only problem is that it can be very difficult to read. In some cases, much more than the content of modern academia. This is really a very very distilled list. There is literally so much good material out there, but these are some of the big names that I hear often.

As regards general advice, two things come to mind:

  1. I would keep in mind the primacy of the text of Scripture itself. This might seem obvious, but one of the pitfalls of the reformation is the romance with systematic theology. Though ST is a wonderful thing, some reformed guys do it at the expense of the textual significance of the Scriptures themselves. We must always ask ourselves if we, in our exposition, are doing justice to what the Scriptures themselves are saying. Again, this seems obvious, but it is rarely borne out the praxis of our theology and exegesis.

  2. Do not make Calvinism or Reformed theology the locus of your Christianity or your identity. Though reformed soteriology is seminal to our faith and practice, we must ultimately identify ourselves as the covenant people of God; those united to Christ through faith in His death and resurrection. Rest in the substance of your faith, not in its explanation.

    I'll be praying that you heed the Scriptures in all things, and that your life coheres with the will of God. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions or concerns as relates the reformation, theology, Scripture, or anything!

    Soli deo Gloria
u/jrgarciafw · 2 pointsr/Christianity

I highly recommend Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology. It sounds like just the thing you are looking for. I would also recommend Tim Keller's Reason for God.

u/InspiredRichard · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology Podcast is worth a listen.

I also used to listen to the Mars Hill Podcast when Rob Bell was there.

I use Bible Gateway for searching for scriptures.

I have to be honest, though, my resources are mainly offline. I read my Bible daily, pray daily, read theological books and other Christian books.

Of course, this and any Christian stuff can only be effective when God is at the centre of it.

I would definitely benefit from a directory of reliable Christian sources, for when debating. I also think some kind of directory on How best to reach people of each religion/school of thought/life position (not just a resource on how to tear someone apart for their beliefs).

I like the idea of your post for sure :-)

u/strange-humor · 2 pointsr/TrueChristian

Lee Strobel's A Case for Christ was a really good read that might give you some talking points. It was written by a skeptic journalist's journey looking for historical evidence of Christ and the Bible in general.

I found it interesting in how the Hebrew and Greek are both not really bothered by word order, in conveying the correct meanings. Part of the structure that helped keep the truth in place in the Bible.

I'm trying to learn enough solid Biblical truth and historical truth to help counteract the Atheism that often occurs to previous Cult members that finally escape an abusive spiritual situation. This violent reaction from your roommate makes me wonder about his spiritual past.

Have you sat down and asked about his previous experience with religion? It is possible that he received religious experience that was not about the love of Christ, but about the fear and judgement of a mean God.

u/Dying_Daily · 2 pointsr/Christians

I think /u/betweentwosuns comment is good and an excellent place to start. Once one gets past the fact that Christ was a real historical figure that actually existed, and that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are reliable testimonies of what He said and did, then one comes to a crossroads. He must either reject His claims, either by simply ignoring them or outright disagreeing with them, or accept His claims by faith. One of the books that is often recommend for studying these things is Strobel's The Case for Christ and there is also a newer book out called Cold Case Christianity which is also good.

u/everestmntntop · 2 pointsr/de

Nein das habe ich nicht geschrieben. Mir gefällt die Idee aber gut und ich kann nur jedem empfehlen dem historischen Gehalt der entsprechenden Quellen mal gründlich auf den Zahn zu fühlen und sich nicht allein von populären, auf den ersten Blick überzeugenden Meinungen leiten zu lassen (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).

u/Drew_in_VA · 2 pointsr/Anglicanism

I’m sorry for the delay. Here I go.

A tiny bit about my religious history – raised Catholic, sort of against my will, got confirmed, stopped going to church for 8 years, found God/became a Christian, attended Baptist and Pentecostal churches for a while, and eventually settled on Episcopalian. And love it – if for no other reason than as an Episcopalian, I feel like I can be myself.

Worship – very similar to the Catholic Church. I believe it could be very easy for a person with Catholic background to feel comfortable in an Episcopalian church; after I had been there for a little while, I had to ask a friend what made the Episcopal Church any different than the Catholic, because they seemed almost the same! We rely a lot on the Book of Common Prayer, as was previously mentioned, which is fine and at least helps to standardize things. Personally, I believe Scripture to be a more authoritative source, but there isn’t anything controversial I’ve found about the BCP. Incidentally, on the online version ( you can click on “The Catechism” (about ¾ of the way down), which is also entitled “An Outline of the Faith”. But overall, the belief system will probably look pretty familiar to you.

There are a couple points, I think, where the faiths diverge with some significance. One is in the level of tolerance and inclusion in the Episcopal Church – where I believe they are largely leading the charge among all denominations. In the Episcopal Church, there can be (and have been) gay and women priests and bishops, and in fact our former Presiding Bishop, who presided over the entire Episcopal Church in the U.S., was a woman (Katharine Schori). Our new Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, is African-American – and for some inspiring words, I encourage you to look up some of his soundbites (here is my favorite): TEC USA is actually so inclusive that they were “sanctioned” by the Anglican primates - link here:
Of course, some individual parishes are different than others – varying degrees of inclusion to be sure – but the odds are pretty good that you can find an Episcopal church where people can just be people. Which, to me, is kinda the idea.

The second difference, of course, is that there’s no Pope. I won't get into THAT debate, but since Christ preached that we could come to Him directly as our intercessor (Romans 8:34), perhaps it would be euphemistic to say there’s a little less bureaucracy necessary in the Episcopal Church. :)

Your point about TEC “dying”, statistically, is probably true, though I’d say it’s being pruned. I’d submit that it’s probably also true that typical church attendance nation-wide is suffering the same fate. Businesses talk about competitive advantage, though, and it is probably fair to say that TEC’s advantage is indeed its genuine confession that all are welcome.

For now, I’ll table the discussion about the scriptural arguments for/against homosexuality, and/or women as priests. I’d rather sum it all up – for now – with Romans 14:4: “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” As someone who’s pretty interested in theological debate, though, and who's (I think) pretty open-minded to new viewpoints, I came across this link which you might find informative:

At the risk of this post becoming TL;DR (thanks, by the way), there are a couple other points I’d like to make. First, as you search for the answers you seem to be seeking so earnestly, I submit that the only true answer is Jesus. This sounds hokey, Bible-thumpy, and trite, but I also believe it’s completely true. (I refer again to the title of Bishop Curry’s NYC sidewalk sermon.) A book that sounds totally cool, but which I haven’t read, is called The Case for Christ. ( I’ll let you do some research, but I think my version of Christianity can be summed up thusly: Christianity is simply about Christ. The rest are just details. Denominations, I think, are generally worship styles, and each individual church is its own unique organism, many of which you’d probably enjoy equally well. There’s no perfect denomination, and no perfect church…but there has been one perfect Man, who also happened – and happens – to be a perfect God.

Finally, with regards to your family dilemma, I’d have to just be up front and say that Christianity does come with a cost. Matthew 10:37 says, “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Disciples and followers of Jesus through the years have been tortured, executed, cast out, etc. Discipleship isn’t always easy. My own story isn’t particularly exciting or theatrical, but I can say that I’ve experienced some of the cost. I can also say that it’s so, so worth it.

OK, friend, I think I outdid your post length - but only because this was what I needed to say. I’ll look periodically to see if you have any other thoughts, but wanted to get this over to you because it was important. I appreciate your desire for answers, and pray you find everything you’re looking for. Peace!


u/Iswitt · 2 pointsr/atheism

You could try this book that is refuting this book. Although I haven't read either.

u/raffastafarian · 2 pointsr/funny

> What I don't understand is who did all those retcons and why?

Hard-line Yahwists who gained power and used it to change their nation and culture. Humans do this all over the world, even today.

Here's a book link:

Here's a video link:

u/rdudejr · 2 pointsr/exjw

I don't want to change your mind - I certainly battle with the concept of a higher power (which I feel is important) being atheist. However you should check out "the history of god". Gives some color into one possibility of why the OT came out the way it did.

Edit: book is called "A History of God"

u/cspayton · 2 pointsr/exchristian

Thanks for responding!

I think that there are a few books which have influenced me greatly, but I have a much more expansive list of books I want to read than ones I have already consumed.

To start, you should try the greats:

u/limbodog · 2 pointsr/atheism

God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens. I enjoyed it, tho' in my case it was largely preaching to the choir.

u/KoDCBP · 2 pointsr/atheism

For starters, what's your time limit? This is a topic that would take a while to unpack and make a convincing case for. If you decide to go through with it, read Hitchen's book, Harris' two books, and watch some debates to determine how you want to deliver your speech. Make a list of different arguments that the religious use for when your audience asks the standard questions and have a response for them. Have a list of examples of problems that different religions have caused and the source for that information.

u/spinozasrobot · 2 pointsr/atheism

By trivializing a POV with statements like "Cry more?" and "crying in faux anger" you are certainly not adding anything to the conversation, and I might add, proving the point entirely.

There is clearly a double standard with regard to the religious demanding extra care and tenderness with regard to their "feelings" and yet no such respect is afforded to atheists.

As for this being a 'first world problem', clearly you have not read Hitchens, Harris or Dawkins. I suggest you start with "God is Not Great" by Hitchens to find out why this attitude is part of what's so damaging to everything and every socioeconomic group worldwide.

u/NaLaurethSulfate · 2 pointsr/atheism

Watch him on video
I would highly recommend the debate between him and william lane craig (though IMO, you can skip over william lane craig and still get all the awesomeness)

Read his work, I would recommend God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, which also can be found on sites like the pirate bay if you are of that bent, and don't mind reading digital copies, there is also a good summary at wikipedia.

u/Jeichert183 · 2 pointsr/exmormon

Leaving the church can be an emotional and harrowing experience especially, if like me, you are a generational mormon. My dad was a convert but quit the church when he bailed on the family but on my moms side my grandfathers family goes back to the pioneers and my grandmothers parents were converts in California during the depression. For generations my family has been indoctrinated in the mormon belief system. I walked away from the church almost ten years ago but it took about four years to come to terms with it. At 40 years old I still have stuff creep up on me out of nowhere. Leaving tscc is a traumatic experience, we lose part of our identity, we lose parts of our community, we lose parts of our family. We have been the subject of generational psychological abuse and coping with that trauma is difficult enough but when we leave we are subjected to more abuse for having left. Leaving the church is a traumatic event piled on top of a lifelong traumatic event. I was able to come to terms with my hangups when, for unrelated reasons, began doing some research into PTSD and began to understand why my upbringing in the church was impacting me long after I left. I would recommend doing some readings on PTSD and overcoming indoctrination, it really helped me come to terms with me.

If you haven't you might want to take a look at Deism which is basically God created the universe and then moved onto other things. Thats right God has ADD.

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and God Is Not Great by Christoper Hitchens are great books to read when coming to terms with the loss/end of religion in your life. You don't have to go full on atheist, Dawkins even has 7 degrees of theistic belief, but reading those two books can help understand many things.

u/mullen490 · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Religion Poisons Everything

Even the best religions are harmful to society. Everyone has the capability to be a good person without religion.

u/macosxsealion · 2 pointsr/apple

I think it is when it leads to tribalism and bigotry.

God is not great

u/Mordisquitos · 2 pointsr/books

The inverted bell curve is also pretty common for controversial and polarising issues, for example A People's History of the US, God Is Not Great and 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism.

The way I see it, the inverted bell curve is a warning sign for novels (especially best-sellers) and technical books, but not necessarily for opinionated non-fiction where it may just indicate that many jimmies were rustled.

u/EvilStevilTheKenevil · 2 pointsr/atheism

By lapsing into denial about the very real and present harm religion has caused, is causing, and will continue to cause unless we stop it.


I recommend you read a little book titled God Is Not Great By Christopher Hitchens.


Do not be fooled. There is no such thing as a benign delusion.

u/Regina_Phalange26 · 2 pointsr/atheism

I'm a little late to the party, but I just thought I'd add my voice.

There are a couple things I would like to say. I'm sure none of it hasn't already been said somewhere here, but I'll just repeat for emphasis.

First of all, hi! And welcome. I'm sure you are feeling so confused and overwhelmed right now. That's okay. There's a lot to take in and consider. Take your time, go at your own pace, and make sure that wherever you end up is a place that is right for you. It's important to always consider what others have to say but that doesn't mean you have to follow what they say. You make your decisions and you determine your path.

If this road you are taking brings you to atheism (or anything unacceptable to your family and/or friends) you do not have to come out before you are ready. Depending on your situation it could be very detrimental to do so before the time is right. If someone will do wrong by you if they know the truth, then you are by no means obligated to give them the truth. And when the right time is, only you can say. Others may be able to help you with it, but when it comes down to it, it is your life and your decision.

And, again, if you eventually begin to identify as an atheist it is possible, and maybe even probable that you will feel angry. Many of us have been through it, or still are going through it. Angry about things that are happening around the world today and angry about things from your upbringing. That is okay too. There are many things we should be angry about. Just don't let that anger consume you. And be sure to still be reasonable. Anger can be a good thing when placed appropriately and if it's kept in perspective. It's a hard field to navigate but you'll figure it out with time and experience.

Don't get so caught up in one worldview that you are stuck in an echo chamber, never exposed to differing thoughts and opinions. Keep an open mind and don't shut things out simply because you don't want to change your opinion or are so convinced of something that you think there's no chance you could ever be wrong. This really applies to everything in life...not just religious beliefs or lack thereof.

I wanted to address you personally, rather than discuss the beliefs because I'm sure you have been given so much to consider and read already. It is likely that everything I have to suggest has already been mentioned, but:

  • There are so many good videos at The Atheist Experience

  • Greta Christina's blog has many wonderful and thought provoking writings

  • "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins is incredible (as is most of his work)

  • Just about any Christopher Hitchens debate on YouTube is fascinating. I also loved his book "God Is Not Great" but if you aren't a reader it may be tiresome and difficult to get through.

  • PZ Myers blog, Pharyngula is excellent as well.

    I could go on, but this post is already so much longer than I intended. So I'll just end on this note: things might look pretty frightening and overwhelming right now, but don't let it scare you off. There is no better feeling than learning and coming to your own conclusions about who you are and what you believe. Especially if you've had those things decided for you your entire life. If you ever need help or have questions, come here. There are many of us who are more than willing to do what we can to help.

    Good luck! :)
u/undercurrents · 2 pointsr/TrueAtheism

I was raised Jewish with all the schooling but never believed in a god. TzniusNotMyNameOh writes good questions to ask yourself. This year I refused to even be seated at the seder table (in the past I sat but didn't participate) because the entire Haggadah is just praising a god for killing other people. If you reread the stories of Lot and Dinah, they are also just as disgusting. And ask Orthodox about what they believe was the reason for god not intervening in the Holocaust- because he is too great for us to understand his reasons.

Some other books to check out:

God Is Not Great: How religion poisons everything by Christopher Hitchens

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman

The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs

Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels

interview with Nathan Englander

u/trollmaster5000 · 2 pointsr/DoesAnybodyElse

Antitheism/Christopher Hitchens FTW.

God Is Not Great

u/blablablashutup · 2 pointsr/atheism

Christopher Hitchen's book god is Not Great is another good one. There was also a book on here the other day regarding deconversion from fundamental Christianity; it may be what you're looking for.

u/voodootribe · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

If you enjoyed the God Delusion you would probably enjoy either God Is Not Great by Hitchens or The End of Faith by Sam Harris

u/disciplefan95 · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

I would recommend two books, Wild at Heart by John Eldridge and Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge. They are both amazing books which talk about the needs and natures of both the man and the woman in regards to relationship.

I have not found any literature that does a better job of talking about the unique needs and strengths of both the man and the woman. He is a Christian author, though, and his faith informs his writing to a great degree, so it would depend on you tolerance for religious writing. Still, I would encourage you to read both together.

Wild at Heart:


u/Roguta · 2 pointsr/AskMen

Most men have 3 basic wishes, even though they are sometimes secret: to experience an adventure, to undergo a fight and to save a beautiful woman (the girl of his dreams). And of course - that the woman falls madly in love with him :D. So I guess that makes it 4.

You should give this book a read.

Now - there is a lot of stuff in the book connected to a certain view of christianity. Sometimes it was a weird read even for me. And I don't agree with many ideas in there.

But if we are talking about daydreaming, what a man wants in his heart is basically the definition of that.

Edit: I accidentally a word

u/Hobo4ssRoq0311 · 2 pointsr/USMC

The book that changed my life and thought processes the most was and is Wild at Heart by John Eldredge.

I don’t want to shoot the “God gun” at you guys, but it’s the best I’ve got. Even if only a portion of what Eldredge is proposing is true or correct, it’s revolutionary in how you process your life and the events in it, and what’s going on in this world.

The other book is Rangers in the Gap: Act with Courage, Never Surrender by Richard Drebert. This is about Dave Eubank (former Ranger and SF officer) and his Free Burma Rangers.

u/jack_hammarred · 2 pointsr/FeminineNotFeminist

I'll say my books aren't expressly feminine. They're more about dynamics, relationships, motivations, which have helped to prevent me from going wild with aggressive masculine approaches despite my surroundings and peers. Thank goodness I found these so early :)

I loved Captivating, which is about women from a Christian perspective and it's counterpart called Wild at Heart, which is about men. Neither of them were too overwhelmingly Christian, IMO.

Another book with Christian influences, The Servant is a book about leadership theory that's been very helpful to me stepping into a more nurturing and deferring approach.

Five Dysfunctions of a Team is my very favorite book ever, and it discusses the reasons teams (be it a couple, sports team, friend group, or work group) fail and how to prevent that. Very helpful in learning why vulnerability, an important feminine trait, is so important.

u/Tresspasses · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Maybe y'all need to make an anime out of this.

u/TotoroTheGreat · 2 pointsr/manga

From what I can tell, this isn't a full manga, but a text based bible with some manga pages/illustrations. There is, however, this series, which seems to be from the same production, but are full graphic novels.

u/ascra · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Hi there! I’ll answer the ones that I feel like I can speak into. All of your questions are great, and a lot of the topics are highly debated still in the Christian community. I’ve just answered the ones that I feel confident I have some knowledge about.

1.) How do we know Christianity is true? There are literally an uncountable number of faiths and religious beliefs, so how do we know we are correct?

I’ve struggled with these kinds of doubts too, and found that there is actually a lot of evidence that the Bible is true. I would highly recommend this book, which presents Christianity in a scientific, historical, logical, philosophical, and moral light. It has way more to say on the subject than I can.

The biggest things for me, though?

  • I believe that Jesus really did rise from the dead. There are enough historical accounts for me to be satisfied by this. And if he rose from the dead, then everything that he said while he was alive is true, which means that Christianity is true. Did you know that Jesus’s life and death and resurrection are more scrupulously and heavily documented than the life and doings of the Roman emperor at the time? And yet we don’t bat an eye when someone talks about what the emperor did.
  • Jesus’s life, and many, many events in history were predicted by Scripture hundreds/thousands of years before they happened. That is proof enough for me that the Bible is true, meaning that Jesus really did rise from the dead.
  • Personal experience. This is definitely something that you should continue to ask God for. I’ve seen God work in my life in undeniable ways, that there’s nothing that could possibly convince me that he isn’t real.

    2.) How do we know what sect of Christianity is correct? They all focus on God/Jesus in one way or another, but no two are exactly alike. Due to their differences, they cannot possibly all be correct, so who is 'right' and who is 'wrong,' and on what basis?

    I believe that the “sect” that is correct is the one that follows Scriptures. That’s why it’s so important to study the Bible for yourself, and fact-check everything that any Christian author or pastor, or even friend claims. I can’t trust the claims of fellow men, but I do trust the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. I’ll align my beliefs with whoever is aligning their beliefs with the Bible.

    6.) What is ACTUAL sin? I am confused on what sin actually is...

    The Greek word for “sin” in the New Testament was originally actually an archery term. It means “missing the mark,” not hitting the bull’s eye. Likewise, our spiritual sin is missing the mark. God has a standard for us. That standard is perfection by complete obedience to his commands. Anything that “misses the mark” for this standard is a sin. For example, Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. If I don’t do this entirely, it is a sin. Thus, I’m sinning a whole lot more than I realize I am.

    That’s what makes Jesus’s sacrifice so necessary. I can’t possibly be perfect, much less be perfect all of the time. But he was, and through faith, his righteousness is counted towards us.

    7.) (related to #6) Why is sin so bad? It seems to me that sin such as masturbation/lust is not on the same level as murder. In society, lust isn't punishable by law, but murder is. In Christianity, both are considered on the same plane of wrongdoing. Can you help clear this up for me?

    There are certainly different degrees of sin. While all sin leads to death, some sins are worse than others.

    In [John 19:11], Jesus calls one sin “greater” than another. In [Luke 12:47-48], the master in a parable punishes his wicked servants differently, according to their degree of wrongdoing. [James 3:1] talks about different strictness of judgment for teachers. On the other hand, Scripture talks about different rewards for different acts of obedience and righteousness. So while all sin is bad, murder is definitely not viewed by God as the same as telling a lie.

    As for why sin is bad at all, that’s really difficult to answer. The only thing that I can think of is that God defines perfection, and falling short of that perfection (sin) separates us from God.

    8.) What is your personal 'proof' of God? I am not trying to start an 'atheism' debate here, I am just curious. I am struggling to believe SO much right now, and hearing why YOU personally believe in God would be a big help to me.

    I can share more about my own life beyond what I answered in question 1 if you are interested. Shoot me a PM if you’d like to hear more. Please let me know if you have any questions. I'd love to talk to you more about this if you want.

    There is absolutely no shame in searching for answers and looking for truth. Keep at it, friend!
u/Inyourtaco · 2 pointsr/Christians

I've had similar struggles for a while now. I would recommend you read the book "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist" by Dr. Norman Geisler. It contains a collection of many of the most popular arguments for Christianity and packages them in a very comprehensible, beginner friendly way.

u/ThereAreNoMoreNames · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Hello! Your post has already gotten quite a bit of response, but I'll throw my two cents in as someone who chose to become a Christian. I'll try to keep it brief. What stood out to me was that you said you don't believe 1) That Christianity is the one true religion, 2) the bible is infallible, 3) and the Earth is less than billions of years old. Personally, I believe that all of these are false too.

3) This is the easiest. I would hope that any mildly educated Christian does not actually believe that the Earth is only as old as humanity. Christians loove science. It's great! It's the study of the world around us, the world that God created for us. So, anyone who insists that the world is only a bit over 2000 years...well...don't let them represent your view on the rest of Christianity. Here is a GREAT lecture on the book of Genesis. It tells you why we can not take it literally, and how our actual story on creation came about based on the culture of the time. (Skip about the first 20 mins, this is a college class and he's going over the syllabus)

2) The Bible is NOT infallible. It was written by men. Men who are not perfect. Most of these books were written decades after the events that transpired. Imagine you were in a crowded room and suddenly a large group of people come in there and start break dancing. Then, a year later, you are asked to write everything you remember about the occasion, as was every other person in the room. There will be incredible discrepancies based on how the experience personally affected everyone, and what things they remember. Now does this make the Bible unreliable compared to other historical texts? Well, how do you think we gathered information about other events in history? The bible is one of the most accurate and sound historical texts we have, but due to its controversial nature, people are more likely to point out faults, exaggerations, discrepancies, etc. The Bible is not perfect, especially when not read in the correct way. There is history, poetry, stories, and many other types of literature within this one book, and to take a metaphorical poem to be literal would be very misleading and incorrect.

  1. This is the one that I will probably get the most disagreements over. I do not believe that Christianity is the ONLY correct religion. I believe it is A correct way to recognize the God who created us. I believe there is only one God, and many religions that follow this multi-faceted God in different ways. What gives me conviction in Christianity is Jesus Christ. I believe there is enough reason to believe that he died and rose again, and as far as I'm aware, there are no other major religions that have as much historical backing in a figure who claimed to be the son of God, predicted his own death and return, and then actually did it. Lastly, I do not believe that it is within my power or knowledge to tell others that their religion is wrong. How in the world am I supposed to know that?? I don't. I don't have the omniscience to tell anyone that their beleifs are wrong; I just believe that mine are right.

    Two things to read that I think would really help you: Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. This is light, insightful, and inspiring reading and would definitely help you out in your current situation. I know a lot of people have suggested this to you. Do it! The second one is I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist. This is heavier reading, but makes a great scientific argument as to why God is the most reasonable and rational answer to many different aspects of science.

    The last thing I want to leave you with is this: It's okay to have doubts. It's okay and completely understandable that you would have this period of disenchantment after leaving the bubble. Focus on the love of God, and use your doubts to strengthen your faith. Know there is not an answer for everything, and be okay with that. But there's nothing wrong with wanting to know as long as it doesn't tear you away from Him. Good luck, and God Bless!
u/dblthnk · 2 pointsr/atheism

The one star reviews of his book should give you some good ammunition.

However, he apparently believes in the inerrancy of the Bible. There are so many tricky questions you could ask him relating to this. Here is a good place to get started but remember, he will probably have standard rebuttals for many of these. Try looking here to anticipate his responses and trip him up. Take the cud chewing rabbits rebuttal for example. The way they reinterpret the Hebrew word for "cud" and "bring up" makes the eating of any feces fit the definition even though they try to make the soft pellets that rabbits produce the only feces that fits. The fact is, all feces contains some degree of partially digested food and more nutrients can be absorbed from it. Pigs eat feces and have a cloven hoof but are called unclean so they solve the rabbit issue but create another. Also, the Coney also mentioned in the verse in question is almost certainly the Hyrax and this animal does not chew the cud or engage in refection.

u/QuickSpore · 2 pointsr/exmormon

If you haven't read it I strongly recommend Stenger's God The Failed Hypothesis. He tackles the question of if God can be tested for. He comes up with a number of viable tests all of which God fails. As Goldang says we can't disprove all possible gods. But what we can disprove is an interventionist God. And since that is fundamentally what groups like TSCC argue for, it amounts to the same thing.

u/TruthWinsInTheEnd · 2 pointsr/Christianity

No, some conceptions of god are falsifiable. There's nothing magical about the word god that makes it somehow unfalsifiable. It really depends on what one means by 'god'. How many essential attributes/past actions does this purported entity have? If they are disproven, perhaps that conception of god has been disproven. There are people who would not - indeed perhaps cannot - believe in a god who did not create the universe in 6 days. If one considers this disproven, then that god is in fact disproven.

One can create a conception of a god that contains no falsifiable claims, or perhaps one can simply disbelieve that particular claims have indeed been disproven. In the first case the proposed deity would look not much like the christian conception, and in the second one definitely must ignore much of modern science.

The recently deceased Victor Stenger wrote a number of wonderful books on the subject that I highly recommend. The short version is that atheists should not agree that god is unfalsifiable because virtually all conceptions of god are not only falsifiable, but nearly entirely falsified. We should be challenging this assertion wherever it is stated, not reenforcing it.

u/cahoium · 2 pointsr/atheism

God: The Failed Hypothesis by Victor J. Stenger. It's quite good without being too abrasive in my opinion.

u/RonPaulaAbdulJubbar · 2 pointsr/atheism

dude it's over.... read some Karl Marx

here's another video from Dr Richard Carrier breaking it down scientifically and with actual facts.

here's an excellent book:

it's a dry read, but it fucking crushes the Jesus myth and other super natural nonsense.

read the portable atheist by Christopher Hitchens, there are countless atheist philosophers that utterly fucking destroy the validity of jesus. It's over dude, give it up! there was no Jesus.

I don't know why people keep thinking he was just some ordinary dude hippy guy walking around preaching shit. He never fucking existed.

facts, science and the philosophers are on my side, not yours and they never will be.

u/flusterer · 2 pointsr/Buddhism
u/The_Dead_See · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

You may be interested in the book Living Buddha Living Christ. It's not a very commonly recommended beginners book but it does discuss a lot of the similarities between the teachings of the Buddha and those of Jesus. Since you are familiar with Christian teachings it might be a smooth transition piece for you.

u/CoachAtlus · 2 pointsr/Meditation

> I am a former Catholic, and find the zen/Buddhist philosophy very appealing to me.

Boom, you answered your own question. Give Zen a shot. See if Zen resonates with you. In particular, you might really like Thich Nhat Hanh, who is basically the man. It's possible that there is a practice center within his tradition near you. If you come from a Christian background, you might appreciate his book Living Buddha, Living Christ, which single-handedly resurrected a palatable mythos of Jesus Christ in my mind. It's great and extremely accessible.

The one issue to look out for in Zen is clear instruction. Zen can be a bit opaque in offering meditation-related guidance and instruction. This issue varies by teacher and center. It's a unique practice/teaching philosophy, but if you feel like you need more answers, don't be afraid to ask and continue seeking. The asking and seeking is half the fun. Also, make sure you really understand what you're supposed to be doing when you meditate. Because of the sometimes vague instructions, I've run across long-time Zen practitioners who really didn't seem to get it. You don't want to waste your time on the mat. The teachings can be confusing. Don't let them confuse you, unless the confusion is the purpose of the teaching itself (which is one method that Zen employs through the use of koans).

Good luck! :)

u/yhung · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

Yup - arhat is just a term for someone who's attained the state of nirvana. With Theravada, practitioners believe that attaining nirvana / reaching arhathood is a more realistic path to start off with; the path to Buddhahood is extremely difficult, and it's okay to want to attain a state of personal bliss and stay in that for a very long time, before eventually progressing further along the spiritual path towards Buddhahood.

Mahayana practitioners also realize that it's an extremely difficult path, but the end result (Buddhahood) allows someone to accomplish so much in order to help all sentient beings that it's perhaps a little selfish to want to spend so much time in a blissful yet incomplete state (arhathood), when there's an option to skip that phase and progress along the path of bodhisattvas, which involves greater sacrifices but ultimately reduces the time necessary to reach Buddhahood (an even more blissful state than Arhathood, the state of ultimate bliss according to Buddhism) by a significant amount (many, many eons). Bodhisattvas are characterized by their devotion to the practice of bodhicitta - the desire to attain Buddhahood as quickly as possible in order to maximize their ability to help end the suffering & root causes of suffering for all sentient beings (the Wikipedia page on "sentient beings" is a good place to start, if you're unsure of what sentient beings means, in the context of Buddhism). Sentient beings are typically classified into 6 realms of existence in the Buddhist worldview: Gods, Asuras (demi-gods, with less enjoyment and more anger + jealousy), Humans, Animals, Ghosts, and Hell beings, and until we reach the state of Arhat or a certain level of Bodhisattva (it's complicated - the scriptures classify these levels in many different ways, the most complicated method lists 52 different levels of Bodhisattvas), all sentient beings are stuck in this cycle of infinite rebirth (reincarnation) into these 6 realms, depending on one's personal karma.

By the way, I responded to the question "selfish vs unselfish" Buddhism below, you might be interested in looking at that.

Personally, I base my practices on Mahayana (and the Vajrayana subsect of Mahayana) scriptures and texts. This is because most of the teachers I find myself admiring and feeling a strong connection to are Mahayana & Vajrayana lineage masters. While the Mahayana path is more difficult than Theravada one (this is acknowledged by many historical scholars & practitioners of both traditions), the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions also provide many more effective methods of practice that allows one to progress along the spiritual path much more quickly than Theravada techniques. Most of my current teachers belong all four major sects of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, but I've also spent over a year (on and off) living in a Chinese Mahayana monastery in Taiwan, as a volunteer.

Last of all, regarding your question here:

> And is it possible to be still ordodox and live middle way? I am not telling that i am Zealous i am just more like agnostic but well, but when is hard or thinking about life i found that i ask myself am i wrong?

I'd like to quote the Dalai Lama's perspective on this, since he's a widely respected figure amongst the Christian community as well (he's actually been invited by a couple of Christian communities in the past to share his perspectives on the Bible, believe it or not). Basically, his view is that no matter what religious tradition one chooses to follow, the most important thing is to keep a spirit of inquiry and skepticism as opposed to blind faith, because ultimately blind faith can be pretty dangerous on the path in search of truth, whereas healthy skepticism & inquiry allows for a more natural / gradual realization of knowledge & truth. If you've been raised / grew up as an Orthodox Christian, the Dalai Lama suggests keeping that as your main spiritual belief system unless you reach a compelling point where there's no reason for you to feel like you want to continue with that tradition; but of course, you're always welcome to use Buddhist concepts / teachings (e.g. meditation, visualizations, etc) to supplement your practice of Christianity, as long as they don't interfere with the core concepts of your current belief. If you're interested in reading more about using Buddhist techniques to complement Christian practice, I recommend the following book by Thich Naht Hanh, a Vietnamese Mahayana monk of the Zen tradition who's also highly respected amongst Christians (I had a high school Christian teacher who started doing some mindfulness meditation after reading some of Thich Naht Hanh's books):

u/En_lighten · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

While can't say I've read it, it seems that a lot of people think Living Buddha, Living Christ is a good book on the matter, if you're interested.

u/TheBiggestDookie · 1 pointr/atheism

Though I haven't yet read it myself (on my backlog), I've heard "A History of God" is quite good in tracing the origins of the big three monotheistic faiths to where they are today. I'm looking forward to reading it.

u/jlarmour · 1 pointr/exjw

sigh throwing a pile of books at me instead of discussing the points kind of kills the discussion.

May I simply invite you to read a few books too then. - for general debunking of various evolutiony topics creationists cling to.

Two great books on biology and how it doesn't support god.

And hey, everyone should read at last one Hitchen book.

u/acetominaphin · 1 pointr/madlads

Fair enough, but there are also books that simply talk about atheism without having a strong agenda in either direction. One of my favorite books ever is God's Funeral which gives an objective history about how Western society has moved away from religion, and how atheism has manifested itself in art, academia, and philosophy. The entire time I was reading it I was also trying to figure out whether or not the author intended to promote or argue against it all, but I never could. That's actually one of my favorite things about it.

Also I think your argument only goes so far. Books like God is not great do spend a lot of time talking about religion, but they spend more time promoting things like reason and critical thinking, only using religion as proof to the points, and not giving it the objective or in depth coverage of any real "study".

u/Tober04 · 1 pointr/exmormon

I don't know if Dawkins "saved" me entirely, I think I had already converted before I read his works, but he certainly helped strengthen my convictions. I also have to give immense credit to Christopher Hitchens! He is the most painfully articulate voice for atheism I have ever heard, I could listen to him debate all day. His book is a must read. What I enjoyed most about it was it's historical information which was fascinating, the book has an entire chapter which discusses "Why heaven hates ham".

u/NiceIce · 1 pointr/IAmA
u/selfprojectionasgod · 1 pointr/atheism

1 book: The Portable Atheist.

For further reading: God Is Not Great and The God Delusion.

u/BABYFETUSGOBBLER · 1 pointr/Tinder

Secular ideologies can be just as authoritarian as religious ideologies. re: communist china, the state is their "religion" and it will crush any potential challenger, including atheists. It is not a fair representation of a potential secular society. Secular humanism would be a far more ideal "state philosophy."

I'm not as well versed in Mughals or House of Baghdad. The Renaissance was inspired by humanism and was a break from the theocracy that came before, and further distanced itself with the enlightenment.

There's an argument that any cultural human achievement, especially those within theocratic societies, could have been just as good if not better if they occurred in a secular humanist society

u/ILoveToVoidAWarranty · 1 pointr/Advice
u/dudewhatthehellman · 1 pointr/pics

Dearest Sir,

Watch this.
I presume you've read the bible, have you read the case against? Here are two books I recommend. 1 and 2. I'm not going to answer your argument as it goes beyond rationality and is too poor to continue a rational debate. Please educate yourself either through what I have shown you or other means.

Yours truly,

A fellow mammal.

u/RecentFader · 1 pointr/exjw


One of the first books I read after deciding to leave JW was God is not Not Great by Christopher Hitchens It was a great reading, especially because it was the first time I ever read anything like this, a straight forward attack on religions with reason as a base.

u/1SuperSlueth · 1 pointr/Jesus

Also, if you are further interested in rational thinking, Hitchens has some great books!! I recommend "God is not great" by Christopher Hitchens!!

u/russell_mania · 1 pointr/atheism

Also, if you have time, read God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Hitchens.

u/zeyus · 1 pointr/exjw

Awesome, it's great you're so proud of her!

Haha knowledge that leads to everlasting boredom! Book studies were the worst, I always felt super obligated to study extra hard because there were so few people that often nobody would answer!

Don't be so sure that your family will keep abandoning you, it's possible sure, but there's always hope! Often they're surprised that you can leave the witnesses and live a normal, or even better than normal life (of course there's always the "blessed by satan" get out clause) but they do expect people who leave to get aids and die from a heroin overdose.

It's easy to prove them wrong! Either way though, you have your own family to look out for and you can learn what not to do!

On to the suggested reading. I've mentioned many on here before but I don't expect everyone to be aware of it all so here goes:

Reading (I have a kindle and love reading, but they're all available for ebook and in paperback)

u/CtrlCthenV · 1 pointr/atheism
u/ggliddy357 · 1 pointr/Christianity

>But what is your personal opinion on the bond that love can have.

This is called "pair bonding" and can be explained by evolution.

>wouldn't that require the same method of proof?

Yes, it's called evolution.

>They were experimenting on inducing paranormal experiences and they made a sort of helmet that stimulated the brain. If i can find it you might be interested in it.

I've seen this and it proves my point. Simple brain chemistry explains everything perceived as paranormal.

>For you to believe something you need proof

This isn't necessarily true. If a friend of mine says he had a peanutbutter sandwich for lunch I don't need evidence. He's not making an extraordinary claim. If a friend of mine says he has an invisible pet dragon in his garage, I'm going to a little more than just his word.

You said you were 26. Fine, I don't need evidence. You said you heard wolves speaking to you. I'm gonna need little more on that.

See the difference?

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. That which can be claimed without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.

This is the reason atheists are so tough on religious claims. There's no evidence AND THEY HURT SOCIETY.

For example: Suicide bombers are almost entirely religious. Same with those who mutilate infant genitalia (male and female circumcision). Praying for your child to get better when their appendix ruptures rather than taking them to a hospital is a religious decision. Same with teaching Creationism vs. Evolution. Believing in bullshit has consequences.

Christopher Hitchens was EXACTLY correct when he wrote in the subtitle to his book that Religion Poisons Everything. Another book you should probably read at some point.

At the risk of sounding rude (again) everything you've brought up is what's known as P.R.A.T.T. These are arguments that have been Previously Refuted A Thousand Times.

I'll bet if you read a book a month for six months ALL of your questions would be answered.

Again, it's sort of a choice. Live in the dark and think that spells and coincidences are the way of the world. Or, become scientifically literate.

And don't take this criticism too harshly. I told you earlier that I believed in bullshit far, far too long. I was in my late 20's when I started reading. Now at 41 I've read almost 400 books. But you gotta start somewhere...

u/Cognizant_Psyche · 1 pointr/exchristian

The obligatory two books are Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion and Christopher Hitchens' God is not Great (How Religion Poisons Everything). Both are fantastic, Dawkins tends to focus more on Christianity and Hitchens is more widespread showing how dangerous it is across the board with many diverse examples.

For a broader sense start reading up on Philosophy and other religions, you will find that Christianity is nothing special and is quite weak in some areas. Familiarize yourself with the fallacies that are common in religious explanations as well. This way when the indoctrination starts to creep up you can look at the reasons you believed and see through them for what they are. Such engrained behaviors can be hard to shake, especially when guilt is involved as religion is a master craft at guilt manipulation. Once you see through the magic trick it looses it's power.

Another great book is The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, it shows how evolution works from a genetic level. I know you said you accept evolution and that is great, this will give you a more in depth look into the mechanics of the process and how we are no different than any other life form aside from our development tree. Its easy to read and understand, in fact this book really helped me break away from some of the mentalities of religion since it shows how humans really arent anything special and are very young.

Another author is Sam Harris, he has a lot of books that can help a deconvert find meaning in things they once valued without the need for religion, on subjects like morality, free will, spirituality, and other aspects.

Here is Hitchens' book on youtube read by the man himself:

God is not Great

u/urh · 1 pointr/AskReddit

thoughtfull powerfull mean polarizing logical, yet a bit biased. just a bit. or anything from umberto eco.

u/Tetragrammaton · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Poisons everything, if you believe Hitchens.

I think that's going too far, though.

u/za3keaxi · 1 pointr/technology

That's a mildly-defensible logical position, but once you realize that you are smart enough to say "there's no such thing as a flying spaghetti monster" and that no one has to prove 100% that it doesn't exist for you to use your brain and make the "bold statement" that a magical flying invisible being made of spaghetti doesn't exist .... you will realize why you are an atheist and not an agnostic. Just give it a few years of listening to ridiculous explanations for why there might be a God. "Who can really know?!" Umm, you can. I bet that you find it more than "not very plausible". You know it's bullshit. So instead of dancing around with philosophical possibilities and definitions of the word "know", just be honest with yourself. For all intents and purposes, to the extent that anything is a fact (e.g. how can you prove anything at all?!?!), it's a fact: there is no God and all spiritual aspects of all religions are lies. Just because there are some good life tips mixed in does not make the spirituality of any religion any more sane.

As for religion being evil, I would start by suggesting that you read a book by Christopher Hitchens, such as God is Not Great: Why Religion Poisons Everything. You may come to agree that saying God doesn't exist is more than my right; it's important for humanity and no more arrogant than saying that China is a real place on the other side of the planet.

u/marcotb12 · 1 pointr/atheism

I say he should pass out this book instead!

Come /r/atheism, let's get him the money.

u/nakedjuggler · 1 pointr/atheism

I recommend God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens.

u/fatnormie · 1 pointr/daddit

So I'm almost done with this book. I don't know where you are as far as spirituality but from what I've read that doesn't matter. Anyone can get useful information out of this book. Talks about what it means to be a man. That's what you are trying to raise is a good man. So 1st you need to know what a good man is. Check it out. I think it will have some answers for you. Parenting is about choices. You don't want to be a pushover but there is a way to be firm and not snap at your kids. He's a 7 year old kid, he's gonna do dumb shit but remember, he's 7. Good luck.

u/miminothing · 1 pointr/Christianity

Wild at heart and Captivating are about the masculine and feminine roles respectively. They are written by a couple, John and Staci Eldredge. So if you're a guy I'd suggest Wild at Heart but read both of them if you can.

These books have a lot of valuable insights into gender roles, sex, lust, marriage, the growing role of porn, etc. I'd check them out.

u/alpinejaguar · 1 pointr/TrueChristian


John Eldredge would be a good read for author IMO. It was for me.

u/Jaicobb · 1 pointr/AskMen

If you want to understand your Dad read this book.

u/on-a-journey · 1 pointr/NoFapChristians

So I'm going to be honest and straightforward with you because I think you can handle it and you sound exactly like me.
Ever since I saw my first video online I was instantly drawn to pornography. I realized quickly though that what I found interesting in my porn was not the same that most of my friends enjoyed. I came to the realization that many of my friends used porn as a pure sexual release and for them they didn't mind the fake and overproduced videos. The women on screen were merely a collection of body parts.

However, when I looked for porn I invariably enjoyed the types that at least attempted to portray that they were enjoying it. That it wasn't some bang fest but that it was two people that genuinely wanted to be filming together. However, even this started to feel lackluster and I didn't enjoy it. Through out this time though, these videos failed to capture my attention for more than a couple minutes at a time.

However, I found that when I got the chance I loved sitting and watching cam girls. These girls that are fully clothed and just talk and do normal things like play online games and chat the users in their forums. I found this enchanting. I began to realize I didn't like porn because it met a sexual need but I enjoyed porn because it met an emotional need.

The reason I liked cam girls and things that had a more intimate feeling was because it felt like they were really my girlfriend. It felt like they trusted me and wanted me to experience life with them. It was a way for me to feel like I wasn't alone.

This is just a dangerous of a decision as watching porn (if not more) because you are emotionally crippling yourself to be involved with a woman that does actually love you and does actually want to share intimately with you. You are hurting your future wife and future marriage.

Moving forward.

>Many of the motivations for quitting pornography don't even come close to applying to me. I can't count the number of posts I've read on /r/NoFap, and sometimes here, telling us we shouldn't watch P because it's an inaccurate representation of sexual relations, because of the horrible conditions the actresses operate under, because...

>I don't care. I didn't watch that stuff. Chalk it up to very specific tastes, if you like, but that had nothing to do with the crap that I viewed.

Newsflash! You have wrongly convinced yourself of this and have been lying to yourself for a long time. These are excuses to disregard bad behavior. I convinced myself of this too. There is not financial slavery or physical slavery happening here but that is far from something being enslaving. You and I are still taking advantage of these women! Don't delude yourself. You are stealing something from them that you have no right to. You don't get to chalk it up to being voluntary. These are human women who are hurting. (All people are wounded and are hurting. Some more than others.) They have a burning desire for validation as beautiful women just as you have a burning desire for validation as man. They are turning to the internet to provide them with some sort of happiness but the truth is those comment sections will ultimately only hurt them more than help them. They are as emotionally dependent of fleeting words of affirmation as you are on their false validation of your masculinity.

The problem I see in your rationale is that you have decided that since your sin doesn't stink as bad as the next guy that you're for some reason ok. I believed this for a long time. The fact is sin is sin. Even if that girl was as emotionally stable as could be, you are still damaging yourself, damaging your wife, and damaging your relationship with God. You are turning to that girl to prove that you are a man. You are taking to her a wound that only God can heal. All she is going to do is scratch at it and keep it festering. It will grow worse and worse until you can no longer tell where the wound starts and you start.


Only can Christ's act of Grace on the cross ever heal our wound. No matter how much money we have, how big our house is, or how many wives we have it will all fall short in trying to fulfill our sense of validation. Ecclesiastes 1:2 pretty much sums it up perfect. "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." That is pretty much the truth. Anything you find on this earth will never compare to the true love and validation you will find in the Lord.
Read below if nothing else.

My advice to you is to first truly dwell on your own wound as a man. A great book to read is Wild at Heart which discusses what a man's heart truly longs for. That is what you are describing here. You aren't longing for sex you're longing for validation. Figure out what it means to be a godly man! Read about Paul's life, read about Moses, read about David or Solomon. There are some incredible men in the Bible. None of them get it right all the time. Most of them screw up in huge ways but the life changing point is that these men do not turn to the world for their validation, they turn to God. When you finally find your masculinity through the Lord then an amazing woman will come your way, who knows she may be hiding right under your nose.

Prayers, lean on the Lord!

u/Borsao66 · 1 pointr/RPChristians

Ignoring some of the how women work commentary he makes, I highly recommend Wild At Heart by John Eldridge.

u/Living2713 · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

If you're a guy I'd recommend Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. Disclaimer: this book is written from a Christian perspective. However, I think Eldredge's main points and the aspects of the book that motive me transcend any kind of faith.

Eldredge's wife wrote a similar book for women (I think it's called Captivating), but I've never read it and know nothing about it.

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Title|Learning to Live Wild at Heart...
Description|This is a story about a book that I have read and how it has changed my philosophy on life. I love learning but I am learning that learning isn't enough as funny as that sounds. I am now in the process of learning to live an adventurous, enjoyable, fulfilling life. I am not Pursuit an Empty life...and if I only have head knowledge and never acknowledge my heart...that is exactly the life I will end up living. From now on I am following my heart and Pursuing a life worth relieving. ⤶⤶This video was inspired by the verses 1 Peter 1:18-19 and John 10:10,⤶as well as the book Wild at Heart by John Eldredge.⤶⤶You can check out the book here:⤶⤶⤶John Eldredge is my favorite author and any of his books are worth reading.⤶⤶*** Subscribe to hear more about my journey pursuing a full and adventurous life and how you can do the same. If you like the video, hit the like button, subscribe and share!⤶⤶All in love.⤶⤶You can connect with me here:⤶-Insta:⤶-Twitter:

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u/Llort3 · 1 pointr/Catholicism

I would recommend Manga Messiah

u/Balancing7plates · 1 pointr/wowthanksimcured

That one’s a joke, but this one is legit, and available on Amazon.

u/TheWingedPig · 1 pointr/graphicnovels

A friend of mine in college always used to have a copy of this sitting on the shelf above his desk.

I never read it, nor did I ever talk with him about it, so I know nothing about it other than that it exists.

u/---sniff--- · 1 pointr/books
u/Shigofumi · 1 pointr/anime

It's a manga. You can buy it.

u/Upinuranus · 1 pointr/DebateAChristian

Look at what's available to you. Read some things. Attend churches that focus less on it being a religion and more so it being a relationship with God. Talk to the pastors there about your issues with Christianity. Make it a priority in your life to find truth. Go where the evidence takes you. No matter where it does, you're going to have to take a leap of faith since no side can be proven totally 100% true.

I recommend Lee Strobel's Case for a Creator, and Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek's I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, The Apologetic's Study Bible, The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics, Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels by J. Warner Wallace, and really just Apologetics in general

u/Zybbo · 1 pointr/Christianity

Go for dr WL Craig ministry.

I would also reccomend two readings:

Mere Christianity - CS Lewis

I don't have enough faith to be an atheist

All in all, keep searching for the Truth.

u/erictron · 1 pointr/MurderedByWords

The evidence for God is pretty straight-forward, and there's a lot of it. Heck, youtube is basically full of theists challenging atheists. Frank Turek is pretty straightforward, though, if you're just starting out.

I don't have enough faith to be an atheist was the final nail in the coffin back in my atheist days.

u/gr3yh47 · 1 pointr/TrueChristian

Man, I'm really sorry to hear you feel like your faith is slipping. I have some resources that I think can really help you, but please first and foremost pray that God would strengthen your faith. Rely on your heavenly father in Christ, and ask Him to increase your faith.

If you'd like to have a conversation via discord I'd be happy to speak with you about this. You are not alone in this struggle, and I've been through some of this fairly recently.

Ultimately as Christians we believe that a man named Jesus lived, claimed to be God, and proved it by predicting and accomplishing His resurrection from the dead.
If this is true, then He is God and what He says is true - especially that He is the way to be reconciled to God.

I recommend checking out Frank Turek. Without using the bible, He covers the breadth of topics that you are concerned about, from the reasons to believe in God down to why the Christian God. If you enjoy reading, his book is a wonderful, thought provoking read. if you prefer video, I recommend watching his presentation at East TN Univerity

u/HuggableTree · 1 pointr/TrueChristian

I'm not sure this is what your looking for but this is the closest book I can think of:


It talks about all those area's independently but from the perspective of a Christian.

u/blueletter · 1 pointr/Christianity

One that I have read and found interesting is called: I don't have enough faith to be an atheist

u/TheEzMan · 1 pointr/Christianity

I'm reading this book right now. It's pretty one sided but it gives great evidence for a God


u/luvintheride · 1 pointr/DebateAChristian

> If God will exist, I am already living by it.

It sounds like your standards are based on just yourself (circular logic).

God is an infinitely intelligent being that knows the optimal thing to do at each moment. Do you think that you are living a perfect life in charity and virtue ? Are you helping as many people as you possibly could ? The truth is that all have fallen short of God's grace. We are all sinners. The best that we can do is be thankful and repentant.

Saint Vincent Ferrer was probably the most holy person to walk the earth since the Apostles and He lamented at how sinful he was. If you don't realize your own sinfulness in the sight of God, then you don't know about God.

> Having a plan and not telling me about it.

The word "plan" is misleading when referring to God. He is outside of time and knows the future, but we are locked in this timeline. From God's perspective, things have already happened AND they are currently it's not quite a "plan".

From our perspective, all we need to worry about is that we have free will, and whether or not we're making the most of it.

> Having a plan and not telling me about it.

Unless you are blind and quadriplegic, God has given you great abilities and a sense to make the most of them. You will be accountable for what you did or didn't do with them. Choose wisely.

You'll know if you are doing the right thing if you have a sense of joy. ...Like rescuing children from Human trafficking, or helping homeless people get back on their feet.

For reference, Mother Teresa would clean up people who were dying in the open sewers of Calcutta. Most people would avoid there because of the terrible smell, yet it brought her great joy. I would guess that you have more physical abilities than she did as a 100 pound little woman.

> Not all gay sex is adultery,

The Christian definition of adultery is not definable by each person (circular logic). All Gay sex is abhorrent in the eyes of God because He gave us the gift of procreation to have children. The Bible says this in several places, but it is also possible to reason out theologically. Since God is your creator, Gay sex is like master-bating in front of your parents, while they are begging for you to have grandchildren. Gay sex only serves one's own physical lusts. Gay sex can not produce a child, or serve someone in charity (Love). The physical effects like AIDS was God's way of warning people not to do it. God also gives mankind dominion over the physical world, which is the only reason why AIDS hasn't been more destructive.

> and strait martial sex can give you stds.

It's not just a matter of gay versus straight. Lots of straight people commit adultery. e.g. Porn stars. However, two wrongs do not make a right.

Christianity's standard is monogamous marriage and abstinence before marriage. If people had followed that, then millions of innocent people would not have died of AIDS and other STDs.

> homosexuality is not a choice. God made some people attracted to men, and his mad?

Human will is more complicated than that. By the time a child is 5, the child has had millions of impressions. I don't think that homosexuals are consciously deciding to be gay. It is more the product of malformation. For example, there are towns in Thailand where young boys are trained to be prostitutes for men. They are not "choosing".

I believe that God gives each of us the necessary graces to overcome our situations. There are tonnes of great testimonials of former homosexuals on

> Not all parents are homophobes.

Not sure what you mean by that. If parents encourage homosexuality, they will have a very hard time facing God. Parents are supposed to teach their children to love God, not indulge in their physical lusts. For example, children also want to eat candy all day. Parents are supposed to teach responsible behavior.

God calls everyone to Heaven, but only the repentant can face Him, because He is Truth itself and shines like the sun. Those who can face the Truth are glorified by God's light. Those who have unrepentant sin are burned by His light. That's the basis of Heaven and Hell. They are both fueled by God's light.

> And if it's only bad if God is real, I call that blind faith.

Well, I was an atheist~agnostic for over 30 years and now understand that there is nothing blind about believing in Christianity. Quite the opposite. It is like openning one's eyes.

Ironically, believing in things like abiogenesis requires blind faith. There is ZERO proof of it, and it defies the laws of physics, like entropy.

I agree with Dr. Turek and his book title:

"I don't have enough faith to be an atheist"

u/randybcho · 1 pointr/Christianity

Surprised this hasn't made it to the list yet: "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Athiest". I personally haven't read it yet, but I hear it's very influential from many of my friends. Check it out!

u/bevets · 1 pointr/DebateEvolution

> There is, by definition, no empirical or validated evidence for the supernatural.

John 10.37 "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father."

>The bible tells you that you must have faith. Why do you think that is?

We all believe, as an article of faith, that life evolved from dead matter on this planet. It is just that its complexity is so great, it is hard for us to imagine that it did. ~ Harold Urey

Many investigators feel uneasy stating in public that the origin of life is a mystery, even though behind closed doors they admit they are baffled. ~ Paul Davies

u/srcapital · 1 pointr/atheism

You are not making an argument against the idea that all ideas begin life as beliefs. That has been my point and yet you continue to not address it.

>These is not knowledge in the sense that the results of an experiment are knowledge. There is a desire on the part of believers to put them on equal footing but they are not the same.

I have not been talking about the different definitions of knowledge that exist. It is true that what some religious people would consider knowledge would not hold up in a scientific community, but I have not been arguing for that.

>People and cultures worldwide have wildly varying relationships with both logic and with reason.

This is not true, and I think the worldwide scientific and philosophical communities would agree with me. If you want to push that point further, it is on you to prove that people have difference understandings of logic.

>Reason is not welcome within religion

If reason is not welcome in religion, when why do books like these exist?

It is true that there are many people who have blind religious faith, but there are many people out there that look for logic and reason to explain their religion.

>faith is anti-reason

Faith is not the antithesis of logic. Without faith we would have no knowledge at all, as all knowledge comes from some kind of belief.

>Faith is never equivalent to fact.

I have made no statements to suggest that at all.

u/jubelo · 1 pointr/freemasonry

Also, dont forget that Atheism requires just as much "faith" as religion. You cannot prove nor disprove the existence of God, therefore the belief of non-belief in God requires faith in your particular belief.

I for one have a hard time believing that the Universe randomly did some random things and life sprang up and that a single cell of that life contains unfathomable amounts of information. I read a Christian Apologetic book called "I dont have enough faith to be an Atheist" and while I am not a Christian, there is some things in there that set Atheism on its head.

u/tuffbot324 · 1 pointr/exchristian

A friend actually bought me the book, and I did end up reading it. I ended up giving him Forged by Bart Ehrman, as I thought the arguments were fairly strong and had more of an academic feel compared to some of his more popular works, but my friend never bothered to read it. I have also given away The Historical Figure of Jesus by EP Sanders, who is a respectable and honest NT scholar. I've even seen the book on some bookshelves belonging to Christians, even though Sanders argues how some stories in the NT aren't historical and even at times contradictory.

When reading IDHEFTBAA, I ended up taking notes with points I disagreed with or found problematic and noted the page number. I personally found the book weak. It tries to cover so many topics ranging from philosophy, morality, evolution, and history all crammed into 400 pages, and the authors don't specialize in any of those topics. The authors say that evidence is provided "every step of the way", yet make a lot assertions. For example, they claim that 11 out of the 12 disciples died for their beliefs, yet don't cite a single source. Also, semantics are also played throughout the book and over simplifies or misrepresents issues. I actually did find the book somewhat enjoyable to read though.

u/Satlymathag · 1 pointr/assholedesign

Take a look at this book sometime. Someone with a phd in physics wrote it. I think he knows more about logic and what can or cannot be deduced from the scientific method.

u/Crazy__Eddie · 1 pointr/DebateAnAtheist

> 1.) What scientific evidence does atheism present in the argument against God?

u/Scientismist · 1 pointr/atheism

God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist; by Victor J. Stenger

u/unreal030 · 1 pointr/DebateAnAtheist

Don't get The God Delusion. I seriously don't understand why people always recommend Dawkins to thiests. I think non-theists get much more out of his books.

Read this or this. I have The God Delusion and was not satisfied with it:
(Mind you this 2nd book's title is a bit hyperbolic, its rather the argument for the abrahamic religions (Xtianity/Judaism/Islam) but he goes into detail on the extent of the evidence for those vs. other religions etc.

u/TonyBLiar · 1 pointr/atheism
u/Semie_Mosley · 1 pointr/atheism
u/NoMoreIllusions · 1 pointr/exmormon

All the other comments here clarify how your friend is misunderstanding how science and the scientific method actually work, so I won't repeat that.

I just wanted to add an additional perspective, that a lot depends on just what questions are being asked. If someone is asking about the existence of God, then this is something that is not directly addressable with the tools of science in the traditional sense (although Victor Stenger does a pretty good job of addressing this in his book God: The Failed Hypothesis).

But many religions, especially Mormonism, go way beyond these difficult questions, and make their claims about matters that are well within the ability of Science to address: was there an Israelite migration to the Americas around 600 BC, was there a culture present in the Americas that developed from that migration, is the Book of Abraham a translation of specific Egyptian papyri? The actual evidence is compellingly stacked against these claims having any truth to them whatsoever.

If somebody wants to believe in some kind of God, in the absence of compelling, direct evidence against God's existence, I'll cut them some slack, and leave them be. But if they choose to exercise faith and belief on empirically testable claims, and claim certain things to be literally true, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, then I will challenge them whenever I have the opportunity.

u/ckuf · 1 pointr/Buddhism

this book is by one of the most prominent buddhist teachers, thich nhat hanh. it's about how we can all benefit from living out the teachings and traditions of the buddha and jesus, right now. in this life.

imo the virtue of spiritual traditions is in their collections of teachings. we're free to study them all and consider how to apply them to our own lives. i like buddhism as a foundation because it's pretty consistent regarding what type of outcome we're working toward. other traditions can at times be contradictory or have fuel for acts that might not always be for the benefit of all people, but from what i've found buddhist teachings are pretty consistent regarding how conduct, positive and negative effects ourself (or our non-self lol) and others.

u/Skottniss · 1 pointr/Buddhism

There are secular buddhists, and there are christian buddhists. I think they're very similar in a way... Secular buddhists strip away whatever they don't like according to some standards (logic? rationality? I don't know), and christian buddhists can similarly, strip away those things that do not work together with their christian faith. I don't think there's anything neccesarily bad with this, surely there is merit in following buddhist teachings.

If secular buddhists can go by the definition of "buddhist", surely a christian following some buddhist teachings can also call themselves a buddhist to their hearts desire. I really don't see any issue with that, it's just a word. What constitutes a "buddhist"? Who decides? Go ahead and be a buddhist.

Thich Nhat Hanh has written a book you might be interested in... Living Buddha, Living Christ I haven't read it myself, but it seems relevant, and has recieved many good reviews.

u/lost-one · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Probably because he didnt have access to Buddha's teachings. Everything Jesus said Buddha covered in more depth 500 yrs earlier. Plus he explained the rational behind each teaching and why each thing applied will impact you and those around you (cause and effect.)

I used to be Christian, reading the Old Testament/Torah turned me into an atheist (genocide to take land because god said so is the main topic, even Moses advocates genocide) but reading Sutras "woke me back up" in the spiritual realm (more about contemplating the human condition, still no belief on god, but Buddha said he was just more reason I lost can a man know more then the son of god?)

u/MinutesOnAScreen · 1 pointr/personalfinance

You've already gotten a lot of good advice. But I wanted to say that filling for bankruptcy is not going to help you if you make less than you spend. It will screw up your credit and you will still be living off credit cards. Once you cut your expenses and gain more income, start working at paying off the highest rate CC first. You might want to consider getting a book like The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness"

Also, since she is staying home with your son, maybe she could take in another child to watch.

u/Leon_Art · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

I was wondering if you saw this two part video (Part one and Part 2) and maybe the book (Karen Armstrong's A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam) it was based on. I think you might find it interesting.

u/the_omega99 · 1 pointr/EverythingScience

Should you read every book that presents a new idea just to judge for yourself if that is an idea worth undertaking or whatever?

There's been a lot of religions in human history (most which have long since died off). Should you necessarily read every religion's works to understand the religion and its followers, and to determine if it's the right one in your mind (etc)? The bible is certainly the basis for the largest religion (and a partial basis for the second largest, although the Quran is much more influential to them). But let's not neglect the Hindus and Buddhists (I don't even know what their religious books are, or how many their are).

Are we even constraining ourselves to modern religions? Maybe the ancient Greeks or Romans had it right, but you won't know because you didn't study them yourself (sure, they died off, but that's just because other people decided that they were the "wrong" religions -- by your logic, you should be deciding this for yourself). What about the Norse? Or that ancient Egyptian religion?

The reality of the world is that you can't really read and research everything for yourself. There's nothing wrong with falling back on other people's shorter, more digestible summaries, provided that you take care to find quality ones and a diversity of opinions. And reading their holy books won't tell you that much about their modern religions. It doesn't really matter what the Bible or Quran says, for example, if the followers do something entirely different. Not to mention that reading and researching for yourself does not require reading the holy book. There's plenty of more modern texts, for example, that have a much less biased explanation of modern religions, their belief sets, and how they have evolved -- this goes far beyond what the Bible alone could tell you about these religions.

Reading the bible to figure out if it's right is like reading Mein Kampf to figure out if Hitler's ideas were good ones. It's far too biased, missing in objective knowledge, and omits crucial things. If you want to actually study a religion, you need more than that. You need someone who can point out when "facts" stated differ from historical accounts. You need someone to remind you when a passage conflicts with an earlier one. You need someone to detail when details are actually carry-overs from older religions. A proper religion studies textbook would do a lot more to critically analyze a religion than reading their holy book. An example of such a book is A History of God by Karen Armstrong.

As an aside,

>If you know Tyson, you'll know he's not an atheist, he's agnostic.

That's bullshit. Agnostic isn't a view point alone. The actual divide is "agnostic atheist", "gnostic atheist", "agnostic theist", and "gnostic theist" (most people are either agnostic atheists or gnostic theists). Typically among intelligent people, the default for when you don't know is to assume it doesn't exist. And that's the case for almost everything, really. I can't be entirely sure that unicorns don't exist. I don't have proof for it. Yet I don't think they exist. Tyson is an agnostic atheist who avoids the term "atheist" because it has strong negative connotations in the US (a huge number of people say that they wouldn't vote for an atheist, for example).

u/Phantasmal · 1 pointr/atheism

You may also want to read The History of God and Why We Believe What We Believe.

I have found some of my best reading by checking the bibliography of books with ideas that I really enjoyed and then reading the books that were referenced there.

The hardest thing for many people is replacing a feeling of certainty with a feeling of uncertainty. You may want to read Steven Hawking's Brief History of Time.

Some basic introductions to philosophy would not go amiss either. People have been tackling the "big questions" in much the same way, throughout all of history. There are not as many new ideas as there are old ideas, rehashed. Learn something about the history of human thought, it is pretty fascinating and will help you figure out what you think.

u/FireInTheNight · 1 pointr/Christianity

And you are frightened for good reason (no pun intended). I am talking to someone who believes in an invisible sky wizard for which there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to be found in observable reality. In fact, all the evidence that we have found in observable reality so far strongly suggests that no such entity exists - many would say to the point of certainty. Add to the lack of scientific evidence for gods the fact that historians have traced the origins of the beliefs in the current gods that people still believe in today back to the beliefs in earlier gods seamlessly through history. Your god, for example, is an amalgamated result of a multitude of ancient Arabic tribal polytheistic and pantheistic beliefs. Check out Karen Armstrong's excellent "A History of God" on the subject (if you haven't done so already).

So yeah, as long as I am talking to someone who believes in such an entity and compares talking to it to "basic social interactions" and human "two-way communication" I have reason and rationality squarely and exclusively on my side.

u/sdvneuro · 1 pointr/DebateAChristian

Both of these books discuss it:

A History of God

The Bible: a biography

u/jesusonadinosaur · 1 pointr/DebateAChristian

>Morality is eternal.

Do you follow the laws in the OT? I'm mean they are eternal right?

>How to deal with other cultures

Quote the verse and explain how the jews in egypt would know that rule?

>What ideas (and/or tools) to accept or reject

Quote the verse and explain how the jews at the time would know this. This one I find particularly hilarious and ad hoc. There is not rule at all about what tools and technologies to accept. I'd be embarrassed for you if you weren't such an ignorant ass.

>What type of language to accept or reject

Quote the verse and explain how the jews at the time would know this. This is the part you will never defend. You will never actually put forth verses that say not to do this. In fact, jews today speak nearly all the languages on the planet.

>Who to associate with and how to do so


>What toys to play with, movies to watch, etc


>All of these things have been determined since... forever.

How did the jews have complete knowledge of the OT laws before they were written? Why did they disobey very simple concepts like "don't worship other gods" and still fail to violate such a difficult task as no cultural mixing?

Where does it say that there be no cultural mixing whatsoever. Something the jews have violated with every culture they have been introduced to?

>The point is that the very fact that you say "there was no covenant yet" proves that you do not understand this fundamental concept of theism. This also is evidence that you were never actually a Christian.

You are deeply confused if you think that the covenant existed prior to moses. Ask any jew on this board. The covenant was with israel. It was not in place before that, it was never established in the bible before that. All there was consisted of a promise to abraham and the noahide laws. That you think this is pretty entertaining. To assert that the same covenant always existed would be to assert that all people, not just the jews were part of the OT covenant and subject to those same laws.

>he deuteronomical laws were not the origin of morality any more than the use of penicillin was the origin of bacterial infection. They were the result, not the cause, of bad morality.

I never said they were the origin or morality. I will assert that there is no way people would have access (and strictly adhere to) all the laws laid forth in the OT. Some of which are pretty entertaining.

> I thought my illustration of "murder was wrong before a law against it was written" would have explained all this. I

This is because you are unintelligent. Murder it can be argued would be known as wrong, "cultural mixing" is not intuitively wrong. Same with a great deal of the laws in the OT. Further, there is no such law against cultural mixing as you are defining it.

>Heathen cultures (including Egyptians) reject that concept of morality

>Morality is just some "agreement" or human construct

YOu realize the egyptians were theists right?

>Death, and even human sacrifice is worshiped

See jephthah's daughter

>Fornication and hedonism are abound

Kinda like worshipping Cow statues...

>Even if the Israelite's concept of morality is wrong (it isn't), it's very easy to understand why they would completely reject everything about their captive's culture, even down to their eating utensils or haircuts.

No it's not. Your argument completely falls apart when you look at how heavily they adopt canaanite culture. In fact we see this with every single culture the jews ever mixed with. Including the babylonians who they were also captives of. You are saying two disparate cultures wouldn't mix, which history proves false over and over-even with the jews. Further, the bible itself shows they adopted views and practices of heathens.

>That's not even some "wack-ass-theory", that's what common sense would expect. Yet you call it "inane". How blind have you made yourself?

You are so stupid that you don't even realize that if what you are saying was true the jews wouldn't have adopted the cultural practices of ANY foreign culture. Not only is this inane, there is no example of it in all of human history.

>Not really.

Every single point by the poster challenging was completely addressed. The same is not true vice versa.

>This, my inane friend, is "running away", a cop-out. You only gave an author if I recall anyway. You only gave an author if I recall anyway.

How stupid are you? With that author you would instantly get the book with a quick search.

>ou came about a piece of archaeological evidence in some book that was so damning, so convincing, so certain, that you can't even mention it specifically.

Are you stupid. I'm claiming the entirety of the evidence is damning. And I specifically mentioned the gross anachronisms. The complete absence of evidence anywhere in all of egypt or canaan (remarkable to say the least), the fact that the cities in the bible were not all inhabited at the time, that other cities were not built until much later. That the jews would have to escape into a canaan already controlled by egypt. That the area doesn't support that kind of population. That egypt never suffered a great economic collapse. That canaan never experienced as massive influx of population. And that the jews show not one lick of evidence of having spent 400 years in egypt. Despite your inane protestations, there is no good reason at all to consider this plausible.

In fact, that's why the whole field rejects the exodus.

>You have to just mention a book. A book, I might add, that I'm not even sure (or even believe at this point) that you've even read yourself.

Its sad how dumb your are and how much you project. I briefly mention karen armstong's book [a history of god)[] in a post where you misinterpret the subject of another thread as a place for more information. And due to your utter lack of education or willingness to investigate you assume I haven't read this book? Rather funny really.

>As I said, bring it up with him.

Why he already acknowledges the documentary hypothesis and openly states there is are errors in numbers. If that part of the bible is untrue why should I believe it?

>I hope for your sake it's because you aren't even trying, because that's certainly what it looks like from here

I'm not even having to try. You offer no challenge at all. Your arguments are so truly embarassing that you do my work for me. Some are so bad you yourself don't even make them any more. Claiming you cannot demonstrate a negative, Denying the scholarly opinion, arguing for magical mystery cities that no ones found with no reason to expect they exist...

This is all a bit comical. You are so desperate in your ignorance that you cannot even put together an informed opinion.

u/EbonShadow · 1 pointr/Christianity

>1)I'm going to paraphrase here a little bit, but you can get the idea. It says in the bible that god created a rainbow after the flood to signify to Noah that he would never flood the world again. How can this be? That is like saying the refraction of light had never occurred before that point. I understand the idea that god can overcome science, but come on that is a little far fetched.

You find this the far fetched part of the Ark story? With the lack of geological evidence for a world-wide flood, or the accounting for Kangaroo's in Australia which are shown to diverge from their mammalian ancestries a few million years ago? I guess my question is why aren't you applying the breath of your scientific knowledge to the whole of the book? Perhaps Physics was your area of focus?

>2)It says in Revelations that a 7 headed beast would rise out of the sea when the end times arrive. Now, I know that a lot of people take the bible very literally, such as my family. How can this be interpreted because I know for a fact that this will not happen. This doesn't mean that what is described is incorrect, but simply miss interpreted.

Another option is it simply is a story written by people for people.

>5)According to Genesis the earth was formed before the sun. Is this something that people truly believe? Please, someone with a scientific education explain this to me. All I have heard is, God can over come universal laws no matter what they may be.

Most Christians I know tend to take it metaphorically vs literally as clearly by the Bibles account it doesn't match with modern astrophysics.

>6)The new testament was compiled by the Roman's and it is well known that books were left out of it. Man is flawed inherently, was something missed. Was god directing these actions? Can god really speak through people? Now, many people, such as my family, will tell me yes. Now, here is my problem with that. I have listened to sermons at church heard inconsistencies and scientifically incorrect interpretations be made by the minister. With that in mind, how can you gauge whether or not anything you hear "preached" to you is god speaking through someone?

The entire Bible has been edited many times.

>1) God is not some bearded guy in the sky. God is infinite, we are finite, we will never understand something as powerful and as awesome as "him".

Have you spent much time researching what some of the leading scientists say about the Universe? You don't need to insert a god into it.. Especially the Christian one which has enormous logical inconsistencies/paradox when you describe him as the omni-deity.

>2) God is all seeing all knowing. I believe this "being" has transcended us and is in vast complexity to the things we know. He has manipulated the universe, through science, to create us.

The god you are describing is what scientists refer to as the 'god of the gaps' IE as science learns more about reality the deities influence continues to shrink into the gaps of our ignorance.

>My goal here is not to offend anyone. I search and search around the christian community for a better revelation of who and why we are here. I just need something more then, just have faith. I don't feel that things are that simple. How can they be?

My suggestion for you is to read a bit on the history of the abrahamic deity and one of the most influencial skeptics of the 1900's.

u/SorceressFane · 1 pointr/religion

A History of God by Karen Armstrong is a great book to learn a little about the "big 3" Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

u/Anonymous_Ascendent · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

I'm saying that numerous scriptural authors included imagery of the seven headed dragon / Leviathan throughout the New Testament and the Old Testament. This is not an original metaphor, it is directly drawing from Judaism's origins.

The Old Testament was edited and re-written on several occasions by Yahwehists who want to move the Israelites into Monotheism. Deuteronomy, Psalms and Isaiah all have explicit references to the Canaanite pantheon members such as Ba'al and Elyon.

Eventually Elyon (the Father God) was merged with Yahweh (The God of War), and Ba'al (The God of Storms), Yam (Sea/river God) and Lotan (The Seven Headed Serpent) were merged into 'The Devil'.

Edit: if this stuff seems unfamiliar to you, you should familiarize yourself with biblical academics and start by reading this:

u/ResearchLaw · 1 pointr/atheism

I highly recommend two key books by renowned New Testament scholar and professor Bart Ehrman. Professor Ehrman is among the most respected authorities on New Testament Studies and Scholarship in the United States.

(1) Jesus Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them) (2010);


(2) Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (2007).

u/_____FRESH_____ · 1 pointr/Showerthoughts

That may be the case, but you have to remember the people who "witnessed" these events first hand didn't write it down. It was verbally told from person to person. I think when you break down the day in question it's not really as special as everyone wants it to be. The entire scene in the bible where Pilot reluctantly kill Jesus over the thief Barabbas never happened. In fact Pilot killed so many jews that there are letters to Rome complaining about his rampant killings. He wouldn't have bat an eye at killing yet another jew trying to push sedition on everyone. The bible is a great book of interesting stories that like any other story told and retold has been greatly embellished and tweaked to fit the narrative of the time. It's believed the story of Pilot asking the Jews who he should kill was added because those stories were sent to Rome and were meant for the Greek romans of the time. They softened the message so Rome wouldn't come off as complete dicks.

If you haven't read it I highly recommend Zealot by Reza Aslan ( or Jesus Interrupted by Bart D. Ehrman (

Both books are great and the audio books are read by the authors.

I pulled most of my points from these books and they say it much, much better than I ever could. They both do their own translations of the original Greek texts and have help with the Aramaic translations.

u/ChristianityBot · 1 pointr/ChristianityBot

Removed comment posted by /u/I_Am_Genesis at 01/06/15 08:35:47:

> Cause Jesus he knows me, and he knows I'm right.

... in response to comment posted by /u/sbinsandiego at 01/06/15 08:35:43:

> Limited atonement FOLLOWS from sovereign election. Why would Christ's sacrifice be universal, if only some are called and chosen?
> But I think we disagree fundamentally on many issues. You have obviously thought about your position, and believe that it is right. I've given careful though to all of mine as well, and I believe that mine is correct. That's the whole problem with these things. If there were no doubt of any kind, there would not be two positions on them.
> As for the Ephesians passage, you could be right, as far as the interpretation goes. I could be right, in the same way. The entire package of salvation is the gift, as many interpreters suggest.
> As far as your statement about the call to salvation and which way brings the most people to Christ, I'd suggest that you look in the history books at the great revivals. Virtually all of them were based on the idea of men and women being "choosers," and the call to believe was extended to each, with all of them being able to believe if they chose. Whether the Holy Spirit's call was irresistible or not, that's a matter for debate. Sometimes it certainly seems so (Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield), while other times it seems as if people could resist God's call. Once again, the doctrine of sovereign election is at the root of the concept of irresistible grace.
> By the way. You may think we are very far apart, but we are not. To say to someone that "You may choose to believe" is not wrong, but certainly not all will, and of those, there are some whose belief is not really all that serious. John mentions this, when he says that "many believed in Him, but Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew what was in man." (paraphrase of John 2:23-25). If you call all, tell them they can believe, and tell them to believe, but some choose not to believe (to reject, John 3:36), then they are by definition not the subjects of God's choice.

Removed comment posted by /u/I_Am_Genesis at 01/06/15 08:37:55:

> Cause Jesus he knows me, and he knows I'm right.

... in response to comment posted by /u/bdw9000 at 01/06/15 08:37:51:

> I highly recommend a book called Jesus Interrupted which is about precisely this topic.

Removed comment posted by /u/bdw9000 at 01/06/15 08:37:51:

> I highly recommend a book called Jesus Interrupted which is about precisely this topic.

... in response to submission Major differences between the Gospels? posted by /u/barkjon at 01/06/15 08:36:44:

> I've never really figured out what the main differences are between each of the Gospels, but it really fascinates me. Besides different Gospels describing different events in Jesus' life, how are they unique? How does each author's writing style seem to differ?

Just very curious about this.

u/remembertosmilebot · 1 pointr/exchristian

Did you know Amazon will donate a portion of every purchase if you shop by going to instead? Over $50,000,000 has been raised for charity - all you need to do is change the URL!

Here are your smile-ified links:

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Why Evolution Is True

The Skeptic's Annotated Bible

Why There Is No God

Jesus, Interrupted

The God Argument

Deconverted: A Journey from Religion to Reason


^^i'm ^^a ^^friendly bot

u/w_v · 1 pointr/zen

> If you you'd like to post a coherent alternative interpretation of the Platform Sutra

It's not a full alternative interpretation, but Alan Cole's paper has an interesting analysis on the Master Huineng section of the Platform Sutra and how it relates to the battle of hierarchies in early Chan history.

> don't you find it unsettling when texts are thrown in the face of people who never read them and never will, to prop-up positions that are contradictory to these texts?

Not at all. I don't presuppose newcomers will ignore something they're clearly interested in, nor do I assume they're too dumb to realize these are difficult translations of ancient texts in a language that scholars are still working out.

Maybe if Chan scholarship becomes mainstream the way Biblical criticism has then we could move past the “Zen ≠ Buddhism” point—a point which shouldn't even be controversial anymore.

>why will you present me a text that claims the opposite, that meditation is the center of Zen practice, just because it's more "poetic" and I'd enjoy myself more?

Thank you for pointing this out. You're hitting the nail on a very important issue in all ancient literary/religious studies! For example: There is a story in one of the gospels concerning a woman taken in adultery (”He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone.”) The story has been so popular throughout the ages that even Mel Gibson couldn't help inserting it as a flashback in his Passion film.

Turns out it was never in the original gospel. It was added by a copyist centuries later! (the reasons we know this are outside the scope of this post.)

Does this mean we should remove that story from every Bible in the world? What about the fact that for almost two thousand years people believed it was a Bible story and it formed part of their faith and practice? Does that not count for something? If we cut the New Testament down to only the parts we're sure are earliest it would be very, very short indeed. I am not qualified to argue either way w.r.t. the lineage texts but I'd love to read a knowledgable discussion about it!

Returning to Zen/Chan: How do we deal with the fact that most people are taught Zen = Meditation practice? Even the word is complicated. Meditation comes from the Latin meditari, meaning “to think, contemplate, devise, ponder.” Would modern translators have used “meditate” if they were discovering these texts for the first time?

Maybe, maybe not. But no one would argue that zero knowledge of the texts is preferable to some knowledge of the texts, which brings us to:

> Many readers prefer the actual meaning, especially when you claim the "poetic" translation is so distorted.

Lay-readers don't know very much about the history, theory, and practice of translation. They think accurate means formal equivalence but that kind of translation is unreadable to anyone not steeped in historical textual analysis.

Only scholars read “word-for-word” translations of the Bible. I've read parts of one. It's unreadable because I neither have extensive knowledge of the underlying ancient greek nor of Early Christian literary development.

> First of all, if Ewk is a poor victim, haggard and harassed, then he couldn't possibly be enlightened.

Everything you wrote after this I feel unequipped to discuss. I'm not trying to dodge but it feels like a combination of faith-based statements regarding “enlightenment” or personal issues with Ewk himself. Regardless, I enjoyed this exchange. Thank you.

u/TouchedByAnAnvil · 1 pointr/science

>> I don't know of a book that traces the lineage of the myths

Jesus Interrupted

u/ExMennonite · 1 pointr/atheism

If you believe that Jesus is 100% mythical, I would like to present Barth Ehrman, a highly respect HISTORIAN who has spent a great deal of his career on separating the myth of Christ from the reality.

He is just one of many HISTORIANS who work on things like this. They have a wide variety of tools for the work of separating myth from history. Are you aware of any of them?

Here are some of Bart's books:

You may also want to check out "the Context Group" --

Here are some of their books:

Now it's your turn -- please present scholarly and respected sources for the idea that Jesus is 100% myth.

I can help you:

These people DO have an ideological ax to grind. I'm not buying it. Mythical? Of course. 100% myth? Nope.

u/OneManNinjaClan · 1 pointr/atheism

No no no, you all have it wrong. Harris, Hitchens and Dawkins are great and all, but the best case against Christ is written by Bart Ehrman: Jesus Interrupted

u/GiantManbat · 1 pointr/Christianity

Sure. The idea that we go to another space called "Heaven" as spirits for all eternity is a very modern one. It's not what is taught in the Bible, and it has never been an orthodox Christian belief.

Heaven is the space where God resides, like another dimension. God created the earth in such a way that it kind of "overlapped" with God's space. Because of human rebellion (i.e. "sin"), we've lost the ability to be in full communion with God in that space. While heaven is still there and can interact with us, we cannot interact with it (at least not in the way we were meant to).

God's goal is to fully restore the relationship between our world and heaven. Revelation describes heaven coming down to earth, not us going up to heaven. God intends to make creation like new, restoring the heaven/earth relationship and wiping away the effects of human sin.

There's still a belief that the human soul is in some way protected by God after death, and that we exist in some kind of unembodied state, but that's not the end goal. If that's "life after death", then the real hope of the Christian faith is "life after life after death".

That's a super simplified version. If you want to know more, check out this video from the Bible Project, or read "Surprised by Hope" by N.T. Wright.

u/derDrache · 1 pointr/Christianity

I mean that all human beings will someday be physically raised from the dead for the Judgement and the "world to come" similar to how Christ was raised. Whatever is left of our body will be transformed into a "new" body that can be touched and can eat (for example), but is not subject to corruption and doesn't always necessarily act like we think of bodies acting now. References to the resurrection of the dead is scattered all over scripture (1 Samuel, Job, Psalms, Isaiah, Jesus' teaching in the Gospels, Acts, many of Paul's letters), but the big passages are Daniel 12 and Ezekiel 37 in the Old Testament and 1 Corinthians 15 in the New. It gets a line in both the Apostles' Creed ("I believe... in the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting") and the Nicene Creed ("I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come."), and two of the earliest post-Apostolic Christian writers we have access to (Irenaeus and Justin Martyr, both 2nd century) argue for a physical resurrection of all humans.

N.T. Wright has a good book, Surprised by Hope, that discusses this doctrine, its centrality to Christianity everywhere until relatively recently, and its implications on how we should live as Christians.

u/Ottermotive_Insanity · 1 pointr/Christianity

Love Wins is a great read if you're questioning Hell. I'm not saying I base my belief on it, but it addresses your questions with the answers you want.

But I don't even believe in Hell as a place of eternal torment, so I guess I don't believe in Hell, and I'm a Christian.

u/Heald · 1 pointr/Christianity

Have a look at Love Wins by Rob Bell and Erasing Hell by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle

They both discuss the issues that you are struggling with.

u/jayratch · 1 pointr/politics

>It seems everyone in this thread is forgetting that with jesus came the idea of hell and eternal punishment.

This is not the case.

I could explain, but I'll point you to the book "Love Wins" by newly controversial Christian author Rob Bell. In the book (and I'm sure you can get secondary analysis through the Google without buying the book) Bell debunks the popular mythology of hell.

u/US_Hiker · 1 pointr/atheism

I should have perhaps written "Jesus thought that Lust is bad" etc etc.

As far as what Jesus believed in about Hell, it was likely hugely different than what Christians believe in today. For one, there's no mention that heterodoxy (wrong belief) would send you there. The only people in hell or punished were there for heteropraxis (wrong action). As such, though he felt lust was hugely harmful, I don't think he considered it Hell-worthy. There was a recent book written detailing many of the arguments this way. Love Wins, by Rob Bell. I haven't read it yet, but heard good things from some theologians/clergy I know (and horrible things from the more fundie/evo side in the US). Basically, there is shockingly little support for the orthodox version of Hell that we all know about.

Similarly, the Christian concept of original sin is unrecognizable to Jews, and very likely to Jesus (at least we have nothing extant from Jesus talking about it). Our concept of O.S. comes from Paul, and it's so counter to what most Jews think of it that it's one of their main reasons not to convert to Christianity. FWIW, it's one of the big reasons that I don't think Christianity is a successor to Judaism and became a no-longer Christian. Read this and this or this. There was a small subgroup w/in Judaism who believed in inherited sin, as mentioned in a couple of the more apocalyptic books we have from the time (detailed here). If Jesus was just an apocalyptic itinerant preacher, he might have believed in it. To what extent though, we don't know, as the doctrine is based off of Paul's book of Romans, not the Gospels.

u/roontish12 · 1 pointr/atheism

Several good books, God Delusion I like. Demon Haunted World, Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan is also a very good one. Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon is another good one.

u/areReady · 1 pointr/atheism

Dawkins was merely speculating on possible mechanisms, not absolutely claiming truth to that mechanism. It is clear that children are credulous and gullible...Dawkins looks at both why that would be and how religion would affect such credulous minds.

But if you want a better examination of where religion comes from, read Breaking The Spell by Daniel Dennett.

u/AmazingSteve · 1 pointr/atheism

Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, by Daniel Dennett

Dennett is incredibly pleasant (like, the Mr. Rogers of atheistic philosophy), and the main point of the book is to get the reader to a place where they are comfortable thinking critically about religion. Once that initial barrier has been breached, people tend to be much more comfortable with something a bit harsher, like The God Delusion, or just more open to conversation.

u/scatshot · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

>Maybe you should read Dennett’s Breaking the Spell


u/ShakaUVM · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

>>Maybe you should read Dennett’s Breaking the Spell

I said, what part in particular? Waving at a book is unhelpful. I'm trying to understand what point you're trying to make.

u/dinkoplician · 1 pointr/nottheonion

The topic specifically says "DC Bars". A bazillion comments are talking about drinking. People from flyover country are amazed that it's socially acceptable to drink during the workday, but apparently this is not a big deal in DC. You just defended it yourself, and when I pointed it out, you suddenly changed the topic to restaurants. WTF?

> on an afternoon for lunch. I'm drinking. Gasp.

I'd get fired if I came back to work from lunch with alcohol on my breath. The fact that you consider it normal speaks volumes about how out of touch you are.

u/AceFlashheart · 1 pointr/samharris

> What does "relentlessly pro-immigration" mean?

Call everyone who's for immigration restriction a racist? Basically if you think Trump "disqualifies" himself by suggesting that illegal immigrants be deported you're prob. a progressive extremest.

> Who, specifically, is giddy about "replacing" the population of the USA?

Progressives who want a one party state, based off demographic changes? Kind of people who write these articles?

> No. We don't have the evidence to justify this conclusion.

I'm sorry you don't think we 'have evidence' to say that " those who don't see PC as a problem are the group most likely to also be in favor of it?" Wouldn't this just be common sense?

Do you think people who do see PC as a problem are likely to be in favor of it???

> I'm having trouble following your argument. Are you saying that Democratic Party candidates are to the left of the party's voting base?

I don't know how I can state this more clearly than I did:

If these is no gap in attitudes beliefs between progressives and their voting base why results of the answers to a simply question about political correctness differ so largely between 'ultra-progressives' and the majority of Democratic voters?

This question shouldn't be a difficult one to comprehend.

> Who are these "extreme progressives" you keep referring to? It seems like you're using it as a stand-in for more well-to-do progressives.

I'm not, I'm talking about specifically the group outlined in the Atlantic article.

> Why might well-to-do progressives see PC as less of a problem? I can think of a few explanations that have nothing to do with "extremism."
>Perhaps well-to-do progressives are more likely to be educated on the subject of systemic oppression.
>Perhaps well-to-do progressives are more likely to be neoliberals who care more about social/identity issues than economic/structural issues.
>Perhaps well-to-do progressives, more likely to have been exposed to different types of people and a greater variety of perspectives in a higher education setting, are more likely to be sympathetic to "political correctness" insofar as it means trying to be considerate of what offends other people who aren't like them.

A) More likely to buy into the theory of 'systematic oppression' that downplays the importance of cultural or genetic differences between populations for a conspiracy about white power structures.

B) This one is likely true, but doesn't really counteract my point. One can still be 'extreme' and 'outside the mainstream' while not being a socialist/far-left on economic issues.

C) Most of the evidence suggests the opposite, that they are more likely to be ensconced in an echo chamber, largely out of touch with the lives of less privileged Americans due to their effective isolation ("Coming apart" being perhaps the best documentation of this).

I feel like I am repeating myself at this point but even if your particular, biased take is true, it doesn't really counteract my central point - there is every reason to believe that progressive policy makers are out of step with the majority of Americans on many, many issues.

> The fact is, we don't know. So my conclusions are just as valid, and probably a great deal more so, than yours.

Your conclusion that "We can't say that those people who are least likely to say PC is not a problem, are also the group that we can logically assume is most likely to be in favor of it" is a conclusion we cannot make assumptions about?

I think we may have reached the limits of the usefulness of this discussion.

u/CertifiedRabbi · 1 pointr/DebateAltRight

>Guns were fine pre-brown invasion. The gun violence problem is directly and indirectly because of the Browns. They are committing most of the violence and brown diversity is a black cloud over all of society that creates despondence and erodes social trust everywhere.

Only partially true. Yes, the increased racial diversity in our society is contributing to the lack of social trust, as proven by Robert Putnam's work - which in turn is corrupting the morality and mental health of White people. But White culture itself has gone to shit in America, as proven by Charles Murray's Coming Apart. Both of which were largely caused by Jews [1][2][3][4][5]. White people have been morally corrupted and demographically and economically assaulted by Jewish-backed intellectual movements like liberalism and neoconservatism, and so they're increasingly turning to despair by becoming drug addicts, committing suicide, and lashing out at our pozzed society by becoming mass shooters.

u/deathmastersnitch · 1 pointr/IAmA

I found this book to be very interesting on the topic. It doesn't set forth a specific solution, but does a good explanation of how we are coming apart in America.

u/ricksc-137 · 1 pointr/AskALiberal

I don't really know. My guess would be something described by Charles Murray in his new book ( essentially, there is a segment of the country who is practicing stable, traditional paths of structuring their life like long term stable marriages, raising children in two parent households, etc, and there is a segment of the country which is not, and the former group is building a virtuous cycle, while the latter group is stuck in a vicious cycle.

This phenomenon likely has many many causes, but I suspect some of which are the decline of religion and the lack of alternative value systems to replace it in certain smaller communities, the prevalence and ease of escapes from socially-bonding activities like video games and drugs, the dramatic restructuring of economic activity away from traditional jobs to more dynamic creative type jobs.

The US is a much bigger place than the European countries, with a smaller social safety tradition, so these differences are probably more exaggerated in the US.

u/_AnObviousThrowaway_ · 1 pointr/AskTrumpSupporters

The after effects, sure. But I don't think you can make the case that racism is the primary thing keeping black people down today. For example, take the period between the civil war and the civil rights act of 1964. Black people advanced socially in that time period much more quickly than in the period since the civil rights act, despite the fact discrimination was both legal and extremely common, at least in the south. This tells me there's something else going on. You can see a lot of the problems that plague the black community also plague some white communities, namely crime, poverty, and drug use. Charles Murray writes about said white communities here. And they appear to have similar causes, poor work ethic, single parenthood, and so on. As Thomas Sowell points out,, black culture and redneck culture aren't as dissimilar as you might think.

u/icanthinkofanewname · 1 pointr/agnostic

Eww I have a book and video for you. The video uses the book as a reference. It's a super easy read and informative.



u/matthewjumps · 1 pointr/exjw

A History of God - explains how the monotheistic cult of YHWH developed from polytheistic Jewish religions that included YHWH as a war god among a pantheon of other gods.

Evid3nc3 Video that elaborates on information in this book.

Honestly when I heard about this, Israels constant 'returning to false gods' in the old testament made so much more sense. I never understood, as a JW, why on earth the Israelites would keep going back to other gods, when according to the old testament YHWH so clearly demonstrated his superiority - but this makes it all clear.

u/gunnk · 1 pointr/atheism

I haven't read these yet, but one or both WILL be on my near-term reading list:

Evolution of God

A History of God

u/a_midgets_last_stand · 1 pointr/nottheonion

it's worded as such because the israelites had a covenant specifically with yahweh(who predates judaism, of course).

the belief in baal and asherah were widely accepted at this time as well- asherah was yahweh's consort.

there's also debate on whether or not El was the same as yahweh.

got this book about 7-8 years ago that delves into the topic with remarkable clarity and ease. i'm a history major so perhaps i'm a bit biased, but i always thought the history of monotheism was fascinating.

u/TheDude1985 · 1 pointr/atheism

Titled: "A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam"

This is a good one. Maybe not exactly what you're looking for, but a good read.

u/Harry_Seaward · 1 pointr/religion

So, reading the Bible is somewhat of a chore. If you're just reading it to say you've done so, or give yourself a brief glimpse of what it has, you can look here to get an idea of what each version offers. Some versions are more "modern" and use current language and syntax. They're easier to read but may include translations of words or phrases that may not be as accurate as others. On the other hand, some versions go to great lengths to be as accurate as possible and lose some readability because of it.

Once you've decided, you can go here to read a lot of those versions - or multiple versions at once. You can also find apps that do similar things - sword-reader, or something to that effect, and probably others.

There are also places like this that are geared towards atheists. They're often snarky, though, so take it with a grain of salt.

I think, and agree with weeglos, that you're better off reading something like this or this to get an idea of what it's about and the changes that have been made (and why).

u/CommandrKeen · 1 pointr/Christianity

I think you're being a little extreme about the Hitler idea, but in education it is important to have a good source and my source is good. Whereas your source doesn't state that the concept of mana was only used in the South Pacific. The idea of mana was in Sumerian culture too. We'll just have to agree to disagree. But, if you're interested my source is it's an interesting read. Cheers.

u/Draz04 · 1 pointr/atheism

A History of God by Karen Armstrong is one of my favorites. It's a purely historical look at the development of the Abrahamic religions and ties in Buddhism and Hinduism a little well. Great for understanding how the religions came about.

u/Derbedeu · 1 pointr/atheism

>Well, have you actually read War and Peace in Russian? Then your argument just fell fell apart. The nuance in good literature can have vastly different meanings, depending on the reader.

Whether someone reads it in English or Russian, the story is the same and so are the themes. They don't change just because the language is different.

>Let’s review a few reasons why that’s ridiculous! At least 194 Jews and people of half- or three-quarters-Jewish ancestry have been awarded the Nobel Prize,1 accounting for 22% of all individual recipients worldwide between 1901 and 2015.

How many grew up in a shtetl? How many were religious? Why don't you have any Jewish Nobel Prize winners coming out of the pale of settlement?

Religion literally has nothing to do with intelligence, unless it is to retard it. You also seem to have an obsession with race/ethnicity, two concepts that literally don't make any sense biologically. We're all homo sapiens sapiens As Richard Feynman put it, "To select, for approbation the peculiar elements that come from some supposedly Jewish heredity is to open the door to all kinds of nonsense on racial theory."

>Shabbat, a day of rest – origin – yes, the Jews.


People today get the weekend off (i.e. two days off), weekend being a British concept. Even that has been found to be insufficient though, as 50 hour work weeks are deemed to be too much by many psychologists and sociologists and lead to a decrease in productivity.

But what does that have to do with anything though? Also, where do you see a culture that hasn't had some sort of impact one way or another? All cultures do, because that's how cultures work, they're effusive.

>Washing hands to avoid disease – a practice started a long, long time ago.

The Celts practiced the same thing, using soap. Again though, what does hygiene have to do with anything? Especially as hygiene practices varied worldwide back then.

>Biblehub is a Christian site, btw.

With translations from numerous publications that are translated by numerous philologists in turn. Besides, the other two aren't and lo and behold, their translations are the same.

>And to liken Judaism to a cult? I have no problem with what you think about Scientology and the Mormons, but you have some huge problem in your cerebral connections to associate Judaism with a cult.

How is Judaism NOT a cult? It literally started off as a cult of Yahweh. Here are some books and papers you can read on the matter:

This isn't even mentioning that Judaism today exhibits many cult characteristics. There are elitist tendencies (chosen ones); proscribed and identifiable clothing; barring of intermarriages with those outside of the group; kashrut laws encouraging members to only mingle with other in-group members; an elite class charged with authority and leadership within the group (rabbis); demands of immoral actions such as genital mutilation; a closed social system that frowns upon any deviation; end-time revelation; concept of mesirah; etc.

Judaism is a cult just as every other religion is.

>Oh, by the way, don’t bother to reply, I tire of your weak,
wandering responses,


u/thedoc617 · 1 pointr/ADHD

Dave Ramsey!

What he teaches REALLY helped me. Cut up my credit cards and do cash only things or debit card, and did the debt snowball to pay down the lowest ones first (regardless of interest).

What are you passionate about? Hobbies? I bounced around in 4 different majors before I found Theatre Arts, got a degree and then decided to become a professional pet stylist. (dog groomer). At least I do it with flair!

I'm not particularly religious, but there is a class that is offered in many Christian churches that you have other like minded individuals also trying to get out of debt. (He does reference the bible and some religious teachings, but it's not littered in it)

u/AnOddOtter · 1 pointr/IWantToLearn

I can recommend a couple resources to get you started. One is the subreddit /r/personalfinance. There is all kinds of useful information on there that can help you. The other is the book The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It is quick read. If you do the audiobook it is less than 4 hours. You can almost certainly get it from your local library for free, maybe even as an ebook or digital audiobook.

A very very brief simplistic explanation is that it uses a snowball approach to your finances when in debt. List out all of your monthly expenses from lowest to highest, establish a small emergency fund, then pay off the debts from lowest to highest. When you pay off the lowest one, start applying that now freed up expense to the next lowest. I know that saying to establish an emergency fund is /r/restofthefuckingowl material for this question, but I'm just giving a summary of the ideas.

An example is if you have two debts. One for $200 that you have a minimum paying of $10/month on. Second is for $1000 that you have a minimum paying of $50 on. Each month you pay the $50 minimum on the 2nd and as much as you can on the first one, we will say $25 for this. In 8 months you pay off the first loan, so in the 9th month you roll that $25 into the second loan, and start paying $75/month on it

That's the gist of Total Money Makeover, but I can give you another tip that has helped from my personal experience. It sounds like a discipline problem of spending money when you know you shouldn't. Open a savings account and use direct deposit to automatically put $10, 20, or whatever is appropriate for your paycheck into that savings account. Since it will never hit your checking account you just pretend it doesn't exist.

u/r4d4r_3n5 · 1 pointr/technology

> Anyone have any idea how inefficient school and education are. People are spending 30 years of their lives in school, just to get ready for a job. 30 years. And that number isnt exactly getting smaller. When suddenly you have to be able to work multiple fields.

First, I don't know anyone that works 30 years in school. perhaps you mean that one is in school continually until they're thirty years old, which I also think is unlikely.

Second, I think that 'having to be able to work in multiple fields' is nothing new and not something to be avoided: My grandfather worked two jobs to support his family, landscaping during the day and working in the rail yard at night. Even in retirement, he practiced woodworking (wintertime) and small-scale farming (rest of the year). He performed pretty much all the repairs on his property himself (automotive maintenance to welding, drilling his own well, etc...) I myself have done analog and RF circuit design, programming, outside sales and product training, and that's just my current job.

>Not to mention the cost of living has gone up since the industrial revolution. There isnt exactly a lot of space in many countries, where you live in the city or you dont have any place to live. and its freaking expensive to live in the big city.

Not a lot of space in many countries? In the United States, a country of almost 314 million people, the average population density is less than 83 people per square mile. Denmark, on the other hand has an average population density of almost 337 people per square mile. Canada may be your best bet; it's only got one-tenth of the US population, and only 9 people per square mile on average.

You're on Reddit, so I assume you've got a technical background. Have you considered not living in a "freaking expensive" city? For example, Melbourne, Florida and the surrounding area has many technical companies, is very close to Kennedy Space Center, and has a reasonable cost of living. (Florida also has no state income tax, unlike my native Georgia.) I assume that as part of living in the EU, it wouldn't be too hard to go to another, lower-cost area and still find employment

> Someone on reddit once posted something about older generations being able to buy a house for was it one months salary i think. Yeah goodluck with that today, takes 20years salary to buy a house, if you take the average salary.

I've never seen this. All the references I've been able to find say the historical price for (new) houses is about three times the median annual salary for the country, and that is apparently true across most countries.

We live a fabulously wealthy world. When we have a guy with a pencil sharpening business, and people apparently pay him to sharpen their pencils for them, they can't be all that poor, can they?

I know he's from Tennessee, but would you consider looking at Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover? I'm sure that you won't find it 100% applicable as I'm sure things in the EU work differently than in the United States, but his philosophy of money and wealth are universal.

u/chocolate_soymilk · 1 pointr/personalfinance

I don't have a great answer to that question. I would definitely try a private sale first. If in a couple months you don't get a bite (deal local and in person on craigslist, please), then try to sell it to a dealership or carmax, etc.

You two are great candidate for Dave Ramsey's plan - check out his book Total Money Makeover. It's a step by step plan to get out of debt, and it works well if you commit to it. It's very no-nonsense, and it has an enormous support community around the country and online.

u/mphouli · 1 pointr/NoStupidQuestions

10 year ago I was in the similar situation, the book below change my life. My family is now completely debt free including our home.

The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

u/attackuwiththenorth · 1 pointr/personalfinance

I was in much of the same position you are. My dad made plenty of money and paid my way through college, etc.

The best thing the man did for me was force me to take Dave Ramsey’s class on money management. It changed my life and view on money. I learned how to tell my money where to go instead of just wondering where it went. Because the whole class is kind of expensive, I suggest you just read his book “Total Money Makeover.” Here’s a link if you so desire.

u/BillWeld · 1 pointr/algotrading

Check out this book and stay away from the stock market until you know what you are doing.

u/JohnnyKonig · 1 pointr/books

Here is my list, they are mostly books which have helped me to live a better life, so not so much suited for a bucket-list as books which should be read early in life:

u/Whit3y · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Read this. Skip over the Jesus freak parts but I can't recommend this book enough.

The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

u/Eyimanewpizzaguy · 1 pointr/DaveRamsey

Heres what you want

You can be ultra Dave and pick it up at the library for free!

Or, consider FPU. Its $129 but you get a lot of bang for the buck. Its meant to be done as a couple. I was just fine reading the book but I pay for Every Dollar which is $100/yr (paid version). I might as well have done FPU. You can do the classes online if you dont want to go in person.

u/Trugy · 1 pointr/personalfinance

The best ones are of course free, and both this subreddit and bogelheads have a wealth of knowledge. I try and watch a tutorial or read a story a few times a week on both

For how to create and stick to a budget as a young professional, I like Dave Ramsey. He has tons of good rules of thumb and pitfalls to avoid that will be useful for the rest of your life. He's a bit conservative though, and I don't necessarily agree with his cash only, no debt strategies.

Suze Orman is another great author for younger people, especially when tackling big things for the 1st time like home ownership and loans

My top suggestion though is Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It's not as direct as many other personal finance books, as its more general advice on how to steer your financial life, but itss an incredible book

u/jerpois1970 · 1 pointr/personalfinance

I’d like to suggest a book to you. I actually prefer the audiobook version because the author is the one reading the audiobook version and adds some additional unscripted info.
It’s the simplest plan to reset your finances and get to a solid foundation to build wealth from. There are more complicated/ sexy/ advanced ways available. The thing that they lack is the simplicity. You can add complexity later.

The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

u/harbinger06 · 1 pointr/personalfinance

I was in about that much debt, though am single with no kids, but also earned a bit less. I discovered Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and it really helped me bust through my own bullshit attitude of “I should have these things I can not afford.” It was normal to have a $200/month cable bundle. It was normal to eat out daily. Well as Dave says, “being in debt is normal!”

I was lucky to have an extra job land in my lap, and I earned about an extra $10,000 in 8 months. All of that went to paying down debt. Getting a good chunk paid down helped reduce the monthly payments all round, as well as asking sure everything got paid on time. I didn’t realize how much I was wasting every month on late payments, not to mention the damage to my credit score.

You’ve probably already considered this, but weigh your wife’s future income against what childcare will cost. No sense in working just to pay childcare. And perhaps if she stays home with the children she can find a way to earn money online and contribute that way.

Consider whether it would be beneficial to sell and move to a smaller/cheaper house. Your wife’s car being leased will probably be tricky to get out of, but may be possible. Just seriously examine each monthly expense (including subscription services) and decide “do I need this, or is it a luxury?”

Examine your bank statements for what you spend on other luxuries than sneak in, like coffee or fast food. You’ve listed your bills, but what other things might you be spending money on that you don’t even notice?

I got rid of cable, tightened up on shopping and fast food. It’s taken about 4 years but I’m almost debt free. And I’ll admit, I could have been stricter and gotten it done faster.

u/thesteadydrop · 1 pointr/StudentLoans

As a follow up on the my and SilentKnightOfOld's comments, I have to admit that there is an emotional aspect to owing almost 300K of student loan debt. I have 135k and am going for PSLF (3.5 years in), and it still bothers me sometimes when I see my balance changing very little. However, I have gone through the decision process many times and keep coming back to PSLF.

Here's an article about dealing with the emotions of student loan debt.

Ramit Sethi talks about psychology and the "invisible scripts" we have in our lives in his book. Basically, they are lies that we taught from childhood, and we should really analyze them to see if they are true. One of the most common: "debt is bad".

Dave Ramsey extols the "debt is bad" line in his book. He also realizes some simple elements about the psychology of money, in that paying off the smaller debt (snowball), regardless of interest, is a better path for most people since they get a bigger emotional win from seeing that one line item of debt eliminated rather than just seeing the interest calculations proving they are saving money from paying the higher interest debt (avalanche).

While I like the PSLF program, I realize that it is not for everyone. Some people just want to slash every expense, pay off the debt, and be done. Kudos to them. But their tool is hammer, and not everyone's money problems are a nail.

Have a frank conversation with yourself, then choose the best repayment option.

u/karlsmission · 1 pointr/phoenix

Buy yourself this book, It will help you learn to budget, it even has forms in the back. As far as a/c make sure you figure out how to set times, and as others have said, let it get 80+ during the day when you are not there, and drop down after you get home. My largest bill last year was ~$350 on a 2600 sq/ft house with 6 people and my crypto miners running (lots of power/heat) you should be able to beat that easily.

Good luck.

u/ayoayo123 · 1 pointr/personalfinance

For beginners in finance, I like the Dave Ramsey show because he helps show you get out of debt quickly:



Check out his book The Total Money Makeover :





u/moxiousmissy · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Duuuuuuuuuuuuude! Epic! I want your book, I hope you meet your goal =)

This did not happen today, but I paid off my car the other day and I'm still feeling good about it.

While I don't 100% agree on everything this dude says, I'm hoping to work through this plan with my hubby. =)

MCubb may be just a tad bit excited today!"

u/scrager4 · 1 pointr/ynab

Certainly don't try to boil the ocean and attack all debt at this point. Step one is to get current and stay current.

If you can buy it or find it at a library, I would recommend a read of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. It talks a lot about how to get started and the vision of where you want to get to. One of the main points is to imagine a life without payments. Imagine what you could do with your money if you were spending todays money instead of tomorrow's money, because right now your payments are a result of spending tomorrows money for a long time.

You'll get there, but it may take some hard choices and tough decisions about lifestyle and needs vs wants.

u/capedcrusaderj · 1 pointr/Christianity

I'm going to suggest two books:this and this one comes from a liberal standpoint and the other is conservative.

u/iamelben · 1 pointr/gaymers

Ohai person whose story closely resembles my own. :D


u/MachinaThatGoesBing · 1 pointr/worldnews

Could I recommend two books to you? One is by a devout Catholic (and former long-time political blogger, former editor of The New Republic) Andrew Sullivan. In his book Virtually Normal: An Argument about Homosexuality he discusses at length what he calls the prohibitionist view, which is his classification for most of the religious statements and philosophy on human sexuality as regards gay people. As a kid (well young 20-something) from a religious background (Lutheran) who was coming out as gay, it was one of the most influential books I have read in my entire life. It was quite literally life-changing in the way I thought about myself. In spite of it being 20 years old, it really holds up, and it's one of the best serious texts dealing with the matter of how society regards gay people and our relationships.

Another really good book is What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality which is written by a now-former Catholic Priest (he was still a member of the clergy when he initially wrote the book). It talks about the biblical verses (the so-called "clobber passages") that are often cited against gay people and tries to frame them in a social and cultural context (as well as a linguistic one) for the time they were written. This has less bearing on the natural law arguments which the Catholic church makes, but it's not without bearing, either. And it's not as if the Church has never changed elements of its moral philosophy over time. I'm aware that matters of Doctrine ^^EDIT: dogma are not up for debate or change, but the statements on human sexuality, as far as I am aware, do not fall into that category.


> All that's a round about way of saying, we don't say that to try and hurt people, we do it because we think we are helping people. Now, maybe we are all wrong, but none of our criticism comes from a place of malice.

I will say that for a large number of Catholics, this is almost certainly true, but I think you would be hard pressed to deny that there are a great many religious people and prominent leaders, including Catholics, with a lot of animus for gay people, whose actions do not convey so much as a modicum of "love" or a tiny glimmer of "care". It's not a majority of Catholics, at least not in the US, as a majority of Catholics in the US are supportive of marriage equality and have been for about half a decade, now. But there's definitely a significant plurality that cannot be ignored.

u/sbstarr · 1 pointr/gaybros

Yeh, that author, Daniel Helmeniak wrote one of the first pro-gay Christian books What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality. Apparently he continues to be a vital thinking man/theologian.

u/chazysciota · 1 pointr/politics

IMO, you can fuck off with that shit.
The proper way to smack a child... christ.

u/mrdrzeus · 1 pointr/worldnews

>who are we to judge there laws on our standard?

So who are we to say that the institutionalized child-rape in India and elsewhere is bad? Or that killing people for changing their religion is bad? Or that beating children to break their spirit and snuff out their independence is bad?

We're moral beings, that's who we are. Immoral, unjust, and monstrous behavior is what it is regardless of its cultural justifications or heritage, and that's what gives us the right. This particular guy, an Australian tourist, will eventually be able to leave and have the choice of not coming back. Good for him. What about the people born there, who grow up there and never have the choice of leaving for less oppressive places? Too bad, their fault for being born there? No one deserves to be beaten to near death over and over again for "disrespecting" a couple of zealots who died hundreds of years ago, and no one has the right to dispense those beatings.

u/solsangraal · 1 pointr/news

who pressed charges against this guy? and why aren't they sinking everything they own into prosecuting these people?

u/shallah · 1 pointr/atheism

To Train Up A Child (Paperback)
~ Michael Pearl Debi Pearl

Spare the quarter-inch plumbing supply line, spoil the child
Saying no to "timeouts," some fundamentalist Christians "train up" their children by carefully hitting them with switches, PVC pipes and other "chastening instruments."

Spanking away sin
Christian Century, May 1, 2007

Dominionism and child abuse, part 1,-part-1

Daily Kos: Dominionism and child abuse, part 2

Dominionism and child abuse, part 3: Why they aren't in jail

NoSpank - Flogging for God

u/ninjaturtlesoup · 1 pointr/Christianity

Some people do take it literally To Train Up A Child. It was just an example.

u/joellovesspam · 1 pointr/books

Have no fear! Amazon will happily sell you an instruction manual on how to do odious, despicable things to innocent children, as long it is done in the name of good Christian offspring-training fun!

>On the bare legs or bottom, switch him eight or ten licks; then, while waiting for the pain to subside, speak calm words of rebuke. If the crying turns to a true, wounded, submissive whimper, you have conquered; he has submitted his will. If the crying is still defiant, protesting and other than a response to pain, spank him again.

I suppose it's okay as long as you don't get an erection.

u/ToTrainUpAChild · 1 pointr/funny

He still has a chance. If William and Catherine don't train up that child the right way (, it will end up in the gutter and not be fit enough for the job.

u/AngryJarius · 1 pointr/atheism

Marlene Winell, the clinical psychologist who developed the idea of Religious Trauma Syndrome, wrote a great book called "Leaving the Fold." It focuses on the emotional impact of leaving your faith, and it has a number of excellent insights into the psychological effects of being raised religious. It also has psychological exercises for recovering from various aspects of religious indoctrination. I found it very helpful at the beginning of my deconversion. Highly recommended.

u/thatissoloud · 1 pointr/exmormon

I don't know of any AA type groups, but I know there are meet up groups in various places, especially Utah.

Also, the psychologist who coined the term Religious Trauma Syndrome came up with this workbook to help people with the transition: Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion

I'm considering giving it a shot. Maybe it could help you?

u/Notdabunny · 1 pointr/technology

Lots of fundamentalist religion can be very oppressive to the point of damaging development, causing seemingly permanent fear/guilt etc, denying the self(which causes a whole host of problems)

Ive been trying to leave behind my indoctrination into religion as a child. (It shouldn't even be legal to do to children, if you ask me) and you'd be surprised just how deep that shit gets in your subconscious and has effects on thought patterns, decisions, emotions... etc...

Leaving the Fold Has really helped me, and explains a lot of the issues people deal with when they leave behind religion, especially fundamentalism. She couldn't be more spot on with most of her points and it includes exercises for working through some of the damage. The book is kind of old though and people have started giving a name to it RTS

u/jbrs_ · 1 pointr/politics

yeah, the way I see it is that colleges should select the applicants who are both the most qualified and who will mutually help to create the best collegiate experience for their classmates. Racial quotas don't seem to have any rightful part in that, but affirmative action (which I agree with to some degree, though I think maybe it isn't executed very well and may actually be harmful in some cases, as when people are put in situations where they cannot succeed) has skewed the proportions somewhat.


Geographic, racial, and ethnic diversity may also play a role in creating a better campus experience-- I've been reading Coming Apart and it covers how most of the cognitive talent in the US groups itself into Super Zips (really wealthy zipcodes usually bordered by equally or nearly as wealthy zipcodes), and that those elites are also producing a disproportionate amount of the cognitive talent in the next generation (I believe this is true across all races). So selecting merely on cognitive ability would lead to a disproportionate amount of people raised in this new elite bubble being admitted into the top tier colleges, which would probably have negative effects on the campus experience. It's a tricky issue.

u/MetaMemeticMagician · 1 pointr/TheNewRight

Well anyways, here's a NRx reading list I'm slowly making my way through...



The Dark Enlightenment Defined*
The Dark Enlightenment Explained*
The Path to the Dark Enlightenment*
The Essence of the Dark Enlightenment*
An Introduction to Neoreaction*
Neoreaction for Dummies*

Reactionary Philosophy in a Nutshell*
The Dark Enlightenment – Nick Land*

The Neoreactionary Canon

The Cathedral Explained*

When Wish Replaces Thought Steven Goldberg *

Three Years of Hate – In Mala Fide***


The Decline

We are Doomed – John Derbyshire*
America Alone – Mark Steyn*
After America – Mark Steyn*
Death of the West – Pat Buchanan***
The Abolition of Britain – Peter Hitchens


Civil Society and Culture

Coming Apart – Charles Murray
Disuniting of America – Arthur Schlesinger
The Quest for Community – Robert Nisbet
Bowling Alone – Robert Putnam
Life at the Bottom – Theodore Dalrymple
Intellectuals and society – Thomas Sowell


Western Civilization

Civilization: The West and the Rest – Niall Ferguson
Culture Matters – Samuel Huntington
The Uniqueness of Western Civilization – Ricardo Duchesne



Mencius Moldbug is one of the more influential neoreactionaries. His blog, Unqualified Reservations, is required reading; if you have not read Moldbug, you do not understand modern politics or modern history. Start here for an overview of major concepts: Moldbuggery Condensed. Introduction to Moldbuggery has the Moldbug reading list. Start with Open Letter series, then simply go from the beginning.*



u/Girltech31 · 1 pointr/AskThe_Donald

Op, since my comment is long, I'll make it into a few parts.



First, I will like to thank you for resoponding to my comment, and waiting later on for my answer.

> Honestly, not a big fan of Wayne Grudem. Apart from his Systematic Theology that revitalise millennial's fervour and passion upon Calvinistic theory of salvation (man can only be saved by God's effort alone), I don't really have high regard on his other views (but probably this is coming from a Reformed/Presbyterian perspective). I might go back to Abraham Kuyper or Nicholas Wolterstorff to understand how Scripture can be applied to politics.

Likewise. I’m not aware of it [Systematic Theology] being overly controversial, but Grudem himself has been controversial lately by espousing unorthodox beliefs that God the Son is eternally submissive to God the Father, making many who read his works turn away from it- ourselves included.

Onto Grudem's work:

Yes, I think there is something inherently wrong with the idea of systematic theology.

Allow me to state first that I have great respect for many of the Church’s systematic theologians. Thomas Aquinas comes to mind. That guy was a stud. Augustine, Barth-1 Erasmus, Origen, Tillich, all make my list of “dudes I respect” (hrm…no women here…sad), and all engaged in certain systematic pursuits. I think there’s a lot to be said for systematic theology, but I do have a problem with it: too often it smacks of proof-texting, ignorance of context and genre and other literary concerns, and the inability to give the other side a fair shake annoys me to no end.

Perhaps no well-reviewed work of systematic theology annoys me more than Wayne Grudem’s aptly titled Systematic Theology. Grudem goes about creating his system by the aforementioned proof-texting route without paying much attention to the context. What is laudable about his book is also what is condemnable: Grudem’s conciseness. The book is so concise, in fact, that Grudem didn’t find room to offer any serious reflection on Scripture. There is a reason that Barth had to stretch Church Dogmatics out into 13 volumes while only covering a few of the very large categories-2 — because careful theology requires careful exegesis. Of course, to criticize Grudem for this is to ignore what he’s trying to do. Grudem’s aims were accessibility — Systematic Theology prefers to live on the bookshelves of lay people rather than professional clergy with an eye toward serious theological reflection. I get that. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make it less frustrating.3

So, here’s the thing. I’d rather take a cue from the greatest theologian of the 20th century (Mr. Barth), and focus on the paradox here. To me, what is most interesting and compelling about Christianity are the paradoxes. For example, Jesus Christ himself represents the most incredible paradox: God and Man in one. Serious reflection on this idea requires pages and pages and pages of thought to work out.

Another example of a paradox is systematic theology itself. Here we have a human attempting to systematize, categorize, and make easily referenced that which defies and even denies systematization. As Paul says in 1 Cor 13:12: “For now we see in a mirror dimly…” Sure, we understand some attributes of God. We can offer some kind of mental assent to God’s infinitude and the paradoxes inherent within (e.g., love and justice | eternal and temporal | etc.). But, at the end of the day, we only have a faint impression of his fullness. The best Christian thinkers are like Monet in his later periods, stricken with cataracts that alter his perception of color — we are painting a half-blind impression of the fullness of God.

So what’s wrong with systematic theology?

Infinitude defies finite system.

But, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try…

For example:

I am all for democracy-seeing that I live in a coountry that has its principles founded upon democracy. No matter how much I detest Grudem's ideals, there are some I support:

Wayne Grudem in Politics-According to the Bible, says that the Bible supports some kind of democracy.

> The Bible gives indirect but significant support to the idea that government should be chosen by the people (some kind of democracy)

> (1)The equality of all people in the image of God (Gen. 1:27; Gen. 9:6; James 3:9)

> (2) Accountability of rulers to the people helps prevent a misuse of their power.

> (3) If government is to serve for the benefit of the people (Rom. 13:4), the government does not exist ultimately for the good of the king or the good of the emperor or the good of the ruling council, but for the good of the people themselves.

> (4) Government seems to work best with the consent of those who are governed. (See: Ex. 4:29-31; 1 Sam. 7:5- 6; 1 Sam. 10:24; 2 Sam. 2:4; 1 Kings 1:39; 1 Kings 12:1; Acts 6:3. By contrast see: 1 Kings 12:15-16; Exod. 3:9-10; Judges 14:4; 2 Kings 25:1-21; Matt. 2:16-17; Luke 13:1; Acts 12:1-2.)

> We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that thety are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. (Declaration of Independence)

Dr. Wayne Grudem: Scriptures Give Indirect but Significant Support to a Democratic Form of Government

As mentioned earlier, I like his views on democracy, not much so his views on Systematic Theology.


That said, Grudem’s Systematic Theology is a comprehensive work, and few people are going to agree with every portion of it. For example, I take issue with his lack of engagement with other serious theologians. I could offer a much longer, more detailed review of Grudem’s work. But such criticisms must be developed more fully elsewhere.

I will say that Grudem’s text is handy for getting some basics out of the way or finding passages that might speak to a particular issue. With this small criticism, his debating style is sub-par, [which is quite an essential part of the Christian faith]. I disagree with that small portion of the work, but otherwise, I still value the work as a whole- which is a sentiment we both share.

> I might go back to Abraham Kuyper or Nicholas Wolterstorff to understand how Scripture can be applied to politics.

Abraham Kuyper is a nice resource to check out, and his works- as explained here and here- offers a nice change to many Neo-theologies that seemed to gain a great deal of traction over the decades. However, I feel that some of his views rejects some of the most prominent doctrines in Christianity.

u/tbwIII · 1 pointr/Reformed

Actually that's "Bible Doctrine" and "Christian Beliefs" is the concise version of that. In other words, it's the condensed condensed Systematic Theology

u/dschaab · 1 pointr/exmormon

Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology defines God's immutability as follows:

> God is unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises, yet God does act and feel emotions, and he acts and feels differently in response to different situations. (p. 163)

Note that this is just one definition, and the various systems of thought within Christianity may have slight variations. There are also side debates on what it means for God to "change his mind" or to have knowledge of future events.

What I think is most crucial to Christianity is that God is unchangeable in his essence (he has always been God and will never cease to be God) and his attributes (he is always loving, just, merciful, independent, truthful, all-knowing, and so on, and these attributes are perfectly expressed at all times). This allows God the freedom to act differently in response to human decisions, yet his actions are always in accordance with his attributes and ultimate purpose for the universe, and his omnipotence ensures that his actions will have the desired effect. The Holy Spirit, being a member of the Trinity, would also possess these qualities.

Mormonism deviates from this significantly by asserting that at one time God was just a man, thereby denying immutability of being. The doctrine of eternal progression, as far as I understand it, means that the Mormon God's attributes are always improving, and that God today is better than what he was yesterday. What's left looks nothing like the God of Christianity or Judaism. If Mormon God can change in one direction, what guarantee do we have that he won't change in the other direction and start getting worse? What's to stop Mormon God from being de-exalted back to a man?

When asking questions about the nature of God, it's important to realize that Christianity and Judaism disagree on nearly every point with Mormonism. Claiming to be a restoration of the Christian church doesn't give Mormonism the right to rewrite the definition of God for standard Christianity.

u/kylothehut · 1 pointr/Christianity

Here is an excellent systematic theology that will show you what the Bible teaches about itself. Hope this helps.

u/Aviator07 · 1 pointr/Christianity

Why not just start covering a particular book of scripture together? You could go through a short book, and anyone with a Bible would be plenty capable of following along.

You could also do a study on Systematic Theology. That doesn't have to be big and complicated; you could just look at certain interesting topics, like the canon of scripture, or the authority of scripture, or something like that. If you are interested in that, I would recommend Systematic Theology by Wayne grudem because it is fairly thorough, but also very clearly put for anyone to read.

I think it is great that you are wanting to welcome non-believers as well! Still though, I would encourage you to keep your discussions centered on Christ and the Gospel, regardless of whatever specifics you may be discussing. In other words, be welcoming to non-believers, but don't feel like you need to program specifically for them. Just be consistent in proclaiming Christ and the Gospel - that has value for everyone.

u/subarctic_guy · 1 pointr/Christianity

i agree. buy it here it has lots of footnotes and explains the development of the doctrine.

u/DrJohnnyBravo · 1 pointr/Reformed

Finally got the Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem. Got it for around $25 (hardback), it sure does beats lifeway's $55 price tag.

u/SpeSalvi · 1 pointr/Catholicism

Historical Eyewitness Testimony

And the lives of the saints ... how can you explain the holiness and self-sacrificial love of such men and women?

u/radelahunt · 1 pointr/TrueChristian

Because that's what it claims it is, and because it checks out. Check out Lee Strobel's book.

u/A_New_Leaf6 · 1 pointr/Christianity

Here ya go

Pretty much all you need here. This guy who wrote the book was a very atheist lawyer, something like he was challenged by a colleague to find evidence that the bible is fake and God isn't real. He took that challenge, and instead found so much evidence of God that it converted him to Christianity. Here's what he found, and you might like that from what I remember it's wordy but un-biased, just evidence all laid out. Very genuine and very real. Enjoy :)

u/Goo-Goo-GJoob · 1 pointr/Christianity

> The book consists primarily of interviews between Strobel (a former legal editor at the Chicago Tribune) and biblical scholars such as Bruce Metzger. Each interview is based on a simple question, concerning historical evidence (for example, "Can the Biographies of Jesus Be Trusted?"), scientific evidence, ("Does Archaeology Confirm or Contradict Jesus' Biographies?"), and "psychiatric evidence" ("Was Jesus Crazy When He Claimed to Be the Son of God?").

That's the description provided by on the page you linked.

I'm pretty sure we're talking about the same book.'s description matches mine. How many skeptics were interviewed in the book you read?

> all laid out and analyzed, Christian and non-Christian claims.

Analyzed by whom?

u/m20tgd · 1 pointr/Christianity

There isn’t one because the existence of unicorns isn’t something that can be proved using the scientific method. Not everything can.

I do fully understand the burden of proof. I believe it has been met for Christianity.

You seem to be a very angry person. You claim the evidence for religion is non-existence, yet you refuse to open your mind to the evidence or explain why many people who have studied it a lot more than you believe that the evidential burden is met.

I used to be like you. I was an atheist and couldn’t understand how so many people were stupid enough to believe in God. Then I actually read a book that laid out the historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ. I couldn’t refute it and it convinced me. I will provide you a link to the book. It is criticised because it claims to be an “independent journalistic investigation”, when clearly it is not independent as he only speaks to experts who are Christians, but I’m sure you can read it without this affecting you and you can always research the counter-arguments yourself. Be open minded and give it a go. If you not like this particular book, there are others out there.

u/NoKool-AidForMe · 1 pointr/Christianity

If you are not familiar with Lee Strobel's work, do yourself a favor and check them out.
This one gives insight into the historic reliability of the Gospels. Strobel was an atheist himself and came to follow Christ after investigating Christianity.

u/Mizzou2SoCal · 1 pointr/DebateAChristian

I would recommend reading The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, not because I'm trying to convert you but I do think there are a lot of good points brought up by a lot of Ivy League PhD scholars. The more knowledge the better, even if you still find it insufficient

u/Atlas1X · 1 pointr/iamatotalpieceofshit

Things like the Dead Sea Scrolls and other letters written by certain apostles are maintained and are actual original documents or 1 step copies of originals Written around 70-80AD.


Some things we teach to our kids in school however about even more recent figures like Genghis Khan or Roman Empire figures come from several time removed copies or even just hearsay from word of mouth passed down over time which were recorded hundreds of years after their occurrences. There are some extremely smart people out there who are even more skeptical than yourself (maybe) who spent their life's work to uncover truth to historical evidence of the bible and many of them find really sound evidence that what is in the bible have many reputable sources. Just my two cents!


EDIT: And I am willing to be downvoted for what I said above, and its just opinion again I am not tryign to convert people here.


Here is a publication by an Atheist turned Christian and why he turned that way based on decades of research


u/00chris00 · 1 pointr/Christianity

James sire, the universe next door was on my reading list in college, along with a few others. Hers a list of books that might be helpful. That being said most useful apologetics books aren't going to be super easy to digest, if your looking for a place to start "The Case for Christ" is a great introduction.

u/mwatwe01 · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

I would recommend reading The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. It has a lot of the evidence and sources I'm alluding to.

u/RedBaronsBrother · 1 pointr/Conservative

You might find this interesting.

It is the story of an atheist investigative reporter whose wife becomes a Christian, prompting him to set out to disprove that Jesus existed and was who he said he was.

u/lorxraposa · 1 pointr/exmormon

I'm eagerly awaiting reading History of god when I get to it on my reading stack

u/professional_giraffe · 1 pointr/TrueAtheism

Not long after I went off to college. I'd heard and read all the terrible things in the bible, but my loss of faith actually had to do with really studying the history of religion for the first time, and understanding how humanity's changing understanding of the world and growing sense of morality had influenced every major and minor change in dogma along the way. (Very similar to how I was able to dismiss creation when I learned about evolution in school.) I had already started to become more like a "deist" rather than a "theist" without realizing it, but I also had plenty of "religious experiences" that made me feel a personal relationship with god and kept me from dismissing it completely.

My first real challenge to my belief didn't happen until I investigated a church other than the non-denominational type I'd always been taken to growing up. I did this because my very serious boyfriend at the time was mormon (Who is now my atheist husband ;) and of course wanted to give it an honest look. But naturally I was skeptical. I looked on the internet for information, and to make a looong story short, I knew that it was untrue. (Like, literally plagiarized. Heh, literally...) But in researching one religion, I unknowingly started studying them all, and I encountered a lot of new arguments because of this (and just from being on the internet everyday helped with that too. Reddit was a big influence) and I remember deciding that I could not dismiss his religion or any other without truly looking into my own. So I decided to read arguments against everything I'd been taught, like a scientifically minded person is supposed to want to do.

Like you, I made a reddit post around this time, asking for sources and wanting others to tell me why they made the decision. Still identifying as christian, I didn't even know what information was out there, and what sources would be a best place to start. On that post I was given a link to this video series (edit: also linked by someone else) and when I had finished it I was an atheist. My "official" transition happened in just two hours, but really it made me realize how much I already didn't believe and taught me about a lot of other things about the bible I'd never heard such as the Documentary Hypothesis and the origins of Judaism. It was just my "last straw."

What you should look into next really depends on what might interest you the most or have the biggest impact. Here's a site that lists a ton of relevant books by category. Two I personally would highly recommend: "The God Delusion" which is fairly popular and a great place to start for a comprehensive understanding of the main issues, and "A History of God" is absolutely amazing for understanding the natural evolution of religion.

u/ElderSalamander · 1 pointr/exmormon

A History of God, by Karen Armstrong is excellent. Highly recommended and a great read.

u/ChurroBandit · 1 pointr/DebateAChristian

Holy shit, dude. That sounds like the exact opposite of fun. If they've got something important to say, then summarize it here.

Just for fun, why don't you read Misquoting Jesus or The History of God, if you're not afraid to expose yourself to some scholarship that will challenge your most cherished illusions.

u/mmmbacon914 · 1 pointr/Christianity

I haven't read it in a long while, but CS Lewis' Mere Christianity is a very readable introduction to the faith that deals with a lot of common anxieties. It's a very common book, so if you don't want to buy it you can likely find it in your local library.

u/brtf4vre · 1 pointr/Catholicism

You can dispute all the evidence, we aren't going to come to any agreements here. I think still it is obvious that everything around us happened by design rather than a series of random events. You do not want God to exist and it is clouding your thinking. I am not the world's greatest apologist so please don't just think that because I could not give you a satisfactory answer everything is settled.
These questions have been asked and answered for millenia by people much smarter than both of us. If you are truely a man of science searching for the truth then I recommend reading some classic books on these topics.
Here is one I think is a good intro
Mere Christianity

One final thing on the 5 ways, you are correct that those first 3 are related, but the key is that they prove with certainty that there has to be something which had no cause. However, a thing which has no cause means that it has always existed and existence itself requires this being to be. The assertion that a thing could arise from nothing is not possible. If you dispute the principle that something cannot come from nothing then you are essentially denying the concept of science - effects have causes. So if you are claiming that the universe began to exist, at the Big Bang, then the universe could not be this special uncaused thing.

u/Holophonist · 1 pointr/dataisbeautiful

>I don't need to. The assertions is that a physical thing can't create another physical thing. That is demonstrably untrue. You're placing restricting characteristics, not me.

It's not that a physical thing can't create another physical thing (even though it would actually be a physical thing creating a physical thing out of nothing), it's that the werewolf, a physical thing, would have nowhere to be while creating the universe, and no time to do it in.

>If a wearwolf doesn't exist, it can be whatever definition I'd like. Just like your god.

No this is idiotic. The word werewolf has a definition. You can't just change the definition however you'd like. If you can, then the conversation is meaningless because you'll just change it to be exactly like god, and then we're not talking about werewolves anymore.

> I would need to know why you think anything is likely in order to demonstrate why my wearwolf is likely. You would have to present your argument for why god is likely to have created the universe. I can then replace god with anything, and the argument will probably not change, if it's any of the popular ones. To be clear. Any argument I present would be a straw man of whatever you actually believe God is. I don't know how else to explain this.

Wrong. What I have to do is show why a werewolf is less likely to have created the universe than god, and I have. You don't seem to have anything to say in response.

>It is informed. Not sure that infants have developed morals, but I'm sure you have a well thought out argument on why slavery and genocide are cool.

I never said slavery and genocide are cool, I said you have an infantile understanding of religion.

>They're equally likely within the context of an argument for the likelihood of any being creating a universe. I personally don't think the likelihood of either is even measurable. If you say god is likely, because of reasons. I could replace god with a wearwolf, and the reasons wouldn't need to change.

Yeah you keep saying this and it's not true. You get that you're supposed to be making an argument, right? All you're doing is repeating that they're same over and over, and not explaining how. Prove to me that they're the same likelihood. Why are you saying anything else? All you should be doing is proving that, or taking back what you said.

>If a being needs to be capable of creating a universe to create a universe, then that is the only characteristic necessary for creating a universe. Adding additional requirements only makes it harder to prove. My wearwolf can be both a wearwolf and have the ability to create a universe. That ability wouldn't make it less of a wearwolf. It could possibly be more likely, because the characteristics of a wearwolf can be found in nature. Whereas the common characteristics given to a god are found NOWHERE. So what seems like a bigger stretch? But again, if you assert that additional characteristics are required to be capable of creating a universe, the onus is on you to argue that assertion.

The fact that there were men and wolves in nature absolutely does not make it more likely that a werewolf created the universe, because NOTHING about men or wolves would indicate that they can create universes. In fact, we know so much about them that it makes it way less likely. God, being defined as an all-powerful metaphysical being is much more likely to have created the universe, because nothing about the nature of god, as is traditionally defined, prevents it from doing so.

>A omniscient god would know. Otherwise, we could start with any that is measurable and predictable, and work our way towards a reasonable conclusion.

An omniscient god would know what?

>I don't have an argument to present unless you give me your reason for believing a universe creating being is likely at all. Then we can discuss why a wearwolf is as equally as likely as a that being. I have no idea why you think what you think, and I'm not going to guess from a wiki page.

You're very confused. I'm not proving to you that god exists, I'm proving to you that it's more likely that god created the universe than a werewolf. The fact that there is a long line of argumentation for god is itself evidence, because there is no corresponding argumentation for a werewolf creating the universe. If you have some, feel free to present it. Since you flippantly dismissed the fact that I gave you a wikipedia page to introduce you to apologetics, here are some books:

u/AmoDman · 1 pointr/Christianity

Asian girlfriend of what previous religious background? If you want to share ideas, it's best to first establish common ground for communication. This is a pretty dense piece of work, but might be interesting to her if she's from a Daoist background.

From a more Western context, I'd also reccoment Mere Christianity and Start Here.

u/Areanndee · 1 pointr/funny

Mere Christianity

Man, Myth, Messiah: Answering History's Greatest Question

Both of these books were written by skeptics who reversed their positions based on evidence.

u/shockwolf85 · 1 pointr/Bible

To become a better person takes intentionality, meaning you have to make a decision to make a change every time something new and unwholesome presents itself to you regarding yourself. The Bible is certainly a plumb line on major things to do to become a better person, but it's also full of pictures of individuals who showed the way for being amazing people.

I've found that the more I study leadership, psychology, emotional intelligence, etc., the more I see a blue print for it in the Bible, in particular, demonstrated by Christ himself.

If you want to be the best version of yourself, study servant-based leadership. Jesus was a servant leader. The apostles learned from Jesus how to be servant leaders. Servant leadership is the mortal granularity that made the gospel so transformative and helped it spread like a wildfire. If you are essentially having to "sell" a new religious belief system in the 1st century, you've got to be able to believe the salesman as well as the integrity of the product, right? The product is salvation and the sales pitch is a new way of walking in freedom and living a wholesome, abundant life. Christ's leadership model did just that.

If you want some good reads on leadership, check these out, and then read the new testament chapter by chapter and verse by verse. Keep in mind, you don't need a title or position to be a leader -- that's what servant leadership is all about.

"Spiritual Leadership" by J. Oswald Sanders: Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence For Every Believer (Sanders Spiritual Growth Series)

"Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis: Mere Christianity

More leadership for business and for life:

"The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" by John C. Maxwell: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (10th Anniversary Edition)

"The 5 Levels of Leadership" by John C. Maxwell: The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential

u/D5LR · 1 pointr/AskMen

I think you're confusing morality and ethics - you can't use one to prove/disprove, or even support the other.

I'm a guy by the way. I think we're cool. You do you and I'll do me. :)

If you're ever interested in revisiting Christianity (from an intellectual, not faith, perspective) I would suggest this book -

Strobel applies legal tests to historical claims about the bible to assess how they hold up. It is a fascinating read.

Another good one is this one -

Regardless of your theistic persuasion, this one is a life changer. The insight Lewis provides into human nature is amazing (although he is a little sexist in one section).

u/gordonjames62 · 1 pointr/Christianity

These are two books I have found helpful

dated but very good and available in e-reader format

u/BostonCross · 1 pointr/Catholicism

You should look into the story of C.S. Lewis, one of the most famous theologians and Christian writers in modern history. He, like you, was raised a Christian but became an atheist at the age of 15. When he was an atheist, he started reading about Christianity and asking some of the same questions you are, but finding answers. Two of my favorite books that helped me confirm my faith are linked below. Give them a read before you make any decisions.. Mere Christianity is a little tough to get through, but I have a copy with plenty of pencil markings in it next to my bed.

- Mere Christianity by CS Lewis

- The Reason for God by Timothy Keller

Also, about where you were born.. Catholics believe God knew us from the day he created us. Even if you were born in a Muslim family, you would have found your way to the same place somehow.

u/sasquatchwarrior · 1 pointr/Catholicism

Peter Kreeft's Shorter Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa is short enough to read in a couple days.

And C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity explains the Christian concept of God.

u/video_descriptionbot · 1 pointr/TraditionalCatholics

Title | Sexual Morality by C.S. Lewis Doodle (BBC Talk 14, Mere Christianity, Bk 3, Chapter 5)
Description | C.S Lewis looks at the virtue of chastity. Notes below... This is an illustration of Lewis’ 4th talk of the third radio series called ‘Christian Behaviour’. This became Chapter 5 of Book 3, in the book called ‘Mere Christianity’. You can find the book here: (0:36) "and in what words" - Lewis: “Sit down and draw your nude. When you have finished it, take your pen and attempt the written description. Before you have finished you w...
Length | 0:20:17


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u/Amator · 1 pointr/JordanPeterson

Hello, I'm a bit late to this parade (I just heard Dr. Peterson's podcast with Joe Rogan yesterday) but I wanted to weigh in here.

There are a lot of good sources from a variety of Christian viewpoints. Many of the ones already listed are very good, but I don't see anything from my own particular version of Christianity (Eastern Orthodoxy), so I wanted to suggest two resource for you from that perspective as well as another from C.S. Lewis whose words are held dear by most Christians.

The first is a lecture by Fr. John Behr, the current dean of St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. He holds Masters of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University. This one is on YouTube and is 1.5 hours in length. It is called Death, the Final Frontier.There are a couple of minutes of fluff at the beginning but it starts to really roll into something I think Jordan Peterson fans would enjoy at the 3-minute mark. It is ostensibly about death, but it is a great critique of modern western culture viewed through the lens of liturgical Christianity.

This second is a recording of a lecture provided by a former dean of the same seminary that I think cuts to the heart of what Christianity actually means. It is called "The Word of the Cross" by Rev. Dr. Thomas Hopko and is around two hours total and has been broken into four individual sections by an Orthodox podcast publisher:
Part 1
[Part 2] (
Part 3
Part 4

Lastly, I would direct you toward the writings of C.S. Lewis. When I was a young teenage atheist, his arguments were very persuasive for me and have been very popular amongst most Christians. I know many Protestants, Orthodox, and Catholics who have all found their first theological footing in Lewis' work. Mere Christianity is probably the best source to steer you toward, but I think his best ideas can be found in The Abolition of Man, The Great Divorce, and Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold. Since you've professed a preference for audio content, I will point you toward a YouTube playlist of the series of BBC radio broadcast lectures that C.S. Lewis gave during WWII that were the core of what later became Mere Christianity.

I'm tempted to also suggest that you read Thomas Merton, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Kirkegaard, Dostoyevsky, St. John Chrysostom, St. Thomas Aquinas, and many, many others. Enjoy your journey!

u/Happy_Pizza_ · 1 pointr/Catholicism

I actually deconverted from Catholicism in college. I'm a revert.

I never got into into the party culture. I'm really against drinking and doing drugs, and I've always been skeptical of sex outside of a committed relationship and those morals stuck with me even after I deconverted from Christianity. What I did encounter was a lot of intellectual arguments against religion that I couldn't answer. However, what I also eventually discovered was that most of those objections had been heard before and responded to, at least in some manner.

So, here's my semi-comprehensive list of apologetics apologetics resources that I've accumulated over the years.

IMHO, the following books cover all the essentials very well and are probably must reads. You can buy used or online copies of them relatively cheaply, under 20 dollars if you're in the US. Check out Trent Horn's Answering Atheism, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civ, Mere Christianity by CS Lewis (you can probably get Mere Christianity at your at public library), and What is Marriage? Man and Woman a Defense for defending the concept of natural marriage. You should also read How to Argue which is a free pdf. I haven't researched abortion apologetics as extensively as other areas but I know Trent Horn has some books on those.


I'm not going to say you should read all of my remaining recommendations but I'm putting the rest out there for you so you know they exist.

Now, no list of apologtics is going to cover every argument about Christianity so I would also recommend some online resources. is an amazing forum. It has tons of Catholics who are way more knowledgable and experienced that me who can answer questions and stuff. You may or may not have heard of it ;). I also recommend William Lane Craig's site: Again, Craig is a protestant so don't look to him for a defense of Catholicism. However, he's good when it comes to defending the basics of Christianity from atheism. Catholic Answers is good. Fr Barron is good. Strange Notions can be good, I link to it in my last paragraph.

The exact relationship between faith and reason was my biggest stumbling block on the road back to Catholicism, so I have some good recommendations on that topic. I recommend the papal encycle Fides et Ratio and How the Catholic Church Built Western Civ. Plantinga's book Where the Conflict Really Lies is also popular and uses evolution to make an interesting argument against materialism. Plantinga's not a Catholic so I don't know how well they would square with Catholic philosophies like Thomism, but, yeah, he exists. He also wrote this giant essay on faith and science, which was helpful. The book God and the Philosophers is pretty good too, it's an anthology of different Christian philosophers and talks about how they converted to Christianity.

Some comprehensive (but expensive) books by non-Catholics include The Blackwell Companion to natural theology by William Lane Craig (not a Catholic). I've heard good things about Richard Swinburne's apologetics trilogy The Coherence of Theism, The Existence of God, and Faith and Reason. Swinburne is Eastern Orthodox, just for the record.

I want to give a special shoutout to Edward Fesser. He's a secular atheist philosopher who converted to Catholicism. You can read his conversion story here. He also has a blog that you can google. Fesser also wrote a bunch of books that are highly recommended by people on this sub, although I haven't read them.

u/RyanTDaniels · 1 pointr/Christianity

I recommend reading Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis.

u/FaxRahCozy · 1 pointr/Christianity

Tl;dr: pastor, bible, catechism, mere Christianity and other books, the bible project, and other podcasts.

You should really consider talking to your pastor or a pastor at your church. Either go up to one and ask for a meeting, or go through the church email address or whatever contact method you have. Many protestant churches have membership or intro classes that explain these difficult,but important topics, and the Catholic church and orthodox church have formal classes. Reading the bible is Great, it is the most important thing to have besides a saving relationship with Christ. but having someone mature who can help you and lead you is immensely helpful,it's why they're there. A lot of these things are difficult to understand, and reading the bible often leads to more questions before it answers them. Find a teacher (or a few) that you trust to help explain them,then see of they line up with scripture as you grow more acquainted with it.

Catechisms are also helpful. They cover the basics in a question and answer format. There are also lots of podcasts that talk about this stuff as well. Books, videos, everything. C.S. Lewis is famous for explaining faith well, mere christianity is a great start. I have found the bible project youtube channel to be particularly helpful when reading and trying to understand the bible. It gives outlines of the books and helps frame the confusing language in an understandable way. John piper has a podcast "ask pastor john", but these are from one very specific view on Christianity called Calvinism and are very specific. Keep that one in your back pocket for now. Hope that helps supplement the answers here and give you direction. I've definitely had the confusing times where I don't know where to begin,I hope this makes that a smaller period of time for you. Pm me as well if you want additional resources.

u/onemanandhishat · 1 pointr/TrueChristian

Bible Reading:

Most important thing when choosing a Bible: pick the one you'll read. It doesn't matter if you prefer it because of how the cover makes you feel, if that will make you read it, then that's fine.

Most issues with translations only kick in when you find passages that are hard to understand and you want a sense of what the original writer was saying. Then something like the NLT may be less useful, because it paraphrases more. The one thing I'd say is that I wouldn't recommend a full paraphrase version like The Message, because it has a lot of the writer's own interpretation. It has its value, but not for regular study.

If you want an easy to access but still good for Bible study translation, then the NIV is a widely used version. With your background in mind, howevr, the ESV might be usable for you. It's a widely respected translation that is considered good for serious study because it gets closer to the original language than the NIV, with some sacrifice for ease of reading. It's not something I'd necessarily recommend for someone new to Christianity, but given that you grew up in a Christian family, you might not find the vocabulary as daunting.

Regarding annotations: feel free to skip them. They are intended to aid understanding, but are not part of God's word. Therefore they are not essential reading, although if you want help understanding a passage they may be useful. If you find the length of the Bible challenging, you may want to consider a Bible reading plan - it will give you a structured approach that just makes it all feel a bit more manageable. If you want to manage the whole thing in a year (4 chapters a day), then try For The Love of God by Don Carson. If that's too much you could give one of these a try. One popular approach is to just alternate reading Old Testament and New Testament books (e.g. read through Matthew, then Genesis, then Mark, then Exodus etc), and then, because the New Testament is shorter, starting over while you go through the 2nd half of the Old Testament. That one's good because it doesn't matter how much you read each day to fit the plan. But reading plans are just a tool, if you want to just sit and read, that's also great, reading whole books in one go has its benefits even. Whatever works for you.

Other resources:

There are many, many Christian books available. But if you want a couple of easy recommendations try:

  • The Cross-Centered Life by CJ Mahaney, it's super short but nails the essentials of the Christian life. Likewise Humility: True Greatness by the same author, also short.

  • Mere Christianity by CS Lewis - it's a good one for the atheist mindset, as CS Lewis was very talented at explaining Christian ideas in a way that makes logical and philosophical sense.

  • Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Mike Reeves - I confess I haven't read this one myself, but I love the author and I've heard him speak on this topic, and it really opened my eyes to explain the Trinity, which is one of the most mind-bending Christian teachings, yet it changes everything in an amazing way. Really worth checking out. Can also send you a link to his talks on it, if you prefer an audio option. He does some great church history stuff that warms my heart as well. We can learn a lot from those who came before us, and can shed light on our struggles and encourage us with their wisdom.
u/TheCrapIPutUpWith · 1 pointr/Catholicism

I would highly recommend that you pick up a book by CS Lewis called Mere Christianity. It pulls together the philisophical and also human experience of the author's thought process of evaluating his faith. Lewis was an agnostic and at one point atheist who slowly came to faith later in life as a professor at Oxford. While not catholic (Although most think he was close to swimming the Tiber), I think it's worth a read if you're investigating the christian faith in general. As far as why Catholic, I agree with all below on the Church being the original church that emerged from the Apostles, and that the beauty of the sacraments and repetitive unchanging nature of the catholic experience is edifying and grounding to my otherwise crazy life.

u/not_irish_patrick · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis is a good choice.

Not sure about how deep of a book you want.

u/iDante · 1 pointr/tabc

I'm actually more interested in reading the Christian books, since I've read pretty much all of the popular atheist literature:


Mere Christianity

But of course there's good atheist literature too:

HPMOR and others that I'll think of and post later I suppose.