Wednesday, July 04, 2007

And we're baaaack.

So this blog has gone dark for 9 months. Frankly, every posting was a terribly painful experience and I suppose I lacked the fortitude to keep it alive.

For those wanting an update. I remain a skeptic. Most unfortunately, my skepticism has led to a creeping nihilism and I am unhappy. As much as I'd like to return to faith, with every passing month that seems more and more of an improbability. Yet, I *must* find faith. I'm at an age where decisions have to be made and it is impossible to make them while living a lie like this.

So we have this, yet another last ditch attempt to be brought back. I thought I'd start by discussing Tim Challies comment on my post about Genesis 1.

It strikes me as more than a little absurd that the reclaiming of your faith depends upon settlement of this apparent contradiction. If you are going to wrestle with your faith on this blog, I'd suggest you may want to examine the real heart of your battle. Call me skeptical, but I don't think any answer I or anyone else can provide to this question will help your faith very much.

I'm not sure what he finds absurd. The Bible was the basis of my faith. Since I can remember I've been taught that it was the inerrant source of revealed truth. Obviously, the inerrant source of revealed truth cannot contain factual errors such as 'the moon and birds share a firmament between waters.' Sure you may propose that 'God exists' without the use of the Bible. The most obvious way of doing that would be to evidence the necessity of a Maker. Or you might appeal to our sense of right and wrong as Lewis does in Mere Christianity. But certainly neither the existence of a Maker or our sense of right and wrong posit the Christian God anymore than they do Allah or Shiva. Without a belief in the Bible there is no credible basis for the Christian doctrines.

Also. I think I have examined the heart of my battle here. I used to believe in God but a series of realizations have ripped that faith from me. I was happier when I did believe in Him and will now do anything to convince myself, through reason, that he does exist. That's what I believe 'the heart' here to be. What more is to be said?

Lastly, it would help my faith, immeasurably, to hear a credible way of clearing up this 'firmament' issue.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Genesis and Internal Contradictions

I've so many times heard people claim that the Bible was internally inconsistent, but I always seemed able to logically dispatch their claims without batting an eyelash. It was the ones I found for myself that I found so much harder. I don't think my faith can be reclaimed until I hear a really convincing answer to the following apparent contradiction:

1. Heaven is a firmament between waters:

Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day (Gen 1:7-8)

2. The sun moon and stars are put in this firmament:

14 Then God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years (Gen 1:14)

3. Birds fly in thisfirmament: Then God said, Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens (Gen1:20)

Now, it seems patently obvious to me that the sun and the moon are not between a pair of waters. And even more obvious that birds and the sun do not share the same firmament between waters. It seems to me that these verses reflect a very primitive cosmology where the sun was thought to be in the sky, rather than in outer space.

If you have an answer for this. I beg you to share it.

Inaugural Address

This blog has a very particular mission, which is why I've decided to spend its first post describing it.

As an introduction: I am a 20-something Canadian University student raised in a fundamentalist, evangelical tradition. Which is to say, I believed in the literal and inherently truth of every word of the Bible. And for me, this formed the basis of faith. As the song goes, Jesus loves me because the Bible tells me so. As soon as the Bible was ignored, it seemed to me, Christianity could become anything it liked and most of the resulting amorphism was kind of creepy.

I was a believer of the most serious type. The sort of Bible Bashing, Bush voter that most Canadians only learn about from the Jon Stewart show. Most of my dearest friends are Christian. My social life revolves around Christian Youth Groups. I was even the leader of a Christian student group. Faith was everything upon which I built my person. It was (is) everything upon which others built my person; I honestly believe there is a good chance my mother would literally, die, if she were to hear of my lapse.

Sometime in March, I lost my faith, with very little ado, as one might lose a dry cleaning ticket. For sometime, a number of things had been haunting me:

a.) The feeling that my prayers were mutterings to myself and the wall. There is no rational behind this, only a sense.
b.) Distress with the fact that Christianity as I had learned to practice it differed greatly from the diversity of practice that probably makes up the majority of believers (tongue-speaking, self flagellation, booty-shaking Sunday services to name but a few such manifestations.)
c.) Finding out that my Grandma is a better of a religious nutbar whoe believes some passing strange, and very superstitious things. And then realizing that my faith was taught to me by my mother, and her faith to her by her mother.
d.) The striking unfairness of a 15 year old boy, in whose language the Gospel has never been translated, dyeing of malaria and going directly to Hell. The ludicrousness of all the millions of souls perishing to eternal torment between the death of Jesus and the missionary movement is a bit much to swallow.

But none of these are Why I Lost My Faith (TM), my faith left me on its own, I just realized it wasn't really there anymore.

Now please believe me, I wish it still was. My life made a lot more sense and had much more meaning when I really thought the Creator of the universe a.) existed and b.) intended to give me eternal life. I spend a lot of time now terrified by death. Or furiously frustrated by my inability to know anything.

I've created this blog as a last gasp attempt to restore my faith. I'm going to post my doubts one by one, and ask Christian internet users to refute them and return me to the flock. This is not me trying to disprove Christianity. This is me begging the Church to bring me back through reason.

Ready? Lets Start.