From: Dr. Blake Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Jan 01 2003 - 01:59:07 EST
--- Jim Eisele <email@example.com> wrote:
> There is a part of me that misses the knock-down,
> drag-out fights
> of the old days. But, the truth comes first, and I
> am finding less
> and less to disagree about. I feel uncomfortable
> Christians, although Christianity is certainly in
Jim, you have a penchant for the broad statement.
What data do you base this grand statement upon? Do
you mean that membership in particular Christian
denominations is down in a particular country? That
Christianity as a worldview is suffering under some
new or novel attack that casts it in an ill light?
That church attendance is down in Peoria? Or
something entirely different?
Christianity is doing fine and most of the revelations
you have come to are old hat for those who have gone
through any serious thinking and/or reading about
> are more important issues than owning up to the
> mythical nature of
Again, not to belabor the point, but myth in the way,
for example, George uses it and the way you use it are
two very different things. Christianity as a
worldview, however, is not mythical in the slightest.
Do you mean the mythical nature of some texts that are
scripture for Christians? That Christianity itself is
a myth or some other option?
>Mostly important is how well you take
> care of yourself.
Again, I dont understand what this means. Does this
mean me first? Does this mean understanding one's
relationship to God and your fellow humans? Does this
mean servant leadership and self-sacrifice as lived
out by Jesus of Nazareth? Or does this mean something
else to you?
> Hmmm. Eternal life is a nice thought. With all due
> respect, if you
> are convinced that that is the way it is, go with
> it. I'm always
> happy to present the other side if you feel your
> life would be better
> without Christianity. I'm not on a crusade ;-)
Jim, eternal life is something you have raised
numerous times in your deconversion about why
Christianity is a nice thought. Is this why you were
a Christian? Perhaps I am odd man out, but I have
never thought Christianity was about eternal life. In
fact, eternal life has very little to do with the
Gospel as an end unto itself. So, saying this is a
reason people want to believe in Christianity is very
odd and in fact wrong if you have any familiarity with
Jesus' teachings in the New Testament which focuse on
the here and now -- which has an effect on how one
views and relates to one's life and God. Given that
an eternity facing the reality of one's failings is
not necessarily a cheery thought, eternal life is not
necessarily a selling point. Indeed, some Christian
theologians have gone so far as to suggest (although I
disagree with them) that eternal life is not part of
the Gospel bargain per se and would not be something
to be desired. Regardless, eternal life, per se, is
not a central message of Christianity. Why do you see
it as such an important reason why people believe,
when, in fact, it really isn't a selling point of the
Gospel at all and talked about only in metaphor?
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