Sunday, June 15, 2008


I left Christianity because I became convinced that it isn't true. This was not due to one particular argument, but due to the cumulative case of seeing more and more things that are wrong with the Bible, theology, apologetics, and Christians themselves. I struggled against this conclusion for as long as I could. To change my mind, apologetics did not have to lose an argument or two, it had to collapse on all fronts.

There is no concise way for me to describe my what sort of Christian I was, simply because I have changed so much in the process, although it's important I do so just so that it is apparent what I am rejecting.

Growing up, I was a somewhat typical fundamentalist: Biblical inerrancy, hard cessationist, premillenial, young-earth creation, a blend of presuppositional and evidential apologetics, and Armenian plus perseverance of the saints. When I left for college, I was "panmillenial," and soft cessationist. Freshman year, I opened to Calvinism, but couldn't quite accept the single/double predestination distinction. Sophomore year, I was beginning to see the flaws in the Bible, and rejected presuppositional apologetics as it has no way to absorb problems of any kind. During my junior year, I accepted evolution. By my senior year, I definitely did not accept inerrancy of the Bible, although I was trying to hold onto infallibility. I was "emerging," but largely because emergers are more able to recognize the problems in Christianity and still believe for some reason. By the time I graduated, I was well aware of the fact that I was consistently believing less things, and was quite scared by it. Following the trajectory of my thoughts, I saw agnosticism.

In Fall 2007, I made a conscience effort to be more conservative, not because I saw reasons to think what they believe is correct, but just because I thought I should. I started attending a fundamentalist church just hoping it would balance me out. It did make me feel better for a while, but it didn't answer any of the objections I had. One of my heroes was Mother Theresa, for her ability to persevere for so long while being tormented by doubt.

While I had suspected I was losing my faith off and on for over three years, I didn't think there was a chance I actually would, even up until the moment it happened. I sincerely believed it was true, and thus I believe that sincerely seeking the truth would lead me to God in some way. When it happened, I could best describe it as the final scene in a mystery movie, where the detective has been following the bad guy for a while, and finds the smallest clue out of place. A montage follows as he remembers the dozens of times something was amiss, and one-by-one, puts the clues in the proper position and sees he has enough evidence to convict the real villain several times over. After I deconverted in April, my first thought was simply:

“Wow ... What took me so long?”

***Added June 29***

I think I sold my Christian upbringing short here - I was setting the context for the discussion more than introducing myself. "Faith without works is dead" is a concept that I was taught to both know and live.

I could have written about being an AWANA leader '03-07, the peace and encouragement I felt through worship music, times I thought God was speaking to me. When I studied Calvinism as a freshman, I walked away with no intellectual conclusion, but I felt encouraged by the study because my approach had been "Lord, I want to know you." Topics such as these will make it up eventually.

I listed theological issues because they are directly relevant to the first several posts, in that they describe what I see as the primary Christian alternatives to my skeptical arguments. Inerrancy/inspiration goes with "Matthew and the OT." Pre-millenniallism goes with "Jesus' False Prophecies." Presuppositional/evidential apologetics goes with "Which Resurrection Account?" Calvinism will be relevant to planned posts on the Moral Argument for God and the Problem of Pain.

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