Hey there Steve,
Originally Posted by Ps 27:1
I'm glad you come by to discuss these things with us. And don't worry about offending me. I have pretty thick skin and you intentions seem good.
I can indeed imagine what kind of conversations you must have had when you transitioned from traditional "evangelical" Christianity to SDA. I explored Annihilationism as a solution to the problem of hell but ultimately concluded that Christian Universalism gave God more glory since he then was truly the "savior of all men."
I can appreciate how Psalm 18 helped you understand, I saw it the same way. I used to say that God designed the Bible to give the believer everything needed to believe, and the unbeliever everything needed to not believe.
Swallowing pride gets a lot easier the more you do it. And the reward is great, because it opens you heart and soul and you begin to live a life of love in truth and light.
I don't recall the discussions about English gematria. I get a lot of emails along those lines. So you will have to remind me. But it probably wouldn't be very helpful since I have a pretty strong (negative) opinion about English gematria.
Originally Posted by Ps 27:1
I read more than a few C. S. Lewis books (The Problem of Pain, Mere Christianity, The Great Divorce, the Narnia books) many years ago. I doubt I would now find them helpful ~ they don't deal with the issues in a "Biblical" way. For example, Lewis solved the problems of eschatology by simply saying that Jesus was wrong! Here's the quote:
The apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, "This generation shall not pass till all these things be done." And He was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else. This is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible. (Essay "The World's Last Night" (1960), found in The Essential C.S. Lewis, p. 385) How do you like that? The "master apologist" of the 20th century said Jesus was deluded! So I wonder what exactly he thought I should believe about Christ?
This is just an example of the morass of confusion that is the "Holy Bible." It has much value, just not the kind of value that Christians assert. It obviously can not be the "Word of God" in any kind of sense used by Christians. But it is a mystical book, and as such the source book of the Western esoteric tradition.
The Narnia movies didn't move me much.
It's fine to refer to my deconversion as a deconversion.
You say your life has been turned upside down. I hope you feel comfortable talking about that here. Personally, I like to think that my life has been turned right side up!
I look forward to reading more about the changes and challenges you are experiencing.
All the best,