Hi Mr. Richard,
First I just want to say thank you so much for the great work of the bible wheel and site, I’m hoping I’ll be able to buy the book soon.
So I’ve been reading up on some of the posts about why you “quit Christianity” and I guess I had a couple of questions to start.
Do you believe God is real? a Supreme Being that had the intelligence and power to create the natural universe as we know it right now?
I guess I’m confused because you seem to use the scriptures a lot, so are you still reading the bible, for you to know God better?
And do you still believe that Jesus is the bridge to help us have a right relationship with God?
Also do you and Ms. Rose have any children?
My soon to be un-husband has a lot of questions just like yours about the bible and “religion” in general and just like you he has yet to find the answers he needs for his heart, and I’m sorry you had that HORRIBLE experience with the “apoligetics” movement, until you listed it on your website I didn’t even know who the man was. I do pray that my Abba will answer your very heartfelt questions! Cause I probabley won’t be able to (grin).
I appreciate your thoughtful questions.
Q: Do you believe God is real? a Supreme Being that had the intelligence and power to create the natural universe as we know it right now?
A: I do not believe in a “Supreme Being” in the sense of traditional Christian theism for a variety of reasons. It is literally impossible for me to believe it because the concept does not appear to be logically coherent. You can’t have an eternal unchanging agent who exists outside of time and yet acts within time. If God acts, then God changes from a state of not-having-acted to a state of having-acted. That implies change which is denied by traditional theism. Therefore, it is literally impossible for that kind of God to be an explanation for the creation space and time. We have a similar problem with omniscience. An omniscient being never had a chance to make any choices which means that God is more like a brute fact or law of nature than a conscious living person who can choose or plan anything. What then determines what he does if he never made any choices? This entirely contradicts the traditional Christian concept of God. There are too many philosophical problems generated by the concept of an “omniscient eternal unchanging God.” He wouldn’t be anything like a “person” who can choose or love or plan or do anything at all. I can believe in neither the “God of the philosophers” (which directly contradicts what the Bible says about God) nor the God of the Bible (because of the incoherent Biblical picture as well as the moral abominations attributed to him). So given this mass of philosophical confusion and unbelievable religious claims of the Bible, I find it quite impossible to believe in such any variety of the Christian God.
Now I don’t rule out the possibility that there is some sort of “Supreme Being” but I don’t see that concept as a necessary (or helpful) explanation of anything we see in the natural world. Sure, there are things we cannot yet explain, but positing God moves us no closer to any authentic understanding as far as I can tell.
I quote Scriptures when discussing what the Bible says with Christians. It doesn’t mean I believe or disbelieve that they are true. I would do the same thing when discussing the Quran or the Book of Mormon or Shakespeare.
Q: And do you still believe that Jesus is the bridge to help us have a right relationship with God?
A: No. If I believed that I would be a Christian. I don’t have any firm position on who Jesus was right now. It is impossible to discern much if anything about the “historical Jesus” because he has been buried under so many layers of myth.
Q: Also do you and Ms. Rose have any children?
A: Yes, we have three sons and many cats.
Q: My soon to be un-husband has a lot of questions just like yours about the bible and “religion” in general and just like you he has yet to find the answers he needs for his heart …
A: Actually, I wouldn’t say I haven’t found any answers. I think my rejection of Christianity is a valid answer to the problems I have found with that religion. The only mystery that remains involves the seemingly “supernatural” patterns in the Bible such as the Bible Wheel and the Biblical Holographs. I have no explanation for how they got there or what they mean. But that’s just another mystery, and there are plenty of mysteries in this world. Perhaps the evidence is not as strong as I thought and it could be explained by cognitive biases. That’s what opponents of my work have always said. But they never were able to support their case and I’m pretty good at noting cognitive biases in others (see my article on The Art of Rationalization) and I’ve applied the same standards to myself so this explanation simply does work as far as I can tell.
Q: and I’m sorry you had that HORRIBLE experience with the “apoligetics” movement
A: The problem was not with “my experience” but rather with the reality of how Christianity tends to corrupt both the minds and the morals of believers.
Q: I do pray that my Abba will answer your very heartfelt questions! Cause I probabley won’t be able to (grin).
A: Thank you for your kind thoughts, but there is no reason to think that there are any “answers” to the problems I have exposed. If there were they would have been discovered long ago and the apologists would not have had to corrupt themselves with sophistry and deception in their effort to prove the “truth” of their religion. What could be more ironic?
So here’s a question for you Amber – Which variety of Christianity do you believe in, and why?