so true dad. had one with a friend the other night.
An atheist, an agnostic, a seeker & me
I find it enjoyable and REFRESHING to speak to those out there like your friends on the plane. I just watched this yesterday and is worth looking at.
“Why I Hate Religion and Love Jesus”
greaf stuff…appreciate your love for the people you interact with on a daily basis
Almost every day at work, as I work with mainly non-believers who like to antagonize me. It gets interesting for sure, especially with the one who was raised Catholic and the one who was raised a Jehovah’s Witness. Very challenging.
This is the basis for why I read Bertrand Russell, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris. They are many disenfranchised who have been criticized by the Church for their line of thinking. There experiences have been less than inviting and some feel that it is their duty to expose the flaws. Honestly, conversations are due and they should be inviting, but as you stated, “they should be challenging.” Thanks for the insight, Seth.
Actually, I have these conversations on a regular basis, and have become a much better listener seeking to find common ground with the objections of those who don’t yet share our beliefs. I have come to the place where I hope to make simple yet probing questions. And blast some paradigms.
I do spirituality groups with women who are addicts a few times a week. They really struggle with the concept of God mostly because they are ashamed and afraid of judgement. What is interesting though, they have no problem believing in evil perhaps because it is easier to believe something is out to get them and it shifts blame for their actions. One girl said “at least evil won’t judge me for what I have done”. Interesting…
“We Christians have too many conversations with ourselves. We need more conversations like that one.”
Reminds me of the time I was at a night market in Thailand and I got to talk to “seeker” Carmen from Germany about faith and God. It really opened my eyes and my heart to see that people do believe differently than I do and it have me the courage to be bold in having ‘those’ kind of conversations.
Conversations with people who aren’t the same as me are good things to embrace, not destructive situations to avoid.
I find talking with non-believers to be a reality check, helping me to not glibly speak “christian-eese” as I’m wont to do.
Just had a conversation with an Englishman about whether humans are basically good, or basically evil. He believes humans to be basically good, yet corrputed by the values of Capitalistic based societies.
After a long conversation, it became clear the heart of the matter in this Englishman’s thinking was the matter of his heart! (as is always the case)
For folks like him who are very to truth (and acknowledgin a personal God exists), I think it is best to show them something real. For instance, “God is real in my life because he answered my prayer about X.” Or, “My life used to be like this, but then I realized my sinfulness and repented before God – he changed me and now I am different in this way.”
Talking with non-believers forces me to ask the question, “Is God really real in my life, or am I just playing ‘friend of God’”?
Those are my thoughts on your post, Seth.
Thanks, Nick. I like that approach. I do that too.
I realize that this is coming over two years after this article was written, but I would enjoy a challenging discussion on Christian faith versus agnosticism/atheism. My arguments would center on (1) the proliferation of organized religion in the world, and (2) the lack of empirical evidence for a God that interacts with us, and (3) the lack of evidence that distinguishes Christianity from all other religions. There are N religions in the world. Christians view N-1 religions as being false, so you are disbelievers to a certain degree yourselves. Muslims also believe N-1 religions are false, too. It’s not hard to dismiss all religions as inventions of man if one has a science background and values empirical evidence.
I suspect they will all think about their conversations with you if for no other reason than you didn’t meet their preconceived notions of Christians regardless of their perspectives.You very well might have fractured their paradigms. I love it. (BTW, knowing you as I do, you probably remained calm and matter-of-fact throughout. I need to practice that!)