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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Preview of Upcoming Attractions

The purpose of my blog is to explain Why I De-Converted from Evangelical Christianity. I am not sure how long it will take me to systematically discuss all the issues that led to my loss of faith. I am willing to take as long as necessary.

So far, I have focused on the atonement. I chose this one first because it was, in some ways, the one that shook my faith the most. I distinctly remember a time in the early 1990's when I was on top of my roof in Arizona fixing the evaporative cooler when the thought struck me: How could someone dying 2000 years ago have any effect on me today? It was a startling thought. As any good Christian evangelical, I attributed the thought to Satan or one of his demons. I remembered the passage in 2 Cor. 10:5: Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. I thought that I need to cast down this imagination and bring my thoughts into the captivity of Christ.

The question kept resurfacing in my mind and I embarked on a thorough study of the atonement to assuage my doubts. Instead of resloving my doubts, though, they just became stronger. More doubts and problems with regard to other doctrines that I was teaching came into my mind. I tried to study those as well. Eventually, I had to be honest with myself and admit that I no longer believed the Evangelical Theology that I was teaching and preaching. This whole shift took several years.

While I am not finished discussing the problems with the Atonement, I want to preview for you some of the other issues that eventually led to my apostasy. These problems, and others (the list below is not exhaustive), will be discussed going forward on my blog, although not necessarily in this order.

1. The Problem of Evil

Here I will focus primarily on Natural Evil, i.e. hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, childhood cancer, birth defects, etc. I will focus on these because I don't think the free-will argument can come close to answering the problem of natural evil. (I am not sure it answers the question of moral evil, either, but it certainly doesn't answer natural evil.)

2. The Problem of the Bible as Divine Revelation

Here I will deal with many questions including: If the Bible is a divine revelation, why is it so ambiguous (i.e., subject to multiple interpretations)? If the Bible is a divine revelation, why does it include so much "worthless material"? If the Bible is a divine revelation, why does it contradict itself? If the Bible is a divine revelation, why does it contain so many divergent theologies? If the Bible is a divine revelation, why was there so much controversy over the canon and why did it take so long for Christians to agree? If the Bible is a divine revelation, why did God allow not only the original mss. to disappear but also the copies made in the first couple of centuries, thereby leaving us with no certain way of reconstructing the original documents?

3. The Problem of the Resurrection

Here I will deal with the lack of substantial evidence for believing in the resurrection of Jesus. I will interact with William Craig's arguments, N. T. Wright's and others. I will also deal with the fact that Christian theologians cannot agree on the nature of Christ's resurrection "body."

4. The Problem of the Incarnation

Here I will deal with the various Christologies that existed in the first four hundred years of the Church and how "orthodoxy" eventually won out.

5. The Problem of the Trinity

Here I will deal with the various ideas relative to the Godhead during the first three hundred years of the Church and how "orthodoxy" eventually won out.

6. The Problem of Christians

Here I will deal with questions such as: Why is there little or no evidence in the lives of Christians that Christianity is real? Why is conversion and life-change not unique to Christianity? In other words, why can you find people who have converted to Mormonism or Islam or some other religion who made drastic life changes? Is there really a psychological explanation rather than a supernatural one?

So, I think you can see that this blog will be continuing for a long, long time. I look forward to exploring these issues and your comments along the way.

As a side note, I will be travelling by car from Phoenix to Atlanta this week and will probably not be able to do much posting. I will be on the radio on Monday at 6:20pm Eastern time discussing the existence of God with a priest and a rabbi. You can listen on-line here . The podcast will also be posted at the radio's website within a couple of days of its airing.


  1. I enjoy your blog! You clearly have thought through the issues; however, I haven't seen the logic of any of your conclusion yet. You may have a good argument somewhere but I am still waiting on it.

  2. The delayed Parousia has always been the thorniest problem for me. Believe it or not, it was actually bothering me during my wedding ceremony back in 1976 (my best man had just shown me the problem the night before).

    ZDENNY, I know there's an informal moratorium on addressing you. Still, I have a question. What WOULD you consider a good argument, anyway? Theoretically speaking, I wonder what kind of evidence would make you pause and say, "Hmmm, that's a good point. I'll have to go back and do some thinking about that."

    My suspicion is ... NOTHING. (Am I right?)

  3. Ken,

    I know I am no heavyweight in this arena but I enjoy your blog. Many of your points are challenging. However, I do think many people miss the interaction between the Father and Son in the propitiation process. It seems to me that the Father's wrath was satisfied by the Son, yet the son will still judge all the world since he, the son, purchased the whole world from the Father (the taking of the scroll in Revelation and the son sitting on the throne). The son "bought" even the false prophets (2 Peter). He must have bought them from the father since the father owns all souls (Ez. 18) Surely the price was the wrath of God. There was no ransom to Satan. I know you are busy but could you comment on this interplay at all?

  4. Rover, I'm assuming you're a trinitarian. I have a question: Why does only one person of the Trinity need to be propitiated?


    We enjoy your comments! You clearly have thought through the issues; however, we haven't seen the logic of any of your rebuttals yet. You may have a good critique somewhere but we are still waiting on it.

  6. Steve,

    Thanks. I agree the delay of Christ's return is also a problem that theologians have dreamed up some very imaginative solutions for.


    What you are describing is a variation on the Ransom theory. The problem with any of the theories is to get them to harmonize with the Scriptures which support the other theories. I think its an impossible.

  7. I am thoroughly enjoying your blog. I de-converted at 52 years old and after being immersed to my eyeballs in the faith for most of that time. Standing outside the fold looking into the array of various subcultures that exist in the christian faith is a astonishing. Astonishing, that is, that I did not see the problems sooner. Thanks for your contribution.

  8. Steve,

    I honestly have no idea. I don't understand the trinity. How could Jesus have a different will the Father during his struggle in the Garden? I don't know, but I do have to leave room for the possibility that something like
    God's nature is beyond my understanding to a point. I can understand aspect but not the entirety.

  9. Rover, it's one thing to say that the nature of God is beyond our understanding and quite another to say that it's unintelligible and self-contradictory.

    I'm amazed that the vast majority of Christians believe in something so contrived and full of internal inconsistencies as the Trinity. It was an eye-opener when I began reading the 19th century Unitarians (e.g., William Ellery Channing, Orville Dewey, Andrews Norton) and discovered how easily they could obliterate the traditional doctrine, both from Scripture and reason.

  10. Ken,
    I've recently discovered your blog and can't wait to read about all this stuff you have planned. Church I grew up in sent people to Bob Jones. My best friend went there. So I know your background well.
    Oh! I could also relate to your moment when something popped into your head, that you mentioned. I too had one of those moments. I had been praying and thinking and looked up at the sky from my back porch and suddenly thot-What if all this is just a mental game in my head and has NOTHING to do with reality in this world?
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

  11. Lynn,

    Glad to have you on board. So you are familiar with the notorious BJU?

    yes, its funny how some of us have these "ha-ha" moments. I have had a couple of them in my life


  12. Ken:

    You have a good lineup of future posts planned. I'll catch up some of your recent posts in the next couple of days, and look forward to more in the future.

  13. Hey Ken: I’m interested in these six topics too. I look forward to your thoughts, and those of others, on these difficult subjects. In His Love, John