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Cathar1950
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Post #31

Post by Cathar1950 »

Welcome to the Forum That Girl Again!
I tend to appreciate some of the younger scholars coming up even if they are getting older. Ehrman, Pagels, Armstrong and others are heading in the right directions coming from different backgrounds with some of the same battles with the Neo-whatever be they neo-orthodox or neo-evangelical.

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ThatGirlAgain
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Post #32

Post by ThatGirlAgain »

Cathar1950 wrote:Welcome to the Forum That Girl Again!
I tend to appreciate some of the younger scholars coming up even if they are getting older. Ehrman, Pagels, Armstrong and others are heading in the right directions coming from different backgrounds with some of the same battles with the Neo-whatever be they neo-orthodox or neo-evangelical.
Thank you for the welcome!

The one I mentioned that you did not was White. His book goes into very great detail on how the Christian scriptures came about and what they meant to their contemporary audiences. His view is mostly mainstream scholarship but with attention to the more significant of the minority viewpoints as well.



BTW love the Ring Nebula O:)
Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.
- Bertrand Russell

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Cathar1950
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Post #33

Post by Cathar1950 »

That Girl Again wrote:
Cathar 1950 wrote:Welcome to the Forum That Girl Again!
I tend to appreciate some of the younger scholars coming up even if they are getting older. Ehrman, Pagels, Armstrong and others are heading in the right directions coming from different backgrounds with some of the same battles with the Neo-whatever be they neo-orthodox or neo-evangelical.
Thank you for the welcome!

The one I mentioned that you did not was White. His book goes into very great detail on how the Christian scriptures came about and what they meant to their contemporary audiences. His view is mostly mainstream scholarship but with attention to the more significant of the minority viewpoints as well.



BTW love the Ring Nebula O:)
Ok, that White, I wasn't sure and I am only familiar with a few of his writings and of course the History Channel or was it NG?
I always like SGF Brandon for early Christianity and the effect of the first Jewish war with Rome as well as the rise and fall and rise of Paul.

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ThatGirlAgain
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Post #34

Post by ThatGirlAgain »

Cathar1950 wrote:I always like SGF Brandon for early Christianity and the effect of the first Jewish war with Rome as well as the rise and fall and rise of Paul.
I have yet to tackle Brandon. I know of his works but I already have about a dozen other books I have not read. (Borders had a going out of business sale. :| )
Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.
- Bertrand Russell

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Adamoriens
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Post #35

Post by Adamoriens »

I was raised in a very close religious community; nondenominational Protestant. The church itself is run by self-educated ministers, which has led to some fluidity in doctrine, there being no acknowledged creed and no centralized authority. The theology was somewhat Pelagian, but the church's claim on authority was and is more historical than theological. Or, I should say, more mythical than theological; most in the pews believe that the church is the true institution preceding directly from the apostles, and moreover maintain that all other churches are deviant. Having observed these and other cult-characteristics throughout childhood, I remain especially wary of belief-systems which tend to that direction. Curiously, my own family has a more Calvinistic view.

I had the classic "move to college and deconvert" experience, though it came about more from previous doubts than from culture shock. I'm at a technical college and I've never spoken seriously to anyone about religion in person, and I still dislike mingling socially with peers, so I take this to be evidence that I'm not the rash young reprobate I'm apparently supposed to be. Well, perhaps rash; my deconstruction began in earnest after reading popuar writing on the New Testament. My exposure to New Testament scholarship remains minimal, so I was probably unjustified in rejecting the Bible (and the existence of God) initially.

My thoughts since then have tended toward examing religious beliefs from the standpoint of philosophy, and while tentatively agnostic I believe there are some good reasons to think that atheism is true with regard to God the maximal person. I haven't encountered an argument for theism or a particular religion that both proceeds from compelling "knowledge" of God and overcomes the problem of evil.

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AM
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Post #36

Post by AM »

I was raised in a very catholic family but when I started to really listen in church (around 13 or 14 years old) I didn't really agree with what was being said, then I took all my courage and read the Bible for the first time, I have read it various times and different versions of it by now.

Since then it was obvious to me that most of it didn't make any sense ... my difficult path to atheism started there.

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Molly
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Post #37

Post by Molly »

Raised in a Christian family: Very much so (an old world version of Catholicism).

Departure date: 6th grade.

Other spiritual paths explored: In order -> Unitarian Universalism, Pantheistic Paganism, Philosophical Buddhism, and finally Atheism

Current beliefs: Atheist

Haven

Post #38

Post by Haven »

Raised in a Christian family: Yes!!!! My entire family was (is) extremely devout evangelical.
Denomination when converted to Christianity: Southern Baptist, although I never really "converted," I was born into it.
Other Denominations: Non-denominational evangelical, Baptist General Conference (now "Converge Churches"), Christian Reformed Church, Evangelical Free Church
Departure date: 2011
Other spiritual paths explored: None, though I have studied virtually all other religions.
Current beliefs: Atheist, apatheist, Non-Theist Christian, Humanistic Buddhist

Haven

Post #39

Post by Haven »

Here's a more detailed account of my Christian life and subsequent deconversion, it's a re-post from another thread:
Haven wrote:As many of you guys know, I was raised in a devout evangelical family and a thoroughly conservative Christian culture. My parents were and are Southern Baptist. My grandparents and great-grandparents are or were until their deaths evangelical Methodist. My siblings are non-denominational evangelical Christians. My aunts, uncles, cousins, childhood and (undergrad) college friends are all devout evangelicals.

As a kid, I was brought up in the Southern Baptist church, immersed in conservative Christian teaching and culture from birth. I went to church every Sunday, attended "vacation Bible school" (almost like a Christian summer camp), listen to Christian music and watched Christian movies and corny creationist videos. All of our family gatherings were centered around the evangelical Christian faith -- prayers were said, encouragements were given, and theological discussions took place.

As I entered my teenage years, I remained true to the faith of my upbringing -- I continued to read the Bible, attended church and youth group, and participated with my family in faith-based activities. I embraced the Christian identity my family provided for me, and I was excited about fully growing into my faith.

After I went off to college, I experimented with the "typical college life," but ultimately "rededicated my life to Christ" during the summer after my freshman year. After that, I was sold on evangelicalism -- I became heavily involved in an on-campus ministry group and a local church, taking on quasi-leadership roles in both. I participated in on-campus "evangelism" (proselytizing), mission trips to urban centers and developing countries, and in-depth Bible studies. I was totally committed to the evangelical way of life -- I read my Bible daily, prayed incessantly, fasted occasionally, voted Republican, avoided "sinful" media (like sex-laden movies and Harry Potter), and lived by traditionalist Christian morals (no drugs, swearing, sex, or drinking to excess). Through church and the on-campus organization I was involved with, I met some great conservative Christian friends, people who became like family to me, who are still some of my closest friends today.

During that time -- which I still consider the best period of my life -- my faith in Jesus Christ was my entire purpose for existing. Back then, I could confidently say that God was the center of my life, my top priority, the essence that defined who I was. I thought it would never end, that my "walk with Christ" would continue from then through all eternity in heaven. How was I wrong . . .

During my later college years, I began having doubts about the religion of my childhood. Although I would push these doubts from my mind for several years, eventually I decided to investigate them, to look for answers that I hoped would confirm my faith. Instead, what I found led me away from evangelical Christianity and eventually to atheism, where I am today. This crushed me, as my friends, my family, and my entire identity was wrapped up in Christianity. When I deconverted, I had to rethink everything I thought I knew; my morals, politics, philosophy, and lifestyle all changed dramatically.

Understandably, my family and friends were devastated at my deconversion -- although they still love me, our relationship has changed and become less profound because I can no longer participate in the things which lie at the center of their lives and our relationship. Although I was happy with discovering the truth and embracing a more rational and open-minded paradigm, I felt as though a large part of myself died with my belief in fundamentalist Christianity.

To put it plainly, I miss being an evangelical Christian. I don't miss the dogma, the restrictions, or the anti-intellectualism; I miss the community, the family, the purpose to life, the realization that I was part of something bigger than myself, something that I believed would carry on for all eternity. I miss being able to connect with my family on that deep "spiritual" level, to be able to take part in Christ-centered traditions that I had participated in throughout my life. I miss my "church home" and the deep sense of community that came from sharing life with those focused on fulfilling the same Purpose, reaching toward the same Goal. I even miss being able to "talk to God," to pray about things that I felt were beyond my control.

I didn't leave because I wanted to sin -- I loved living a "pure" life. I didn't leave to "taste the world" -- I had become so unlike it, so "on fire for Christ," that I couldn't even identify with it anymore. I left because the evidence against evangelical Christianity and for atheism was so overwhelming that I had no choice but to either commit intellectual suicide or accept that my life was built on a fiction. Although I know I can't unlearn the facts that led to my deconversion, sometimes I wish I could just burn them out of my brain. On some level I wish I could go back, believe again, return to innocence. Evangelical Christianity was what defined me, what made me who I am, and without it I'm not the same person.

Sorry for the long rant, I just posted this to let you guys know that deconversion isn't an easy process and isn't always something that's asked for. It can be -- and often is -- a deeply emotional and painful process.

Haven

Post #40

Post by Haven »

To be more specific, the arguments that convinced me to leave Christianity were the problem of natural evil, the hiddenness of God, the problem of inconsistent revelations, and the dysteleological argument. These arguments, along with the numerous Bible errors and contradictions, the empirical evidence for mind physicalism (brain damage, etc.), and the theological implications of the fact of evolution lead me to agnosticism and eventually to atheism.

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