has been spending a lot of time recently responding to the "Ask a Christian Pastor" series over at the Friendly Atheist
blog. (go here
for links to his responses). He addressed questions on biblical interpretation, hell, and why he's a Christian among other things. It has of course sparked some lively debate.
So if your interested in an emerging pastor's response to atheist's questions, go check it out. I personally don't have the patience for that sort of thing. While there are a majority of people interacting with those questions that are truly thoughtful and open-minded people, there is the vocal minority that drive me nuts. Its the same reason why I avoid most Christian message boards these days. There is a small group that thinks that their take on life, the universe, and everything is the absolutely only right way to think forever and ever amen. They are enamoured with the sound of their own voice and never actually engage in dialogue, just drown out intelligent conversation with their navel gazing (how's that for some mixed-up metaphors). Christian or atheist, it doesn't matter, I really don't have the patience for it.
And I don't have the time for games of online "Taboo." You know the game where you can't say certain words or else you get buzzed out and eliminated. That's what some of these dialogues are like. So many of the atheists have the a priori assumption that all forms of faith are just stupid and utterly unreasonable (of course ignoring the multitude of ways they make use of faith...). So when a Christian starts discussing his faith, they freak out, pull out the buzz, point the finger and say "see you talked about faith and not just reason (by which they mean science), you're out." my response - of course I'm going to talk about faith when I talk about my faith - that's a freaking no-brainer so just get over it! But of course that never happens which is why I really don't engage in those dialogues much anymore. It boils down to the fact that the biggest gap between us is not the atheism/theism divide but the modern/postmodern divide. I find the concept of scientific objective knowledge just as far-fetched as they find belief in God.
Anyway, just some random thoughts spilling out of my head as it tries to cope with a lot of other crap right now. If you're up for dialogue and learning from others, go check out Mike's posts.