Boy that title is really offensive. We’re not going to discuss the “solution to atheists becoming Christians,” I hope, and not just because BioLogos is a Christian forum. Awful choice of words.
Yes, it’s unfortunate that the title wasn’t aimed more toward general “loss of faith” since that’s what the article is about, regardless of what label non-Christians choose for themselves afterwards.
As to the article, I’m glad they addressed the “problem of suffering,” because if faith is presented as something that’s supposed to prevent all difficulties, it will crumble.
Point well taken. Let me modify it as with the earlier post. I should have changed it. Sorry! But note that in Peaceful Science, it was an atheist who posted his take on it without modifying it. https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/the-problem-of-christians-becoming-atheists/3542/11And Rauser co authors books with friends who are atheists–so if you get to know his take, it’s not that way, I think. Most of those who comment on his blog are friends.
Points I take from this:
- Cut away the bloat. Identify minimally important points of Christianity.
- Avoid false expectations, like the belief that Christianity is about being happy rather than holy…
Here’s my note from the earlier one, about “God of the Seekers”–
I want to emphasize that this review seems to empathize with the struggle we all have for faith. It doesn’t seem to say that God rejects people for struggling. I think that makes the most sense–Rauser is very good at communicating that God meets us as a father, where we are in our understanding of Him. He’s the “God of the seekers,” those who seek Him with their whole hearts. That would include those who are not a the position, at that time, of being able to believe in God. It seems to me that the image of an angry God who rejects you for not being able to believe in Him is one of those things that also repels people from a false impression of Christianity.
Being an atheist may be exactly where God wants us to be, based on the need to be honest with the facts. It’s between Him and each of us individually, after all.
The solution to the problem of Christians becoming atheists is to make society less hostile to atheists.
The difficulty with the title of the article is mostly where people are presuming the problem to lie. Those who are offended seem to be identifying the atheists as the problem (even though they realize there is something wrong with doing so), while in my answer above I am identifying the problem with a community which makes such an identification and thus with the type of Christian thinking which does this. I am referring to a battle mentality which I suspect is at the root of not only why people are misidentifying the problem but also fundamentally connected with the real problem of why Christianity has been becoming less appealing to people.
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