by Bertrand Russell
Read this essay here.
Well. A person could really get up on a soapbox and start a firestorm if she felt so inclined, couldn't she? :-) That's not at all what I want to do. I'll merely tell you my personal thoughts.
Russell begins his essay by defining "Christian", which is a great place to start being as, as he points out, the definition has become quite vague in the minds of many. By a more strict definition, I would not be a Christian either. I believe in God because I consciously choose to in the face of my own personal doubts. I don't believe in hell. As Russell states in his essay, "I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment." I also have trouble with the belief that anyone who is not "Christian" is barred from heaven or whatever eternal life a person believes in. I have that issue with that belief in any organized religion. And, quite frankly, I'm not sold on the eternal life thing in general. I loved Lee Strobel's book The Case for Christ and Greg Boyd's Letters from a Skeptic. I've even gone to Greg Boyd's church and listened to his sermons a number of times. He's wonderful! And I was quite moved. But I can't honestly say I really believe.
I'm a bit envious of those who have strong spiritual beliefs. It seems so comforting to have that conviction, and the ones who truly try to live by what we think of, or what I think of, as Christian beliefs, I have the utmost respect for. But I am sad to say that most of the people I know personally who profess to be staunch Christians, well, I think Gandhi said it best: "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Oh, boy. This essay dredged up so many feelings that I could go on at length about, but I'm probably already losing subscribers in droves right now. I think I'll shut up and let people read the essay themselves if they choose to do so, and please share your beliefs, thoughts and questions!
Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman
NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!