So unwrapped all my Christmas gifts. My aunt, my godmother when I was baptized Catholic, gave me the book The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. Back says it traces authors journey from atheism to faith. Looks interesting. I will definitely read it though to read it and see what it says and then see how I can argue against its points. My aunt also wrote a page letter in the inside cover to me. It says: "This is a book that I am in the process of reading - I hope you'll join me. I feel it is my duty as your Godmother to encourage you in your faith; and I also feel I may have failed in my job. This is one of my favorite quotes that I came across one day: 'I would rather live my life as if there is a God, And die to find out there isn't, than live my life As if there isn't and die to find out there is.' Please know I love you and pray for you each day. Merry Christmas with Love." I thought that was a sad note and felt bad I made her feel like a failure but her favorite quote reminds me of Pascal's Wager. And well there are many types of gods...what if you life your life following the wrong one...

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Comment by Ashley Will on December 25, 2009 at 1:19am
lol yeah i should read that and then give her that for some occasion. haha. like Easter.
Comment by Kristi on December 25, 2009 at 2:36am
Your aunt sounds a lot like mine, who recently sent me Josh McDowell's Evidence That Demands a Verdict and Answers to Tough Questions Skeptics Ask About the Christian Faith. I've barely started reading them, but I hope to be able to eviscerate the arguments in the books and send her a couple of my favorite pro-atheism books, namely Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris and Bart D. Ehrman's great book Misquoting Jesus.

My aunt isn't my godmother, but she does feel that it is her duty and responsibility as a Christian to bring me back to God. It's a delicate situation, because while I'm glad to know she's concerned and takes a personal interest in my welfare, I want to let her know that being an atheist isn't a bad thing, that I've made my decision based on the evidence, and that she should keep her religion to herself. For now, I'm willing to play along. If nothing else, it'll help me develop some good debate skills, and also help me get better at thinking critically.

I read The Case for Christ when I was still a believer and even then found the arguments lacking. I hope to hear your thoughts on it too!
Comment by Ashley Will on December 25, 2009 at 3:34am
Kristi, I feel the same way you do. I want to let her know being an atheist isn't a bad thing but also I know she's concerned as well about my welfare. Yes, I'll let you know on my thoughts of book.
Comment by James A on December 25, 2009 at 3:39am
I read Josh McDowell when I was still a Christian and found his arguments to be so bad as to 'not even be wrong'. I read parts of Strobel's but doesn't take long to see his weaknesses.

I was studying apologists to see if they could show the bible was right. But they only pointed out where the bible was wrong and didn't do a good job of explaining the issues away.
Comment by Lewis Simpson on December 27, 2009 at 3:15pm
I'm glad to hear you have family that cares about you, there is definitely worse things to experience. I just wonder, would it be snarky or rude to inscribe your concern for your godmother and how you feel you have let her down inside the cover of The God Delusion or God Is Not Great?

I do like the idea of quid pro quo in book reading although the experience with my family is that they have never read even one of the books I have given them. I have read all of the books they have suggested for me and seeing their very best arguments has helped solidify my lack of belief. So it might be good for both of you as you refine your critical thinking skills.

An interesting tidbit that you might share with your aunt, Lee Strobel admits in his fallow up book, The Case For Faith, that he actually presented no good evidence in The Case For Christ and would never be able to. His explanation was, evidence creates knowledge, knowledge eliminates faith, and with out faith you cannot please god. After reading Lee's very weak and at times ridiculous arguments, there is a part of me that thinks he is actually an atheist who is making fun of believers and taking it to the bank. I wish you the best!
Comment by Dave G on December 29, 2009 at 4:06pm
My mother gave me The Case For Christ and The Case For A Creator. I've begun them, but the logical fallacies are hard to struggle through, not to mention the open falsehoods in some spots.
Comment by Ashley Will on December 30, 2009 at 12:58am
Dave G., I am also having a tough time getting through Case for Christ. Like you said, the logical fallacies are quite hard to struggle through and annoying. I'm on page 85 and am yet to see some "evidence" rather than anecdotal evidence.
Comment by Ashley Will on December 30, 2009 at 1:23pm
Wow, I'm on page 95 and this book is so frustrating. It's so full of logical fallacies and the bible is used as evidence for the bible. wtf? and the author just automatically accepts what theologians have to say without much question at all. I told my aunt I would read it. But I guess it's true apologists are meant for Christians...since there is just anecdote after anecdote and logical fallacy after logical fallacy.
Comment by Ashley Will on December 30, 2009 at 1:24pm
I am curious to read Challenging the Verdict though to see what he says. ha. I think I shall buy that after I finish The Case for Christ with an amazon.com card my aunt also gave me. haha
Comment by James A on January 1, 2010 at 3:30pm
Thanks for the updates Ashley. All of Strobel's books are the same format: quote someone who agrees with him and the bible. That is his evidence.

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