Thursday, April 21, 2011

Choice Books

As I sat at my local pharmacy waiting on a perscription to be filled, I notice a stand with a sign above it labled "Choice Books, Reading to Enrich Your Life".

Here are some of the titles:

23 Minutes in Hell
Angels in the ER
Comfort Food Diet (to keep you encouraged until your prayers get an answer)
Transformimg Prayer
The New Bible Cure for Depression and Anxiety
Praise word Search Puzzles

You get the point by now.

And Jone Jet's "I love Rock 'n Roll" is crankin' on in the background.


So, are bible based books the only choice reading around here?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Goodness (and Evilness) of God

I ended up having to work late hours one weeknight. As a result, I overslept and my children missed the school bus (again). So, I had to take them to school (again) myself and then head on to work.

As I was returning to my car from signing the "tardy" sheet for my kids, I see another parent ambling along with his child into the school building.

Well, at least I'm not the only parent oversleeping.

I found myself staring at this guy as he was making his way down the sidewalk. But, I didn't know why. I felt like I was being rude, but couldn't help myself. And even stranger, this guy was staring right back at me. But the more I stared, the more familiar he looked. Then, in the tone of a question, he called out my name.

Suddenly, I remember who he was and we both became so excited to see each other. I decided to hang around my car until he came back out. We talked for over an hour! We hadn't seen each other in probably twenty years! We tried to catch up up on each other's life-- which explains why we talked for so long.

This poor fellow seems to have had a lot of hardship in his travels. I am not envious of him at all.

We met in a Christian youth group when we were kids, so I had to sort of keep my guard up. He still used Christian "language"-- now and then he hinted that he was still trying to grow his relationship with God and such. But he openly admitted that the evangelical persona that he projected years ago wasn't really him.

He was also quick to admit that he was quite baffled at how a person can endure hardships and suffering still make sense of the Bible after actually reading through it.

He seems to be where I was a years ago just before I abandoned my faith. He's reading his Bible-- I mean, really reading it and paying attention to the words. And as a result, he's noticed that God doesn't shy away from taking credit for creating evil, and perhaps even causing it.

Not many Christians that I know of will even let their mouths form such words!

He cited how King Saul was vexed by a spirit that God sent. He talked about how God admits to even creating evil. He talked about how he doesn't see things any longer as "good" verses "evil" and God verses Satan. Rather, he simply sees God causing everything to happen for what ever reason that he sees fit. Sort of like the way God treated Job by openly allowing Satan give him one helluva time.

Then oddly, my old friend concede that God must know what he's doing.

But curiously, he would often hedge his praise towards God with the phrase, ". . . I guess" throughout our conversation. Such as-- "God must know what he's doing . . . I guess".

He seemed hesitant and doubtful about mainstream Christianity now with his newfound insight flooding in interesting implications.

But despite the vibe I was feeling from him, I wasn't sure if he was ready for me to be totally honest and open about my current atheistic perspective.

So, I played along for the moment.

We exchanged numbers. I think we'll talk again soon (if I can find the slip of paper. I'm an idiot! I should have put it in my phone on the spot).

The evolution of his religious beliefs will be interesting to observe should we keep in touch. And should I ever revel to him my current beliefs, his reaction would be quite interesting to witness as well.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy Atheist Day!

Happy Atheist Day, everyone!

I think this is my third year posting a "holiday greeting" such as this.

Three years is a long time in "internet" years.

Anyhow, Happy Atheist Day!