I'm Taking a Much Needed Break

This will be my last Blog entry for a while. How long, I cannot say. Maybe it’ll be just a few days. Maybe it’ll be for a month. Maybe more. There are pressing concerns I have to take care of that I’ve let slip because I’m here Blogging. I should be doing some of those things right now, but here I am writing again.

Let me give my readers a history of what led me here, and why I’m less interested in Blogging right now.

I have always liked to write. Like any artist, I like looking at the picture I create when I craft something with words. While I have never kept a daily journal of my life, I have written articles, church newsletters, letters to the editor, and handouts to my students. What I’ve created is an intellectual history of my life.

I decided to compile what I had written into a book, and be done with it. I wanted to put the past behind me, so to speak, and move on. So I did that. I placed all of my key Christian articles, class handouts, and letters to the editor into a spiral bound book. I wrote something about why I changed my mind, and I concluded with what I believed at the time I compiled it. I sold it in a local bookstore.

But it didn’t look very professional and I kept rewriting it. So I found a self-publisher who would publish this book of mine for at $1,299. They would hand me 40 copies to send out for reviews and to sell. They would also put it on amazon.com and borders.com.

At that point I added several sections to it. It was titled From Minister to Honest Doubter: Why I Changed My Mind. I sent a few out, and got some good reviews from it. But it wasn’t my best work. I initially just wanted it to sell to people who knew me. I just wanted to explain to them why I had changed. If others liked it, then that didn’t matter too much. It was aimed at people who knew me, and most of the church people I had in mind to read it were not intellectuals. So I didn’t feel it was necessary to cover several objections to what I had written. It was a general survey, for the most part. At the time I was a “soft agnostic,” or if forced to choose, an existential Deist.

I sent out some emails about my book to people who I thought might be interested in it, and Ed Babinski responded very positively. He noticed I was a former student of William Lane Craig’s, something I had merely mentioned. I didn’t think listing the professors I had studied with was that important, but Ed jumped on that and was very interested in reading what I wrote. So we traded books and began an initial exchange of emails.

Ed encouraged me to discuss my book at Theology Web, so I did. I was so unfairly and grossly treated there that I quit in a huff. Then being the stubborn person I am, I decided to come back with a vengeance.

There I cut my teeth on my first Christian forum, and it was ugly. I had naively expected a fair discussion, but I was verbally assaulted. Until then I had not done anything on the web. I was new to it. This reaction intrigued me, and I wanted to see if I could break these barriers down. I wanted to see if I could present my arguments in ways Christians would understand.

This experience got my argumentative juices flowing again. And rather than leading me closer to Christianity, it led me to become an atheist.

After awhile I tired of this. I still wanted a reasonable discussion of the ideas. At the suggestion of Ed Babinski I started this Blog. For some reason it took off. I revised my book, and renamed it “Why I Rejected Christianity: A Former Apologist Explains.” I geared it to people who didn’t know me, covering more territory and more arguments as an atheist. I was still curious to see what arguments would work and which ones wouldn’t. I was also testing my own arguments against what Christians might say in response, and I learned some things in the process.

I issued a challenge for someone to debate me on the problem of evil, and David Wood accepted the challenge. We debated, and since that time we have continued to debate the merits of the case. I am once again frustrated with the results, since I don’t think he’s willing to meet the problem of evil head on, and since he continues to mischaracterize what I have said.

I need time to think. I had initially written my book to end a period in my life, my former Christian life. But it seems as though it only led me into a continual waste of time in defending what I wrote against objections.

Now I want to get on with my life. I’ve got other things to do. Today I feel like my wife is right. I am wasting a great deal of time. I have said all I wanted to say. It doesn’t make me feel any better about myself to continue anymore.

The other team members here will still be blogging, so stay tuned to what they say. I’ll still be reading and moderating things. But I am taking a much needed break.

If what I've written has helped you, then it wasn't a waste of time after all. Sometimes it just feels as if it is.

But whether people agree or not, thanks for reading.

Please stay tuned and please continue reading.

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