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Why do atheists tell Christians they should read history books/resources? - The Hub

Updated on December 30, 2012

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I recently asked the question, “Why do atheists tell Christian they should read history books or other non-Christian resources? Discussion, we don’t argue, was not productive because we all rain out of characters!

With the permission of fellow Hubbers, more lengthy responses were from:

JMcFarland:

the christian faith has been around in some form or another for over a thousand years. It has done horrible things in the name of god, yet most churches don't talk about the bloody history of its forefathers. I believe that studying religious history is an important part of understanding the vast responsibility involved when claiming that you have the one true faith.

Calynbana:

Well probably because we should :P no matter our belief system we should constantly seek to learn, understand and grow. I would tell the same atheists that they should likely read history books and resources as well. There is always something we are lacking in, and something we can gain from reading. Besides one of those resources is the Bible itself.

If you want some good to reads recommend Lee Strobel (Case for Christ, Case for Real Jesus, Case for faith, and Case for Creator) , C.S Lewis (Mere Christianity, Abolition of Man, basically anything this man wrote lol) and this website. http://pleaseconvinceme.com/

These are all Christian authors, however Strobel was an atheist and journalist who started investigating Christianity seriously to prove to his wife that it was untrue. Read about Strobels investigations, and his testimony. He is a powerful, and very well educated writer.

The author behind the website is a cold case detective and was an atheist until 35 years old. His approach is refreshing and entertaining.

Some may argue that recommending Christian authors is not helpful, as they may be biased. I think that like any position you should definitely read all sides, read books by Christian, Atheist, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim writers. Although the way in which you choose your books should not be based on the writers faith (or lack there of), but on their education, style, and resources.

When I say read all sides I mean read opposing books, such as the God Delusion and the Dawkins Delusion side by side. (They are amusing reads more than resources but I was using them to make my point).

Another great way to learn is to watch debates. Entertaining, and educational. William Lane Craig is a great one to watch, and Ravi Zacharias can be as well although not my favorite.

Respse from JMcFarland:

Lee Strobel lies outright in his books, and has been caught in lies (and has had to backpedal) numerous times. I find them humorous - Wm Lane Craig is intellectually dishonest and likes to use a lot of circular logic which is incredibly amusing.

Lone77Star:

Reading history and other resources is always good for getting a broader perspective of any topic.

Perhaps some (many? most? all?) atheists recommend this is because of ego. They want the Christian to know how bad Christianity really is, which by contrast, makes them very, very good.

But Christians play the ego game, too. Their interpretation is "Truth" and anything that contradicts it is "evil" or "blasphemy." They think their "interpretation" of the Bible is Truth, so anyone who attacks their interpretation is attacking the Bible. That's like a guy getting a flat tire and then kicking a dog because it barked at the tire before it went flat. False association.

By reading more, Christians (and atheists) can become more informed. The problem with this is that some people don't read to broaden, but read to judge others. Ego, again.

The problem with atheists (or anyone) judging religion because of the crimes of adherents is that it's the wrong target. And that's a problem of intelligence and ego. That's muddy thinking.

The crimes of "Christianity" are none! The crimes of "Christians" are many. And those crimes come from ego, not religion. The murder of the Cathars, the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the burning of scientists at the stake, the condemnation of Origen (an early church father), the house arrest of Galileo -- each of these was a function of ego, not religion.

I have studied history and many religions -- the Fundamentalist Christianity of my upbringing, my father's fascination with Yoga, Bhagavad Gita, reincarnation and other Eastern ideas, Scientology, Buddhism, Judaism, Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), the Tao, and again Christianity, but from an entirely different perspective.

I have seen miracles that defy my training in science. I have walked the strands of space outside my earthly body and seen the world with eyes I haven't used in many eons. I have felt the warm embrace of the Heavenly Father.

With all of these experiences, education, scientific logic and common sense, I have found a new interpretation of the Bible that explains many of the apparent contradictions. It reveals a timeline compatible with those of science and even reveals the culprit behind Noah's Flood -- the true identity of the "daughters of man."

I could only have done this by finding value in the things I read, instead of condemning them because they don't match my current beliefs.

By all means, read, but let the quiet, still voice within guide you.

Why do atheists tell Christians they should read history books/resources?

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    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 4 years ago from Fontana

      Thank you for reading, voting and responding Michael! I had been caught up in several discussions that went absolutely nowhere or so it seems. God bless you! Have a great week!

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 4 years ago

      Hello dianetritter .

      Thought-provoking . Who else, save the Master Jesus the Anointed One is to tell the "Christians" what to read , what to do , what to know, ( Just asking , )- for the sake to carry on lengthy discussions accomplishing little or nothing .

      History of " Christianity " is packed by man-made-decided actions nothing to do with God's Holy Spirit anointed inspiration.

      What if criticized " Christianity " actions were not of the " spiritual body of Christ ,the church without spot or wrinkle ?" To Jesus' of Nazareth movement can be credited only what he has been teaching/showing to his follower for some three years of His earthly mission prior the Redemptive act of death and resurrection. Little bit earlier you have a quote one of that sort by a commenter " I have seen miracles that defy my training in science . I have walk the strands of space outside my earthly body and seen the world with eyes I haven't used in many eons . I have felt the warm embrace of the Heavenly Father."(Lone 77star). I might not understand all he says here , but what I dontbunderstan I believe, moving on toward Paul the Apostle telling about a man- himself being caught up into Paradise and heard things so secret that no man dare to put them into words, (2 Cor. 12: 4). Paul was one of those "believers " ( Jesus spoke many times of ) , doing signs and wonders and Miracles ... With great perseverance,(2 Cor.12:12) how about he signs following " those who believe " [ instead of Christians only] as The Lord spoke in Mark 16: 17.18 ... Things of this nature may stir-up discussion of the opposition in favor of the Kingdom of God, Matt. 12: 28.

      Voting up and interesting.

      Shalom

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 4 years ago from Fontana

      Knightheart, I think atheists feel we need to know what sources contradicts Biblical teaching and then we will change our minds. It amazes me that people spend hours and hours reading sources that contradict the Bible. If a person doesn't believe it, why spend time trying to disprove it?

    • Knightheart profile image

      Knightheart 4 years ago from MIssouri, USA

      Christian do read history books...the History of the Universe is completely covered in the Bible, so the atheists and unbelievers are referring us to the Source of Truth. The Bible has never contradicted itself in anyway. No secular history book can say the same! The Bible was written by God, so is complete and accurate. It is a shame the people that disbelieve God or in God don't realize the answer to everything is in God's Word! No book spans the time line from the very beginning to eternity! Praise God!

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 4 years ago from Fontana

      Thank you graceinus! It started out as a question and started getting heavy. I've got to investigate a forum. Happy New Year!

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      graceinus 4 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      I guess we christians are hard pressed in trying to get an atheist to understand that the bible IS the best history book on earth and better still a book about our future.

      Blessings dianetrotter, I enjoyed this HUB . Voted up and awesome

    • dianetrotter profile image
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      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 4 years ago from Fontana

      Thank you Eric! I pray your services were a blessing today.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hard for me to understand that the length of the response was the measure. I worry that pontithication is judged wise while truth in brevity is judged poorly. Three years of preching and we only have 4 Gospels. I bow and step away. I hope you find answers.