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