How do people ‘find God’?

People wondering

The christian religion has lost numbers in most western countries over the past half century, but there are still people becoming christians too. But what leads them to believe in Jesus?

Do they just believe what they were brought up to believe? Do they sift the evidence? Or do they experience God in some way?

Sceptics sometimes say that christians believe without evidence, or even against the evidence. Does this claim measure up?

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An atheist’s thoughts on Jesus and history

Jesus

When considering a contentious question, it can be helpful to see how much thoughtful protagonists concede to the other side, for this is an indicator of the range of reasonable views.

For example, if a thoughtful and knowledgable christian concedes an area of doubt about Jesus, there is a fair chance that doubt has some reasonable basis. Likewise if a thoughtful and knowledgable atheist concedes certain historical statements about Jesus are true, that too is likely to be a reasonable assessment.

So here is a recent example.

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Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you?

Moonrise

“The moon rose over an open field.”

Teen angst. Most us experienced it at one time.

The teenage years, and into our early 20s are a time of new experiences that can often lead to feelings of extreme helplessness, alienation, even suicide. Most of us get over it in time – most of the time anyway.

Does this mean we know better, that life is good after all? Or is youth a time of greater clarity, greater insight into life?

I was thinking recently about life weariness and the 1968 Simon and Garfunkel album, Bookends.

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Universal fine-tuning – quotes and references

Galaxy

I seem to be getting into quite a few discussions about universal fine-tuning lately. Only recently I discussed the argument for the existence of God based on the science of fine-tuning, and before that I discussed the science.

Here, I want to give some quotes and references to cosmologists who have written on this topic.

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Arguments against God based on what God ‘ought’ to do

Sign: religion is stupid

Not long after christianity began, a critic named Celsus argued that Jesus couldn’t have been divine, for he missed the opportunity to prove his divinity by disappearing from the cross.

I find this an unsatisfactory argument, because it assumes that Celsus knew what God’s purpose was. And I find similarly unsatisfactory arguments being used today.

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What does it all mean?

unkleE

Many of my fellow bloggers, some friends, some more like protagonists, have written up the story of their spiritual journeys, mostly from christian belief or a christian upbringing to disbelief or atheism.

I decided it was time I did the same thing.

So here it is, a reflection on 69 years of life and more than half a century of grappling with the question of God and what he requires of us. It’s longer than usual, but I hope it is of some interest.

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