Here’s the upside:
… I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to peek inside Christian churhces [sic] without physically attending a church service, and to those who, like me, want to find a less combative way to talk to the believers in our lives and to try, even if it often seems impossible, to find a way to communicate when we sometimes seem to speak different languages. Hemant’s goals are lofty and commendable.
There is a downside, though. Donna disagrees with the idea that I understood the mindset of the Christians I was around during the writing of the book.
The fact is, that born-again Christians will always think that those who disagree with them are “lost” and in need of “salvation” because that’s what the Bible tells them. No matter how many friendly discussions I have with my mother or in-laws, they will continue to pray for my poor, backslidden soul, and worry about me burning in hell forever because I’ve rejected Jesus.
And in response, I realize that this is the case. I have no delusions that many of the Christians I met wanted to convert me. The goal I’m aiming for in the book is to get Christians to talk to non-Christians and understand why we believe what we do. Even if the ultimate goal is to “save” everyone, Christians would be doing everyone a service if they focused on reaching out to people as friends instead of “liberators.” I mean, most atheists feel compelled to teach others how to rely on evidence and reason, but at least in my case, that’s not my primary goal when I meet someone new.
It’s not an easy balance to reach. But some Christians turn people away from their faith simply because they force it upon everyone they meet. Same thing applies to atheists who earn a bad reputation by namecalling everyone who has any inkling of faith in them.
Donna also mentions that there are days she thinks both sides can “learn to play nice” and some days she doesn’t. Personally, I’m optimistic that fundamental Christianity won’t be as strong a force in this country in a couple generations. Once that destructive force isn’t an issue, I think we’ll have more of an opportunity to get along.
As always, you can read more thoughts about the book on the review page.
[tags]atheist, atheism, I Sold My Soul on eBay, Skepchick, Christian, Jesus, fundamental[/tags]