Kristian at Apatheism had an idea I think is great:
I made a new year’s resolution to read at least one book, from cover to cover, that goes fundamentally against everything I believe in. For me that would be a book from a religious perspective to life, universe and everything, or a conservative, right wing viewpoint…
It’s good advice. As he writes, this isn’t about shifting to the other side. It’s about getting an idea of what “the other side” believes and better understanding their position. At the very least, it gives you a firmer ground on which to rebut their points.
So let’s toss a few questions out:
- What would you suggest he read?
- What was the last book you read about a subject that made you uncomfortable? Or by an author you normally despise/disagree with?
- What happened as a result?
Christian Jason Boyett was also a fan of the idea.
He has suggestions of books/authors for various kinds of people (atheists, liberals, Calvinists, Southern Baptists, etc).
Kristian makes a very good point: it is beneficial for a person to read outside his or her belief system. Do it with a good attitude and an open mind. It might challenge what you believe. It might even hurt a little. But the resistance will actually make you stronger.
I’ve read books that made me uncomfortable but rarely do I read something that I know will piss me off. It’s good advice, though.
I think my favorite in that category was Mind Siege: The Battle for the Truth by Tim LaHaye and David Noebel.
If you have a minute, “Look Inside” the book (on Amazon) and search for the words “It’s not my fault, I tell you.” Then, read the next few pages. It’s about the fictional narrator and his son, who attends Margaret Sanger High School.
(Funniest. Book. Ever.)