These days, christians may have to face the common accusation that their belief is based on blind, reasonless faith, and not on evidence, and that therefore they should logically give up belief. “There’s no more evidence for the christian God than for Santa or Thor”, they may be told.
This can be a major source of doubt for some believers. But is the accusation fair?
We’re taking a look, over a few posts, in why it is getting harder to make disciples in the western world, and why more christians are dropping out.
This post looks at the many different reasons why christians stop believing, and is based my discussions with atheists on forums and blogs over the past six years, and on accounts people give of their own ‘deconversion’ on mainly atheist websites. (These are not too hard to find.)
Jesus told his followers to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20), and for two millennia they did just that, and now about a third of the world follows Jesus, nominally at least. But it’s getting much harder to make disciples in western societies these days, and it is becoming more common for apparently strong disciples to turn away from following Jesus.
I think this is a crucial matter, and I want to devote a number of posts to it. Today, I just want to scope the problem.
A friend asked me about this the other day, and I had to research it, so I thought I would post what I learned.
The idea of an immortal soul which lives on after death is part of many people’s understanding of christianity. But it probably isn’t true.
In my last post (CS Lewis’ trilemma – not so effective now?), I discussed the much used argument, made famous by CS Lewis, that Jesus claimed to be divine, something a good and sane person would not do. Therefore Jesus must either have not been good, or not sane, or he was indeed divine.
The argument is now commonly met by the counter argument that Jesus never claimed to be divine, it was just something made up by his followers. Any attempt to use the New Testament to support the argument is met with scorn – why should we believe it?
But there is still a way to use the argument, we just have to be better prepared.