Wednesday, March 08, 2006

An Atheist calling himself a Christian

Does just practicing the teachings of Jesus, while not believing in him or in any God for that matter, make you a Christian?

http://www.counterpunch.org/jensen03072006.html

It's weird. I think he might be right about religion's purpose in general. But I don't think he's a Christian. And I think his claiming it does make the term meaningless.

I'm not saying he's not a good person and I'm not even saying he won't go to heaven when he dies - far be it from me to make that decision! But I think that an essential part of being a Christian would be believing at least that God sent Jesus to teach us God's way of doing things (see? I'm not even saying you have to believe Jesus is God!). This guy is understanding that - he sees how following Jesus fits with the way the universe is set up, how it helps the human being to flourish. But it's really weird to have all that figured out and not recognize the Source of it. No, actually, it's really narcissistic.

Well, anyway, what do you all think?

(p.s. I do think his church has done right by him, and by all the others there who are just seeking community or searching for truth. The church should by all means be the place for this to happen. They are doing exactly the right thing - opening the doors and letting God do the rest.)

While we're on this topic, I found another really interesting blog: http://www.debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/

The author says he was William Lane Craig's student. J also went to Talbot, where WLC teaches. His response: "I'd leave Christianity too if Craig had taught me about it!"

3 comments:

Tyler Simons said...

Schubert Ogden discusses the "Death-of-God" theologians in the "Reality of God." He writes:

However absurd talking about God might be, it could never be so obviously absurd as talking of Christian faith without God.

He does point us towards A Common Faith, a great, little book by John Dewey.

PS: I like your blog.

Tink said...

hey there -
just skimmed the article - interesting!
so, originally the term "Christian" was used for by peeps outside the church for peeps inside the church, right?
and technically, a Christ-ian is one who acts like Christ.
SO I guess if this dude acts like Christ, then he is a Christian. This might be hard considering we can't even act like Christ and we do (claim to?) know God! :)
May I assert - I think this is God's tricky way of getting this dude to meet God.
An old marial arts proverb says: we all climb up the mountain on different paths, but when we get to the top, we all see the same sun.

hmmmm...this guy is gonna have quite an adventurous climb!

Leila M. said...

"But I think that an essential part of being a Christian would be believing at least that God sent Jesus to teach us God's way of doing things (see? I'm not even saying you have to believe Jesus is God!). "

Or Muslim, lol. Maybe qualify it a bit with the New Testament?