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Christian And Secular Sources For Research


Autumn girl
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My husband is interested in what I've been learning and reading about the problems within Christianity. He wants to read what I've been reading, but he says if he only reads the books and websites that lay out all that's wrong with Christianity that it's obvious that he'd end up de-converting. He believes that it's important to read both Christian (Lee Strobel, Josh MacDowell, C.S. Lewis, etc.) and secular works so that he can then decide which sounds more credible to him. He thinks it's a tall order, but that it's worth going through because the decision to reject Christianity has HUGE implications for our lives.

 

So, with that in mind, do you think that it's important to read both Christian and non-Christian information when trying to find out the answers to problematic issues within Christianity? Is it easy to sway to the side of becoming an ex-Christian just by reading secular works that seem compelling?

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I've read probably several hundred Christian books while I was Christian for 30 years, and I'm still trying to catch up with the non-Christian literature. When I feel the balance has been reached, then I probably can read some Christian books again. Christianity had 2,000 years to get the story right. The books I read 20 years ago can't be much different from the books apologists write today. But if they do, they will get the chance later eventually.

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You can read McDowell, Strobel, etc..., I have, but they will likely make your brain hurt. You have to start from the position that they are correct (confirmation bias) before what they write has any affect on you. They make arguments that are so stupid it burns.

 

My mom gave me a copy of Strobel once. To humor her I tried to read it, but found myself writing down logical fallacies he was making in the book's margin. I got through a chapter or two when I just gave it up. Every page had a fallacy and most had more than one. I don't believe xians have the ability to be objective about reality.

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Reading xtian apologetics in concert with science and books showing problems with xtianity is a great way to see how apologists do not use the same level of research and evidence than scientists do. To be, the apologetics were painfully devoid of any real argument, and they never really addressed the problems that were brought up in some of the other books. They kind of skipped over the big issues and went for the easy answers, etc.

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To humor her I tried to read it, but found myself writing down logical fallacies he was making in the book's margin. I got through a chapter or two when I just gave it up. Every page had a fallacy and most had more than one.

 

I'd like to learn more about logical fallacies so I can be better armed against ridiculous arguments. Does anyone have a recommendation of a book to read or a website that clearly explains logical fallacies?

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If he's logical and open-minded, then he should be able to see a big difference between apologists and secular scholars. Even when I was a firm believer, I didn't think that people like Strobel presented a very strong case (I thought his stance was correct but that his arguments were overly simplistic and wouldn't be very convincing to nonbelievers, the latter of which turned out to be quite true).

 

Get him to read something like "Godless" by Dan Barker, and if he's reasonable he'll see that Dan has much stronger arguments than apologists have. For the most part, all apologists really do is start with the conclusion and then rationalize ways to make the conclusion seem reasonable to those who already believe.

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Presumably a Christian already understands their faith and what it's based on. They have heard hundreds, if not thousands of sermons. They have heard the religious apologetics throughout their Christian career. If it still doesn't make sense, a few more books on apologetics aren't going to turn a turd into a t-bone.

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