Monday, March 14, 2005

Another Mind Set Free

Here is an interesting email that I received recently from a former evangelical leader who changed his mind:

I recently discovered your website and want to thank you for the excellent job you have done explaining the process and reasoning that led to your deconversion. As a person who was "born again" in 1972-73, largely as the result of Josh MacDowell's apologetics, I remained a zealous evangelical until last year. In fact, I hosted a live Christian Call-in show based out of [city] from 1995-2000. My process, while not identical to yours, has been remarkably similar.

While I have no evangelical zeal to convert all my Christian friends, I find that because I was so high profile for so many years, I now constantly find myself trying to rejection of both Christianity and Judaism. As I know you have discovered, my reasons fall on deaf ears as result of what I call "Deliberate Ignorance."Your cogent arguments are going to be extremely helpful to me, not by changing any minds, but by freeing me from having to provide my own explantions.

Thanks again. I look forward to reading future additions to your sight.

This man's experience is similar to the experience of many other people. Steve Locks documents that many influential evangelicals have turned from Christianity. Few have made the reverse switch. Yes, I know that folks like Josh Mcdowell and Lee Stroble claims to have switched from atheism, but I know of no documented credentials of their zealous support of atheism before their conversion. Since they have published so much as Christians why did they never publish anything pro-atheist before they converted? And why do they seem so uninformed of the arguments actually made by atheists? Perhaps they were apathetic before becoming Christians, but there is a big difference between informed atheism and apathy.

On the other hand, we have folks like this writer that were once clearly in the evangelical camp--leaders in the camp--who changed their minds.

I suspect that the writer went through years of cognitive dissonance as he dealt with Christian callers on his show. No doubt he heard from Christians of many persuasions, with each convinced that the Holy Spirit was on his side. And no doubt it was difficult to reconcile that so many different opinions could come from one Holy Spirit.

Worse, he may have had to try to answer liberal Christians and skeptics who called into the show. And he may have realized that these callers were more rational than the fundamentalists that called.

This is yet one more testimony to the fact that it is very difficult to be fully infomed of the many views out there while adhering to a strict evangelical Christian view.

I am glad this writer found a better life.

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