religion

How do you successfully tell someone about Christianity?

I want to explain a theory about how to successfully share the good news. First I'll talk generally about what I've heard from people I know about their experience with the church. Then I'll talk about three of my Christian friends's experiences in their churches growing up. I'll talk about how the good news was shared with me, and then I'll tie it back to my new theory of how to share the good news ethically and successfully.

Before I talk about my life, I should share the Parable of the Sower (explanation here):

The similarity between Christianity and Feminism

I'm a Christian and a feminist. Membership in both groups is a key part of my identity. If you talk to someone with a simplistic understanding of these groups, though, they might be surprised that it's possible to be a member of both groups!

The problem is that we aren't very good at differentiating subgroups that happen to share the same label. We lump Catholics, Pentecostals, and Unitarians into one group called "Christians". We even lump Canadian Christians and American Christians into one group!

Decompartmentalizing your faith

I think the single greatest challenge so far in my life as a Christian has been compartmemtalization. And I imagine others may have the same challenge, so I'm going to blog about it. To really do the topic justice, though, I need to first talk about Fruedian, behavioural, and cognitive psychology.

Originally the field of psychology was dominated by Freudian theories, which were vast and attempted to explain why high society women might become hysterical. Each of his theories had a few important traits:

How much faith is enough?

I have solid faith based on rational skepticism and the axiom that 'God exists'

Atheists have the same; solid faith based on rational skepticism and the axiom that "God does not exist"

I'm fine when I read a study about religious belief leading to less altruistic behaviour, because I've already incorporated that into my worldview

I'm constantly impressed by those who have more faith than me - they do good and make good decisions! I know my rationalism is not the whole story, much as Richard Dawkins and I both wish it were

Do you believe in your own values?

I'm an environmentalist, so I like the idea of reducing consumption. It's almost an axiom of economics by now that eduction leads women to have less children, thus reducing a nation's consumption.

But at some point, all nations will be developed. China's citizens are now "getting their car", and soon there will be millions more from Africa "getting their car".

Moral outrage

I have a problem with moral outrage. 

On the one hand, I often believe in the causes people are outraged about. On the other, I get so sick of the way they treat the causes as God's own truth. Let's pick an example cause: people being angry because they want a higher minimum wage.

I think the best salespeople truly believe in what they're selling. So it's a good thing that people really believe that there should be a higher minimum wage. On the other hand, the argument that a higher minimum wage would lead to less jobs has its merits too.

A Slashdot Thread

Re:If you make this a proof of God...  (Score:4, Insightful)
by marcello_dl (667940)  on Friday April 11, 2014 @09:52AM (#46724593)

Let's simplify.

Conway's game of life creatures became sentient.
They discovered they are made of cells.

Individualism in Canada

Last night I watched some videos from the "Kids React" series, which is a great way to see what people are thinking. Kids are getting their ideas from others and recombining them in their brains just like I am, they're just more up front about it and say it in simpler words.

What would it take to be excommunicated from the United Church?

I go to the United Church and it's a funny place. It's all about inclusiveness and political correctness in some bizarre combination. I go because it's progressive, not because of its sometimes-strange theology.

So the question is: what would it take to be excommunicated from the (a) United Church?

Of course, if you go to prison or something, you won't need to be excommunicated. So you'd need some way to be such an awful congregant without breaking any laws to prompt the elders or board of the church into actually excommunicating someone?

Subscribe to RSS - religion