Christians SHOULD be Ashamed of the Gospel

There are a lot of Christians who know me when I was a believer, a college/seminary student, a teacher, and a minister in several churches. So when they find this site they have different reactions. Some of them send me spam Jesus emails. One guy has sent them several times a week for months, even though I have told him to stop and even though I have not even acknowledged them for months. Many of these believers think they can reach me because we have a special connection in the past. Others just like engaging me. My best friend from Seminary has started to comment here. His name is Gary and he's a great guy. He goes by "unashamedofthegospel," and like me, he was also trained as an apologist under James D. Strauss. Strauss is an amazing man, the one I credit with my anti-apologetical approach, but in reverse. To see what I mean read the first few paragraphs of my essay for the Secular Web, Why I Am Not a Christian, where I said:
As a former student of James D. Strauss at Lincoln Christian Seminary in Lincoln, Illinois, I credit much of my approach to Christianity to three things that Strauss drilled into us as students, but in reverse. When doing apologetics, he said, "if you don't start with God, you'll never get to God." Strauss is not a Van Tillian presuppositionalist because he doesn't start with the Bible as God's revelation, but he does start "from above" by presupposing that God exists and then argues that God's existence makes better sense of the Bible and the world than the alternatives. Again, "if you don't start with God, you'll never get to God." Since this is such an important, central issue, I'll focus on why we should not start "from above" with a belief in God, but rather "from below" beginning with the world in which we find ourselves. If successful, my argument should lead us to reject the existence of the sort of God thought to confirm the biblical revelation.
Gary argues in the same fashion here at DC, by saying I should focus my efforts on the existence of God:

"The Bible falls without God," he said. "It claims to be a direct revelation of God. No God, No Bible."

This is typical Strauss. What I have found is the exact reverse.

"God falls without the Bible. No Bible, No God of the Bible. No Christian theism."

Biblical scholarship destroys any notion that such a God exists. Let me give my readers just one example from Jaco Gericke's chapter in The End of Christianity titled, "Can God Exist if Yahweh Doesn't?" Dr. Gericke takes us through the Bible to show that Yahweh is nothing more than a tribal god among other polytheistic cultures who is reflective of what ancient people thought about kings who ruled their subjects, since that's the only model they had to work with in describing a deity. Their musings are indistinguishable in many ways from what the ancients thought about their culturally accepted deities. And so Gericke rhetorically asks if God can exist if Yahweh doesn't, and the answer is that it is not likely in the least.

What my Christian friends fail to realize, is that I can teach them things they have never considered before. I know what they know. I argued like they did. I taught the same classes and preached the same sermons. I read the same books. There is little or nothing ever said that I have not said myself or considered before. In all my years of blogging I have never heard anything to make me think differently.

That's the real shame, Mr. unashamedofthegospel.

I have even sat down with some of my Christian friends and talked for hours. On several occasions my friends would cut me off and proceed to preach the same types of things I used to preach myself. It's as if they don't want to hear what I have to say. They have something to say and they want to say it. When I've asked a question they have cut me off, or started on a different subject. Some of them don't want to hear me speak even though they should. They should want to know what I have to say in order to see why I no longer believe. But many of them are scared to do so.

That too is a shame. It's an indicator that they believe because they fear to doubt. It keeps them ignorant. It keeps them from thinking.

Their God must be pleased! Those are the kinds of believers he wants.


There is a Reader's Choice Award Poll for best atheist book of 2011. I'd appreciate your vote today for The End of Christianity. The way the rules are set up you can vote once a day until March 22nd.