I have removed the email addresses from these conversations (and elsewhere on my site) except where my correspondent has expressed a wish to have their contact details included, or has a website where they may be contacted anyway. This became necessary after some Christians started harassing someone I had details about. If you wish to contact some of these people, then email me and I will send your contact details to them and let them decide if they wish to chat.
These discussions are fairly representative of the emails I receive - hence most people who write just get replies consisting of URLs pointing to some of these (otherwise I can't cope with the volume!) The short descriptions hopefully give a flavour of what to expect. The listing is in date order (earliest first).
- Henry Quon. Henry seeks to explain that I should reconsider Christianity because he thinks I have made an historical error about hell.
- Kev'n'Joy. "I was quite amazed that in your quest to disprove the existence of God, you went to such lengths to convince people that you have been (and I quote) 'reconverted' "
- Ron Greib plugs his book "Understanding God's Love."
- Mark McFall asks my opinion on whether Jesus was a myth. This becomes a long discussion, covering much diverse ground including the historicity of Jesus, reliability of the NT, evolution and other matters!
Two years later I re-contacted Mark to update my link to his website. He asked for my response to a piece he recently wrote on "the need for quality apologetics." Click here for Mark's piece, my response, and any subsequent discussion that may ensue.
- David Kahn asks "What would you think if I told you that for all your life you have held completely mistaken ideas about the reason for Christ's first appearance, the purpose of the church, who is to be saved, and the overall plan of God for Mankind, and that the truth is nearly the opposite of what you have supposed?"
- Dr. Anthony Garrett. Strictly speaking, this isn't "feedback" more of a "feed-forward" since I wrote to Dr. Garrett initially. He is a Christian, research physicist and technical editor with over 60 papers in probability theory and plasma kinetic theory. He is also a popularizer of science with a special interest in combating creationism. Of particular interest to me was the fact that he used to be a member of the Australian Skeptics before becoming a Christian. So I wrote to him to enquire about this. Much is discussed here about leaving Christianity and the Asymmetry of conversion. This was a long and stimulating conversation!
- Ashley Coogan, a Journalism student, asks research questions about why I wrote my site and the reactions I have had.
- Tammy D. Sundby tells me I probably left Christianity because I was not a "true Christian" in the first place. In a later instalment she tells me that speaking in tongues is a miracle. I give her some information and anecdotes on tongues and related phenomena, such as being "slain in the spirit" from the ex-tian archives etc.
- Bob Reed An appreciative email from a Christian.
- Discussions with John Richards. John initially wrote a section in Jordan's reply to my second instalment on the resurrection. He later wrote to me to see if I was going to respond. We went on to discuss Bishop Spong and other radical theologians, the historicity of the massacre of the innocents and the morality of the Christian god amongst other matters.
- Scott asks if I'm an atheist, can a true Christian lose their salvation and if there are absolutes.
- Ben is going through the process of leaving his church. He was wondering where to turn as the non-believers around him wonder what the fuss is about and his social circles are virtually all Christian. We discuss the value of finding links to so many atheists who have honestly examined the arguments and are living happy, healthy lives. This is at odds with everything his church has been telling him about how awful and shallow life is outside of Christianity.
- Jerry feels depressed about my website.
- Wheatland asks about my opinions on non-Christian religions.
- Discussion with a Priest. A retired Priest suggests I protest too much. He also writes: 'God may be grasped by love, but by thought never.' I felt he would be sensitive to having this correspondence on-line, so I have kept his identity hidden.
- Christopher, although no longer able to believe, he finds himself still drawn to religious ritual and is looking for a suitable community to share with. We also discuss how unpleasant it is to be dealt harshly with by hardened atheists not emphasising with the difficult nature of a transitionary state.
- Nancy describes her apparent cure from depression due to being "born again" and asks me Based on your firm profession of being a Christian, when did you receive the Holy Spirit into you, the Spirit of truth which seals you? When were you regenerated in spirit. Can you remember a born again experience?
- Chris, a new ex-Christian, eloquently and movingly describes her own feelings - and in doing so describes the feelings in common to many.
- Justin Hughes, a fundamentalist British preacher/pastor, asserts the argument from religious experience, fideism, threats of torture, and how easy it is to answer my questions. I explain the problems I see with his ideas. He refuses to read my final emails and sums up: I condemn and reject your master and all his works in Jesus name. I leave you to your terrible end, very apt for the evil filth you publish against God.
- Craig Amanyahu writes to tell me he has refuted my claim that the god portrayed in the bible is evil. I go on to (so I believe) demolish any such theodicy and advise Christians to recognise that they worship not a holy and just God, but the cruel invention of ancient peoples - giving them evidence to know that, confront it, and take a long refreshing shower!
- Discussion with J.P. Holding. A number of Christians have challenged me to get into a debate or discussion with J.P. Holding. So when the opportunity naturally arose when I was added to a little discussion list he was on I thought I'd see what happens. So here it is, unfolding in real time from now on - future emails will be added as they are sent and received. The subject is almost entirely the resurrection and the tone is increasingly cordial!
- Richard T. asks what I was seeking as a Christian and how I came to "not find it." He also prompts me to rant about hell and how it makes Christianity a "sunk religion." This and a few other snippets makes for a reasonable addendum to my deconversion story .
Why is there something rather than nothing? I occasionally get asked why there is a universe at all. Presumably I am asked this because I am meant to be stumped and so be led to a god answer (as if that makes it any better!) However I have a degree in physics and for decades have read articles and books on the origin of everything, so here is what I have distilled so far. Also, twice I have been asked this by Muslims, so it creates an interesting perspective to post some emails to Muslims for a change (since they are so like Christians, but from a parallel dimension!)
Leaving Christianity contents |