• Only Slim Majority of Americans Believe in God of Bible, Numbers Decline Among Gen X, Millennials (pew study)

Only Slim Majority of Americans Believe in God of Bible, Numbers Decline Among Gen X, Millennials

October 2018

Although some 80 percent of Americans say they believe in God, only a slim majority of the nation’s approximately 327 million people believe in God as described in the Bible, according to results of a new study released by the Pew Research Center.

And among those younger than 50, belief in the God of the Bible drops lower than 50 percent.

…Another significant finding from the study also showed that young adults were far less likely than their older counterparts to say they believe in God as described in the Bible.

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• An Intolerance of Uncertainty is Linked to Anxiety and Depression. Here’s How to Get Better at Tolerating It by K. Wong

An Intolerance of Uncertainty is Linked to Anxiety and Depression. Here’s How to Get Better at Tolerating It by K. Wong

I find some of what follows applicable to religious thought not just to mental health (anxiety, depression).

Many Christians, those of other faiths, and even many atheists, act completely certain about topics such as religion, salvation, the after-life, or if a deity (or deities) exist.

This following page reminds me a little bit of Pete Enns’ work on the topic of certainty in Christianity:

The Sin of Certainty by Pete Enns

“The controversial evangelical Bible scholar and author of The Bible Tells Me So explains how Christians mistake “certainty” and “correct belief” for faith when what God really desires is trust and intimacy.”

I’ve become more comfortable with uncertainty over the last few years and find myself rather put-off by people who claim to understand everything perfectly, who act as though they understand why everything happens, to claim to know definitely that a God does not exist, and so forth.

Being at that level of certainty can make a person arrogant or closed-off to considering other views, or to considering that maybe their opinions or understanding of some topic or another may be incorrect.

An Intolerance of Uncertainty is Linked to Anxiety and Depression. Here’s How to Get Better at Tolerating It

Excerpts:

If you’ve ever taken a philosophy class, you’ve probably heard of the Socratic paradox: “The only thing I know is that I know nothing.”

It advocates for the benefits of uncertainty, a point of view that happens to be backed by modern psychological science, too. Namely, uncertainty “improves our decisions, promotes empathy, and boosts creativity,” says Jamie Holmes, a Future Tense Fellow at New America and author of the book, Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing.

Likewise, a 2014 study suggests that uncertainty can also be motivating. A little uncertainty is good for you.

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• The No True Scotsman and Christians’ Version of Atheism – Regarding Christian Deconversion

 The No True Scotsman and Christians’ Version of Atheism – Regarding Christian Deconversion

I have been thinking about doing a post – or series of posts – about deconversion from Christianity.

I do not identify as an atheist, but am somewhere between being a Christian and being agnostic (or possibly a deist).

I see Christians routinely mishandle how they discuss or talk to people who have left the Christian faith (or who may be considering leaving it).

One of the most common – and annoying and disrespectful – approaches they use when talking to or about someone who has left the faith is to say the person was never a “real” Christian to begin with.

This may or may not be accompanied by the No True Scotsman Fallacy, where an ex-Christian or a doubter may point to all the hypocrisy or abuse committed by self-professing believers, and the Christian will retort by saying “thus and so was not a “real” Christian,” or, “so and so who is now an atheist was never a ‘real’ Christian'”

Here is a blog post, hosted on an atheist or agnostic blog, about this (there are maybe one or two points in this essay I am not in complete agreement with, but most of this is spot on):

The No True Scotsman and Christians’ Version of Atheism

Snippets:

by Captain Cassidy

…Everyone, Meet the Scotsman. He’s Very True.

The No True Scotsman is a logical fallacy. Technically, it’s an ad hoc reinterpretation of a situation to prevent contradictions and refutations of one’s position. As that link reveals, it’s also a circular argument.

Christians adore it. Within their own culture, it’s a devastating way to quickly negate a fellow Christian. They also use it to dismiss and invalidate ex-Christians.

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• The Enduring Appeal of Creepy Christianity by D. French

The Enduring Appeal of Creepy Christianity by D. French

This editorial summarizes many of the issues I have with Christianity. There are several factors that have been driving me from a conservative Christianity I was raised in all my life towards agnosticism, or maybe deism.

I haven’t completely rejected the Christian faith at this stage of life, but I’m finding it more and more difficult to stay, seeing how so many Christians do things like excuse, turn a blind eye to, or support child molesters, wife abusers, or support sexism (but they swear that they don’t; it’s just “biblical” to bar women from certain positions, due to their biological sex alone).

I’m a conservative, but I did not support politician Roy Moore and was thoroughly put off and disturbed to see other conservatives who were supporting the guy – he, as an adult, was hitting on teen-aged girls, which is not acceptable or moral.

The following editorial’s reason- for- being was that conservatives and Christians were supporting a known child predator (Moore) who was running for political office, but its points, or raison d’etre, are exploring the broader problems in regards to conservative evangelicalism and other forms of American Christianity.

Emphasis added to this by me:

The Enduring Appeal of Creepy Christianity by D. French

by David French

The desire for certainty in an uncertain world yields terrible results.

…This second temptation is pernicious. Theologically, it fundamentally denies a very uncomfortable scriptural truth: that this side of heaven we can’t eliminate uncertainty or temptation. We “see through a glass darkly.” We simply don’t have all the answers — for raising children, for sustaining a successful marriage, for thriving in our careers, or for responding to sickness and adversity.

The scriptural response to this fundamental uncertainty is unsatisfying to some. Faith, hope, and love are vague concepts.

The Bible doesn’t have a clear, specific prescription for every life challenge. But rather than seeking God prayerfully and with deep humility and reverence, we want answers, now. And thus we gravitate to those people who purport to offer more than the Bible.

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• Jim Bakker: Washington Train Derailment Was A Warning From God

There’s nothing like blaming God for the failures, stupidity, or irresponsibility of human beings.

The following comes from a left wing site. Though I am a right winger, I follow or visit liberal sites.

I am a tad more sympathetic towards the right wing side, since I am right wing, but occasionally, other conservatives say or do some very stupid things, and the liberal sites will let you know about it, while the conservative sites generally remain “mum” about this sort of lunacy:

Jim Bakker: Washington Train Derailment Was A Warning From God

I think several people died in that derailment, did they not? And here Baker is using that tragedy to advocate for his own weird views.

In the future, should I compose a post on this blog explaining a bit as to why I have been thinking of leaving the Christian faith (after having accepted Christ as my Savior when I was a kid), this Jim Bakker post is one of the things I will link to as another reason.

And no, I do not “follow” or “worship” Jim Bakker, but I’m thinking, if this is the sort of nuttiness Christianity produces, I’d like to be counted out.

Snippets:

By Kyle Mantyla | January 3, 2018 10:31 am

End Times prepper pastor Jim Bakker declared on his television program last week that last month’s train derailment in Washington state was some sort of warning from God.

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