Wednesday, December 30, 2009

America, A Christian Nation?

I promised to keep you up-to-date with my current reading list. Here is the first update of many to come in the future.

I've just finished Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation, and after I got my blood pressure under control, I figured I should share a few comments.
First of all, I would like to thank Sam Harris for writing such an incendiary novella-essay. Though it is rife with hasty generalizations and misrepresents scripture in several places, I believe his arguments provide a valuable starting place for a deeper delve into our Christian Faith and what it is we are about. Plus, it's healthy to get the blood boiling now and again.

Upon beginning this hate-letter against Christianity, I believed that Harris made a mockery of Christ in his conclusions. After I set the book down for a few hours however, I realized that it is we who have made a mockery of Christ. Between our senseless arguments about everything under the sun and our transparent hypocrisy, Harris reveals us (partly) for what we are: Modern Pharisees. Our "Holy. holy. holier than thou" attitudes combined with the fact that statistically those who claim to be Christians act no differently than our neighbors (or worse as is the case in Divorce courts) is the same thing that drove C.S. Lewis to write something to the effect that the hardened harlot may be closer to the steps of Heaven than the self-righteous prig.

Believe it or not some of your atheist friends - and I do hope you have some atheist friends - have done more to help the people in this world than you or I have. Having Atheist friends is a great learning experience (hopefully for both of you). Christ didn't spend time with just the people with whom He agreed (doing so would be narcissistic). Neither then should we. Of course, if the people with whom you are spending your time begin to corrupt you, then withdraw for a time. However, if we spend time with God as we ought then we should all be fine.

But I digress. The point is this: if our Faith does not visibly change how we live, Of what value is it?

Overall, I would highly recommend _Letter to a Christian Nation_ by Sam Harris. It's a quick read, but it asks some hard questions. And believe it or not, it's okay to not know all the answers. I hope you all read something that challenges you or expands you today.

Keep the Faith,

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