by Ryan Bell
In January of 2014, after a long, 19-year career as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, three theological degrees, and the slow liberalization of my belief system, I began a personal exploration of atheism that I called, Year Without God. I set out to understand the world without my “god glasses” on. In short, I wondered, how does a naturalistic worldview hold up to scrutiny?
Very quickly I grew weary of the God question. In a March 10, 2014 post entitled, “Deconstructing (a)theism,” I wrote,
From the first weeks of my exploration of atheism the closest thing I’ve come to a ‘conclusion’ so far is that the question of the existence or nonexistence of the Jewish/Christian/Muslim god is not the best or most important question, though I admit it is a very interesting one and one that won’t ultimately leave us alone.
I wrote a few things in this blog post that now, over a year and a half later, I disagree with, but in principle, I have felt since very early, that the atheism v. theism debate will ultimately get us nowhere. A few sentences later I wrote, “I for one hope this debate has nearly run out of gas, but I am being naive, I’m sure.”
To my delight, James Lindsay has stepped into this particular conversation with a new book entitled, Everybody Is Wrong About God (Pitchstone Press 2015). Lindsay holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics and is the author of two previous books, God Doesn’t; We Do: Only Humans Can Solve Human Challenges and Dot, Dot, Dot: Infinity Plus God Equals Folly.
From the very first page, he throws down the gauntlet with a series of bold statements that he then proceeds to unpack in the book:
First, he says, “God” exists.
Second, “people who do not believe in God have it more or less right, and in fact, that at the level of ideas, their view has already rightfully won.”
Thirdly, he claims that understanding the difference between “God” and God is essential to putting God behind us and moving on with our lives in productive ways.
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