Daniel Fincke urges fellow atheists to stop using straw men when we criticize Christianity. Thanks to all that sophisticated theology out there, no mindful Jesus-follower actually believes in a bearded man in the sky.
Or angels playing harps on clouds. That’s silly.
Or a literal fiery, demon-infested Hell. C’mon now.
Or a virgin birth. No one believes that.
Or that God listens to our prayers and watches over all of us at all times. That’s all an insult to Christian intelligence.
So, atheists, it’s time to be charitable. Stop making a straw man of Christians. They know God is not an old bearded man who lives in the sky. That would be ridiculous. Nor could he be a 2,000 year old man who lived on earth and promised that he could, without qualification, fulfill every request made in his name. Nor did that “godman” (a philosophically contradictory concept) die, rise from the dead, or (most laughably of all) fly up to a “real place” in the sky called “heaven”.
It’s time to up our game. It’s time to acknowledge Christians only really believe in the ineffable, inconceivable ground of all being, being itself, that never intervenes in history, does not “literally” care about them like a “father” but just is “the source which emanates their being” and never answers their prayers. And when they say they’re “going to heaven” that’s not a place with things and people from their lives and endless joy. That’s “being with the ground of all being”. Whatever that is.
Subtle satire. Very subtle…
So what’s the difference between a silly belief that no educated Christian would ever believe in… and an honest biblical interpretation of faith that sophisticated theologians would accept? Why is it laughable to theologians to believe in a literal six-day Creation, but totally fine to believe that Jesus rose from the dead after three days? Why are miracles and the afterlife credible while faith-healing and snake-handling are comical?
Where is the line drawn?
Or is a religious belief only acceptable if you happen to believe in it?