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chriscargill
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Hello,

 

I made my name very easy for you - Chris.

 

I have been studying conservative and fundamentalist christian apoloetics articles and debates. I have come to a great many conclusions which I have been documenting. I still have some more work to do with this.

 

6 years ago, I graduated from a Christian university with my B.A. in Biblicial Studies. I have been a middle school special education teacher since then.

 

The second semester of my senior year, I began looking up some of the resources my professors in philosophy of religions and world religions classes recommended to challenge us. I went beyond that, and the more I researched, the less the bible and its contents made sense. That's not to say I had not already been questioning, and in fact, wrote and delivered my senior year honor's program symposium research paper on homosexuality as described throughout the New Testament.

 

Long, long story short, I became an atheist and then an atheistic-leaning agnostic. I held a copious amount of hatred for religion.

 

As I was listening to old Four Horsemen of Atheism - Christian debates and working on a project, I couldn't help but hear the Christians winning. I, of course, thought this was probably a mistake so I sat down and watched and listened exclusively to the debates. Indeed, the Christians had better arguments and a more holistic worldview, I felt. So here I am. I come to this forum with many of my own theological and biblical beliefs, very unlike anything I learned in school. The one thing that is always present and that guides me is critical thinking. I love and miss my professors. I very nearly went straight into missionary work and to earn a Masters degree, but I did not. And I have no regrets about that given the timing.

 

Still, I would like to go back to school in the near future for a graduate degree in theology. If anyone knows of a resource in which I could find liberal and progressive theological grad schools, much like the global directory for churches, I would appreciate your help. I am open to moving within the United States in order to complete advanced degrees so that I may be better informed and better prepared for a career in scholarship.

 

I cannot tell you just how happy I feel right now - returning to god, finding likeminded people and their writings, and gathering with you here. Thank you.

 

~chris

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Welcome Chris,

 

I'm glad you found this forum.

 

Many people here have travelled that journey of having their views of what they understood the bible to be about, challenged.

 

I'm in Australia, so my university reference might be no good, but the Murdoch University in Western Australia (a secular private university) offers Theology (I looked into it but never proceeded due to work commitments) and their school seemed very progressive. A professor there (Bill Loader) wrote a resource freely available on the internet called "Dear Kim - This is what I believe". I enjoyed his understanding of Jesus & the bible.

 

Cheers

Paul

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Welcome Chris,

 

I'm glad you found this forum.

 

Many people here have travelled that journey of having their views of what they understood the bible to be about, challenged.

 

I'm in Australia, so my university reference might be no good, but the Murdoch University in Western Australia (a secular private university) offers Theology (I looked into it but never proceeded due to work commitments) and their school seemed very progressive. A professor there (Bill Loader) wrote a resource freely available on the internet called "Dear Kim - This is what I believe". I enjoyed his understanding of Jesus & the bible.

 

Cheers

Paul

 

Thank you for the warm welcome, Paul. I could look up each theological school in the world to help me narrow it down to one. I anticipate that being a wise path. Private schools can be expensive, as I'm sure you're aware, so my goal is to obtain scholarships, a fellowship/mentorship, and to already possess a portfolio of work to help me qualify for other possible financial aid and opportunities. I am open to traveling to Australia, the UK, and other places in the world if I feel confident that I will be challenged as a progressive christian. I feel like I am learning and growing exponentially right now. I suspect that rate will change, particularly as I visit this forum, read, and watch everything I can.

 

As I view the content of the board, I am persuaded I will take my time before I open up. I hope this board will be a place for me to fellowship with others in Love and the endless pursuit of Truth for decades to come. The issue of relevance for upcoming generations is quickly becoming central to any interest in religion or spirituality. I would like to be a part of the increasing scrutiny and diligent academia that will have a great impact on the world per God's revelation.

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Hi Chris.

 

The one thing that is always present and that guides me is critical thinking.

 

I'm a bit new here myself. Critical thinking is something very important to me, and from what I've seen from the conversations so far, this is a good place for quality discussions.

 

I don't want to go off-topic of your intro, but as far as critical thinking is concerned, I'm currently reading Joseph Atwill's book Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus :Flavian Signature Edition and find it intriguing in many ways (mostly because professional story-analysis is one of the services I offer). I'm only offering that bit of info because I think you will find that the community here is quite well-read, and if you need Socratic discussion on any topic, this will be a good venue.

 

Or at least that's my opinion of the community so far.

 

It's a pleasure to meet you, and I look forward to future discussions.

 

Buck

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Chris you are a good student and it is inspiroring to see young people dedicated to the truth. I know their are many progressive schools, but I don't know much about them except they are in San Francisco. Look forward to your post.

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Chris,

 

Welcome to the forum and best wishes on your spiritual journey, It seems to me that if we can recognize the false and stop trying so much to self define everything, the truth will surface of its own accord. To me, God is revealed to us in all that exists both seen and unseen and without words of men who try to limit God to their own liking or passed down traditions. May you reside in the new-found peace you seem to have found and be a vessel of light to those who oppose themselves.

 

Again welcome and best wishes on your journey,

Joseph

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Hi Chris,

 

Welcome to the forum. I hope you can find some good debate here.

 

I would recommend reading the Talmud. Like you, I embraced the Christian worldview and found it wanting. I later converted to Judaism, which is where I discovered the Talmud. I wish now that I would have read it while I was a Christian - it certainly gave me new insight as to the motivations of Jesus and his followers.

 

NORM

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