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I think I may have found a place of my own here


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Hello, my name's Jacob, but you can call me Jake. 🙂 I'm a 32-year-old guy from Europe.

Where to start? I guess with what has brought me here. I've read a post on Bart Ehrman's blog about a part of his spiritual journey called "Why even bother being a liberal Christian"...and somehow, it struck a deep chord in me. To clarify, if you don't know who Bart Ehrman is, he's a New Testament scholar teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He's an agnostic atheist, so clearly, his journey didn't stop there, but reading about that stage of his life, I've realised that's probably where I'm at right now, emotionally, at least. And I'm not sure I want to go as far as to deny and rule the existence of the divine and sacred out of my life, completely. I usually tell people I'm an atheist, because for all conventional means and purposes, I might as well be....but I don't feel that way. I do value science, logic, sound reasoning and critical thinking in general.  But having read the eight points of progressive Christianity, I find them to resonate with me and my moral conscience quite well. I consider myself a humanist, although I'm reluctant to use this label around most religious folk, because to them, it usually signals an outsider, if not an enemy. And I am agnostic in the sense that I don't think anyone can ever make a 100% argument for either the existence or non-existence of god. So I get both sides, but I don't really feel home on any of them. If anything, I tend to favor the side of the faith, though I'm definitely neither a theist or a deist. At least, I don't believe in the fundamentalist version of the biblical god. It follows I don't believe the bible is inerrant, either, and I don't think it was ever meant to be.

So, how have I reached this point, you might be asking right now? Well...it's a long, complicated story and I'm not sure I want to go into detail right now right here, but to sum it up, I'm an atheist-raised adult-baptised lapsed catholic. I'm not a seeker. I feel more at home in the christian tradition than anywhere else, though I have very nuanced and maybe even unconventional ideas about most of its conventional dogmas. I think you are starting to see why I'd struggle with finding my own place in the world. I don't think religion is irrelevant to our lives, in effect, I strongly believe it's not. And I do personally prefer Christianity to any other religions, not because I think it's necessarily better, but because it's been the biggest source of spiritual support and inspiration for me, personally. I have studied Japanese and am quite proficient at it, so I dare say I have a decent grasp of how the "eastern" worldview differs from the western one and I do enjoy comparing these two sometimes. But when it comes to my own roots and values, I definitely feel more like home in the european intellectual tradition.

I think that's all I wanted to say by way of introduction, so bless you all and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to throw them at me and I'm going to address them, if I can or know how. 🙂

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11 hours ago, samanjm said:

Hello, my name's Jacob, but you can call me Jake. 🙂 I'm a 32-year-old guy from Europe.

Hi Jake,

Welcome to the Forum.  Glad you found us.  I hope you enjoy participating here.

Cheers

Paul

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Welcome Jake,

It seems Bart Ehrman has struck a chord with others here also. He has been often referenced in posts on this site. Happy to hear you are finding your studies and Christianity relevant in your journey. It seems to me no one religion or scope of study has a corner on truth and usefulness in one life. I also no longer consider myself a "seeker". Quite a few of the views you share in your post seem to be fairrly common on this site.

Joseph

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