I'm going to write a book...
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08-08-2014, 11:23 AM
I'm going to write a book...
Hello, thinking atheists. For the past few months I've been wrestling with thoughts of writing a book on messianic religion. I've never attempted to do anything like this before, and to be honest the idea is pretty scary. I know that writing a book is huge undertaking, especially for someone with very little post high school education (I spent a year in community college Smartass ). However, after talking to my very devout christian friend who is planting a church just a few miles from where I live, I feel convicted that this is something I need to do. It may very well take me the better part of a decade to finish, but I've made a promise to myself to spend at least 10 minutes everyday on it until the day it is finished.

I, like many of you, was raised in a religious home. We went to church every Sunday where we were taught that Jesus was the way the truth and the light etc etc etc...
Evolution was a hoax, Carl Sagan was the anti-christ, and atheists just loved their sins. We heard all of the nice, feel good new testament verses, while the more controversial, darker old testaments were conveniently left out. We were a tight knit community, we did everything together and never read anything or listened to anyone that could challenge our worldview. I have a group of friends that grew up in that church with me and still profess to be christian. Whenever I talk to them about the bible, I'm shocked at how little they know about what's in it, or about its history and where it came from. They were genuinely surprised to find out that the bible was put together by a council, and that many books that were important to christian groups at the time were thrown out and deemed apocryphal. I don't think it ever occurred to them to even question where the bible came from.

We never chose this religion, this belief system, it was chosen for us. I have no doubt that right now there are many thousands of christians who believe not because of honest intellectual questioning, but because it has been their default belief since early childhood. All they've ever heard is one side of the story.

We all know there's a lot of good atheist books out there. There's a lot of christian ones too. One thing I haven't seen yet however, is a book that doesn't attempt to persuade the reader one way or the other. I want to write that book. I want to a write a book that does nothing but attempt to give the reader the whole picture, from both points of view. I want to write something that would equip the reader with all the knowledge they need to make an informed decision about what they choose to believe, and to present in a way that is non-threatening and readily digestible. I want pictures and illustrations. It should be something that the average high school freshman would be able to pick up and understand easily.

If you have any thoughts about this, I would love to hear them. Do you think this a worthy project? Is there already a book out there like I've described?
I would also like your input into what topics you think I should cover, and what I should stay away from. The ideas I have so far are as follows.

The history of the bible. (How and where judiasm and christianity originated, who wrote the books of the bible, who put the bible together.)

Creationism/Evolution or Science vs the Bible. Not really sure how to approach this one yet.

Biblical inerrancy. (Why people say it is inerrant, why people say it isn't.)

I would also like to cover some of the old testament verses that most christians haven't even heard of, like the ones in Leviticus, or Elisha and the two bears, but I don't know to approach that yet either.

Also if you have any suggestions for good reading material, that would be great. I have A LOT of studying to do.
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08-08-2014, 11:27 AM
RE: I'm going to write a book...
Good luck and welcome to the forum.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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08-08-2014, 11:34 AM
RE: I'm going to write a book...
Let me write it for you, "It is all myth, the end".

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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08-08-2014, 11:53 AM
RE: I'm going to write a book...
I started a book too. It is a zombie Cajun post apocalyptic science fiction. I am still outlining the plot. It is not zombie or Cajun in the way you would expect.
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08-08-2014, 12:04 PM
RE: I'm going to write a book...
Welcome aboard and good luck with the book. Smile

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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08-08-2014, 12:14 PM
RE: I'm going to write a book...
Imagine,
Welcome aboard. If I may ask, what church did you grow up in?

With regards to writing a book, ask yourself, how would your book stand out in a crowded field? In other words. how would you sell this to a publisher, or if self-published, how would you sell enough copies to justify the initial outlay?

Several of us here are published authors, so if you need any help or advice don't hesitate to ask.

Cheers,
Doc
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08-08-2014, 01:56 PM
RE: I'm going to write a book...
I'm willing to wager it would be nearly impossible to do all the necessary research and still (honestly) have any shred of belief in Christianity. I wager that after doing all this research, you'll be a full-on atheist, armed to the teeth with countless reasons that Christianity is flawed, false, and deceitful.

When you get to this point, how will you honestly or sincerely write "a book that doesn't attempt to persuade the reader one way or the other"?

I wish you luck, it sounds like a great idea, but I fear that either your research will be extremely limited or extremely flawed or, if not, your efforts to remain unbiased and avoid persuading the reader against Christianity would be extremely insincere.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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08-08-2014, 06:20 PM
RE: I'm going to write a book...
I too have been thinking of doing this sometime in the future. Good luck to your book!

Mine (ideas) so far would be something like childrens books for atheist children and their families etc. You know, yay! I just learned to read not that long ago kids. Or a response to f.a.q's from theists to atheists which would also include many of the insults and comments towards us that are fairly common. A book basically from us to them.


My Youtube channel if anyone is interested.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEkRdbq...rLEz-0jEHQ
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08-08-2014, 07:52 PM
RE: I'm going to write a book...
Thank you everyone for your responses.

Quote:Imagine,
Welcome aboard. If I may ask, what church did you grow up in?

With regards to writing a book, ask yourself, how would your book stand out in a crowded field? In other words. how would you sell this to a publisher, or if self-published, how would you sell enough copies to justify the initial outlay?

Several of us here are published authors, so if you need any help or advice don't hesitate to ask.

Cheers,
Doc

I'm probably going to take you up on your offer for help. I don't have the first clue about how to start writing a book. I'd rather not name the specific church I grew up in right now, but I will tell you it was a charismatic church in the plateau of Washington state. The biggest difference between charismatics and most other denominations is that they frequently practice glossolalia, or "speaking in tongues".

I would try to make the book stand out by appealing to the younger demographics and by attempting to make the book fun to read. As you know, most of the books out there right now aren't exactly light reading. I want to make something that people would want to flip through even if only to look at the illustrations. Imagine historically accurate maps and pictures of ancient Rome and Israel, or outlines of what the ark might have looked like compared to ships like the Wyoming, the largest wooden schooner ever built. There are tons of possibilities to not only make the book educational, but entertaining as well.

Quote:I'm willing to wager it would be nearly impossible to do all the necessary research and still (honestly) have any shred of belief in Christianity. I wager that after doing all this research, you'll be a full-on atheist, armed to the teeth with countless reasons that Christianity is flawed, false, and deceitful.

When you get to this point, how will you honestly or sincerely write "a book that doesn't attempt to persuade the reader one way or the other"?

I wish you luck, it sounds like a great idea, but I fear that either your research will be extremely limited or extremely flawed or, if not, your efforts to remain unbiased and avoid persuading the reader against Christianity would be extremely insincere.

I already am a "full-on atheist", so we don't have to worry about that. However, I share your sentiment. We're all human, and we're all subject to our own biases. I suppose writing a book that is perfectly balanced would be impossible, but that doesn't mean I can't try, and maybe get close. If I understand you correctly, you seem to think that facts speak for themselves. I would agree with that; and if the facts speak for themselves, then why I would I need to include anything but the facts in my book? My goal would be to put as little opinion and conjecture in the book as possible, and just let the reader see the world for what it is. This is how I think I could accomplish writing a book that wouldn't attempt to persuade anyone one way or the other. I'm not going to pretend that this is going to be even remotely easy, and if I'm being honest chances are good that I will fail, but I feel that so many people could benefit from a book like this. I have to try.
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