Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
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21-04-2010, 08:03 AM
Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED
So I think my wife's pastor is trying to start a dialogue with me. There is an upcoming debate between Christian apologist and Southern Evangelical Seminary Professor Dr. Richard Howe and Dr. Michael Shermer, founder of Skeptic magazine, on the subject "Does God Exist?"

The debate is April 30 in Colorado Springs, but is being broadcast live in 4 areas and live streamed on the internet. Cost varies from $5.00 for the live stream to $10 for an in-person ticket, I believe. Info here: http://northeast.churchforallnations.com...age_id=388

Anyway, this pastor sent me (and me alone) an email stating: "I received this info about a great theological debate that you might find of intellectual interest." He then changed the subject to mention my daughter's softball team and how he'd like to come see a game (I'm coaching the team this year). So there's nothing wrong with this email per se, except a few things. 1. I have never discussed theology or belief of any sort with this man, so the fact that he's aware that I'm a skeptic comes directly from my spouse. This leaves me feeling a bit violated honestly, but I'll get over it. She thinks this guy is some authority on spiritual matters, so sharing with him that her husband is a non-believer is understandable. It still pisses me off. Oh well. 2. I actually have little interest in paying to see this debate. Not sure where the money goes, but it is hosted by the Southern Evangelical Seminary, so I can assume it goes into a religious institution's coffers. Also, I'm cheap and just don't really have any interest in paying to see it anyway.

The only debate I could find with this apologist was a snippet from one between him and Dan Barker from 1997, but it was a transcript, some words were garbled, and I wasn't much impressed with his opening statements. His first step was the Cosmological argument, and on to philosophy, which sometimes I find quite dense and really not all that interesting. I haven't really read or watched anything about Shermer.

So, to the matter at hand. Technically I have an opportunity here to talk with this pastor. On the surface, it really doesn't interest me. I don't particularly like this individual or have much respect for him. I've heard some of his sermons and he often makes me quite angry with his opinions and presentation of scripture. In fact, I would say that this man was inadvertently a catalyst that led to my atheism. Preachers like him who like to pass off belief as knowledge irritate me to no end.

The reason this matters is my spouse. She has wanted me to talk to this man for two years now. Apparently he convinced her (though she believes it was God, of course) that she should recommit her life to Jesus and all this other stuff - so I should ask him my questions about the Bible and God (many of which I no longer hold - once you stop believing the God of the Bible is real, you kind of stop caring about a lot of his theology). So I've decided I should try. At best, she might at least begin to understand some of my opinions through this and gain some knowledge. At worst, things stay much as they are now, but hopefully my stances on things become clearer.

My question now is, how to approach it? The email he sent really wasn't open to much of a response with the exception of "not interested" or "thanks, I'll check it out." I'm tempted to write one to him and my wife and just start rattling off the questions I used to have. Even though I don't like this man, I don't really want to be rude, mostly because my family is unfortunately involved with him and his church.

For the record, what I would LIKE to do is ask him why the hell he thinks such a debate would interest me, why the hell it is of any concern to him what I think or believe, and what damn business it is of his to be speaking with my wife regarding my beliefs, or non-beliefs. But I'm not going to do that.

Thanks for reading all this, input is much appreciated.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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Messages In This Thread
Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED - TheSixthGlass - 21-04-2010 08:03 AM
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED - supermanlives1973 - 21-04-2010, 09:43 AM
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED - supermanlives1973 - 21-04-2010, 10:36 AM
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED - supermanlives1973 - 22-04-2010, 02:04 PM
RE: Potential Conversation With a Pastor - ADVICE NEEDED - supermanlives1973 - 22-04-2010, 06:33 PM
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