This is a very good article by Niel that touches on two of the most fundemental doctrines of Christianity that I just can't agree with. The doctrine of "Original Sin" and the doctrine of "The Total Deprevity of Man". I find the Biblical justification and proof texts for these doctrines to be quite weak. Although Niel doesn't discuss the doctrines per se, he does touch on another reason I fully disagree with these doctrines... I find them to be an unhealthy way of looking at yourself and can be quite damaging towards certain people's self-perception... via We Are Not Broken - Godless in Dixie
Near-death experiences are often thought of as mystical phenomena, but research is now revealing scientific explanations for virtually all of their common features... via Peace of Mind: Near-Death Experiences Now Found to Have Scientific Explanations - Scientific American
In his book, "Not In God's Name", Rabbi Jonathan Sacks argues that religions (almost all religions) need to change their focus. Instead of focusing on converting as many people as possible to think and believe like they do, religion should rather shift their focus to finding ways to make this world a better place.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
"Our most deeply held beliefs are not fundamentally intellectual. They are emotional, and they are social. That goes for religious beliefs and it goes for political leanings as well. In fact, the same thing can be said for just about any other bedrock belief structure we can have."
This letter has been one of the most difficult letters I have ever written, but also one of the most necessary. The time has come for me to be open and honest about who I am and what I believe. I know for many of you this will come as quite a surprise or shock, as you have gotten to know me through my work for a Christian ministry over the past seven years.
I am someone who loves to take part in public debate. A person who has opinions about social and political issues facing the world today. But, I haven't found my new voice yet... and sometimes I wonder if I ever will.