on personal experience

You know, there’s one question that I wish I could have asked Craig — but first, some background: One of Craig’s 5 or 6 arguments for God’s existence is the “personal experience” of God that a believer has.  In fancy theologian talk, he calls this the “self-authenticating power of the Holy Spirit” — ie., the Holy Spirit is true because the Holy Spirit tells me its true. (yes, very circular reasoning)

I wish I had asked Craig to explain how I had this Holy Spirit experience back when I was a believer, and yet later came to reject my faith.

I suppose it’s not a very nice question to ask, because I have a feeling his answer will make him look like a jerk.  My guess is that if I were to ask Dr. Craig my question, he would have to say that I was never a true believer in the first place — otherwise, I wouldn’t have rejected Christianity.  Either that or I must have committed some kind of huge sin that broke this connection I had with the Holy Spirit.

And he wouldn’t be the first person to say or imply that about my past.  I suppose it’s comforting to some people to just believe I was never a true Christian(TM), rather than face the reality that someone can go from being active in a loving relationship with a personal god to being in a place where she doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of a god.

At last week’s debate, there was a section on the audience response card where you could put your email address down to have someone from Campus Crusade for Christ contact you to have a conversation on how God is personal and able to be known and, if so, what that is like.  Being who I am (someone who loves dialoguing about belief), I filled out the box to be contacted.

Tonight I received a very eager email from a student who is offering to take me out to coffee to talk about these issues.  There’s a part of me that thinks it would be great fun to be on the receiving end of such a talk, and I wonder why.  Maybe it’s because, looking back, I wish I had a coffee discussion with an atheist who could kindly ask me questions about my faith that I never thought of before.

Don’t misread me, I’m not out on a deconverting mission here — but part of me wonders what good I can offer in not backing down from interacting with believers, even in my godless state.

One comment on “on personal experience

  1. Well first one would have to ask you if the experience you had with what you then identified with the Holy Spirit has since continued and if you now attribute that association as faulty since you now have the same experience without belief. Is that accurate?

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