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.