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I know what it’s like to earnestly seek the truth but still be totally deluded.

I know what it’s like to think that what I believe, or what my loving pastor says, or what my ancient book says, is more true than what reason and evidence say.

That resonated with me, and we lived it out with the poor immigrants of Minneapolis. I’m going to seek genuine experience with God, to commune with God, and to reinforce my faith.

By this time I had little interest in church structure or petty doctrinal disputes. So I decided I should try to find out who Jesus actually was. What I learned, even when reading scholars, shocked me. I studied the Historical Jesus, the history of Christianity, the Bible, theology, and the philosophy of religion. If only I could books by the very best Christian philosophers. I couldn’t force myself to believe what I knew wasn’t true. I am going to avoid solid atheist arguments, because they are too compelling and cause for despair.

I had stubbornly resisted my deconversion, but these days I am to accept reality, no matter what it is.

I moved to Minneapolis for college and was attracted to a Christian group led by Mark van Steenwyk. my life to Jesus, releasing myself from all cares and worries, and filling myself and others with love.

Mark’s small group of well-educated Jesus-followers were postmodern, “missional” Christians: they thought loving and serving others in the way of Jesus was more important than doctrinal truth. Then I began an investigation of the historical Jesus… I do not think I am strong enough to be an atheist. I have a broken leg, and my life is much better with a crutch…

My dad and I read lots of this Christian self-help stuff.

We shared our latest discoveries with each other and debated theology. He said he believed mostly for the “aesthetics of belief” and his “somewhat mystical experiences of Christ.” He wrote, “In a way, I am a Christian because I want to be one, and the logic flows from there.” I also wrote a defiant email to an atheist radio show host to whom I’d been listening, Matt Dillahunty: I was coming from a lifetime high of surrendering…

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GAMBLERThe scenario: “I got a message that said ‘Obviously you’re cute, but I’m just having trouble believing that this is actually you because you seem too good to be true.

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You can use a favourite quotation that demonstrates a philosophy or use characters from a book or film you enjoy.

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Emasculation for a man may have been a punishment for the rape of a married woman while consensual sex would result in both people being punished by whipping or mutilation, possibly even put to death.