Jesus?Sam Harris (author of The End of Faith, previously attended to on this blog) has a new book out called "Letter to a Christian Nation". Now I must say it's an ingenious title. It's also ingeniously misinformative, since few (Christian, religious, or atheist) would term the United States a "Christian nation". While many of its citizens are Christian, the nation itself has become mostly secularized. Instead of Why Faith, perhaps I should change the title of this blog to "Letters to a Secular Nation"? Hmmm.

Since I have not read the book (nor do I have plans to considering what I know about it) I will instead comment on the quotes from it posted on the book's website:

According to the most common interpretation of biblical prophecy, Jesus will only return after things have gone horribly wrong. Imagine the consequences if any significant component of the US government believed that the world was about to end and that its ending would be glorious. The fact that nearly half of the American population believes this should be considered a moral and intellectual emergency.

I'm not sure why this would be considered an "emergency" considering that there have always been large numbers of Christians in America. I suppose the implication is that there now exists the technology to actually bring about the world's destruction. Yet anyone who has done even a cursory study of the Bible would never suggest that it even hints that people should willfully bring about the world's destruction, so Harris' insinuation here falls flat.

There are also plenty of statistics like "80% of Americans expect to be called before God on judgement day to answer for their sins" or "73% believe in Hell". While such statements may be accurate, I'm not sure what Harris' point is in quoting them. This belief is indeed ridiculous if Christianity is false. If it's false, of course it would be ridiculous to believe that. But if it's true, it's quite reasonable. According to Harris, "83% of Americans believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead." Considering that, the statistics above are not surprising.

Is there good evidence for believing Jesus rose from the dead? Check the resources below, and decide for yourself. Don't allow those like Sam Harris to, in a sense, throw the baby out with the bathwater. I agree that there is a lot of "bad" that goes on in religion, just as there's even more "bad" that goes on everywhere in life. But does that mean all religion (and Christianity in particular) is untrue? I was an atheist, researched it myself, and came to my own conclusion …

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