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JH has a Web site!

ministerturnsatheist.org

(OK, not really. JH’s name doesn’t begin with Joe…)

 

at first i thought… oh, so that’s why he hasn’t posted to the reading group… and he said it was exams… and he says that he lives in oxford…

and then i kept reading… and it wasn’t the fact that san antonio is where he lives, nor the fact that he actually was a minister, nor the fact that he said nothing of harding… but his writing that convinced me that this was not the JH we’ve grown to know and love…

though these two jhs may have much to talk about… but, they may very likely have little to say to one another.

I ascend today from the hell that was a three day Oxford final examination, shocked, shocked to see such a vile association. This guy needs some Xanax. And booze. At the same time. So do I, I think.

-The Real JH

P.S. I think they went ok, but you never know with these people, coyness and opacity are their highest virtues.

Congrats that they did go well (if they did): exams were one of the reason I didn’t stay, so you’ve more fortitude than I.

My cohort in graduate school included a woman from Miss/Alabam (she spent time in both), whose family was in one of the most fundy/least fun CoC cong’s there is. She had never celebrated Christmas; she knew the 5 finger exercise by heart; and she had rejected it all in fear and loathing. She had a mighty chip on her shoulder. She taught her second year, and she designed her class to debunk all religion—so complained her students, anyway. She was a mess of conflicts, some of which she blamed her former church for, and some of which may have been her former church’s fault…

Anyway, reading the Other JH’s site reminds me of her.

And credit where due: I cribbed the link from Travis Stanley.

HAHAHAHAHA. Last night at around midnight I was checking my RSS reader and all I got was “JH has a website” with the link. I visited the site and thought “My God! This is the same guy that was so willing to help us out with that Latin American reading list! I really need to pray for him.” Glad it occured to my slow brain that it might have been a joke :)

What strikes me is how indeed the guy probably hasn’t changed that much. He admits himself that, as a Christian/minister, he was a really ardent proselytizer:

I became a determined personal evangelist. From me, no one was safe from an argument on religion! I’d talked to everyone I knew, beginning with my close family, my friends, and my acquaintances, and they all knew where I stood on the issues: Jesus was the way, Genesis is accurate in all its teachings (and literal too), and only those in the Lord’s true church (the Church of Christ to which I belonged) would be saved on the last day. I went door to door for multiple blocks, talking to every soul I could find. I had to save them from the fires of Hell like I had been saved.

Clearly, this guy was never a pastoral minister. He’s an evidences guy, a debater from the grand CoC tradition, and a seeker of the correct way. (And I use correct very precisely here: correct’s antonym is incorrect, not false; in other words, it is no synonym for true.) He even says as much in his footer: “Our best friends are those who correct us.” He’s got a really interesting story. But I don’t think he’s changed that much. He’s changed one suit of clothes for another and is still an ardent proselyte, only now for the absence of God rather than God’s presence.

right, i was just waiting for greg to say exactly my impressions of the site/guy in a much more elegant manner than myself.

i whole-heartedly concurr with both posts.

and, i even agree with JH (not our, i rarely agree with our JH), i don’t believe in the god that he doesn’t believe in; nor do i believe in the scriptures that he doesn’t believe in.

Two sentences I keep coming back to… Naturally, we atheists are not big on the words of the bible. In fact, we loathe them.

Why, why loathe them?
Why, why naturally? (which, naturally, obviously, and such rhetorical props are favorites…)
Why loathe anything created by humans? Wouldn’t a historicist approach be more prudent?

Yeah, I don’t believe in that god either, although once I might have, and I always question along similar lines as you, J, why men (always men?) of this sort seem to have no desire to embrace historicism. It’s not only that historicism seems more prudent, but also that it seems more embracing than the Bertrand Russell/Isaac Asimov full-bore skeptic model…

But I think the guy just doesn’t like people enough: pastoral ministry wasn’t his bag because he cherished the war of ideas. Had he been a pastoral minister-cum-atheist, he’d be an historicist I think.

But here’s a question that occurs to me: why does it matter if the man himself changes or doesn’t? Is it because he is claiming some moral authority in atheism (or contra, the absence of authority in theism), (Is he?) but doesn’t seem to show what he means?

Or is it because I expect a proposition, e.g. “God exists,” to be viable or nonviable in life for x logic, and if I or someone else rejects that proposition, it’s because he or she has found y logic instead? Why do I ask that x not be good enough for both positive and negative?

Ditto to Greg and Jy on the whole thing with the man merely changing suits. The same thing occurred to me whilst riding my bike yesterday. One of the things he kept with him in the transition is the belief that everything must be decided on the bible, that it’s the only possible source of truth, or untruth, as it were. In a state of exhaustion and semi-inebriation I said he needed booze and Xanax. What he really needs is to read literature and history for pleasure, travel, and meet lots of different people in non-debate contexts.

He can’t be a very young man though. I suspect he’ll keep on in this way till the day he dies, and that’s very very sad to think about.