Critical DisBelief

When certainty becomes uncertain…


I was raised Catholic, become an agnostic at age 17 and became radically convinced of the truth of Christianity at age 19, mainly thanks to a friend and the writings of C.S. Lewis. I steered clear of Church and the Bible for many years until I was drawn in to evangelical/charismatic circles. I went in deep but fundamentalist neo-Calvinism quickly repelled me to the fringes and towards liberal/historical study of the Bible. My own study and my experiences eventually pushed me away from evangelical Christianity and the Sorry Way The World Is drove me away from theism proper.

Though I don’t like the term I could probably be described as an “Atheist for Jesus” because I deny a personal benevolent deity but I do see the necessity for some non-physical Creative Force.

I think we have a glimpse of Jesus in the canonical Gospels, heavily filtered by early (yes early) Christian experience. I think Paul was an imaginative missionary, out of line with (even ignorant of) Jesus’ own agenda. I think, with Albert Schweitzer, that Jesus was an honest enthusiast who was disappointed at the last: My God, why have you forsaken me. Jesus’ vision of God returning to rule the Earth went unrealised.

Salvation means rescue. It’s not a philosophical answer or a religion or a promise of heaven after death or a new creation in 2000 years: suffering must end for there to be rescue. As we can all see, if we open the newspaper, neither Christianity, nor any other religion can provide this. The question is which ideas and actions can provide rescue and healing to the vulnerable?

I think that Jesus’ way of service to others, love of enemies, is the best we have but Christianity today is unfortunately only tangentially related to Jesus.


3 responses to “About

  1. adam February 19, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    hey buddy,

    great stimulating stuff. look forward to some more posts in the future!!!

  2. Phil July 12, 2008 at 2:07 am

    I’m interested to read your page re “The word of God”. Is there some way I can e-mail you a copy of a small document I’ve written that discusses the same thing? [Not necessary to clutter your blog with it.] You’ll see how similar the conclusions are that we’ve both arrived at. Please contact me.

  3. Benjamin Smith September 13, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Hi Marc,

    I read your ‘Critical Belief’ blog some time ago when I was going through a time of questioning my own faith. I went pretty liberal in response to some of Thom Stark’s stuff, and then found some good reasons – and I mean, actually good, not just the same old apologetics – for an orthodox faith. Don’t know if you care about it any more, from the revamp of the site, but I could send you the stuff I found helpful if you’re interested.



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