2020-05-05 – Got a strange package in the mail yesterday: a book called The Case for Christ and a package of toilet paper. It was a surprise, because it was the result of a conversation I had back in December. I had forgotten all about it until I opened the package.
The reason for the package was the book. The toilet paper, I presume, was a joke.
Working from home did not start for be when the pandemic came. I’ve been doing it for over five years. My company’s headquarter is in North Carolina. I’m a writer, so there’s really no need to live near the office. But we get together once a year, usually at the time of the holiday party in December. That’s when “the conversation” took place.
M is another remote employee of the company who lives in Missouri. She is an Evangelical Christian and right-wing political, but she has a complicated background. And she’s fun at the holiday meeting. Still, I try to stay away from the topics of religion and politics.
But my conversations with M are never just her and me. And others at the table are less circumspect. Although I don’t bring up the dreaded religion and politics, I don’t hide my beliefs either (though I may try to change the subject).
In that context, last December, M asked me if I had ever read The Case for Christ. I said I hadn’t. She said it was very good and presented “evidence” for Christ. I told her that I thought an “evidentiary case” for Christ was a red herring. I don’t deny the existence of the historical Jesus. I just don’t believe in the significance of his life. It’s not a matter of evidence, but of faith.
She asked if I would read the book.
I have characterized myself as a reform atheist (with a definite Jewish background). I say “reform” because I don’t feel strongly about the denial of god. I just don’t see a god in the world or my life and don’t believe there is any sort of deity that craves my prayers. If there’s a god, fine. Let that god eradicate hate from the world and I’ll sing hallelujah. Until then, leave me alone. That’s my style of atheism.
But I come from a Jewish background and once wanted to be a rabbi. And I studied the holy books. I was both inspired and repelled by them. So, in spite of my weak atheism, I am still fascinated by the power these books hold over people. And not just Jewish holy book. I am interested, as well, in the holy books of my neighbors.
So I told M I would read the book (not guaranteeing that I would finish it, but I would give it a good try).
So here we are. She sent me the book.
I have read stuff like this before (though not so voluminous). I don’t think the “evidence” will sway me toward any sort of religious faith. More likely I will have additional questions. But I am always happy when a book surprises me. I told M that back in December.
In spite of that, she sent me the book. Is she trying to proselytize me? Or is she hoping that I will proselytize her? Either way, she will have a long wait.
What do you think? Scroll down to comment.
Like what you read? Share with your friends.
If you are new to EightOh9, check out the site and Follow Me by clicking on the Follow button that appears on the screen (lower right).