This book is intended for people who are in any of the following states of mind
- You know next to nothing about it, and cannot imagine how it could be relevant
to contemporary life.
- You resent being told what you should and should not do by a bunch of
moralists and fuddy-duddies. The presumptuousness is absurd; civilisation has
gone past all that. So long as others do not harm you, you will not harm them.
You just want to make your way in the world and enjoy yourself.
- You cannot understand how any intelligent person could fall for such nonsense.
It is largely fable and superstition, long discredited by modern science. And
all the different religions contradict each other. Believers of every stripe are
'the victims of fraud' .
- You regard Christianity - indeed religion in general - as a malign and
dangerous force. It has always held back human progress. Any God who would
permit such dreadful suffering as occurs in the world must be repudiated.
Religion provides an excuse for human beings to do nothing to alleviate
suffering in the here and now.
- You have some respect for the more liberal churches, but in the main you
associate Christianity with right-wing politics. It seems to be a belief system
that helps keep many odious and reactionary governments in power. Being of the
Left yourself, you do not want a bar of it.
- You can admire some - though certainly not all - of the ethical teaching in
the New Testament. Jesus was evidently a fine person, but nothing more. The Old
Testament is utterly outdated and often incomprehensible.
- You sense that something is lacking in your life, and would like to be able to
believe in God. Sometimes you think that you might already sense His presence.
But for whatever reason, you cannot get any further than that.
- You incline to the view that there is a higher force than Man, but remain
sceptical about many of the claims of Christianity. In particular, you struggle
with Creationism, the idea of miracles, the afterlife, and the divinity of
Jesus. These issues are too hard to fathom, so you are inclined to let them go
- You would call yourself a Christian, but it is not a major part of your life.
In fact, on reflection, you really do not know a great deal about Christianity,
or any religion. You would like to learn more and to try to develop a stronger,
more meaningful faith, but you just never seem to get around to it.
- You are a Christian, and your faith is important to you, but even so you have
never taken the time to analyse rigorously why you believe what you do. Nor
could you honestly say that you have tried to obey the seminal injunction of St
Peter, who urged that every believer must 'always be prepared to give an answer
to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have' (1 Peter
3:15). You are content to leave that job to the churches, or at any rate to
people more eloquent and knowledgeable than you.
At various stages of my life I have held one or more of these views in some
combination, so I can empathise with anyone who is currently of a like mind.
Nevertheless, I have come firmly to the belief that Christianity is true. To
varying degrees, each of the states of mind set out in my list is the product of
confused, lazy or wishful thinking...
Buy the book to read the rest!