I’ve just finished a book by Kenneth W Daniels, called Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary.
This is a story of a true Christian who believed for nearly three decades, having grown up the son of evangelical missionary parents, later becoming a missionary himself. Yet he slowly lost his faith and now no longer holds it. In this part-autobiography, part-exposé, Ken traces his journey from evangelical missionary to secular humanist while remaining part of a committed Christian family. He looks back at a number of reasons he remained a believer for over a decade after his initial doubts began at university, critically evaluating each one in a separate chapter. Whether or not you agree with Ken’s conclusions, you will find his journey and his reasons for taking it fascinating and informative. You will end up better understanding, if not appreciating, the mind of apostates whose desire is to follow the evidence wherever it leads.
To be honest this took me a really long time to read. I was in the middle of it and then decided to breeze through a few more instead. Don’t take that in a bad way though, it’s a really good book. I found it really eye opening, and it gave me a bit of hope that more ‘devout’ religious people became lovely apostates like me.
I really enjoyed the way he presented his views. If you’re insulted by the supposed stridency of Richard Dawkins, there’s none of that here. He’s very level headed, presents his criticisms, but does so in a humble way. He’s incredibly polite, but is also not afraid to show where he disagrees with the Christian faith.
Obviously if someone who is a devout Christian came around and read this, they might not take it to heart and may even find it insulting, but someone who is experiencing doubts would find this incredibly eye opening. Of course since I’m already an atheist it’s like preaching to the choir, but there are still some great points for us to take on when we’re being bombarded with apologism. I’m sure it’d be helpful for every atheist to have the in-depth knowledge of the Bible that he does.
You can read this book online for free if you search the title on Google, but I bought it on my Kindle and it’s only $0.99, so for the price it’s fantastic. It’s worth more than the price, really.