Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Embracing my Inner Theist.

I read blogs. Usually, while at work. I read science blogs, music blogs, personal blogs, atheist blogs and christian blogs. One of the atheist/humanist blogs I've recently started reading, and he has started reading me, is by a fellow named Jeremy called Le Cafe Witteveen. I like Jeremy's blog because he seems to have had a similar deconversion to me, and because he posts pictures like this:

Through Jeremy, I've discovered the Naked Pastor. This is probably my new favorite Christian blog. He is an actual pastor, I believe at a Vineyard Church, but he's also an aspiring artist/cartoonist, and his stuff is poignant.

But my favorite thing about him is that he embraces what he calls his "Inner Atheist," and I really applaud him for being self aware. In another post about his Inner Atheist, he says:

"I validate those who never sense God’s presence. I see honor in rejecting gods. It takes nerve to topple idols and walk away from falsehood. It is fearless to detach oneself from people who cherish counterfeit and peddle snake oil. And I think it sometimes takes courage to be an atheist. I embrace atheists, for in many ways I am one myself."

After reading about the Naked Pastor's inner atheist yesterday, I was inspired to embrace my inner theist. Driving home from work, I was thinking about my life. It is really amazing. I have the love of a beautiful woman who inspires me, adores me, and holds me accountable to myself, a beautiful daughter who is smart and who's personality grows by leaps and bounds every day, a family that loves me even when I shit all over the things they believe, a roof over my head, food in my belly, and music in my heart and in my hands and in my ears. And while I realize that it is possible, nay, probable, that none of these things required or included supernatural intervention to come to be, I feel an overwhelming rush of gratitude for them, and an overwhelming desire for a place to put that gratitude. I find my heart longing for a reason to believe in a personal theistic god, just so I have someone to thank. Of course, after I thanked him, I'd probably have to ask why he's so good to me and so awful to so many other people, but still, the sentiment remains.

Inner Theist, you have been embraced.


  1. this is a really great piece, i'll definitely check out that blog you linked.

  2. I think that this is an interesting intuition you have, and I wonder if you think it could be revealing.
    I've written before that I think our desire to place our gratitude somewhere when things are going well and to place blame somewhere when things are going bad is indicative of a deep belief in God that we all have. We all are, I think, just wired to believe that the universe is fundamentally a feature of a person, and I think we naturally interpret ourselves and the world in that way. Theologians have called this natural disposition the 'Sensus Divinitatis' (the sense of the divine).
    Maybe I can illustrate what I mean in this way:
    Our medical science has shown us that the heart is an organ which pumps blood all over our body and that this process enables us in a variety of ways to live and move. As a matter of common sense I think most of us are inclined to think that this is the purpose of the heart. We think it is there to accomplish some end, or goal. But of course if Naturalism is true, this intuition we have about the purpose of the heart is false. If Naturalism is true, the process that created us doesn't have a purpose or goal and consequently, the heart won't have any purpose or goal. On this picture it turned out that we have hearts and that they pump blood because those that didn't develop them failed to reproduce and pass on their genes. To think that they have a purpose is to think teleologically, but this just isn't an option for someone who doesn't believe in God.
    This is just one example of where we apply a common sense teleological interpretation to the world, but I think if you start paying attention to how you regularly think about things you find find that it is absolutely pervasive. I could list thousands of examples where we all (theist and atheist alike) think in this way. Now, this isn't really a proof for God's existence, but only an argument that we all naturally think of the universe as if it were created by God. But again, even though we all think in this way, it only makes sense on theism.

  3. Hey Taylor,

    Thanks for the shout today.

    The Naked Pastor is a great mind. I'm glad to see he struck a chord with you.

    I can't help but think if I lived in his vicinity, I'd go to his church once in a while.

    It's not faith or church that scares me; it's intellectual irresponsibility. Hell, I know atheists that scare me as much as anybody.

    A cool person, like David Hayward, outshines identification labels.

    Keep it up,


  4. P.S. "Lamb" by C. Moore is a great read. Very, very funny.