Friday, March 27, 2009

Caricature Atheism

Hey again, I’ll share one more observation my friend George made. Remember, you can read George’s entire review on his blog He felt that David Urbane was a clumsy caricature of an atheist. George seems to have two thoughts on the matter. 1. He sees Urbane as an example of ‘atheism due to pathology’ rather than just a person who does not find the ‘Christian myth’ intellectually credible. 2. George says that you’re not an atheist if you’re mad at God as opposed to not believing in him. In terms of The Pilate Plot, it seems best to me to answer these in reverse order. As the book set out, Urbane was not mad at God – in whom he genuinely did not believe. His grudge was against the historical legacy of Jesus Christ. It does not require belief in God to arrive at the (I feel obviously mistaken) conclusion that the legacy of Jesus Christ is shaping history and society in ways you would rather it did not. Further, said legacy invaded not only Urbane’s comfortable materialistic/humanistic worldview, but his home. When his wife sold out to Jesus, it ticked him off! He did not have to believe in God to experience this anger. Which, leads to the pathology issue. My friends, we are all messed up. Oddly, George agrees with me on this point but is still offended by the pathology (messed upness) angle. Urbane’s personal pathology had to do with the fact that on one level he loathed his own actions in abandoning his wife. This was compounded by the fact that she got sick and died soon afterwards resulting in the complete loss of any opportunity for dealing with the personal guilt. I maintain that this is an entirely accurate human pathology whether or not one is a believer – Urbane was not. That his pathological condition played a part in leading him to become a believer is such a profoundly Biblical concept and such a commonly seen scenario today that it hardly seems like any kind of caricature to me. But George’s perspective is valuable to me and his critique has already helped me in some ways as I work on the next project. I’d be glad for your input.

Friday, March 13, 2009

First, let me share with any interested parties that Iwill be making a presentation about The Pilate Plot at the Malvern (OH) Rotary, March 30, 6:30 PM. Then let me share a little more about my atheist friend's critique of the book. By the way - George's full review is up on his blog I issue the same warnings as before - Christians will not find George's blog particularly enjoyable. In addition to not caring for Nathaniel Stone's dialect, George felt that the 'razor sharp' focus on the torture of Brian Stearnes amounted to 'violence porn' (that term appeared in notes George sent to me rather than in his official review.) George said he read the torture segments since he didn't want to miss any key ideas and subsequently wished he hadn't read them. In other words - George feels that the torture segments are harmful to the reader and should be deleted. I am quick to admit that The Pilate Plot includes darkness. It's in the book because I believe in the existence of evil as a personal force in fallen humanity. I believe in both heaven and hell breaking out on earth here and now. George would insist that the message could have been carried without the details of the torture. Maybe he's right. What do you think?