I was an atheist until my mid forties. I grew up in a nominally Christian society of course, even went to church as a child but didn't really understand or believe any of it and declared myself an atheist at age fifteen. I didn't truly believe until I was converted some thirty years later.
This does fit in with the theory very well. In a nominally Christian society I am sure you would be very aware of Jesus and the Bible. If you were brought up in a nominally Muslim society (if that exists), you would be aware of Muhammad, the Qur'an, and Allah.
Yes you do have to believe the Bible is the word of God, and God Himself gives us that recognition,
I hope God offers this recognition to all of us sometime in our lives.
If you really hope that, if you really want to recognize the Bible as God's word, you don't have to wait for God to transform you, all you have to do is decide to believe it and act on it. If you did that I have no doubt God would follow up with the supernatural part of it.
What if I were to be told by a Muslim to read to recognize the Qur'an as God's word, and all I had to do was to believe it and act on it, and if I did this then Allah would follow up with the supernatural part of it? Could that work as well.
I just think maybe humans can convince themselves anything is true if they try hard enough, and not everyone who is convinced they have the Truth can be correct.
I respect your answer and I am happy this has worked for you.
Growing up in a Christian society means very little about what you end up believing. I knew of Jesus of course but had no idea what made Him our Savior, how He'd died for our sins and so on, the basic gospel in other words. I'd missed that completely in my early church experience and had to learn it all from scratch when I did become a believer. My parents never went to church and never talked about God or Christ.
But, this still is in line with the theory, you DID grow up with some contact with Christianity.
One became a Zen Buddhist priestess and was still practicing that when I was in touch with her a few years ago.
Perhaps she has found the Truth?
So far here at EvC I have read posts from many different people, all appear to be equally convinced that they are correct.
Your posts are very convincing that you have found the Truth. But, it does appear that you have had an experience that many others have not.
Christianity has almost nothing to do with Jesus and Jesus was never a Christian anyway.
I have not heard this definition of Christianity before, and i have read a lot about Christianity. Christianity is named after Jesus THE Christ, so I would say any definition of Christianity would need this belief.
But I'm a Christian.
You are a Christian that does not believe Jesus died for your sins and was not God in the human form? Is this a correct definition?
Christianity is a map; it is not the territory itself. Christianity is also just one such map (actually one set of such maps) as is Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism, Satanism, Hinduism are also maps.
I do find this confusing. Are you saying that there is a God and all these different religions have clues to the real identity of this God?
It's important to keep the distinction in the forefront, we are dealing with maps not the territory.
I am thinking that you are saying that all these religions are untrue but all have some truth within them?
As mentioned above, Christianity is actually a whole set of maps, some old, outdated, filled with errors; others more recent with fewer errors and omissions but they are all still just maps and those using them must always test the map against reality.
I am not sure how spiritual truths can be tested against 'reality'. I think they can only be believed or not believed. Reality tells us a man cannot die for 3 days and come back to life but this is the foundation of Christianity and Christians need to have faith that this is true. St. Paul states this.
The fact that the map shows a bridge does not mean the bridge is there, that the road is not under construction, that there are not better routes to take.
So how does one know for sure if the bridge is there or not? :-?
The wise traveler will study several different maps and will note that some of the maps may be more accurate in some areas and less accurate in others and will then adopt the best from each.
I am so sorry but I do not understand this either. If you have a good enough map then why bother with any others?
I do understand this, but billions of people do not do what you are doing and appear happy. This does not mean you are incorrect I know, but why call yourself a Christian and not a Buddhist, or a Muslim, or a Hindu?
Also, what is making my mind explode is that to make sure you have not missed any of the total map you would need to know the religious texts of maybe countless religions to get to the truth.
I think there are far too many to be an expert on each, and you will not be allowed to reject the silly ones like the Book of Mormon because it may have some truth in it.
I am not saying you are wrong, I just think there are many problems IMO.