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    Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary (2009) Kenneth W. Daniels

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    Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary (2009) Kenneth W. Daniels

    Bericht  Mariakat op 20.07.15 17:49

    http://infidels.org/library/modern/ken_daniels/why.html


    Home » Library » Modern » Ken Daniels » Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary


    Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary (2009)

    Kenneth W. Daniels

     

    Author Website







    Kenneth W. Daniels (1968-), former evangelical missionary with Wycliffe Bible Translators, received his BS in computer science and engineering from LeTourneau University, Longview, Texas, and a one-year certificate in biblical studies from Columbia Biblical Seminary (now Columbia International University), Columbia, SC. He currently resides with his wife and three children in suburban Dallas, TX, where he works as a software developer.


    PUBLISHED BY
    Kenneth W. Daniels and the Secular Web
    Copyright © 2009 by Kenneth W. Daniels and the Secular Web
    All Rights Reserved. Published 2009
    This publication may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Kenneth W. Daniels and the Secular Web.



    Contents



    Foreword by Guy P. Harrison



    Preface



    Part I: Foundations


    Chapter 1: Motives and Methods

    My purpose for writing
    My approach to my readers
    Two kinds of believers
    A look ahead


    Chapter 2: My Journey from Missionary Bible Translator to Humanist

    Introduction to my story
    Life as an evangelical Christian
    Life as a nonbeliever


    Chapter 3: Why I Remained a Christian: Pre-deconversion Perspectives

    The influence of other believers
    The design of the universe and of life
    The superiority of Christianity over other worldviews
    The foundations of morality
    Purpose and meaning
    Fulfilled prophecies
    The Resurrection of Jesus
    The reliability of the Bible
    Miracles and answered prayer
    A personal relationship with a loving, almighty God


    Chapter 4: Why I Hesitated to Examine my Faith Critically

    The sum of all fears and costs
    Psychological inertia
    Accident of birth, benefit of doubt (ABBOD)
    The virtue of faith
    Sanctified exceptionalism
    Good and bad
    Focus on the flaws of the foes of the faith
    Insulation
    The big stick
    The ease and security of a package
    A set-apart identity
    Moderation inoculation
    But what about you now, Ken?


    Part II: My Reasons for Believing: A Critique


    Chapter 5: The Influence of Other Believers

    Exemplary believers
    The myth of individual faith
    Accident of birth, benefit of doubt (ABBOD reprise)
    Tradition and authority
    Fear of others' reactions
    Christian fellowship


    Chapter 6: The Design of the Universe and of Life

    Suspicion of the scientific establishment
    Excursus: the age of the earth
    Evolution
    Naturalism versus supernaturalism
    The origin of the universe
    The origin of God


    Chapter 7: The Superiority of Christianity over Other Worldviews

    Deformed to fit
    The numbers game
    Deism
    Conclusion


    Chapter 8: The Foundations of Morality

    A typical discussion
    The limitations of faith-based morality
    Not perfect, just forgiven


    Chapter 9: Purpose and Meaning

    Anthropocentrism
    Mortality and meaninglessness


    Chapter 10: Fulfilled Prophecies

    Prophetic presuppositions
    The "seventy weeks" of Daniel 9
    Jesus' failed prophecy


    Chapter 11: The Resurrection of Jesus

    The apologetic stance
    Presuppositions
    The location of Jesus' post-Resurrection appearances
    Arguments for the Resurrection


    Chapter 12: The Reliability of the Bible

    The unity of the Bible
    The integrity and trustworthiness of the biblical authors
    The archaeological confirmation of the scriptures
    The beauty and wisdom of the gospel


    Chapter 13: Miracles and Answered Prayer

    Miracles
    Answered prayer


    Chapter 14: A Personal Relationship with a Loving, Almighty God

    Excursus: the possibility of losing one's relationship with God
    Marriage to Jesus
    The Bible and Jesus as personal savior
    The reality of a personal relationship
    God's power and love


    Chapter 15: Fear of Eternal Loss

    Pascal's Wager
    Appeasing
    Defenses of the doctrine of hell


    Chapter 16: Questions, Answers, and Final Thoughts

    Are you happier now than before?
    Have your morals changed?
    Do you ever doubt your doubts?
    Do you ever feel guilty about your decision?
    How do you relate to your wife and family?
    Parting thoughts


    References

    Notes



    Foreword by Guy P. Harrison



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