Steve Wasserman, a literary agent and editor, and an executor of Mr. Having evangelical friends is a testament to Mr.
In an interview, Mr. Taunton said that his rather modest claims were being misunderstood. Taunton, 48, said. Do I think he had a conversion?
While The Christian Post declared that, according to the book, Mr. Taunton said that was wrong: Even if Mr. Hitchens had come to some sort of belief, it is not clear what he would have believed in. Jesus Christ? An indescribable higher power? Hitchens learned his mother, and thus he, was Jewish? Taunton said.
Still, Mr. Taunton laces his book with plenty of winks toward hopeful Christians, who would be understandably glad to see the conversion of an atheist as prominent as Mr. He has also written about private conversations with Mr. Hitchens about Christianity, and he said that Mr.
Shermer said he had grown uncomfortable with how Mr. In the book, Mr. Taunton attributes the metaphor to Hitchens himself. Shermer said it was just not believable that Hitchens was having doubts about his atheism, doubts shared with Mr.
Allow me to close with my life passage, found in 1 Timothy Avalos again used the scripture, saying one could just as easily argue the opposite. Three of them, including Peter, were crucified; two were stoned to death; another two were beheaded; Thomas was killed with arrows in India; Philip was hanged on a pillar in Phrygia; another disciple was beaten to death, and Bartholomew Nathaniel was skinned alive in Armenia. Become a member. Similarly, when I need direction for a decision, he gives it. For an abbreviated audio version of Philip's testimony 15 minutes , click on the audio button beneath 'Hear a former atheist's story' here. He has put this phrase in parentheses.
Taunton but almost nobody else. Taunton said he was planning to remove Mr. Taunton asked in an email. Sure, my friend Jesus would tell me when I made mistakes, but they were mistakes I already knew I had made. Jesus never give me insight into other people's thoughts or future actions. Gradually, I came to realize that I had no clear way to tell if the voice in my prayers was and omniscient deity or simply my own imagined conversational partner. As I came to realize the limitations of my conversational partner in prayer, I struggled to consider possible explanations for the strange things I had noticed.
How could God be omniscient, yet so constrained in my prayers? There was one explanation which I was afraid to consider. It would destroy the foundation of my universe and I would have to rebuild from scratch. Worse yet, considering this explanation could put my soul in eternal peril of suffering.
But Jesus promised.
Jesus promised that there was strength in asking the hard questions and facing reality openly and honestly. Jesus Christ encouraged me to ask the simple, terrifying question that forever changed the nature of my relationship with Him:. What if all this time I believed I was praying, I was actually just imaging a conversation in my own head? I still remember the moment I first had the courage to think that thought in my head. I was as the back entrance of my church above the stairway to Calvin Hall and below the stairs to the music wing.
I carried that doubt around with me for many years as I attended weekly youth group, completed confirmation class, and joined First Presbyterian Church as a full member. The hard questions were something I learned not to share with other adults, as some of them would insult my integrity when they found out. My parents knew my doubts, though I learned to keep the extent of my position to myself as those conversations became increasingly uncomfortable with time.
As time went on, it became increasingly clear that the most likely explanation for prayer was not the invisible omniscient deity I had been taught to believe as a child.
It was my own imagined conversation with an archetype I had learned to project my values and hopes onto. How could I ever have thought otherwise?! At first, I was embarrassed to continue praying. With friends, colleagues, bosses, my wife, my kids. These dialogs help me mentally prepare for important conversations.
They help me broaden my perspective on challenging issues e. What would my friend Seth think about this business opportunity? Now that I understand that Jesus was just my own imagination, I have far more reasonable expectations for the advice he can provide me.
When I pause to reflect on values our purpose in life, I know the voice in my head is my own. And this understanding has improved my relationship with Jesus Christ as played by my imagination dramatically. In my life, there are different people I approach with different problems. As a Christian, I came to depend on prayer and my relationship with Jesus for all the challenges in my life. I can summon mental representations real friends and colleagues or fictional characters of my choosing.
When struggling with a business decision, for example, the Jesus archetype may not be my best thought partner.