My good friend Shasta invited me to Portland State's Atheist/Agnostic Bible study. It's run by the PSU Atheist-Agnostic student group.
I had a great time. The atheist students were a lot of fun... really interested in the text (they're looking at the book of John).
Before everyone arrived, those who were there pulled out their Bibles and read until we started. We briefly introduced ourselves and then Shawn (not sure which way he spells his name) reviewed the first three chapters. Then we would read a section out loud and discuss it together. The atheist students gave more attention and respect to the text than many Christian students I've seen in similar types of studies. They really want to know what precisely Jesus means when he says and does different things, and they're very interested in what precisely John is communicating in the way he writes the account.
In addition, I think they have a certain advantage in approaching the text without all the weight of years and years of someone telling them "This is what Jesus means when he says--". They ask questions with an honest desire to understand.
Honestly, it was probably one of the best Bible studies I've been to in the last few years. I'm planning to go back next week. I'm looking forward to getting to know the students better, and learning together from the book of John.
I went through a period in college (Christian liberal arts college, mind!) in which I didn't read my Bible because I had sooo much baggage from all the years of being told what the Bible meant in class and in Sunday school, etc. I think people thought I was a heathen, but it actually helped in a weird sort of way.ReplyDelete
Call me crazy (and many do) but why would atheists read the bible? Are they approaching it more like a novel than God's holy word? If you knew me, you'd realize that the last sentence could very well be sarcasm. But in this case, I'm truly curious.ReplyDelete