Hi KingAndI’ers, I'll be contributing occassional posts here. I’m Brian. I’m a 29-year-old husband, father, and neuroscientist studying the molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease (I know, a lot of Bible overlap there, huh?) I’m most of the way through a combined MD/PhD program at Northwestern and my wife and I are expecting our second child any day now, so I should be sternly reprimanded for spending so much time indulging a hobby on this site! Whatever.
I’m participating in this project because I think everyone should read the Bible. My own experience with the Bible is multifaceted. My mother is Irish Catholic and I was raised accordingly, attending Catholic school with daily religious instruction. I loved the Catholic Church but felt like there must be more to Christian spirituality than the theology and rituals encompassed by the Catechism.
I began attending various Protestant and Evangelical churches on my own and with friends and found that their style resonated with my desire for a more intense and personal relationship with God. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal lord and savior, prayed constantly, read the Bible daily, and shared the Gospel with others.
At the time, I read everything in the Bible through the lens of my salvation in Christ and the relationship that God wanted to have with me.
I’m a proud and joyful atheist! There was no crisis of faith, nor was there any epiphany. I just gradually developed a naturalistic understanding of the world, a humanistic sense of purpose, and a skeptical approach to truth-seeking. I eventually saw Christianity (like all religion) as a fascinating cultural and sociological production – likewise, the Bible:
I now read the Bible as a wonderful collection of ancient literature spanning many genres, a window into an ancient culture with cultural continuity with the present, and a cornerstone of Western literature and thought. I must admit, it makes more sense this way!Being a huge nerd and voracious consumer of books/lectures, I went through a stretch a couple years ago where I returned to the Old Testament and listened to several professors’ lectures on it. I really enjoyed it, and was excited to see Bruce start this project, providing an excuse to do it all again, this time with a group. I think the discussion has been great! I’ve especially enjoyed the contrasting faithful and secular reactions to things like the character of the OT god and the morality of the Bible. Big thanks to Bruce and to everyone who’s commenting. I hope I can help encourage the discussion! My first post will be a brief-ish overview of what we've already read.