My change of heart over JB's new 'Living on the Edge' book

http://www.fuudai.com/project_detail.php?id=1344577&lang=english
Click to buy this book
Jonathan Burke is a theist and therefore by definition I don't agree with much of what he writes. I have previously noted some of this book's shortcomings on this blog.

However you have to look at things relatively and relative to the unbounded nonsense published by the Christadelphian office, the ALS, the Bible Mission, the Logos, Testimony magazine and other Christadelphianspublishers - Jonathan's book is superb. It is a milestone in Christadelphian publishing and one of the most significant books published in our community since the days of Dr Thomas.

Watch his video and Jon says that he believes in an "evidence based religion." His "evidence" is not empirical evidence; instead it is the usual hearsay, speculation, invention and conjecture. But nevertheless that is a huge leap forward for Christadelphians, who are mostly fideists who base their faith on faith alone. 

For the very first time in the religion's history, someone has at least attempted to put it on an empirical foundation. The fact that he failed does not matter. He made a huge effort to do it and I admire that effort. I want to encourage that way of thinking amongst Christadelphians.


 
In the book Jon emphasises the need for rational thinking, scepticism and broad based research in theological investigation. He deals with cognitive bias's and cognitive dissonance and how they can impede the search for truth. These are all themes that are dear to my heart and I agree 100% with him.

There are many other things that I like about the book, but perhaps I have said enough. You need to read it for yourselves and form your own judgement.

I think that all Ex-Christadelphians and Christadelphian Unbelievers should order a copy of the book to help with its finance and to encourage this sort of thinking amongst Christadelphians.

I think that every regular Christadelphian on the planet should order a copy.

If we Christadelphian Unbelievers are ordering Jon's book and promoting it, Christadelphians should be ordering boxes of them. It should be on every Ecclesial bookstall and the Christadelphian office should order a thousand copies to be promoted and sold though its magazine. Needless to say they will ignore the book and not even bother to review it.

Another and more important reason why we Christadelphian Unbelievers and Ex-Christadelphians should throw our support behind the Berea-Portal group, is that in their thinking they are the closest group to us in the Christadelphian community. They try to think rationally, sceptically, objectively and intelligently about theology and philosophy. They are pro-science and they understand and try to apply the scientific method when drawing their conclusions. They mostly fail; because the power of Cognitive Bias holds them back from taking their thinking about God and the Bible to its logical conclusion. But every time they fail, they pick themselves up and have another go. Each time they get closer to the truth. Some of them, like Rob Hyndman and others, have already deconverted and left the religion. Others are in the pipeline of deconversion and they will be joining us soon.

It is a journey from superstitious fideism to empirical rationality. It is a journey that all intelligent Christadelphians are going to have to make and it is a painful experience. The emotional upset can be immense, as we come to realise that our family religion has no empirical basis. Those Berea-Portal brethren and sisters are a long way down that track, even though they protest that they have not taken the first step. But as one of their members recently wrote:

"But then, quite suddenly, I could not think of a good reason to believe any more."

That is how it will be for Jonathan Burke and all of the wonderful Christadelphian brethren and sisters who have brains, intellectual honesty and common sense. If they follow the principles outlined in JB's new book they will wake up one morning and find that the bottom has fallen out of their mystical theology. The bright light of reason will be beaming through the mist of their fideism to dissolve it for ever. You can see it working in the writings of Jake Douglas, Paul Davies and many others on our websites. It is one of the most wondrous things in our universe. It is for that goal that we Christadelphian Unbelievers do all this hard work.

There are approximately 50,000 Christadelphians in this world and only about 100 or fewer Berea-Portal readers and supporters. They have captured the cream of Christadelphia. But they are having a hard job promoting their cause any further. Because the remaining 49,900 Christadelphians are fideists who are of no use to anyone. The B-Ps will keep trying to advance their cause to the fideist Christadelphians; but the attrition of their own people deconverting to join us will mean that they will make no headway.

However this process means that people like Jonathan Burke and the B-Ps represent the vanguard of Christadelphian reform towards eventual deconversion. We Christadelphian Unbelievers should give them every support and encouragement, including financial backing.

That is why we should enthusiastically support Jon's new book. We should buy as many copies as possible, promote it to regular Christadelphians and if Jon can't raise his target to get the book published, we should step in to guarantee the remaining finance for him, so that the book is guaranteed to be published.

Regular Christadelphians: Please tell everyone in your ecclesia about this new book and get them to buy it. It will make a fantastic Christmas present. Order a dozen copies today and give them away to your friends as presents for Christmas. They are only approximately US15.00 each. That's less than a box of chocolates or a half decent bottle of wine.  Click here to order the book. Then click to the English version of the website and click again to place your order. 

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