Ryan J. Bell, former Christian pastor, has announced he will live a year without God. The claim itself is not all that interesting, but the following statement of his is:
“For the next 12 months I will live as if there is no God. I will not pray, read the Bible for inspiration, refer to God as the cause of things or hope that God might intervene and change my own or someone else’s circumstances,”
I can understand living without the typical Sunday school answer to life; almost every question can be answered with “read the Bible and pray.” Alternatively, answer “Jesus.” It’s not that the answers are wrong. The questions are just insufferably shallow. It’s rare that I come across a question that makes me think deeply– a sad state of affairs for Christianity.
Not referring to God as the cause of things is standard for atheist rhetoric. He’s already talking like a man ignorant of God. Is he really going to pretend there is no source of everything? The world just is? There is no explanation? Sometimes I wonder about the logic of God-deniers.
As for God intervening, you can be a Christian and think it illogical that God intervenes in the universe. You don’t have to be an atheist for that. Practically a whole host of theologians from before Thomas Aquinas and after him thought that God was too powerful to intervene in the world. To intervene is to come in where you were not, and that can’t apply to God who is, right now, actively creating every place.
Anyway, I think it’s good that he’s abandoning shallow Christianity, but bad that it’s not for the purpose of diving more deeply into God. Maybe he doesn’t think there is anything more to Christianity than what he’s been taught. He undoubtedly reflects many other Christians out there who may or may never realize their foundations run about a foot deep.