This author says you may be a “poser” Christian and not even know it

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Blogger Jarrid Wilson's new book doesn't pull any punches in its criticism of mainstream Christianity. He claims many Jesus-followers merely have a religious outer shell. - Image courtesy of Jarrid Wilson

Blogger Jarrid Wilson's new book doesn't pull any punches in its criticism of mainstream Christianity. He claims many Jesus-followers merely have a religious outer shell. - Image courtesy of Jarrid Wilson

Blogger Jarrid Wilson's new book doesn't pull any punches in its criticism of mainstream Christianity. He claims many Jesus-followers merely have a religious outer shell. - Image courtesy of Jarrid Wilson

Blogger Jarrid Wilson’s new book doesn’t pull any punches in its criticism of mainstream Christianity. He claims many Jesus-followers merely have a religious outer shell. – Image courtesy of Jarrid Wilson

You think you’re a Christian, but you may be just pretending.

That’s what blogger Jarrid Wilson says in his new book “Jesus Swagger: Break Free from Poser Christianity.” He claims that there is an epidemic among Christians of fake faith and cosmetic religion. Here we discuss his ideas and what he suggests is the solution to this spiritual malady.

RNS: What is “poser Christianity” and how is it “rewarded” today?

JW: Poser Christianity is when someone lives with a façade that their faith is legit and true. This is an epidemic in today’s society. It’s wrongly rewarded by people around the world, praising individuals who create a “religious” outer shell, but have yet to allow the message of Jesus to transform them on the inside. The answer is to be renewed as a true follower of Jesus rather than just pretending to be one.

RNS: You say poser Christians call themselves Jesus followers but don’t live like Jesus. But doesn’t everyone fall short of Jesus’ standards? Isn’t being a poser, to some degree, inevitable for everyone who attempts the Christian life?

JW: Pursuing a life after Jesus but falling short of perfection, and posing as a Christian are two completely different things. Anyone who calls themselves a Christian can expect to eventually fail, no matter how good they think they are. Failure is inevitable, but posing is preventable. How? Walking by faith and not by sight and fixating ourselves on the message of Jesus rather than relying on our own strength and wisdom to get through life.

SwaggerRNS: Much of mainstream Christianity–especially in the Western white church–has taken on a look (skinny jeans and graphic tees), sound (anything resembling Chris Tomlin), and smell (fair trade coffee aroma and a whiff of a concert-grade of machine, please). Are these cosmetic expressions of Christianity a problem in your opinion?

JW: I’m sure Chris Tomlin is an incredible dude, but I have yet to own any of his albums or stream them on any of my devices. Sorry, Chris! While I do agree that mainstream Christianity has adopted some unique styles and identifying factors, I wouldn’t say that I’ve adopted any of these in order to fit in. I don’t see any of these cosmetic expressions of Christianity a problem, as long as people don’t make these things the foundation in which they build their faith upon. 

RNS: Let’s get practical. What can churches do to stop being posers?

JW: Encourage the people who attend their gatherings to get outside of the building, help those who are in need, and live a life that reflects the characteristics of Jesus. Churches spend too much time inviting people to their services instead of serving outside of their comfort zones.

RNS: To combat these trends, you urge people to live with “swagger.” That word has the connotation of arrogance, and many Christians today seem to have the pride part down. How is “Jesus Swagger” a good thing?

JW: Much like the words “sick” or “dope,” the word swagger has a definition that has changed with constant shift in culture. Swagger is mostly defined by the way someone walks, talks, and even acts. It’s where we get the phrase, “That person has swagger.” The term Jesus Swagger is all about living a life that reflects Jesus in our everyday life. Our words, actions, and way of life should resemble the characteristics of Jesus himself.

RNS: You say that swagger means that we “walk, talk, and dress” in a way that is “different.” But you walk, talk and dress like most of the people I encounter in my hipster Brooklyn neighborhood. What am I missing?

JW: The beautiful thing about Christianity is that being “made in God’s image” means we come in many different shapes, styles, and sizes. The Gospel of Jesus is purposed to transform the heart of those who believe, and I believe the essence of Jesus Swagger is found within the hearts of those who have found revelation in God’s truth. I might not look, dress or even act like your typical church-going Christian, but that’s because I’m not. I believe God made us each in a very unique way, and I want people to express that uniqueness in alignment with their Christian faith.

Sure, I may look like some everyday hipster kid, but the motivation in which I live my life is much different from someone who wouldn’t call themselves a believer. That’s where Jesus Swagger comes in. This divine swagger overflows out of a heart that has been molded by Christ himself, and through this molded heart will one find their motives in life to be pure and true.

  • I don’t know, Jonathan. He didn’t really answer your (good) questions with any measurable outcomes other than “get out and meet the needs of others”, which is not a new calling, nor a interior solution (all sorts of non-believing orgs and people meet the needs of others). Matters of the heart are difficult for others to interpret. As well, weren’t most of the selected leaders in the scriptural story way short of this author’s ideal?

  • Thank you for interviewing Jarrid Wilson; I find his Jesus Swagger idea compelling. The book is already in my wish list but I wish he had spoken more about the practices he advocates for bringing about that “heart… molded by Christ himself.” I agree with Wilson that “Churches spend too much time inviting people to their services instead of serving outside of their comfort zones” but what can churches do to help Christians be formed so that Christ is the motivation and the power source rather than the urge to just be trendy in a new way?

  • Sorry, but I gave the wrong address for my blog. This link should be correct.

  • Daniel

    “Churches spend too much time inviting people to their services instead of serving outside of their comfort zones.”

    Can you explain what your idea is of “serving outside of their comfort zones” looks like? My church doesn’t invite people to come see our church, but to come see our God. We have a ton of external focus ministries that are meant to reach those outside of the church in so many different ways. Some are called to those ministries, while others go outside their comfort zone and dive right in. How can you make that statement as if it’s every church out there? Last I checked, your Instagram was flooded with pictures of your church, their internal ministries and your wife, while calling yourself a “next gen pastor.” Where is YOUR outside the comfort zone being seen outside the church because because I don’t see it. I would have liked more clarification to the questions, rather than saying people don’t have Jesus swagger based on one single perspective.I also agree with what Derek said – Matters of the heart are difficult for others to interpret.”

    True faith and Christianity are not based on how you walk and dress, it’s understanding that grace with anything else added is not grace at all and therefore we don’t understand the gospel.

  • Christian Piatt wrote a fascinating blog titled “Following Jesus isn’t primarily about beliefs or actions” ( His thesis is that you can have right beliefs (orthodoxy) and even right actions (orthopraxy), but if you’re heart wasn’t in the right place with God (orthopathy) your Christianity was a two-legged stool.

    Orthopathy is fundamentally an observance of Christ’s “Greatest Commandment,” found in Matthew 22:36-40 … “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (

  • This author says you may be a “poser” Christian and not even know it

    Gosh, what an original idea.

  • The point is some attention-seeking and a payday marketing clichés.

  • Jazziscoolithink


  • Br Brave

    Blogger Jarrid Wilson’s new book doesn’t pull any punches in its criticism of mainstream Christianity. He claims many Jesus-followers merely have a religious outer shell. – Image courtesy of Jarrid Wilson

    Seriously, who cares what opinion this guy has of anything? He looks more like a drug dealer or woman-chasing player than he does anyone I’d want around my teenagers.

    OK, I’ll tone it down a bit.

    He looks like a poser Christian. Writes like one too.

  • Jack

    Typical Millennial who thinks there’s a sudden epidemic unique to his own time and place (of course). It is……gasp…..the fact that many professing Christians aren’t really Christians.

    This sounds like someone who is uncomfortable just being himself and is trying too hard to conform to the norms of his peers..

    Christians like him who try too hard to be hip have no idea how silly they seem to anyone who values authenticity.

  • Jack

    The irony is that writers like CS Lewis, who has been dead for at least a half century, are more relevant to today than all the Christians of today who are trying desperately to sound relevant. That’s because Lewis wasn’t trying to be relevant. He was focused on the truth and not on himself or his image.

  • Ben

    You guys have got it so twisted.
    Jarrid is saying not to try to be “Hip” and not to be a “poser” Christian or in others words (a Know it all Christian) but instead to live by faith. To follow Jesus & not religion. (To step outside) of your comfort zone which unfortunately a lot of people seem to be stuck in.

  • samuel Johnston

    Even the gods are defeated by stupidity

  • Blogger Jarrid Wilson wants all Christians to do good and be good, just like Jesus. That is commendable. Most Christians try to make the world a better place but acknowledge that the task is difficult, even among the most holy. In the end we will need divine intervention to make things right. In the mean time we are do our best, not judge and trust that God makes right.

  • Ted Curve

    There was a recent poser in the news lately, a person who wanted $65 million for a state-of-the-art Jet.

    Other than that, most run-of-the-mill kind of Christians, are trying their best to be like Jesus and am sure God knows they are trying!

  • Larry

    This is one of the few times I agree with you Art. This is a very tired message.

    “You think you’re a Christian, but you may be just pretending”

    That sounds like most posts by you, Doc Anthony, Shawnie5, Fran/Karla, and the rest of the “I know the real Christians are” crowd when the subject is some kind of progressive Christian churches.

    Not for nothing, but the author engages in the same kind of smug self-amused rhetoric as the people who use their Christian belief as a cudgel to beat others around the head for not following their version of the faith. Every Christian considers their sect to be the true one and all others “posers”

    “Poser Christianity is when someone lives with a façade that their faith is legit and true.”

    That pretty much is a description of all Christianity. Short of Jesus coming down from heaven saying, “yeah, you are doing it right” its all guesswork, interpretation and social validation.

  • Larry

    He isn’t any different from virtually every professing Christian here when they discuss how their take on the faith is authentic and “Biblically accurate” while another is “not a real Christian”.

  • Larry

    In all fairness, CS Lewis was trying to be relevant for his times.

    He was a member of the “Lost Generation” which barely survived the horrors of the Great War.

    His writings both fictional and philosophical was addressing the wave of anti-clerical and anti-religious writing which came about in the Post-War world.

    A fairly common idea in literature of the time was that Christianity died on the Western Front. The war and its aftermath turning the entire world upside down. One can rattle off at least a dozen major well received works with such themes.

  • Jack

    Well, Larry, welcome to reality. Every movement, belief system, or organization has an identity which defines what it is or isn’t. If I want to join an animal rights organization, the leaders would have a right to say I’m not really for animal rights if I’m in a rodeo or I’m a scientist experimenting on lab mice.

  • Jack

    Larry, that reminds me of an old professor in college whose favorite line was “western civilization died in 1914.”

    You’ve got the flavor right regarding the time and place in which Lewis wrote, and he was certainly cognizant of that, but what strikes most people about Lewis’ writings, from his pure apologetics books to his children’s fantasies to his sci-fi trilogy, was just how relevant most of it is to today as well as to his day. That would not have been possible had his focus been to mimic the norms of his day. While he certainly knew how to speak to his time, it’s the timeless quality of his writings that is so striking and valuable..

  • Jack

    Samuel, you must have been reading or pondering (assuming you’re the sort who ponders) the ancient Greeks right before posting.

  • Jack

    In a way, you’re right, Ben, but even if that was his aim at first, he ends up trying to pose as a hipster… the nerdy kid in school trying to get in with the cool kids.

    The more charitable explanation is that he is earnestly trying to connect with hipster Millennials so he can open their hearts to the Gospel. In that case, maybe he’s trying too hard.

  • Thank you for including a charitable explanation! That is closer to my first impressions about Jarrid.

  • Billysees

    “In the end we will need divine intervention to make things right. In the mean time we are do our best, not judge and trust that God makes right.”

    Ted Curve,
    “…most run-of-the-mill kind of Christians, are trying their best to be like Jesus and am sure God knows they are trying!”

    Excellent statements.

  • Billysees

    Br Brave,

    “He looks more like a drug dealer or woman-chasing player than he does anyone I’d want around my teenagers.

    OK, I’ll tone it down a bit.”


  • samuel Johnston

    The Greeks ultimately developed much more insight into religion than the Jews ever did. That is why the Christians coopted much of it for their religion. Too bad they buried the rest of Greek literature (and their language and culture) in Western Europe until around the Thirteenth Century.

  • Jake bosch

    We are all at the same table and it difficult to eat was is served. The reality is that satan is the prince of this world. That really is a bitter pill to swallow. Like unleavened bread and bitter herbs. But principalities and powers needs to be our first bite. Flesh and blood will have its way and we give it far to much attention. The filter of Paul’s ” principalities and powers ” is daring to live in the reality of this world. Flesh and blood will always be knee jerk reactions because pride can really only be understood through the medium of our ignorance of spiritual reality. That is my soft underbelly and I believe that is what is being served today in all manner of ways. The foundation of reality is constantly being eroded because we are blind sided by our flesh and blood antics. To understand P & P you have to bite hard and chew and chew until you get used to the taste. You and I will be tempted to swallow it with Apple sauce but that is part of the process. To learn how to eat was is being served to us in a broken world is to allow the paradox of sinner and redeemed to live in the same moment for yourself and your neighbour. If the first bite is not P & P forgive your self because your neighbours needs you to love him/her with all you mind and soul and might as they are. P & P has fallen through the cracks of our sense and sense abilities as image bearers because the Holy Spirit has not been invited to the table.
    Please stop using Jesus for our flesh and blood responsibilities. Jake

  • samuel Johnston

    Hi Jake,

    “The reality is that satan is the prince of this world.”
    This is a statement of a conclusion has no basis in any of the definitions of reality
    with which I am acquainted. You are merely quoting some “preaching” words that you do not understand. The proof of my judgment is, that you cannot proceed from any realistic premise one (based in reality) and show the steps that logically lead to such a conclusion.
    ( But, it would probably be very helpful for you to try.)

    Such statements are called metaphors. The speaker claims to be summarizing his knowledge with an illustration. The authority he is relying on is himself alone. Preachers commonly speak in this manner. They are posing as experts. Very few are.

    Good and evil are human judgments. Nothing more. To personify either, is to venture into the world of superstition, magic, and/or mental illness..

  • That is why the Christians coopted much of it for their religion.


  • Jake Bosch

    Hello Samuel
    I do not know of course if you want me to reply but my attitude is that you are at the table not necessarily interested in what is being served. So I will try to be the perfect host and respond to a stranger. Perhaps I will try to identify the word reality as I have used it without preaching. ( I hope )
    Genesis I and 2 is all about a good creation and then you get genesis 3. The bitter pill! The birth place of P and P. In good logically order you have 123. The order is correct. But even christains have over dosed to much of 3 than the beauty and promise of 1 and 2.
    3 is a slippery slope of flesh and blood that makes it possible for man to believe only in a material universe. 1 and 2 is all about a creator that has something in mind for his creation. If the order is read back wards you have a structure with out direction. Read correctly and you have structure and direction and it is called shalom. An other way to say this based on logic reason and faith. Gen. 1 and 2 is ordered love and Gen. 3 becomes disordered love. Poser christainity is a hybrid. Religion is homemade pie. If you want a real dessert please respond. I hope you do. You see that is one of the big problems we forget the fundamentals of good eating and we over eat on Gen 3.

    For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.

    -T.S. Eliot

  • Larry

    Except we don’t see people from other belief systems or organizations doing that HERE.

  • samuel Johnston

    Thank you for your polite reply. My response my surprise you – at lest I hope so.
    Like Darwin, I cannot understand why anyone would wish for Christianity to be true. I would prefer a world in which the guiding principal was not “eat and/or be eaten.” If a magical god, or force, had the power to be kinder and more just (whatever that means) then why doesn’t/isn’t he/she? My wife was so disgusted with the miracle that Pope John Paul II was credited with in Mexico. He allegedly cured a suffering child (helping qualify him for sainthood).
    “What kind of god lets a child suffer until some old man from the other side of the world happens by?”, she fumed.
    Some will say “do not judge god”. I say- who wants him anyway? If suffering is the product of nature, like the weather, I can find the strength to bear it, but if someone/thing is to blame; then like “Antonio Salieri” in the movie “Amadeus”, I will oppose him with all my strength because he is unjust. Naturally, like in the movie, that way lies madness, so I prefer to suppose there is nobody to blame.

  • Jack

    Ancient Greek religious practice was just another manifestation of polytheism, with their gods typically rising no higher or lower than human beings. It was the Greek philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle who arrived at the kinds of insights that prepared the pagan world to believe in a transcendent reality or ideal that rose far higher than humans or the gods they invented.

  • Jack

    If there is no God, from whence come your categories of just and unjust? Things just are.

    Here’s what CS Lewis had to say on the matter:

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust.

    “But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet.

    “Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too—for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies.

    “Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist—in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless—I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality—namely my idea of justice—was full of sense.

    “Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.”

    While Lewis goes a bit too far in saying that this proves that atheism itself is too simple, what he does prove is that this particular argument for atheism is too simple.

  • Jack

    Samuel, if good and evil are mere “human judgments,” so is the statement that good and evil are mere human judgments.

    But that’s not all…..if good and evil are mere human judgments, your argument against God on the basis of an evil world is in ruins.

  • Jake bosch

    Hello Samuel
    I can find nothing to bite and chew on in your response. Except for the movie Amadeus. If you apply some P&P to that tragic story it is not the story of good guy bad guy. That is what I think the producers wanted us to relate with. And we are further trapped into a mis-guided morals of christainity with the power of cinema. The movie is reductionistic about the human condition from the king down to every player in the movie. All are into the mis directed flesh and blood mode without exception. It is more obvious from one to the other and we will relate with the one that is closed to our worldview. Mozart come out clean in the movie because of his great human effort to produce great music ( we like that ) until we see the lime poured over his dead body. Salieri we can relate with as well he has this vision for excellence ( we like that ) but the only way he could get it is to steal. But he did love his music to the very end in an insane asylum. It was hell on earth. Is that reality? The amazing gifts of blood and flesh are evident all around us as in the movie but the principality and the power to be mis lead in them is alive and well to this very day.
    The structure for both of these men were the gifts they were given for the the good of of a very good creation and not for their creative abilities. They both died in despair but God has used to bless us with the harmony of sound that is meant to last forever. The direction they took was a field day of flesh and blood gone wrong.
    The further tragedy is that the audience is left to decide the message in an intense human drama of what was real life and depending on our currant cultural place we will put into a entertainment framework or a historical time or filter trough a religious cast or into a suitable frame work to make us feel good. And we place a period on a world of our own making.
    P&P says it is Gods world and use your gifts well but do not absolutize a created thing for the living God and make your means the only way to understand it and to live it.
    How does the beauty of music come through this tragic story. Man kind was meant to serve in a good creation. Gen. 1 and 2 Evil can only be primed by the good. Gen. 3 The prince of this world is a master of deception.
    Ok I am probably preaching again in your view but this really is a very good dessert for modern man. When does our means begin to serve the proper end? When we become co creators with the living God and become thankful for our flesh and blood gifts. When we finally grow up and experience they are one and the same in the person of Jesus Christ? When our means are never divorced from there true meaning. Christ came to reclaim the creation. That is; the structure and the direction. P&P is the first bite that man kind needs to eat and then chew and chew (and it will be bitter) until we are blessed with dessert? Eternity now and forever. The reality is a kingdom now and to come. But that is another sermon!! Can you handle it?
    Jake at the table in the process of becoming
    For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.

    -T.S. Eliot

  • Jake bosch

    As I reread my response to you Samuel I wanted to say ; also ; that I am at the table not to judge the way others respond to the gift of flesh and blood. But I am at the table to review my gift of F & B with all the guests at the table and were I go wrong.jake

  • @Samuel Johnston,

    “I prefer to suppose there is nobody to blame.”

    Well said.
    If a god with power to change outcomes truly existed he would deserve nothing but scorn.

    Thankfully, there is no reason whatsoever to believe any gods are real.

  • @Jack,

    “if good and evil are mere human judgments, your argument against God on the basis of an evil world is in ruins.”

    Besides, you have it backwards. With Gods humanity cannot function and protect itself properly. Putting humanity in the service of a god instead of human well-being is precisely the evil of religion.

    Good and evil only exist where people live. There is no good and evil on the moon or on the sun

    Good is anything which supports human well-being.
    Evil is anything which leads to needless human suffering.

    We don’t need a god to spell out that equation.
    We don’t need a god to enforce it (there is already no god and yet we manage to enforce laws and behave quite well).

    If there were evidence that a god was needed for morality, especially a specific god, that alone would be indisputable proof of god’s existence.
    The fact that millions of Atheists behave with morality, decency and natural empathy is its own evidence that no gods are needed for any question regarding good or evil.

  • @Jack,

    If someone says,
    “You need tires on your car or it won’t work” this claim can be tested and proven.
    Take off the tires and your car won’t move.

    If someone says,
    “You need God for good and evil” this claim has been tested millions and millions of times over thousands of years.

    Atheists are absolutely correct – you don’t need the existence of Gods to determine what is good or evil. Such things are determined by humans every day very simply without any evidence of a god’s input.

  • @Jack,

    “Dark would be a word without meaning.”

    C.S. Lewis was a very lazy thinker. Of course there is no meaning to the universe – at least no meaning which can be claimed as of yet by anyone.

    There is no meaning to life or the universe at all. As far as anyone knows.

    And if you claim God exists you had better be ready to prove which god’s version of meaning is the correct one before you run around claiming it to be a ‘fact’ that we have no meaning without it.

    There is no meaning TO life.
    But there is plenty of meaning IN life.

  • Shawnie5

    Max, you’re funny. Very easy to fall into line with the values instilled into western civilization by 2000 years of Judeo-Christan influence and claim that you’re doing it all on your own. What I would love to see (which I won’t, but it’s not hard to deduce) is how you would have “determined good and evil” all by yourself if you had been born an ancient Greek and your culture had taught you that leaving your newborn infant daughter out for the animals to eat was a very moral and appropriate thing to do for the good of your family. Or a Roman, for whom the obvious solution to a city-wide plague was to push the victims out on the street to die and tgen flee the city. Or perhaps a Comanche, and had been tutored by your mother in the slowest and most effective methods of torturing a captive to death. ..

  • Shawnie5

    In short, you’ve given so little thought to the source of your own concepts of good and evil that I serously doubt you would have considered an alternative value system critically enough to have been the lone hold-out against their customary atrocities. “Natural empathy” my foot. History demonstrates no such animal.

  • @Shawnie:

    “how you would have determined ‘good and evil’ all by yourself”

    Do you say it is ‘good’ to choose to follow God?

    If Yes:
    The impulse to be good was already there PRIOR to your action.
    The matter of choosing a religion is secondary.

    But I say it is NOT good to follow God – at all.

    The moment one chooses a god he surrenders the VERY IMPULSE which was good AND HE EXCHANGES IT for a list of unsound claims and assertions; most of which are incredibly evil and damaging to humanity.

    “Homosexuals shall surely be put to death” – God (Lev. 20:13)

    God = Hitler. That is some sick ‘morality’ you are selling!

  • Shawnie5

    IOW, no answer. I figured as much.

  • Larry

    Personally I am not a big fan of Lewis’s fiction. His Narnia series gets a good deal of respect for putting a literary/religious gloss on a genre with very pulp disposable fiction roots. His SF series has lapsed into obscurity as a footnote to his career. More partial to Tolkien, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard for my fantasy fix from that era.,

    As for his apologia, he knew his audience. It wasn’t unbelievers, it was fellow Christians.

  • Larry

    Again Shawnie with the bullcrap assertion of “Judeo-Christian Influence” as the basis of all moral thinking in the Western World. Sorry Shawnie, people knew right from wrong long before they knew about monotheism. Its innate to being a person. Its called empathy. Its called understanding the human condition.

    People were abandoning children and exiling plague victims long after the Roman civilization bit the dust. Christianity did not change such things. Christian Western culture had slavery, genocide, sectarian madness and every other cultural foible you will claim that was allegedly wiped out with the coming of Jesus. [Expecting a “no true Christian” argument]

    Besides, its not like you or many of your fellow Christians are much of an example of moral thinking. You guys are the most relativistic, amoral, self-interested bunch out there. If you can claim God signs off on it, anything is permitted.

    if you needed God to tell you doing something malicious and harmful is wrong, you are too far gone to consider a discussion on morality.

  • Larry

    Lewis also wasn’t addressing atheists. He was addressing fellow Christians. Tickling their egos and trying to put an intelligent sheen to something truly irrational

    Lewis’s “argument against God was trite” and a setup for a non-discussion on the subject. Jack, your quote is pure strawmanery. His take on atheism was lazy even by the standards of his day. It doesn’t answer the primary reason for atheism, lack of evidence for God which is credible and objective. No reasonable argument for a belief based on faith.

  • samuel Johnston

    Hi Jake,
    You strike me as a young person in search of truth and wisdom. I remember well when I thought that somebody, somewhere, knew the meaning of it all. I was hard headed and difficult to discourage, but in the end I discovered for myself what Darwin meant when he asked “can the mind of man, which has..ben developed from a mind possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?”
    C.e. Arnold is a pretender to the certainty so desired by so many. He may actually be certain- but he is wrong-simply because human desires exceed human abilities. Arnold may tell a good tale, but he has no power to affect reality for good or ill, except as he persuades others to follow his parade.

  • Shawnie5

    Sure those things still happened. What changed was, some people finally had a problem with it.

  • samuel Johnston

    Hi Jack,
    So shall we replay the rhetorical game again? I prefer to be more candid. In my adult life I have never been a Christian, nor pretended to be one. Until my mid Fifties, I was a Deist. At age thirty, I joined the Masons (as had my father and uncle). While preparing for initiation, I was asked if “I took the lord jesus christ as my personal savior.” I said no, and was told that I could not be a Mason. I responded “you are wrong, you go check”. He disappeared momentarily, and returned a bit red faced and asked “do you believe in God”? I said sure.
    Most folks have little to no interest in what they are suppose to believe. They just want their ticket punched. “Would that you were hot or cold”.

  • Be Brave

    Brought to you by Christ Jesus.

    The Creator of you and everyone else.

    Do the math, nothing times nothing creates no matter at all. And it certainly does not create “natural empathy.” Which is a laughable term if ever there was one.

    In “natural empathy,” if you limp, you die. You are worthless to the herd. If atheism was empowered by nature as you pretend, then there would be no pain or suffering in this world, because the lame, weak and sick would be discarded as the worthless individuals “natural empathy,” has dictated they are.

    And yet, here you are parroting Christ but cringing at your actions with vitriol towards the Christians.

    Just one week without electricity in major cities around this planet, and you will see the evil that atheist culture creates. No guns, no life. Back to tooth and claw as “natural empathy” demands.

  • Jake bosch

    I would agree without hesitation that there are people groups that are not able to think as a God given gift. For the most part these people are not able to work through the paradox of life and living.
    Linear thinking has produced the financial crisis of 2008. It took a mind set of financial institutions and a people to buy the products to pull of this monster of greed and illusions. It was a perfect storm of pride from many sides. And the collapse was linear thinking, believing and trusting. We put all our eggs in the basket of greed and kind of rest in the attitude of ” what else is new? “. Kind of happy that these people have been punished and or committed suicide and served then right for the people that are now homeless and it is business as usual.
    What do you think is now percolating in the minds of power people groups and those ready to eat at all you can eat buffet for the next crisis to happen in the life style of more?
    Illusions about grand assumptions and conclusions is the diet today. Not just for poser christains who don’t even know it but for all people groups that need a fix now. What about politics? From politics to shopping it is the glory of efficiency and good feelings and the best results.
    There is no answer to visions of grandure each group has claimed their own.
    But to set at the table together and manage to see that we are slaves to system thinking is to be willing to scratch the itch to the mystery of life and meaning. Then the wonder of paradox ( an apparent contradiction) can begin to breath new life into linear thinking. There is no answer in paradox either and that is the key because the reality is that critical thinking will expose the bankruptcy of human design and open thought to possibilities rather than flesh and blood on steroids.
    Principalities and powers – understanding adds a spiritual depth to the unspoken and unbridled power of human abilities if you grand the possibility that satan has a hand in the big picture of this world.
    Really it is believing in the persistent itch ( without knee jerk reaction ) and believing it is a wholesome human process to scratch the mystery that does change our linear thinking and destiny to a substantial hope.
    But I will not make the leap to Jesus ( poser christains have there part to play here ) because linear thinking has sucked the dynamic out of His person and power to a renewed creation now and to come.
    That is : flesh and blood renewed. And I do not mean swagger either!!
    I do not mean to say that renewed thinking is salvation just an excellent neutral place in all our human gifts to sit at the table and scratch the itch without the easy answers that end up in false judgments and easy registers of blame and life long prejudices into people groups and tribes. Jake

  • samuel Johnston

    Polytheism makes much more sense than monotheism, in that it accounts for contradiction and conflicting powers. It resembles the operation of the subconscious. The Christians had to invent the devil to
    deal with this obvious defect.
    “That fool Plato” (to quote my favorite college professor) made his God inferior to his notion of the structure of reality. (God had to obey Justice, rather than the other way around)

  • samuel Johnston

    “If there is no God, from whence come your categories of just and unjust?”
    Silly criticism, made by those who are ignorant of evolution, genetics, and even animal studies- not to mention the discovery of the subconscious. In short they are medievalists, still bogged down in the pre-modern universe and unacquainted with the facts that must be taken to account to have a rational viewpoint. Small wonder they demand blind faith.

  • @Be Brave,

    “And yet, here you are parroting Christ but cringing at your actions with vitriol towards the Christians.”

    #1 – show me where I parroted ‘christ’.
    #2 – I don’t criticize Christians. I criticize Christian philosophy – not the believers.

    There is absolutely no evidence that Jesus is anything more than a legend. These are all legends: Hercules, Osiris, Isis, Xalmoxes, Zoroaster or Mithras.

    Jesus is just another expendable legend. You can claim lightening wouldn’t exist without God Thor – but you would be laughed out of the room.

    To say that we would not have empathy or compassion without a the legend of Jesus is an insult to 60% of the population of earth who even after 2000 years still does not care about Jesus at all.

    Legends are expendable.

  • Pingback: Author says you may be a “poser” Christian and not know it - Jonathan Merritt()

  • If everyone is a sinner nobody is a sinner.

    It is like saying everyone born with hands is guilty of having hands.
    Religion is an ongoing needless assault on humanity and decency. The sooner it fades away under the weight of its false claims, the better.

    And yes, all Christians are posers because none of us has any evidence that their beliefs are based on anything real.

  • Shawnie5

    “To say that we would not have empathy or compassion without a the legend of Jesus is an insult to 60% of the population of earth who even after 2000 years still does not care about Jesus at all.”

    This also happens to be, coincidentally (or not), the 60% of the world that is not very interested in human rights — except insofar as they can be used to cultivate more advantageous economic relations with the western powers.

    “Insulting” is rather beside the point when talking facts.

  • samuel Johnston

    Hi Jack,
    Your statement number one is a Tautology.
    Your statement number two assumes Platonic forms. Since in such matters I am a Kantian, obviously I do not agree.
    Jack, you argue as an agent, not a principal. Modernism is not critiqued by your arguments, you simply ignore its existence. Apologetics proceeds from the conclusion to the supporting devices. That is why we are at cross purposes.You represent an institution with a doctrine. I represent no one but myself, but I do admit the I am merely one example of a species. I do therefore, argue for the whole group.

  • Shawnie,

    “This also happens to be, coincidentally (or not), the 60% of the world that is not very interested in human rights”

    Here we go again.

    Christian Human Rights = “Become My Kind of Christian or be killed”

    Northern Ireland
    Empire of Constantine
    30 Years War
    Spanish Inquisition
    Taipeng Rebellion
    Conversion of the Americas
    Albigensian Crusade

    No Thanks!

    You argue for a very shallow concept of human rights. Ask a doctor from Doctors without Borders what the difference is between a Christian battle ground and an Islamic one and he’ll tell you.
    There is no difference.

    Religion is designed against human rights in favor of the rights of the invisible, unknowable, unaccountable sky pocket.

    God is an illusion designed by men who want a God to bless their illusions. Give it up.

  • Jake Bosch

    Please: can you tell me if your last reply was to me Jake or jack? If it is to me I do have to wonder if you read my reply since you got the name wrong? If it was jack I hope he understands what you are saying. Confused JAKE please clarify

  • Samuel Johnston

    Hi Jake,
    It was a reply to Jack.

  • Jake Bosch

    Thank you
    I was getting concerned that you were reading my thoughts through someone else’s blood and flesh world and life view.
    Thank you

  • Jack

    Actually, Lewis’ intended audience was everyone he could reach. He said so, and the thrust of his writings, especially his attempts to replace theological words with simple English, prove that was his intent.

    Many people have come to faith through his writings, so he wasn’t just preaching to the choir.

  • Jack

    Polytheism actually makes a lot less sense than monotheism, which is why even in the pagan world, a number of prominent philosophers ultimately rejected it.

    Isaiah the ancient Hebrew prophet delivered the ultimate rebuke by showing the folly of a man building an idol and then bowing down to worship it, as if the creation were greater than its creator.

    And Plato wasn’t so far off when he said what he said about God and justice.

    The questions he was tackling were as these:

    Is something good or just because God deems it so?

    Or does God deem something good or just because that’s what it is?

    The obvious answer is both. But it’s the second answer that Plato was driving at……

    Good for Plato…..I utterly disagree with your teacher on that.

  • Jack

    Atheist Max, if everything is without meaning, everything means everything….including the statement that everything is without meaning.

    That’s the problem and it’s a big one. And your attempt to wiggle out of it by adding “as far as anyone knows” doesn’t cut it.

    All you’re then saying is “as far as anyone knows, everything is without meaning.” But the problem remains…..Everything still means everything, including that statement.

  • Jack

    Larry, all you’re doing is replacing thought with rhetoric. Nothing you or Max has said addresses the bedrock problem with the “justice” argument used against theism.

    Perhaps it’s because you don’t understand the argument, or perhaps it’s that you understand it only too well and realize there’s no answer.

    Either way, your purported answers are non-answers. You need to address the points, as I have attempted to do. (Note that I qualified Lewis’ argument by saying it wasn’t an argument against atheism per se, but against a particular argument advanced by atheists)

  • Jack

    Hi Samuel. Your story is funny, but it doesn’t address the issue, which is not rhetoric, but a fundamental problem with certain forms of arguments against the existence of God. As I mentioned, that doesn’t mean atheism is wrong. What it means is that some of the more popular arguments for atheism collapse of their own weight.

    They flatly contradict themselves. And each time, the flaw is to try to create an absolute from that which is relative.

    It’s a sophomoric mistake, but one that people often make in other ways, such as the statement, “there is an exception to every rule.” “Every” rule? What about that rule?

  • samuel Johnston

    Hi Jack,
    Popular arguments do not interest me, as I have neither want nor need followers.
    What does interest me is how things actually work.
    You seem to be stuck on “If there is no God, from whence come your categories of just and unjust? Things just are.”
    I disagree, and I have more than “that fool” Plato’s forms as evidence.
    1. We are the product of continuous evolution, not deliberate, instantaneous, creation.
    2. Our untutored children have a strong sense of fair and unfair. Ask any parent.
    3. Primate studies of troops in the wild verify that Apes keep a “favor bank”,
    while also retaining memory of individual acts taken against them (for years).
    (We know because they take revenge)
    4. Ape females establish a hierarchy in their troop which is hereditary.
    5. Genetics and epigenetic studies have erased the notion than man is special creation. Genetic operations are very conservative, so we share genes with all of life, even the lowest bacterium. It has also destroyed the notion that some creature are more “evolved” than others. Genetically speaking, all creatures are the same age.
    Jack, none of you arguments are based on scientific evidence, but are stuck in the outdated speculation of medievalists, who all assumed that man was a special creation, and the sole concern of the gods. We know better now.

  • samuel Johnston

    HI Jack,
    I do not think you are trying to understand Max’s point.
    “There is no meaning to life or the universe at all.”
    One could equally say, there is no inherent beauty in the universe.
    That simply means to be appreciated, one needs an appreciator.
    That appreciator does not have to be God.
    Our lives have value to us, but the universe is completely indifferent.
    Now if you can produce that God you are always so interested in,
    Max and I will be most interested, but a God by inference of the mind’s inclination to categorize seems a BIG stretch.