I’ve only just listened to this great podcast episode, so am only now posting. Maybe someone will pick up on these questions. The questions I have for Bob and/or Dr Gericke are:
How do they explain their original born-again conversion experiences now that they have made the journey to atheism, in particular if those experiences were powerfully spiritual in nature, i.e., “paranormal”?
Dr. Gericke’s explanation of his experiences seemed to me to suggest some either/or thinking, as if he felt that he either had to be a believer or an atheist. For example he remarked that liberal mainstream Christian theology had a “vague” understanding of God that was unsatisfying to him. He seemed to be motivated by a need for certainty and discomfort with ambiguity (see, e.g., Chris Mooney’s more recent podcasts on the psychology of political conservatism). How would he respond to this observation?
Did either Bob or Dr. Gericke ever consider Eastern Christian (Eastern Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, et al) theology, whose epistemology is radically different from any form of Western Christianity, and whose theology, while positively Christian, also has a heavy emphasis on apophaticism? (Disclaimer: I am Eastern Orthodox.)
Just to clarify, I’m not looking for an argument here, and don’t have time to engage in one. I’m asking because I’m curious, but I will admit that Eastern Christian theology does provide me a way out of many of the dichotomies that I see in the believer vs. atheism discussions. Also, I’m in complete agreement about the delusions of fundamentalism.