This first paragraph is repeated from yesterday’s post:   I have now finished with my final edits for my book How Jesus Became God.   In the process of doing these final edits, I have cut out large sections of my Preface and the Introductions of four of my chapters and replaced them with other, hopefully better, sections.    But I really like the old ones as well.  So, since they won’t appear in print, I decided to post them here as a record of what almost was.   The all involve anecdotes about my past.  In most instances (the Introductions to the four chapters), these were narratives related to my “deconversion” from Christianity.  My editor and I agreed that the reading public has heard enough about all that, and there’s only so much more that could still be interesting to them.  And so I have replaced those anecdotes with other things.   But I will present them here, anyway, for your reading pleasure or displeasure.

The following is drawn from my old chapter 4.


I was raised in the church from my infancy.   As a child I went to services and Sunday school, every week, in an Episcopal church in Lawrence Kansas; I was confirmed there and became an altar boy as soon as I could.   I continued serving all the way until college.   But when I was a junior in high school, as a fifteen-year old, I started to attend a weekly Youth for Christ club designed for high school kids with the goal of “converting” them to Christianity.   One might wonder —  as I do now, looking at things from the distance of many years and many experiences — what it was I was supposed to convert from.   I was already a reasonably religious and committed church person.  I believed in God, confessed my sins, said and believed in the church creeds, and prayed to Jesus every week of my life.   But according to the 20-something leader of this Youth for Christ club, I was not really a Christian.  To be a Christian I had to ask Jesus into my heart and begin a “personal relationship” with him.   If I did, would be saved.  If I did not, I would be just as lost as any of the atheists, Jews, or pagans of the world.  And being lost meant spending eternity in the flames of hell.  It wasn’t a happy prospect.

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