Blog Response: “My Checklist 2.0”

Posted on September 29, 2009



Before reading this blog or watching these videos I want to preface this whole entry by saying that these are my opinions and are most likely flawed as I am flawed. I just felt led to weigh in on this issue. Also know that I am not a scholar or theologian, so my logic might be wrong. This is merely an honest attempt at joining into an existing conversation.

I happened upon this video through my friend Jim’s blog, and watched as an intelligent young man, named Scott, eloquently refuted the faith that I hold so dearly. I watched and I listened. And then I watched, and listened again. And then for the hell of it I watched it again, and I listened.

The thing I love about Atheists/Agnostics is that they use the tools at their disposal– language, science, logic, reason, doubt– to sift through life as adeptly as they possibly can. But the drawback to these tools is that they aren’t the instruments crafted to sift through the metaphysical. It is tantamount to a surgeon using eating utensils to perform a delicate surgery, or a chef trying to cook the perfect dish with gardening tools. So, while Scott’s tool belt may be furnished with quite a few beautiful and shiny tools, it has a few empty slots and unfortunately those slots were made to hold the tools that might have helped him put “God’s Checklist” into perspective.

Scott did an admiral job at proving what he believes to be an obvious and observable fact; that based upon what “isn’t” we can  completely prove what is. The problem with that logic, is that there is far more physical and perceptible obvious evidence, “what is”, that he forgot to mention, “what isn’t”. Concepts that are unexplainable no matter how hard we try, are more numerous than any amount of “knowledge” that science has garnered. Love is one of them. Science tries to boil love down to a combination of instinct and chemicals, but as anyone who’s been in love will tell you, it’s more than a survival mechanism, it’s an experience. And it’s in that experience that we learn what love really is. Sex is another. To the world sex is merely a physical act meant to create pleasure or offspring, but that’s not completely what sex was created to be. Sex is an intimate exchange that spiritually binds the individuals engaging in it together. Hence the term “making love”. It is a gift meant to strengthen the relationships of loving couples.

But the point of this blog and the reason I posted these videos is to demonstrate a much larger point to an audience that I hope will listen. The second video is from a Christian man named Jack. And it is Jack’s response to the Scott’s video, God’s Checklist 2.0, entitled “God Has No Checklist”, that made me decide to write this blog. I don’t think the “Christian” response makes Christianity look any better than the first video did. Here are a few bullet points I took while watching the response. To Jack:

  • Your tone wasn’t so much passionate as it was insulting.
  • You undermined the importance of a beautiful tool we have in Youtube, which I might add you use regularly having posted 111 videos as of right now.
  • You insulted Scott multiple times by speaking to him as if he’s an idiot.
  • You proved to me, as most Christians do, that you don’t understand one of the most fundamental rules of debate. You don’t use the book in question, the Bible, as evidence to prove your point! That defeats the entire point of the debate!
  • You never addressed his concerns or sought to alleviate them, instead you took the easy way out and talked about the “moral issue” as opposed to the issue itself, the very credibility of the faith you seem to be so defensive over.
  • You taunt Scott for using intelligent language, and yet you spoke yourself the same way, though not as intelligent because you hammed your words up with the most theatrical and melodramatic delivery that I’ve ever heard outside of an 8th grade production of Macbeth.
  • You speak no peace, yet you end your video by wishing peace. That is not the way of Jesus.

So I write this as a challenge to Jack, or to anyone that reads or sees this, whether you be atheist or Christian– though it applies more to the Christian. Please consider the following checklist before opening your mouth, especially to Atheists.

1. Ask yourself, “Why am I responding?” This is the most important question and your answer should become the very foundation upon how you build your response.

2. Do not let emotion play a part in a re-action unless it’s out of compassion. Always try to look deeper than the argument, and try to grasp the reason said person is making said argument.

3. Remember that when it’s all said and done, all beliefs are based off of personal choice. I choose to be a follower of Christ and I believe wholeheartedly that it is the truth, however that does not mean that my neighbor has come to the same conclusions and has a less valid viewpoint. (Note: Affirming anothers worldview does not mean you are endorsing it as truth. It simply means that you are acknowledging his right to differ with you and what you believe to be true.)

4. Do not make yourself guilty of the very thing you are accusing your “opponent” of. It’s not only hypocritical, it defeats the point of having an intelligent conversation.

5. Please present a well thought out case for whatever it is you’ve decided to argue. In this case Scott did an excellent, albeit ignorant, job of presenting what he believes to be the facts, while Jack floundered on a different topic altogether.

6. Your goal in debate should never, ever, EVER be about winning. It should be about learning how to appreciate others and sharpen your own truth. (Note: If you are a Christian, trust the Holy Spirit to speak to the person you are talking to. That’s his job anyway!)

7. Please try to avoid the further polarization of individuals trapped inside the culture war. Defend your viewpoint and discuss them by all means, but never let your beliefs make you arrogant.

To Scott,

I’m sorry that you view my belief system the way you do. I would probably view it the same way myself had I not experienced the love of God so radically in my life. I will not try to prove I’m right. It’s not my job and it’s your right to believe differently. BUT I would love to have a conversation with you sometime if you are willing, so I can hear more about the process that led you to the worldview you now possess. I’m not interested in a debate. I would likely lose haha. I’ve never been one for studying and in order to answer your questions I would have to be much more well learned than I am!  Lastly, please do not hold Jack’s video against him, or against me at the very least. The important thing to remember is that while Jack didn’t do anything but further perpetuate the very ignorance you were speaking out against in your video, he means well and wants the best for you too… Or so I assume. I don’t know the guy. Grace and Peace to you.

Outlaw Preacher,

Timothy Kurek

Twitter: @TimothyKurek

To see and hear more from both parties: