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Today was a difficult day. Did I get through it? Yes. Did I use coping strategies to get through it? Yes. I took some deep breaths, took myself offline for a little while to eliminate stress, and went for a two-mile walk. I also reached out to a higher power. Did this connection help me get through today? YES.

Part of the difficulty today was an encounter on Twitter with a couple of people who have a problem with me believing in this higher power. In the past, I’ve been more likely to get upset about encounters with religious fundamentalists who think that everyone MUST believe as they do, and practice religion as they do. But today it was atheists — who also think that everyone should believe as they do. And today, they were insisting that Christianity is evil, and encourages people to kill, and what kind of God allows children to be killed or molested, anyway?

And it got to the point where it was simply not a healthy conversation any more.

For now, I’ve unfollowed them on Twitter. That just means they won’t show up in my timeline while I’m on Twitter. I haven’t blocked them from my life. I’ve actually known one of them for several years, and I don’t want to do that. But I can’t take a daily barrage of what I’m starting to feel is hate speech.

Other than that — I’m hoping to move forward with a loving attitude, and without entering into potentially hurtful conversations.

In this book, Chole writes about her journey from adamant atheist (she used to deliberately antagonize her Christian friends in high school) to ardent believer. It’s an interesting read. Chole keeps some suspense going throughout the book, leading up to the moment, the encounter that made her a believer (which I found anti-climactic, but sometimes real life is anti-climactic).

The book is also an apologetic, or an explanation of why the Christian faith is true.  A lot of this does make sense and matches my own experiences, but some of it irked me.

For instance, Chole says that she’s grateful for “the privilege of learning from Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and Christian friends.”  However, she also implies that pluralism (the idea that other faiths are equally good roads to God) is wrong, and that Christianity is the only correct faith.  I wonder how her Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh friends feel about that?

Chole explains four filters she uses to determine whether a faith is a valid one:

  • Is it consistent at its core?
  • Is it livable and not just quotable?
  • Is it sustainable through life-size pain?
  • Is it transferable to others (will it work for people in other cultures, economic situations, etc.)?

She makes a good case that Christianity passes these filters, but I suspect that devout people of other religions could make a strong case for their faith passing as well.

I did like Chole’s statements that God is not bothered by questions about faith, and that it’s OK to question.

“Believing does not mean that you will no longer have questions.  Believing does not mean that you will turn off your brain.”

And another good quote:

“God neither dilutes discrepancy nor ignores complexity.  God does not conveniently edit out the uncomfortable.”

Although this book irked me at times, it was an interesting read. I’m not sure it’s the kind of book an atheist would be willing to read, but it will be interesting to believers, and maybe to people on the edge of faith.

Disclosure: I received this book free in exchange for a review via