Culture > Q&A

Pro-Christianity atheist

"Pro-Christianity atheist" Continued...

Issue: "Daniel of the Year," Dec. 18, 2010

When you say that you might be a sinner, is that subjective or objective? My values are probably very close to yours. They're Judeo-Christian values. We all agree that murder's not great. . . . But don't we define murder in different ways, depending on our values? We do. But I think we agree at the end of the day that murdering people for no reason, not in self-defense but in cold blood, is bad.

What about very tiny people? Doesn't it depend on our definition of people? Yes.

So how universal are your values? Well, we all have caveats-cultural, logistical, legal-but I think that people generally have the same impulses.

Moving on-I was struck by your answer to a question about death. You said that death was a peaceful thing to you, that the idea of nothingness was a very peaceful idea. That's unusual. I don't think anything happens. I'm not worried about judgment. Frankly, life is really hard. The idea that it will end at some point, that this trial will end, is reassuring. The only thing that scared me was I wanted to be published before I die. Once my book got published, huge sigh of relief.

It was important to you because . . . I wanted to leave a legacy, and that was the kind I wanted to leave. For some people it might be having children, or having money, or making contributions to causes. For me, I wanted to at 25 feel like I'd left something in print that captured my beliefs at the moment. That mattered to me a lot. More than anything else.

Tim Keller wrote a book called Counterfeit Gods. Can you make an idol out of publishing books? Oh it was, it was a golden calf. Absolutely. I feel like a good person to a large degree. I feel like I'm good to my family, like I'm charitable, like I give back to my friends. That was the one area I felt like I hadn't done what I wanted to do, and I was afraid to die before I had the chance to do it. So having that put aside, knowing I had a book out there, was a relief, and I could focus on other things that are important to me.

If there were a God, would He love you more because you'd published a book? Oh I hope not. This was for me. It was a reward for 10 years of school and hard work and sacrifice and not doing some of the things that my peers did, and a private acknowledgment of hard work and discipline. It meant something to me. I was proud of myself.

You'd really like to believe in God? Oh yeah.

What kind of God would you like to believe in? A benevolent God but a challenging one. Someone who challenges you to a fight but is rooting for you to win. That's who I'd like to imagine God is, someone who wants you to be your best and is going to push you to be your best, but is unconditionally going to be there for you when you fail. That sounds great. That sounds amazing. I'd love that.

What comes to mind when you think about Jesus? I've seen some really great movies about Jesus. I collect religious kitschy objects, so I have a lot of Jesus dolls around the house. When I think about Jesus, I think about one of my dolls. It's terrible.
Listen to Marvin Olasky's complete interview with S.E. Cupp.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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