Hello World

It’s been nearly 10 months since my introductory post but I’ve decided to introduce myself again. It’s time to stop hiding.

About two months after that first post I revealed my inner turmoil to my wife. A couple months later I talked to my brother. About a month later I talked with my parents. A few months after that I shared with our church group. Those were all difficult conversations but, in the end, pretty much everybody now knows where I’m at and many of them have seen this blog. This means that my original reasons for hiding my identity have been disposed of. If I’m going to place such a high value on truth and honesty then I can’t continue to hide behind a screen name.

My name is Travis Rothlisberger and henceforth all of my posts with be produced under the name “Travis R”. “Measure of Faith” is no longer an identity; it is only the name of this blog.

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5 thoughts on “Hello World

  1. Smart move. I did not reveal my level of doubt and skepticism until I no longer considered myself a Christian. And from my experience this is something my wife really wishes I revealed to her earlier

  2. Travis,

    Been reading some of your posts. I am an engineer myself; its nice to see someone who also pays close attention to the questions being asked/answered without conflating subjects. Some of your posts don’t seem to have a comment option, so I’ll just toss one thought here.

    You might like Platinga’s book, Where the Conflict Really Lies. Its is an interesting read, but it illustrates Conflation #1 in a large percentage of Christian writings on Science/Faith. He takes a philosophical tack and compares theism and atheism with regard to scientific compatibility. He concludes that theism is the better fit and better home for a robust scientific worldview. And then the conflation occurs… he concludes on this backdrop that Christianity is, therefore, the best context for our scientific understanding of the world. The problem is that a “generic and streamlined” version of theism, with the specific Biblical claims stripped away, does not exist. There is no such actual theism. All of the compatibility problems stem from the specific claims of the specific types of theism that are available. There are tremendous problems with Christianity, and the hypothetically “clean” theism is a chimera. Getting to the end of the book, I realized that he was going to short shrift the entire real problem facing us. But a reader with the desire to be charmed would think he had pulled off a strong support case for Christianity and the Bible.

    This defaulting argument occurs everywhere I look. If there are questions that evolutionary development cannot answer, then by default we can see that Genesis is true. If we cannot account for the origins of the material in the first blink of the big bang, then by default the Bible’s explanation is true. As Hitchens has pointed out, one may arrive at Deism from such dilemmas, but to move from there to theism, one still has all of his work ahead of him. The move to theism is where the conflict really lies, because all theisms are rife with hangnails and false claims.

    I see from one or two of your entries that you seem not to step into these conflations. You keep the questions straight, and I like that. Interested to see more… cheers!

    Matt

    • Hi Matt,
      Thanks for the recommendation. Platinga’s book is on my list but I’ll consider bumping it up a notch in priority based on your recommendation. I completely agree with your assessment of the strongest apologetic arguments. I see a reasonable case being made for Deism but the evidential gap between that and Christianity seems so much wider than the apologists are willing to acknowledge. I also appreciate the compliment. I want my assessment to be an honest examination of Christianity, not some watered down version that makes you wonder why the proponents even bother using the bible if they’re just going to ignore and inject their own far-reaching interpretations into so much of it. I stumbled onto your site yesterday and was impressed with the fluency with which you are engaging the topics. I still have your Personal Thesis page open because I haven’t had the time yet to read through it. I’ll be keeping an eye on your ruminations as well. Thanks again.
      – Travis

      • Sure thing man. Though just to make sure I was clear, I think Platinga is sort of an illustration of the problem. He’s one of those “default” guys; I.e., Bible wins by default. It was an anticlimactic conclusion to his build up, IMO.

        I felt the same way after reading NT Wright’s Resurrection. He passes over the question of delusion among the early followers too lightly and doesn’t make any decent comparisons between the rise of the church and the rise of Islam, Mormonism, etc. But with Wright the page count investment was much higher. Too high to have the big problems light-touched. Grrr. 🙂

  3. Yes, I caught that, but seems like a worthwhile read nonetheless. It appears that he’s the go to guy for explaining the philosophical foundations of a Christian worldview.

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