The Poached Egg: Year One!
by Greg West
Today, June 10, is the one year anniversary of The Poached Egg. Let me tell you, it has been quite an experience for me and I hope it has been for you as well. For close to ten years now I have been passionate about studying and learning apologetics, but I believe I have learned more this past year than in all my other years of study combined. Before I get more into that, let me back up a bit and give you a little bit of background as to how I came to start The Poached Egg and some of my motives for doing so.
Flashback to the spring of 2010. The wife of a good friend of mine had become an atheist. Since I knew that she was once a regular church goer, and had even attended my church for a while, I was curious to know why she had decided to become an atheist so I contacted her to see if she would be interested in opening a dialogue with me on the subject, and we began exchanging e-mails. I had no idea what I was in for. I naively thought that she had just simply become disillusioned with Christianity, and that once I gave her some good sound reasons for believing that Christianity was true, she would see the error of her ways and give it another try. This was not to be.
Not long into our correspondence I began to see that it was not just a matter of her giving up on Christianity, but that she was now openly hostile towards it. I was perplexed to discover that not only did she deny the divinity of Jesus, but that she even denied that Jesus was an actual historical person. I was even more perplexed, upon visiting some of the internet links she sent me, that there were more than a few others who shared her views. Here is a handful other things that I was surprised to discover she had come to believe:
- Jesus was not only a fictional character, but just another myth in an endless cycle of dying and rising gods.
- Religion, and Christianity in particular, had held back scientific progress for thousands of years, and continues to do so today.
- If there were no religion in the world, there would be no war or violence.
- Not only is Darwinian evolution a proven scientific fact, but according to her, the only reason I did not believe that to be true was because I simply did not understand it, and that if I took the time to do the research, I would have no logical choice but to agree, or stand accused of holding on to ancient superstitions and be no better than the pagans of old.
- Christian apologists and Intelligent Design proponents were nothing but deceitful liars who used propaganda to push their agenda.
- Church was just a tool of organized religion that is used to control weak minded people and rake in millions of dollars while doing so, which goes to support its hatemongering, warmongering, bigoted, intolerant, freedom suppressing, world domination agenda.
I must tell you that I was completely unprepared to deal with such extreme prejudice towards Christianity. And what I found to be even more disturbing, was my discovery that other people were leaving the faith because of some of the claims mentioned above. Not only that, but some who hold these beliefs were writing best selling books and becoming famous by publicly asserting these claims. I knew that there were people who held Christianity in contempt, but I thought that extremism such as this was reserved for communists, occultists, and hedonists. I was wrong. Some of what I encountered made even communists seem tolerant by comparison.
During these exchanges with my friend’s wife, I ran across some very useful apologetics websites that I had not previously been aware of. I had already known about AllAboutGod.com, but I also discovered great resources such as PleaseConvinceMe.com, Apologetics 315, and others. Some of these had all original material, some gathered useful links from the around the world wide web, and some were a combination of both. Having felt God leading me to start some kind of online ministry for the past several years, I decided to add to add my voice to the growing online apologetics community, and The Poached Egg was born!
The goal of this website is not to refute atheism, prove God’s existence, or to prove that Christianity is true. My goals are to offer evidence to seekers, skeptics, and Christians who may be struggling in their faith, that Christianity is not blind faith, but reasonable faith with solid foundations. I also have a strong desire to raise awareness of the need to get apologetics into the church at the local level. In today’s world of postmodern thinking apologetics is needed more than ever. We need to not just tell Christians what to believe, we need to start teaching them how to think!
When it comes to publishing and editing The Poached Egg, there is quite a bit more to it than simply finding articles and posting a few links. Sometimes I read dozens of articles before finding one that I want to post. Then, if the article does not already have an accompanying photo, I want to find one that is just right. My lovely and supporting wife can vouch for the fact that, on occasion, I have been known to spend hours looking for just the right picture to go along with an article. I happen to be very particular about what I post, and I always have my readers in mind. Sometimes I’m trying to reach a broader audience, and sometimes I am responding to a specific issue or objection brought up by an individual reader. Sometimes I have the skeptic in mind and sometimes I have the believer who is responding to the skeptic in mind. And sometimes I want to address issues within the church, such as equipping believers to live in a world that is increasingly hostile to Christianity, or how we as believers can be better example of what it means to be ‘salt and light’; not just sharing our faith, but living it as well.
As a result of all that goes into The Poached Egg, not to mention several other related projects I have going on, I have learned a lot. Not just about apologetics, but about people, about myself, and about what it means to be a Christian and the importance of what it means to have a Christian worldview.
Although I contribute some of my own writing from time to time, and am still trying to develop as a writer, most of the content presented here is from other websites that focus on apologetics and Christianity, and I would like to take a moment to thank all the talented apologists and writers whose work has been featured; I couldn’t do this without you! I would also like to thank all of you who visit The Poached Egg, and those who follow on Facebook, Twitter, and whatever other various ways there are to keep up with us. Thanks for sharing our links on your blogs, websites, social media pages, and for sharing it with your family and friends. One final special thank you goes out to the Christian Apologetics Alliance, whose moral support, solidarity, and fellowship has been and invaluable resource and a huge blessing to me!
Year two begins…