As a skeptical agnostic with a passionate interest in the human condition, I spent many years exploring a fundamental question:
do our lives have any meaning or are they random events that end with death?
I searched for answers in a wide range of sciences, philosophies, and faiths and was prepared to reach any reasonable conclusion from the evidence. Modern physics provides insights that are paradoxical and exhilarating, but no philosophy or faith system seemed ultimately convincing or satisfying. I initially ignored Christianity as an implausible story, but I often encountered references to the “Cosmic Christ” and finally decided that to be truly objective, I would have to develop an understanding of this enigmatic figure. So with the aim of identifying flaws in Christian doctrine, I listened critically to the New Testament while negotiating traffic on the way to deliver mathematics lectures. But instead of hearing, as I had expected, a random collection of miracles, parables, and moralistic instructions to love one another, something else became increasingly apparent—a consistent voice of authority and wisdom that was strikingly different from anything I had yet encountered. So for the next few years, I thoroughly researched Old and New Testament Scripture, theological commentaries, and atheist critiques. The more I read, the more I realised that my initial view of Christianity was like judging the entire culture of a country from a few holiday snapshots.
The outcome of my extensive investigation was totally unexpected—the findings shook the foundations of my opinions and challenged many confident assumptions that have become an unquestioned part of our Western worldview. Having undertaken this research in the spirit of academic impartiality, I now offer these carefully verified facts to anyone who is interested in the universe and our place in it, whether atheist, agnostic, or follower of any faith.
This book does not defend the Christian church, its creeds, or organised religion in general, which has undoubtedly been wielded as a tool of power. Rather, it invites you on a journey of independent investigation into the latest relevant scholarship in science, mythology, history, archaeology, theology, and Judeo-Christian Scripture, in order to unearth and analyse facts relevant to the ongoing debate between atheism and faith in general, and Christianity in particular.
Julie Hannah is a retired mathematics lecturer, born in Zambia and resident in South Africa, with two sons in Leeds and Seattle. Her passions are wild camping, reading, and solving logic puzzles. She has authored “A Skeptic’s Investigation into Jesus,” which summarises the evidence in science and Scripture that converted her to Christianity, and “The Seventh Covenant,” a Gospel-based narrative that depicts how Jesus’s work fulfilled ancient messianic prophecies of Judaism.
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