I am the Alpha and the… Beta.

I’m working on the fourth installment of my reaction to the Alpha Course, (which will feature the concept of the efficacy of prayer!), but I wanted to make a quick post that’s a little meta.

First, I got a mention on Friendly Atheist! OK, full disclosure: I asked him about it. 🙂 But he was kind enough to make a mention on his site. I’ve been a reader of Friendly Atheist for quite some time now, and I’m quite the fan. So, I’m gleeful.

From the comments on that post, I’ve discovered that a lot of atheists and other non-theists have come in contact with the Alpha Course. And their reactions have generally been similar to mine. But one person posted a link to a blog by a fellow (Stephen Butterfield) who’s also been posting his reactions to the course — and it’s fantastic! He’s so much more succinct and clear and interesting to read than my babbling rants. His 2nd post, “Why Did Jesus Die?”, is really a great read. One of the reasons is because Stephen actually engages his discussion group in challenges and dialog — something I’m having a very hard time trying to do. But his doing so makes for some fun, and educational, reading. Check it out!

Oh, and I just came across a link I blogged about a couple of years ago, on the subject of God “never gives more than you can handle” drek. That sentiment keeps popping up in discussion. Here’s an essay I read in ’08 that I think is the best response possible to that canard: Reasonable Doubt About the Problem of Evil/Needless Suffering As A Test