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marksonos's avatar

Where is a good place to learn about Christianity?

Asked by marksonos (298 points ) May 24th, 2014

I am 24 and yet to learn about religion. I want to learn the history and practice of it. I consider myself a christian but I don’t know much about it. Is there a source that would benefit me?

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23 Answers

dxs's avatar

READ THE BIBLE! Read it through, Old Testament and New. Instead of looking at doctrine, read the Bible and see the source of Christianity’s truth for yourself. If you go to any specific denomination, you are guaranteed to be presented with a strong bias. Bias may be inevitable in a subjective topic such as religion, but you can minimize it by looking at neutral approaches to religious studies, such as textbooks.
Think about things for yourself: Why are you religious? Does this make sense to you? Why do you think there is a deity and/or an ultimate destiny? Is this the life you wish to live?
Heck, I actually know some stuff on religion since I was raised Christian (Roman Catholic), went to a Catholic School, and studied the religion on my own time. I you want to know anything, send me a private message and I’d be glad to help. Since I have thought about religion at a personal level, I’m aware that I may have a bias, but I’ll try to be as neutral as possible.

pleiades's avatar

I would say, read and study about how the book was put together first. Look into the timelines certain Bibles were put together.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

From a distance.

My fundie rearing has crippled me for life.

I sorted it out fully by this point but I will never completely recover.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@marksonos Fluther is probably the last place to look. Finding a true and honest source of what Christianity is and its origin is going to be tough.

Judi's avatar

Many of the mainline churches have adult confirmation classes where you will get the basics.
Strange thing is ( remember I’m old) the whole story never came together for me until I saw The movie Jesus Christ Superstar as a teenager. That movie put all the stories I had been taught in Sunday school together for me and made it all make sense. I wonder if it’s on any of the streaming services?

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Don’t bother wasting your time on the Old Testament. Check out the New Testament.

But the best thing you can do is to make friends with the Creator and let her roll out a red carpet in front of your life.

As @Judi says, the movie Jesus Christ Superstar would be a great place to start.

Also read the book, The Shack, by Wm. Paul Young

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
Seek's avatar

I’ll happily answer any questions you may have.

I grew up in a Christian fundamentalist lifestyle. I was a Bible literalist. I was a Sunday School teacher and a member of the ministry staff.

If you have specific questions you’d like answered, feel free to post them here (I’d recommend in the General section) and I’ll do my best to answer them for you.

chyna's avatar

Never use only one source in your quest for knowledge. Ask people, read the bible and use a concordance to help you interpret the bible as it is so hard to interpret yourself.

ibstubro's avatar

I would start with reading a book about comparative world religions. Seriously. I’ve read many of them, and if it turns out Christianity is your religion of choice, you’ll have some perspective on it.

If you’re dead-set on Christianity, just go to church. They’ll be happy to answer all your questions. Other believers would be your best resource.

Judi's avatar

Just remember that the fundamentalist brand of Christianity that @Seek grew up with and the more Liberal Christianity of folks Like United Church of Christ, Lutheran (ELCA not Missouri Synod) Episcopal and most Methodists have a completely different take. Many of us embrace those of other faiths and don’t spend our time trying to save them from eternal damnation. We think their just might be grace for them as well and even that we might have something to learn from them. I can tell you I have grown and learned from the atheists here and I’m a Christian.

gailcalled's avatar

The History of Christianity by Paul Johnston is the place to start. Learning about the history of Christianity and getting involved in bible study are two entirely different things.

“First published in 1976, Paul Johnson’s exceptional study of Christianity has been loved and widely hailed for its intensive research, writing, and magnitude—“a tour de force, one of the most ambitious surveys of the history of Christianity ever attempted…” (New York Review of Books).”

Seek's avatar

Of course, you’re right, @Judi.

I simply meant to convey that I am knowledegable in Biblical lore, history, and various interpretations of the scripture, having devoted much of my life to its study.

Though I am now an atheist, I do promise to answer in as academic and unbiased a manner as possible.

chyna's avatar

@ Seek Biblical lore does not sound unbiased.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Here’s a great book by CS Lewis called “Mere Christianity.” It is very good for what you are looking for.

Seek's avatar

lore
lôr/
noun
a body of traditions and knowledge on a subject or held by a particular group, typically passed from person to person by word of mouth.

filmfann's avatar

I would not start with reading the Bible, though you should once you learn the basics. So much is difficult to understand for someone who doesn’t have the necessary background. Watch the recent miniseries “The Bible”. It’s about 8 hours long, and while it strays a bit, they got most of it right.
Next, perhaps “Jesus of Nazareth” or “The Greatest Story Ever Told”. Avoid “The Passion of the Christ” (very accurate, but it focuses on Christ’s suffering), or “The Last Temptation of the Christ” (which speculates, rather than sticking to Biblical text).
After this, attend church services. Talk with people afterwards.
When you are ready to read the Bible, read about 3 chapters a day, Old and New testament. It will take a little over a year to do this.
Good luck, and please PM me if you have any questions. I certainly am no expert, but we can talk about it.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I agree with @Judi and @filmfann, but I would also recommend visiting more than one church and more than one adult class. Learn the different interpretations before deciding which—if any of them—is for you. And in addition to Jesus Christ Superstar, you might consider watching Godspell.

Judi's avatar

@SavoirFaire , The seventies were awesome weren’t they? Godspell had a huge impact on me as well. I’m so sad at what that simple love your neighbor Jesus movement morphed into. :-(

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Judi Yep. They could have built a beautiful city. But alas.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

Definitely books pertaining to Christianity. Reading the New Testament. Talking to people who are members of different churches and ministers.

DEFINITELY NOT BELIEVING PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET. MOST WHO WILL TELL YOU CHRISTIANITY IS A CROCK.

Educate yourself and make up your own mind.

antimatter's avatar

I think the public library is a good place to start because it’s natural ground nobody will be there to influence your finial conclusion.

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