Excerpt from a personal lettter from a visitor...

...it actually describes the experiences of many who come through the Tank

"Now for some personal reflections of dubious value which I feel compelled to share with you:

"I have always been an inquisitive intellectual type with particular interests in archaeology, ancient history, religion/mythology, and mysticism - hence my job as a software engineer ;). Over the years I read a lot ABOUT the Bible, mostly non-positive (i.e. not actively hostile), derived from a secular/historical or mystical perspectives, but I rarely read the Bible itself (except for Revelation). I was never an atheist (I always felt atheism to be dead and ultimately empty) or even an agnostic (I always felt sure that God IS real); I was essentially a syncretic (syncretistic?) theist grounded in basic ethics (a very convenient philosophy, BTW). I used to feel that "I know too much about history and religions to take the Bible at face value." (Boy, talk about hubris!)

"It was with this mind-set and world view that I first began poking around on the Internet. I was amazed at the amount of thought (good, bad, ugly, horrific, sublime,...) floating around "out there." Once in a while I came across a truly well done and reasoned piece that addressed some of my areas of interest. One such piece exploded one of my long-held beliefs (I'm too embarrassed to say which). The episode got me to admit that my thinking and reasoning were not as critical and robust as I liked to imagine. I realized that much of my belief was based not so much on the quality of the research presented (as long as it LOOKED well-researched) as on how well it fit into or enhanced my world view (probably pretty typical scenario for people like me). If I had a background in formal philosophy I could probably make that last statement sound MUCH more profound ;).

"With this new insight I began to "critically examine everything," including my basic beliefs about the Bible, and I began applying the model of my previous faulty thought processes to most things I read - and found most of them, including many Christian views, to exhibit the same weakness. (That isn't to say that I am a paragon of clear thinking now, but I'm a lot better than I was.) Through this process I began to gain much more respect for Christian claims and the reliability of the NT texts (a particular "sore spot" I used to have). BTW, some of this respect came through the "back door" via atheist and satanist apologetics sites.

"At this point I had something of an epiphany that broke down the last barriers of my unbelief and forced me to take a stand. Soon after this, however, the old intellect began nagging at me and implying that I had had an emotional reaction and I shouldn't take it too seriously. I began REALLY reading the Bible for the first time, and I prayed for support (almost daring God to make good on His claims); that is when I found my way to this and other similar sites. In addition to girding up and cementing my belief in Christ these sites have helped keep me from becoming intellectually lazy in my new beliefs. It is comforting to know that an intellectual Christian is not an oxymoron. Ironically, one of my greatest regrets is that I never discussed my doubts and feelings with my earthly father who was one of the most intellectual yet TRULY Christian people I have ever known.

"So that is where I stand today at 3X years old, growing in my faith every day yet still a babe! Through the exercise of critiquing Bloodline of the Holy Grail I have found that I enjoy this type of apologetics activity, but I also realize that I am not yet ready to take on the Goliaths of unbelief. I have been praying that God will show me how I am to be used (in His time), that I have the discernment to recognize His call and the strength to follow it.

"Sorry to impose this long response (almost as long as some of yours) on you; feel free to use any of it in your Tank if you see fit.

The Christian ThinkTank...[http://www.Christian-thinktank.com] (Reference Abbreviations)