Strange Notions

StrangeNotions.com is the central place of dialogue between Catholics and atheists. It’s built around three things: reason, faith, and dialogue. You’ll find articles, videos, and rich comment box discussion concerning life’s Big Questions.

The site was created by Brandon Vogt (brandon@brandonvogt.com) and operates under the aegis of Word on Fire.

What does “Strange Notions” mean?

The name “Strange Notions” carries a double meaning. The first sense comes from a colorful story in the biblical book of Acts. In the book of Acts, we discover the Christian convert, Paul, sailing to Athens. There he debates in the synagogue with the Jews, then in the public square, and then finally is invited to the Areopagus, a prestigious hill where Athenian philosophers gathered “for nothing else but telling or hearing something new.” (Sounds like the Internet, eh?) Paul stands among the circle of pagan philosophers and appeals to what they all hold in common—devotion to truth, philosophy, poetry. His message intrigues the Athenian elite, who say, “you bring some strange notions to our ears; we should like to know what these things mean” (Acts 17:20).

This website is designed to mimic that first meeting of Christians and atheists, allowing both to discover intriguing “strange notions” on either side.

The second meaning acknowledges the fact that both Catholics and atheists think the other side’s views are strange. Atheists see Catholics worshiping an invisible, three-in-one God who is not empirically evident. Catholics see atheists dismissing the Creator behind this rich and complex cosmos, a supreme Big Banger who loves the world into being. Both groups have trouble seeing why the other believes as it does.

StrangeNotions.com is meant to fade away that strangeness. In the end, we may still disagree, but at least the opposing views won’t be confusing “strange notions”—we’ll more clearly know what we reject, and thus what we hold, too.

What sets this website apart?

We’ve all seen the nastiness and anger that plague most religious discussions online. It’s unavoidable. Myriad sites exist solely to bash Christianity—specifically Catholicism—and other sites take aim at atheists. So if you’re looking for an echo chamber, or a good laugh at someone else’s expense, you have plenty of options.

But StrangeNotions.com is different. Our goal is not to defeat anyone, embarrass them, or assault their character. Our goal is only the Truth, and to pursue it through fruitful discussion. Like Socrates, like Jesus, we embrace healthy dialogue as the path to Truth, even and especially with people we disagree with. That’s why the comboxes at Strange Notions are so central and important.

If Catholics are wrong about God, then we hope our critics can correct us so that we will no longer be ignorant. We hope atheists will be open to the same kind of correction. The goal here isn’t to win an argument, but to help each other find the Truth.

Visit Strange Notions’ Website