Ever wondered how the other half live? Premier Christian Radio has organised a unique experiment, in which an atheist and a Christian have swapped their religious daily commitments for a month, reports Christian Today Australia.
In January, comedians Simon Capes and Bentley Browning gave up their respective belief systems in favour of the other's, in the hopes of coming to understand one another's views more fully. Browning, a committed Christian, abstained from prayer and stopped going to church, while Capes, a self-confessed single-minded atheist, has been taking part in what he calls 'the rituals of Christianity.'
Presenter of the Unbelievable? show on Premier, Justin Brierley, came up with the initial idea for the experiment, citing interest in 'how they view each other's beliefs at the end of the experiment.'
'We are not expecting either of their lives to change dramatically as a result. It will clearly be something of a challenge for both of them.' Capes, however, said at the beginning of the test that it may well 'completely change my life.'
'I've got nothing to lose,' he said. 'Bentley's taking a bigger leap than me because he's negating something in which he believes, but we both have a lot to gain from this.'
Browning wasn't so sure that his beliefs would change by the end of the month. 'I've no great desire to go off the rails. I'm swapping lives with a very moral, rational person, not a mind-bent rock star,' he said of his friend.
During the experiment, both men have been updating Facebook page 'Faith Swap' with details of their experiences. Though as an atheist he has free rein to do as he wishes, Browning has found letting go of his daily Christian practices a challenge. 'The prayer thing is very difficult to get out of because it's habitual,' he notes.
'The self imposed restriction is beginning to feel like a tight costume,' he wrote in January. 'I'll tell you how easy it is not to pray when you see a small child dragged from rubble in Syria...Impossible,' was one contribution.
Photo: Simon Cape (left) and Bentley Browning