beyond good and evil?

One of the most common questions in religion, philosophy and psychology is, "Are people born good or evil?" This used to be a really interesting question to me. I'm not really sure why. Back in my cool guy TULIP days, I needed people to be super evil so that my Big God could be more awesomer. When I was looking into new agey type stuff, I wanted people to be good. But, what if neither of these answers actually work?What if it's actually a bad question? Not bad as in evil, but bad as in unans … [Read more...]

#SKEPTIMERGENT: the afterlife is for lovers

If you've never come across it, you might find Nietzsche's theory of eternal recurrence to be really helpful like I have. There is debate about whether Nietzsche actually believed it. I highly doubt that he did, but, nevertheless, I think it's an interesting thought experiment.The basic idea is that you should live your life as if you would have to repeat it exactly the way you have lived it, over and over, forever. For me, this has helped me to rethink many of the things that I have chosen … [Read more...]

#SKEPTIMERGENT: why NOT “church”?

I'm reconsidering a positive use of the word "church." I have my criticisms, but I seem to be one of a very small number of people who are so allergic to it, at least in the worlds that I live in. Recently, a few of us started a new Emergent cohort here in Raleigh, NC, which has sparked this question. But, this post is more rhetorical in nature, in order to get to a better understanding of what the word "church" might actually mean.So, this goes out to those of you who do use the word church … [Read more...]

#SKEPTIMERGENT: truth or love?

I have a theory: those so-called "liberal" or "progressive" people who are trying to understand what the Bible means today are doing so primarily because of love.Here's what I mean... I think a huge part of my own personal conflict within evangelicalism was a conflict between "truth" - or what was "right" - and love. The more I attempted to make sense of the Bible in light of my actual relationships with real people, the less concerned I was with being truthful or being right.What if thi … [Read more...]

#SKEPTIMERGENT: trophy bibles

I am uncontrollably drawn to people who share one of my passions: the Bible. But, ironically, the people I think who most share my fascination with that "sacred" library of documents are not typically of the orthodox Christian variety. The people who seem to be most interested in the Bible - the people who actually read it, study it, analyze it, question it - tend to be atheists, agnostics,  unorthodox Christians, and so on.It didn't take me long to pick up on this when I was employed by … [Read more...]

#SKEPTIMERGENT: a review of @jaybakker’s new book

With Jay's new book coming out tomorrow, I thought I would repost my review here...When I was a “leader” in the church, I always assumed it was supposed to be about people. I thought crazy things like: a pastor (shepherd) was supposed to actually know the sheep. And, that the shepherd was primarily a sheep, receiving love from the Great Shepherd, before anything else. When it became something other than that, I had a real problem doing it anymore. When my “billable hours” shifted toward w … [Read more...]

#SKEPTIMERGENT: the atheist’s dilemma

I would guess that most people who have grown up and stayed in churches do not know what it's like for many to leave. Please, if you are a person who has been in the church for your entire life, please take some time to read the stories of people who have left. And read about how cults function. Try to put yourself in the place of someone who simply can't go along. Someone who has a lot of doubts, questions, problems. Someone who is no longer able to let some things go. Most of us get depressed w … [Read more...]

#SKEPTIMERGENT: an atheist’s prayer

I’ve spent the last few days revisiting some old friends in Oklahoma City, the city where I grew up and where, when I moved away, I was a pastor. I haven’t been back in a few years, partially because I had been in a difficult place, personally. The last time I visited, I was pretty bitter about some things that had happened to me, and I wasn’t able to fully accept and embrace where or who I was. So, I mostly avoided the people who once saw me as a friend and a mentor.But, this time was diffe … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X