Worse Than Losing Your Faith?

The vigor with which some people defend their beliefs online – refusing to do basic research, offering completely unpersuasive off-the-cuff arguments, and denigrating their opponents – has long puzzled me. Losing your faith (or, if you are an atheist, losing your lack of faith) can seem like a terrifying prospect, to be avoided at all [Read More...]

In the Biblical Sense

As someone who teaches Bible, this cartoon Hemant Mehta recently shared made me laugh: It is funny that, through a series of twists and turns in the history of language, a reference to something being “Biblical” can turn it into sexual innuendo. This actually illustrates an important point about how languages work, a point often [Read More...]

Quote of the Day (Andrew Brown)

Myths have a power that should never be ignored and no one is more helpless against them than the man who supposes he has overcome them with reason. — Andrew Brown, “Sam Harris's dangerous faith in guns” in The Guardian.   [Read more...]

God isn’t Always the Answer

While some Christians might resist the perspective of an atheist, I think the cartoon makes a point that most will agree with. Treating “God” as the cookie-cutter answer irrespective of what the question happens to be is as foolish as using “God” as the answer to every question on a crossword puzzle. You might be [Read More...]

Who Owns the Bible?

Over on her blog Love, Joy, Feminism, Libby Anne has joined in a conversation between Chris Hallq and myself which never really took off. Perhaps this time it will. Click through to read her thoughts about the diversity among the ways that fundamentalist Christians, liberal Christians, and atheists approach the Bible. And thank you, Libby [Read More...]

Saying Grace

Of Christian prayers, those related to food can be the most theologically problematic. I remember hearing a missionary speak about how others in her mission team had become ill and she had not, and she attributed it to her “praying over her food” – as though (1) her Christian co-workers did not, (2) prayer effectively [Read More...]

James McGrath + Miley Cyrus + Lawrence Krauss – Friendly Atheist = Richard Dawkins?

I’ve gotten quite a number of visitors today from the Richard Dawkins Foundation web site, via a repost there of my recent blog entry about Miley Cyrus, and her tweet of a paraphrase of something Laurence Krauss said. The byline of the repost there says “James McGrath – Friendly Atheist.” I’m not sure whether someone [Read More...]

“Forget Jesus” – Controversy at the Intersection of Miley Cyrus, Lawrence Krauss, Christianity, Atheism, Physics, Astronomy and Cosmology

There’s quite a kerfuffle over a tweet by Miley Cyrus which was an image of Lawrence Krauss together with an inexact quotation of something he said. Here’s a picture of the tweet: While it is not surprising that some Christians balked at the words “forget Jesus,” the suggestion that the sentiment in the post is [Read More...]

Jesus: “Hitch Didn’t Hate Me”

HT The Lead While there have unsurprisingly been arrogant, misguided and unhelpful comments from Christians, there have also been some particularly appreciative ones. Here’s an example from Bo Sanders: “Hitchens helped me by rabidly critiquing that false god of Empire and cutting open the giant bloated carcass of Christendom with razor-sharp clarity.”   [Read more...]

Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011

Christopher Hitchens, sometimes referred to as one of the “four horsemen” of the “new atheist” movement, has passed away. He was 62. As a liberal Christian, I appreciate individuals such as Hitchens, since the same problems he highlighted with respect to the Bible and historic Christianity are the reasons I find conservative Christianity unpersuasive. The [Read More...]

Atheism and Skepticism are not Coterminous

What is the message of this billboard? As Hemant Mehta as well as various news outlets are pointing out, the message is that atheists, however much they may think of themselves as ultra-skeptical and critical thinkers, aren’t always. Having “skeptics” or “freethinkers” in the name of your organization or in your self-description doesn’t mean it [Read More...]


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