Embracing paradox helped me discover that religion is a neurological disorder for which faith is the only cure

My kaleidoscopic beliefs are fickle and motivated by desire, wishful thinking, and wanting to fit in with my family and community and to make my marriage work. My dogmatic declarations of faith once provided status, ego-stroking power over others and a much better income than I’ve ever earned since fleeing the evangelical machine. Certainty made things simple, gave me an answer to every question and paid the bills.With the acceptance of paradox came a new and blessed uncertainty that began t … [Read more...]

Christianity Today is scared of Peggy, Tony and Bart Campolo (and me) and wants to help evangelicals brainwash their children more effectively

Christianity Today is scared of Tony, Peggy and Bart Campolo and wants to help evangelicals brainwash their children more effectively so they won't turn out like Bart.The "method" is always the same. Bart isn't a Christian anymore so we need to blame his parents (while pretending not to) and improve the way we indoctrinate our kids lest they turn out like Bart or worse yet, like Frank Schaeffer.To do that the first thing we have to do is lie about them, dismiss the backsliders and make … [Read more...]

Hooray for the Serendipitous Messy Exchange of Body Fluids!

"We’re living in an acquisitive capitalist society that is fundamentally anti-family and fundamentally uncomfortable with just enjoying being human. We’d rather shop than live, acquire than love and stare into a screen than hold each other." Here's my wife Genie when she was 18 with our first child Jessica Over lunch today, my wife Genie told me that looking back at the time when we were living with my family at L’Abri in Switzerland in the 1970s, she feels especially grateful to my parents. Ge … [Read more...]

“This is what being raised in the southern Bible belt will do to you…If it is ok, I will share my head for the first time to anyone”

NOTE: If you come from an evangelical background and feel anguish you are not alone. Here's proof! I get 20-30 emails and FB messages a day from readers of my new book expressing anguish over their religious backgrounds. I answer all of them. I learn more from my readers than they learn from me. Here's one exchange I found very moving. (Printed here by permission, name changed.) Take hope. Sat, Aug 16, 2014 12:26 pmFrank: It is such a relief to get to share my head with someone. I am not … [Read more...]

Switchfoot’s Album & Movie “Fading West” — It’s Grace in Action, Hope Crystallized, Damnation Canceled in Favor of Love…

I was just speaking at SoulFest (August 7-9). It's a music festival with evangelical roots. The band Switchfoot played. I'm several things but not evangelical. Could you imagine a more uncomfortable fit for me? I was expecting the worst. What I got was two gifts: One of pure art and the other pure grace. I also got a good and necessary humbling.FIRST GIFT: Switchfoot’s new album that they played from at the festival -- “Fading West” -- is the best rock and roll I’ve heard in years. I haven’t … [Read more...]

We Spend Lifetimes Striving to Give Love, Create Beauty and Find Peace. Why?

It was a bright September day, clear, cool and perfect. My wife Genie, my grandchildren Lucy (age 5 and in the picture here taken that spring at Easter), Jack (3) and my daughter-in-law, Becky, were sprawled on the lawn. Lucy wandered over to the vegetable garden and picked cherry tomatoes. She ate them while dancing and watching her shadow flicker over the grass. Becky was starting to show with her third child.Love, contentment and sweetness were as palpable as the sunlight. The whole world … [Read more...]

I would not have burned in hell for sleeping with the many women I’ve looked at longingly, but adultery would have ruined my marriage

Ironically, although Mom and Dad may have been deluded by their fundamentalist certainties, I am mostly at peace in my home where my grandchildren Lucy (5), Jack (4) and I play Botticelli because I was indoctrinated with knee-jerk guilt. I realize now that my parents were often right for the wrong reasons. For instance, I feel guilt when I shout at Lucy and Jack. And when it comes to the “big sins” I would not have burned in hell for sleeping with the many women I’ve looked at longingly, but adul … [Read more...]

what is truer than a story about a journey into one person’s Eternal Present powered by a single bite of tomato on a summer afternoon?

Scientists and theologians can’t offer better than circular arguments, because there are no other kinds of arguments. Bible believers quote the Bible, and scientists quote other scientists. How do either scientists or theologians answer this question about the accuracy of their conclusions: “In reference to what?”Our status as fallen sinners or diminished and newly humbled microbes is calculated in reference to biblical or scientific stories that are self-reinforcing. Is there a frame of refe … [Read more...]


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