I remember hearing once as a child – in a sermon or a Sunday school lesson or maybe a home group Bible study – that self-esteem should never be a focus in raising children. Focusing on a child’s self-esteem would teach them to look inside themselves for worth instead of looking to the Lord for their worth. Teach children to find their significance in Jesus, they said, and we will develop a far greater sense of value than any “self-esteem”… Read more

During the school year, for my day job I teach high school Algebra. Then I write in my “spare time” when I probably should be doing something else to help pay the bills (have you ever seen what teachers in Mississippi make?). Aside from a full itinerary of Daddy duties and a week in the woods volunteering as a cabin counselor at Camp Quest (find out more about that here), I try to use any free time I get during… Read more

Not too long ago I restated my critique of the standard Christian teaching that, while it would take an eternity of suffering for me to pay the price of just my individual lifetime of sins (most of which appear to be “thought crimes”), Jesus paid for the sins of billions of people’s lifetimes over the span of a single Friday. I’m not sure how the math works out on that, but part of the fun of religion is that things… Read more

Dear Owen, This past weekend you filled the pulpit at my family’s church, and I thought you did a commendable job of delivering your message. You were as articulate in your presentation as you were well-versed in the perspective you chose to express. Your message was also timely as it indirectly spoke to a crisis currently threatening the integrity of the Southern Baptist Convention, of which my family’s church is a noteworthy part. The question at hand is: What are… Read more

Stop me if you know this one. I am a C! I am a C-H! I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N! And I have C-H-R-I-S-T in my H-E-A-R-T And I will L-I-V-E-E-T-E-R-N-A-L-L-Y! (repeat ad nauseum as 10 year-olds are wont to do . . . ) This is the chant that spontaneously broke out among several members of the robotics club at my eldest son’s school a few weeks ago. I’m a parent volunteer/coach with the club and we meet for about… Read more

Defenders of the Christian faith spend a considerable amount of time trying to prove that something happened thousands of years ago. But that really shouldn’t be necessary because, if the claims of Christianity were true, the present day evidence for it should be all over the place. Let’s take a few minutes and review the things we are led to expect by reading the words of Jesus himself on the matter. I’m sticking primarily with Jesus because if I turn… Read more

In my last post, I enumerated about a dozen ways faith normalizes bad thinking, teaching us to view what the rest of the world deems logical fallacies as simply “the way you’re supposed to think.” My contention is that growing up in church diminishes your capacity to detect and question factual inconsistencies, effectively breaking your irony meter and ultimately rendering an entire voting bloc susceptible to con artists and charlatans of every kind. Which reminds me: Have you ever noticed… Read more

Someone wrote me recently to ask: What drives you to be so adamant in sharing your atheistic beliefs? What is the driving force behind you? To influence others to be nonbelievers?? I have so much to say about this it will take me more than one post to get it all out, and this one won’t be short. First of all, to me this question implies that, while it’s laudable for the religious to wear their beliefs on their sleeves… Read more

Let’s go back in time to 2006. The iPhone had yet to be released, Facebook was the new, cool thing and Reddit was in its infancy. American Idol was a BIG deal and my social sciences professor thought it would be another 50 years before legal gay marriage would be a reality. And I was freaking out because my faith in God was slipping away. I never imagined I would leave my insulated, tightly controlled Christian college after 3 semesters… Read more

This past weekend as I was exiting my local movie theater, the poster for the latest installment of the God’s Not Dead franchise stopped me dead in my tracks. I just stood and stared at it for a full minute, trying to process what I was seeing. The poster features the movie’s star and producer, David A.R. White, standing amidst the ruins of a sanctuary reduced to rubble by a fire of as-yet-unknown origin. Pure Flix, the religious film production company… Read more

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