I’ll never forget the first night I attended a youth group meeting during high school. Somehow I made it to my junior year before finding out the youth ministry was its own separate thing—I mean separate from the Sunday School program I already attended at least a couple of times a month. I had recently “rededicated my life to Jesus” during an evangelistic youth conference and since then had started calling inactive students from the class roll to encourage them… Read more

A few years back I had the pleasure of thinking-out-loud-together with Phil Vischer, co-creator of VeggieTales and voice of Bob the Tomato, and despite the passing of time our conversation has lingered in the back of my mind, simmering and percolating at various moments when I’ve been free to chew on it. A couple of things in particular have stuck with me since then. What Is Faith?The first thing was how Phil defined the word faith so differently than Peter… Read more

Brokenness, brokenness is what I long for Brokenness is what I need Brokenness, brokenness is what you want for me. – Micah Stampley, “Take My Life” That praise and worship song was usually played with the lights of the sanctuary low, the guitar soft, eyes closed, and hands raised. It was often accompanied by tears – salty drops catching in the corner of my mouth, tears of either pain, longing, or shame. Either I was broken as I sang or… Read more

There is a scene in The Truman Show that makes me cry every time I see it because I swear that I have lived it. It’s the moment he finally reaches the end of the little world that was constructed for him—or rather not for him but for other people in order to use him for their own benefit. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, either. Truman is a metaphor for each and every… Read more

A friend wrote me this past weekend to ask a really good question: Why [do] you think that some atheists (Lee Strobel comes to mind) become Christians because they studied the Bible, while devout Christians such as yourself end up becoming atheists for the same reason? Whenever I talk about this, I feel obligated to point out how commonly Christian evangelists misuse the word “atheist” to include people who were raised in Christian homes but who didn’t fully commit to… 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, I try to use any free time I get during the summer to catch up on… Read more

I’ve spent a good deal of time lately organizing my thoughts for a memoir, and in the midst of compiling all the most important turning points in my own deconversion I’ve come to see how one development impacted all the others more than I had previously appreciated: I had to study and learn a lot of new things for my job and it broadened my intellectual horizons significantly. If you feed the mind enough, it will soon demand more nourishment… Read more

As an out-of-the-closet atheist, I’ve been asked many times before by well-meaning Christians, “But what if you’re wrong?” There is an argument called Pascal’s Wager, which suggests one would be safer to believe in God only to find out he doesn’t exist than not to believe and find out he does. This argument is extremely common, and I myself used it quite often as a Christian. It always seemed to me very foolish to “refuse” to believe in God. And… Read more

Nothing within the current theological corpus of white evangelical Christianity says that people with brown skin are bad, and yet somehow racism has driven that subculture for more than a century without them ever seeing it. In 2016 white evangelicals turned out in record numbers to vote for a blatantly dishonest, foul-mouthed casino magnate and reality TV star with exactly zero experience in government or public service of any kind, and they continue to be his most stable support group… Read more

Dr. Strange: “What master do you serve?” Peter Quill: “What master do I serve? What am I supposed to say? JESUS?” (from Infinity War) Evangelical Christians get very excited whenever an A-list singer or Hollywood actor openly professes faith in Jesus, and last weekend that thrill came again when Chris Pratt (a.k.a. Andy Dwyer from Parks and Rec and Peter Quill from Guardians of the Galaxy) delivered a speech after receiving the Generation Award at the MTV Movie & TV Awards…. Read more

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