FAQ: Do You Ever Still Worry About Hell?

A friend of mine who still identifies as a Christian wrote me to ask me whether or not I’m still bothered by Pascal’s Wager. In case you’re not familiar, Pascal’s Wager refers to that age-old notion that a person, whether or not he fully believes it, should choose to live as if God were in fact real [Read More…]

Why Christian Women Can’t Get Ahead

Last week, Canadian writer and Christian feminist Sarah Bessey started a hashtag entitled #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear and the results were pretty fantastic. And by “fantastic” I mean stomach-curdling, exasperating, cathartic, and angering. Friends have already written about it here and here. You’ll find there samples of the typical things Christian women hear, and the fact that it trended so quickly only [Read More…]

The Dark Side of Grace

People who are in abusive relationships learn to see themselves as “lucky” for having their abusers in their lives. How is that possible, you ask? The dynamic is really easy to explain. No matter how tough or powerful they may seem, abusive people tend to be deeply insecure. Consequently, they spend a great deal of time and energy tearing down [Read More…]

Dear Church, You’re Weird

This past weekend I did something I haven’t done in nearly six years: I attended Sunday morning worship at my family’s church. On Easter, no less. It was an interesting experience. I came away from that experience with a number of strong impressions, and I’d like to share them with you because I feel something can be learned from [Read More…]

Faith: Believing Without (Enough) Evidence

Nobody likes having their intelligence insulted, so it’s not hard to see why Christians push back when they are told that faith means “believing without evidence.” On the contrary, Christians very much believe they have evidence for the things they believe in (e.g. the resurrection of Jesus), although what they consider “evidence” may look quite [Read More…]

Shame on You for Thinking Prayer Does Anything

In yesterday’s post entitled “Our Biggest Mistake: We Did As We Were Told” I listed several things deconverts like me did that inadvertently led to the demise of our faith. At one point I brought up prayer, and I explained that we approached prayer exactly the way the Bible instructed us to approach it: We came to [Read More…]

Our Biggest Mistake: We Did As We Were Told

Those of us who broke up with Jesus (he wouldn’t return our calls) are accustomed to having our motives and our sincerity questioned by those still happy with their faith. We get it all the time. We hear that we weren’t authentic enough, or we weren’t fully surrendered to the will of God, or we had some [Read More…]

Note From a Pastor: Finding Meaning in Our Myths

This past weekend I got an email from a Presbyterian pastor (PCUSA) asking some really good questions, and I’d like to share them with you here in abbreviated form (with permission, of course). I think they’re good appetizers for a better-than-usual discussion about how faith and religion function in the world, and about the consequences [Read More…]

Losing Your Religion and Finding Yourself Again

I’m gonna level with you. I’ve been struggling lately. Most days I do my best to look at the big picture, to take the high road, and to find the longest view of religion I can manage despite the baggage I’ve accumulated from my years within the walls of the church (plus the years that [Read More…]

Is It Loving to Warn People About Hell?

Fritz is an odd fellow. Patriotism runs deep in his family but he takes it to the next level, enjoining his children to faithfully recite the pledge of allegiance and sing the national anthem once a day every day of their lives. Loyalty to the United States of America is extremely important to him, and [Read More…]