How Faith is Like Playing Minecraft

I recently had something that was as close to a religious experience as I’ve had in a really long time, and a light bulb went on in my head that changed the way I see a whole lot of things. So much human behavior suddenly makes sense to me now, and I’d like to try [Read More…]

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…]

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…]

Can You Choose NOT to Believe?

I try not to get sucked into too many arguments about religion in my friends’ social media spaces because I never know how personally their friends and relatives will take the discussion. Arguing in the comment section of a blog or on Reddit is one thing, but when you’re on people’s Facebook walls you may be crossing [Read More…]

Faith and the Power of a Magic Feather

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” –Philippians 4:13 Growing up evangelical, no message featured more prominently in my understanding of the Christian life than this verse. After John 3:16, this verse tops just about everybody’s list of favorite Bible passages, rivaled only by the verse in Jeremiah that says “I know the [Read More…]

Making Your Faith Impossible to Disprove

A few days ago I reshared an article entitled “Why I Broke Up with Jesus” which always inspires a predictable set of rationalizations from people defending their tradition using the same time-tested tools I learned to use when I was a Christian. I’m always glad they do it, too, because it brings into such stark relief [Read More…]

The Bible’s Attitude Toward the Life of the Mind

“Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” —Ecclesiastes Secularists like me became legitimately concerned when we first learned that our new president-elect selected billionaire right-wing megadonor Betsy DeVos to [Read More…]