How Do You Measure the Worth of a Man?

How do you measure the worth of a man? I know you’re supposed to say that all human life is valuable, and I’m not disputing that. Human life, indeed all life from where I sit, is inherently valuable because life is fleeting and therefore precious. In fact, life itself is a “natural miracle” in the [Read More…]

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

If you follow this blog you’ve undoubtedly noticed a break in the content, first slowing from a run to a walk over the course of the last year, then finally to an almost complete standstill over the last couple of months. If the struggles I’ve been working through weren’t so personal and intimate, I would [Read More…]

How Christianity Stunted My Relational Growth

I used to think I was a relationship expert. Boy, was I wrong. I was married for 16 years, 14 of which were pretty good years. By “pretty good” I mean that we felt like we were a pretty good team, and others seemed to agree with us. We never fought, never raised our voices [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…]

Interview: Ten Questions for Atheists About Christianity

My friend and Patheos colleague, Amber Barnhill, was approached by a student from a local Bible college for an interview. She had a list of questions to ask her for a project she is working on, and Amber decided to pass them along for the rest of us to chew on. The interviewer explained: “It’s all aimed at [Read More…]

Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower: Finding Common Ground

“If Jesus had a ‘sh*t list,’ you wouldn’t find people on it. You’d find attitudes and actions. Not wrong people but wrong ideas, behaviors, and ways of being in the world…He could see the humanity even in the soldiers who were carrying out his execution.” Tom Krattenmaker, Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower, page 28-29 [Read More…]

Why Doesn’t “Sodomy” Refer to a Lack of Hospitality?

Last week I wrote a piece about the traces of nascent humanism in the teachings of Jesus, and toward the end of that post I indicated that I view those socially progressive threads in light of a larger prophetic tradition within the Jewish faith, a tradition in which Jesus himself may rightly belong: [PDF version [Read More…]

Five Times When Jesus Sounded Like a Humanist

I’ve said before that I’m not much of a fan of Jesus. If the reports of what he taught his followers have any truth to them, he said a number of things to which I object (and I don’t mean just the parts about believing in invisible spirits). The Jesus I Don’t Like For one thing, [Read More…]

An Atheist’s Take on the “Spirituality” of Sex

This month, Patheos is hosting a cross-channel discussion about the spirituality of sex, asking people from each religious tradition to weigh in on what their faith has to say about the subject. What kinds of rules does each tradition establish to manage and guide our sensual and romantic experiences? Are there any definitive texts that [Read More…]

When Neither Atheists Nor Christians Offer You a Safe Space

Despite what many atheists would say, a lot of problems within Christian and other religious groups are mirrored in atheist groups. Both groups claim to be open minded, but there’s a reluctance to explore certain kinds of ideas within each camp. When exploring your beliefs while in a Christian group, they are certain that the [Read More…]