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…]

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…]

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…]

How Important Is the Pursuit of Happiness?

A friend who is similarly “post-Christian” wrote me this week to ask me what place happiness plays in my life now that I’m past my “spiritual” days. I haven’t actually addressed that before in this space, so I figured I should share that response here so that others could respond and add to it. I [Read More…]

The Predatory Side of Religion

Those of us who used to be devout face a tricky challenge when we go through trying times. There used to be easier ways for us to share our pains and losses with others and receive support. Church has its drawbacks, to be sure, but after we leave it behind we find we are giving up a source of community [Read More…]

So Long, Self: How Christianity Teaches You to Hate Yourself

One of the great joys of living in the Bible Belt is that you can hear Christian music played overhead almost anywhere you go. Just last weekend I had to make stops at a coffee shop, a gym, a fried chicken place, a doughnut place (I know, the irony), a clinic office, and a pharmacy, and [Read More…]

Into the Woods: A Closer Look at Our Scapegoats and Reviled Saviors

A year ago this past week I took my four daughters to see the Hollywood adaptation of Into the Woods, and coincidentally I found myself watching it again on DVD exactly one year later.  I’ve been meaning to write about it for some time because of a couple of key themes that stuck out to me, [Read More…]