I Drew the Line at Canaan

I quit attending church nearly six years ago, at which point I had already been an atheist for two. And let me tell you, it’s not easy attending church as an atheist, much less teaching Sunday School as one (interesting story I’ll tell you about another time). Today I’d like to tell you about the last [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…]

A Living Sacrifice No More

“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” —Proverbs 3:11-12 “For it was fitting for Him…in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.” Hebrews 2:10 “Endure hardship [Read More…]

Pig Bones and Public Education

Because I teach public high school in a state already determined to sabotage its own educational system in order to redirect our tax dollars to private and charter schools (see note at bottom), it matters a great deal to me personally that the president-elect chose Betsy DeVos to head up our nation’s Department of Education.  Her choice [Read More…]

The God Who Performs Party Tricks

The God of the Bible is not above performing party tricks. I feel this needs to be pointed out because some I know seem to think they can have it both ways. They insist that the biblical God performed miracle after miracle in order to validate himself, at times upon very specific demand from the [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…]

The Real Roots of Our Beliefs

Do you find it frustrating to talk to religious people about their beliefs? Nonreligious people often have a hard time understanding their devout counterparts, so they engage them in the kinds of conversations that are meant to tease out the intellectual nuances in what they believe in order to better understand them. It doesn’t take [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…]

Four Ways Tim Keller’s Gospel Fails to Deliver

In the penultimate chapter of his Reason for God, Tim Keller attempts to pull together all the loose threads strewn about this apologetic work, weaving them together into a coherent vision for the world. He offers his belief system as a superior alternative to the one the rest of the world wants you to accept, [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…]