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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

Why the Gospel Doesn’t Work on Deconverts

People like me are like flies in the ointment of evangelical theology. We did all the things they told us to do, we gave our hearts and our lives entirely over to Jesus, yet in the end we still found their belief system lacking. It’s not supposed to happen that way. Evangelists and defenders of [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…]

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…]

The Christmas That Wasn’t

Growing up, my favorite superhero was definitely Superman. Hands down, no one else captured my childhood imagination more perfectly than he did. I was also taught to idolize Jesus growing up, and it always delighted me that my boyhood idol so closely mirrored the object of my religious devotion as well.* Both of them were, [Read More…]

Skeptrack Panel Discussion: Firebrands vs. Diplomats (Video)

This past Labor Day weekend, I had the privilege of participating in a panel discussion at Dragon*Con in Atlanta between proponents of a more confrontational (a.k.a. “firebrand”) approach to atheism and those of us who take a more conversational one (a.k.a. “dipolomats”). I wrote out my own thoughts about that discussion a few days later: [Read More…]

Genesis Three and the Dangers of Thinking Too Much

I really meant it last week when I said that going quickly through the first three chapters of Genesis is like sprinting through a museum. We could spend hours in front of each passage, picking apart all the influences and nuances of meaning, the historical settings and the authorial intent(s). I suppose we could also create [Read More…]