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 different from what skeptics want when they use the word. A while back I had a prolonged (and I might add enjoyable) discussion about this… Read more

Maybe Fighting God Isn’t the Point

Not every development in human evolution serves to perpetuate the species. Not every variation benefits us in more ways than it harms us. There ultimately is no rhyme or reason to what happens from moment to moment—there is only order in what remains over the long haul because only those things beneficial to the preservation and propagation of the species get transmitted down to future generations. Religion is one of those things, and it is my growing suspicion that religion (and more… 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 God with hearts full of expectation, asking him to do the very things he said in the Bible that he wanted us to ask him… 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 unconfessed sin in our lives, or whatever. Maybe we just didn’t go to the right kind of church, or we read from the wrong version… 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 (good or bad) of getting rid of them. What follows are excerpts which relay the gist of what he had to say. Where Do You… 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 their anxious mother, their racist uncle, or their well-meaning friend from high school days who truly believes the Illuminati are conspiring to wipe out 95%… Read more

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 have transpired since leaving it). Considering the sheer volume of emotional background noise these elements generate around my daily existence, I think I do a… 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 he feels it is unforgivable to let a day pass without verbally acknowledging one’s debt to his country. But that’s not the weirdest thing about… 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 plans I have for you, declares the Lord…” I know these verses continue to top those charts both because I still have a plethora of Christian friends… Read more

Camp Quest Is Coming to Mississippi!

If you know anything about camps in the region of the country where I live, you know that they’re almost uniformly religious in nature. Even the ones which conceal their religious affiliations tend to recruit from among the devout from whichever tradition the directors inhabit…which is fine, if that’s what you’re looking for. But what about kids who are non-religious? Who will provide a camp experience for them, where they won’t be viewed as prospects for conversion or rededication or whatever?… Read more

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