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…]

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…]

How the Bible Views Humanity (and How to Get Over It)

The Bible’s estimation of human nature is very, very low. If you were raised in an evangelical Christian setting, you learned how to dress it up and make it sound gracious and forgiving. You learned how to sugar coat the condemnation heaped upon humanity by the biblical writers, making very bad news somehow sound like [Read More…]

Why I Believed the Bible for As Long As I Did

If you can make people feel something strongly, changing the way they think becomes a piece of cake. [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…]

Are We All Born Atheists?

During an interview last night for an upcoming documentary on atheism in America, I was asked to tell the story of my deconversion. I get that question a lot, so I’m pretty accustomed to explaining how I got here. Only this time there was a bit of a polemical twist to the wording of the [Read More…]

Deconstructing the End of the World

Back when I was in junior high I got invited to a weekend-long retreat that my church put on called Disciple Now! Given the evangelical church’s relentless obsession with branding (“Makin’ Jesus kewl since Century One!”), they’ve since changed the name of the retreat in a rather futile attempt to obfuscate the religiousness of the [Read More…]

Paul, the True Founder of Christianity

When I was in college I used to get so perturbed by my Bible professors because they all seemed so annoyingly liberal. It was a shock to my system, since I grew up Southern Baptist and since the school I was attending was a Baptist college as well. Our religion professors were far more liberal than any [Read More…]

What Does the Bible Say About Abortion?

When evangelical Christians first began debating the issue of abortion, they were nowhere near as unified about the topic as they appear to be today. Shortly after the Supreme Court made their landmark decision on the issue in Roe v. Wade (1973), influential Baptist minister W.A. Criswell, pastor of First Baptist in Dallas, TX, and predecessor to [Read More…]