Parenting Children Who Still Believe

Most fathers enjoy the luxury of sharing their beliefs with their own children unguarded, without fear of reprisal. It’s the kind of entitlement you hardly even notice until it is taken away. Back in the charmed early days of parenting each of my four beautiful daughters, I enjoyed that luxury myself. But our family dynamic eventually [Read More…]

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…]

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…]

But What If You’re Wrong? A Response to a Christian Pastor

During any given week, I have a number of conversations ongoing with inquisitive folks who read the blog and want either to send me encouragement or else to challenge me to reconsider my disbelief in their religion. From time to time I like to share a sample of those conversations with the rest of you [Read More…]

I’m Not Going to Heaven, and I Don’t Care

Shortly after graduation, I went to visit my mother for a week. During this time, we each had a couple beers and discussed religion—I say discussed, but we barely broke the surface out of mutual desire to avoid an argument. At one point, my mother asked me, “If I died right now, you’d be fine [Read More…]

The Evolution of Hell (and Why We’re Still Not Buying It)

Growing up in an evangelical church I was taught that no matter what it is you want or need, God himself is the answer.  You need comfort or security? God is where you get it.  You want guidance or companionship?  God is there for you.  You need discipline?  Affection?  Wisdom? God, God, God.  It reminds [Read More…]

Hell 2.0: Same Eternal Punishment, Now With Fewer Flames!

Are you tired of angry fundamentalist preachers spewing forth condemnation and judgment in the name of your faith?  Are you fed up with people being turned off by threats of never-ending torture in everlasting flames?  If so, have we got the thing for you! This isn’t your grandmother’s hellfire and brimstone, no sir.  This new Hell [Read More…]

You’re (Not) Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone?

Dear (family member), I know it upsets you that my beliefs have changed. I no longer identify with the faith in which you raised me, and perhaps this brings you shame because you are inclined to assume personal responsibility for the direction my life takes. Maybe it even feels to you like a personal betrayal.  It’s not, by [Read More…]

It’s a Religion Too, Not Just a Relationship

I spent 20 years devoting my life to the Christian faith, and during most of those years I wholeheartedly believed I was in a “relationship, not a religion.” I was taught to see the Christian faith as unique, exceptional, and so much better than all those foreign religions and cults out there because theirs were [Read More…]

Why I Reject Hell and Why You Should, Too

I have lost my patience with this Hell business.  Completely.  Not too long ago, a reader wrote me this note: “I was raised a fundamentalist, I took my faith very seriously, and I took it so seriously that eventually it all just disappeared. It couldn’t handle the contrary evidence, and eventually it just fell away. [Read More…]