The Dark Side of Grace

People who are in abusive relationships learn to see themselves as “lucky” for having their abusers in their lives. How is that possible, you ask? The dynamic is really easy to explain. No matter how tough or powerful they may seem, abusive people tend to be deeply insecure. Consequently, they spend a great deal of time and energy tearing down [Read More…]

Dear Church, You’re Weird

This past weekend I did something I haven’t done in nearly six years: I attended Sunday morning worship at my family’s church. On Easter, no less. It was an interesting experience. I came away from that experience with a number of strong impressions, and I’d like to share them with you because I feel something can be learned from [Read More…]

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 [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 [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…]

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 [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…]

To the Man Handing Out Bibles at School This Week

To the nice old man who handed out Bibles this week at the school where I teach: Dear Sir, I want to thank you for giving out these little orange books you brought with you to our school campus this week. It’s not that often I am handed a free book, and at a government-owned [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…]