Finding Good Without God

This weekend after watching one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies with me, my daughter turned to me and asked, “How does that compass work, anyway? I mean, what does it DO?” I explained to her that it works by leading you, not in a cardinal direction, but by showing you the way to whatever [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 [Read More…]

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…]

Are Human Beings Fundamentally Wicked?

This morning I saw a man on his morning jog stopping to pick up a broken beer bottle off the side of the street along with several other tiny pieces of glass that had broken off. It wasn’t even in his own yard, but he interrupted his run anyway in order to grab the sharp [Read More…]

Groundhog Day: Finding Purpose Even If There’s No Tomorrow

February 2nd is upon us, which means it’s time once again to talk about one of my favorite movies of all time: Groundhog Day. Few movies have stimulated as much philosophical and theological debate as this one has.  There’s so much that could be said—and already has been said—about this movie.  About a decade after the movie’s release, [Read More…]

Straw Skepticism in Tim Keller’s “The Reason for God”

I simply cannot take seriously a book which misrepresents my own views as consistently as does Tim Keller‘s The Reason for God.  I am only on chapter three and already I’ve encountered enough straw men and red herrings to make me want to quit reading. And I haven’t even gotten to chapter four, which is [Read More…]

Selection Bias and the Christian View of History

Tim Keller must read history through a highly specialized pair of lenses, because what he sees when he looks back is very different from what I see. In the first chapter of his book The Reason for God (see my treatment of his introduction here), Keller introduces two or three lines of argumentation which he will [Read More…]

How Can Atheists Have Morals? (part one)

When someone asks me “How can atheists have morals?” he is typically doing one of two things: 1) He may be genuinely trying to understand how I can make moral decisions without believing in a transcendent, supernatural Lawgiver because he’s never given it much thought, or 2) he is not genuinely trying to understand me but rather is picking a fight, challenging me and accusing me of holding [Read More…]

The Day an Atheist Got Interviewed at a Church in Mississippi

Last year I got the opportunity to be interviewed in a Church of Christ in Jackson, Mississippi for the aptly named Interview an Atheist at Church Day.  The talk went really well and the church was very warm and welcoming.  Most churches in my area would not be amenable (heh) to something like this, but [Read More…]

Father Abraham Had Many Psychoses

It’s funny how you can read a story or watch a movie at two different times in your life and see it in two completely different lights each time.  The second time around, you notice things you never would have caught before.  I recently watched a favorite Bond movie and found myself saying, “Were his [Read More…]