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…]

The Real Roots of Our Beliefs

Do you find it frustrating to talk to religious people about their beliefs? Nonreligious people often have a hard time understanding their devout counterparts, so they engage them in the kinds of conversations that are meant to tease out the intellectual nuances in what they believe in order to better understand them. It doesn’t take [Read More…]

Interview: Ten Questions for Atheists About Christianity

My friend and Patheos colleague, Amber Barnhill, was approached by a student from a local Bible college for an interview. She had a list of questions to ask her for a project she is working on, and Amber decided to pass them along for the rest of us to chew on. The interviewer explained: “It’s all aimed at [Read More…]

Why I Am (Still) Not an Anti-Theist

I’ve considered myself an atheist for nearly seven years now and have been openly writing about it for the last three of them. In my very first “coming out” talk (video here) I made a point at the end of saying that “not all atheists are anti-theists,” and I probably got more grief for that [Read More…]

Why Does Apostasy Hurt Some More Than Others?

I’ve had this idea rolling around in my head for some time, and I’d like to take a straw poll with my readers to see if I’m onto something or if I’m just imagining things. I’ve noticed that many of my post-theistic friends have horror stories to tell about how their families and communities responded to [Read More…]

C.S. Lewis and the Argument from Spilled Milk

I see a quote from C.S. Lewis circulated quite a bit, and I’d like to give my response to the argument it presents. Perhaps when I am done explaining what’s wrong with it, you will start to see why Lewis admitted later in life that: Nothing is more dangerous to one’s own faith than the work [Read More…]

Does Everyone Worship Something, Even Atheists?

A reader who attends church for the benefit of her still-believing husband wrote me over the weekend, confessing how hard her eyes roll whenever the preacher says one of the following: “Everyone worships something, even atheists.” “An idol is anything that replaces God in your life.” Preachers really do love to say things like this, and this [Read More…]

A Conversation with My Younger Christian Self

Yesterday I frustrated a whole lot of readers by posting a guest post that started out well but took a nose dive before it even got halfway through. It was, quite frankly, terrible; and not so much because it was poorly written. What made it so awful was how much of it was written from [Read More…]

John Piper and the Art of Not Answering a Question

Anyone who has wrestled seriously with the Bible’s claim that we will all be judged after we die has at some point asked, “But what about those who will never hear of our religion?” Granted, some are so egocentric that they assume everyone everywhere has heard their religion’s spiel. But most reasonable people realize this is [Read More…]

When the In-Laws Try to Help

An online friend recounted a story this week, and it touched a nerve for me. He and his wife have been working through their differences since he became an atheist, and it sounds like they are making some progress, perhaps arriving at a few compromises. But anyone who has walked through this knows that the [Read More…]