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…]

Losing Your Religion and Finding Yourself Again

I’m gonna level with you. I’ve been struggling lately. Most days I do my best to look at the big picture, to take the high road, and to find the longest view of religion I can manage despite the baggage I’ve accumulated from my years within the walls of the church (plus the years that [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…]

How Do You Measure the Worth of a Man?

How do you measure the worth of a man? I know you’re supposed to say that all human life is valuable, and I’m not disputing that. Human life, indeed all life from where I sit, is inherently valuable because life is fleeting and therefore precious. In fact, life itself is a “natural miracle” in the [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…]

So Long, Self: How Christianity Teaches You to Hate Yourself

One of the great joys of living in the Bible Belt is that you can hear Christian music played overhead almost anywhere you go. Just last weekend I had to make stops at a coffee shop, a gym, a fried chicken place, a doughnut place (I know, the irony), a clinic office, and a pharmacy, and [Read More…]

Evangelical Christianity and Low Self-Esteem

Like most swimmers, I try to get in some laps almost every day, but there is only one health club with a pool within decent driving distance from where I live. It doesn’t call itself a Christian gym, but it plays primarily Christian music overhead, holds prayer meetings and Bible studies, and incidentally it also [Read More…]

Anti-human Theology: Learning to Hate Yourself

I have a confession to make.  I still struggle with a deep self-hatred which I inherited from my Christian upbringing.  It’s been nearly five years now since I “broke up with Jesus” and yet after all this time I still have this unhealthy undercurrent pulling me down, making me think less of myself than I should.  [Read More…]

Evangelical Christianity and Low Self-Esteem

Like most swimmers, I try to get in some laps almost every day, but there is only one health club with a pool within decent driving distance from where I live. It doesn’t call itself a Christian gym, but it plays primarily Christian music overhead, holds prayer meetings and Bible studies, and incidentally it also [Read More…]

In Praise of Social Networks

I tend to be hard on myself.  I’ve never understood people who nurse high views of themselves because for me my flaws are always front and center.  Some of that is natural to my own psychological make-up.  It’s typical for an introspective, reflective person.   But some of that came from the version of the [Read More…]