A Year of Atheism?

So the adjunct professor wants to join the all-too-gamey version of recording one’s religious experiments. One becomes what one worships. One is shaped by what one reads. One is formed by what one participates in. To participate in atheism is to become atheist. His move both abandons trust and relationship with God and enters into the absence and denial of God (isn’t that what atheism is?), and both moves will form him.

It is one thing to process one’s doubts; it is another to deny God for a year to see what it is like. This is the height of folly.

It’s like saying, “I’ll live this year unmarried to see what it is like.”

I like what Laura Turner writes at CT:

Bell draws several conclusions about his firing, namely that:

  • “Religions institutions (Christian, in my case) are not able to endure these probing questions from their public leaders.”
  • “Christian educational institutions are not serving their students by eliminating professors that are on an honest intellectual and spiritual journey, just because it doesn’t line up with the official statement of faith.”

To pretend that living a public year of practical atheism is the same thing as a “probing question,” is willful ignorance at best. And his second conclusion is simply not in good faith, assuming bad motives of these Christian institutions without exploring his own.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.


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