How Dan Fincke Deconverted

Dan Fincke of Camels with Hammers has been writing an ongoing series about his deconversion from evangelical Christianity to atheism. While it’s long, it’s quite good, because Dan takes the time to really analyze what challenged his faith, how he fought to keep it, and how and why he eventually found he could not hold onto it. Dan explains why he writes about his deconversion as follows:

As with other evangelicals, my story of deconversion is in part about proving the sincerity of my unbelief. I aim to make clear to Christians that I was one of them, that all my life was willingly committed to their God and that all my emotions were on the side of their God when my intellect was dissuaded against my will. I was not, as much as they want to assume, looking to leave Christianity, biased against Christianity, unable or unwilling to dutifully follow the rules of Christianity, disposed against the God of Christianity, unfamiliar with the most sophisticated philosophical or theological versions of Christianity, or unfamiliar with how how wonderful Christians or Christian community could be. I had been there, done that, and despite wanting nothing more than to believe, I had found that I could no longer believe–either rationally or ethically. The best arguments for the faith had failed. The best arguments against it were overwhelming. And as a matter of intellectual and moral conscience, I could no longer believe fantastic claims that had the preponderance of rational evidence stacked overwhelmingly against them. I deconverted against my will.

What’s most interesting about Dan’s story, I think, is just how devout and zealous he was as a child, teen, and young adult. He even created and ran a Christian newspaper in his public school at one point, and at another point he worked as a counselor at a Christian summer camp. He also went to an evangelical college, which is where his faith began to fall apart.

For more of Dan’s story, take a look at the links below. They can either be read separately or in order as a continuing story. If you don’t have time now, you can always bookmark this page and come back to it.

Before I Deconverted:

Before I Deconverted: My Christian Childhood

Before I Deconverted: Ministers As Powerful Role Models

My Fundamentalist Preacher Brother, His Kids, And Me (And “What To Do About One’s Religiously Raised Nieces and Nephews”)

Before I Deconverted: I Was A Teenage Christian Contrarian

Before I Deconverted, I Already Believed in Equality Between the Sexes

Love Virginity

Before I Deconverted: I Dabbled with Calvinism in College (Everyone Was Doing It)

How Evangelicals Can Be Very Hurtful Without Being Very Hateful

Before I Deconverted: My Grandfather’s Contempt

How I Deconverted:

How I Deconverted, It Started With Humean Skepticism

How I Deconverted, I Became A Christian Relativist

How I Deconverted: December 8, 1997

How I Deconverted: I Made A Kierkegaardian Leap of Faith

How I Deconverted: My Closest, and Seemingly “Holiest”, Friend Came Out As Gay

How I Deconverted: My Closeted Best Friend Became A Nihilist and Turned Suicidal

How I Deconverted: Nietzsche Caused A Gestalt Shift For Me (But Didn’t Inspire “Faith”)

As I Deconverted: I Spent A Summer As A Christian Camp Counselor Fighting Back Doubts

How I Deconverted: I Ultimately Failed to Find Reality In Abstractions

A Postmortem on my Deconversion: Was it that I just didn’t love Jesus enough?

When I Deconverted:

When I Deconverted: I Was Reading Nietzsche’s “Anti-Christ”, Section 50

When I Deconverted: I Had Been Devout And Was Surrounded By The Devout

When I Deconverted: Some People Felt Betrayed

When I Deconverted: My Closest Christian Philosopher Friends Remained My Closest Philosophical Brothers

When I Deconverted: I Was Not Alone

When I Deconverted: Some Anger Built Up

When I Deconverted: I Sure Could Have Used The Secular Student Alliance

The Philosophical Key To My Deconversion:

Apostasy As A Religious Act (Or “Why A Camel Hammers the Idols of Faith”)

After I Deconverted:

After I Deconverted: I Was A Radical Skeptic, Irrationalist, And Nihilist—But Felt Liberated

After My Deconversion: I Refuse to Let Christians Judge Me

After My Deconversion: My Nietzschean Lion Stage of Liberating Indignant Rage

On Intersectionality and Bibles in Hotel Rooms
Evangelical Author Shaunti Feldhahn's Misleading Work on Marriage and Divorce
Dear Adam: Being Gay Is Not Just about Sex
When Love Is Abuse
About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.


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