Minister Announces on Internet What Many Ministers Secretly Believe

John Shuck pic

3/24/15 **Update**  John Shuck wrote a response to the Friendly Atheist blog on his own blog By Linda LaScola People over at the Friendly Atheist blog have gone crazy over the post written by Clergy Project member and Presbyterian minister, John Shuck.  As I write this, there are almost 900 comments. Maybe it’s because the [Read More...]

Is American Christianity Dying?


Editor’s Note: As a follow-up to the discussion between two dedicated but not hopeful Christians, an ex-pastor does a detailed analysis of the decline of Christianity – and this is before the recent bad news from the Public Religion Research Institute. Reprinted with permission from ======================== By Jim Mulholland In the book The Biological Evolution of the [Read More...]

Two Public Christians are Down on the Future of Faith


Editor’s Note: There’s been a lot lately about continuing indications of the decline of Christianity. We’ll be talking about that this week, starting with this review of a 2012 seminar held by and for liberal Christians. ========================= By Catherine Dunphy One of the joys of working with Patheos is that I am always being introduced [Read More...]

Clergy Doubt # 11: This Ex-Nun Didn’t Doubt for Long


Editor’s Note: I recently met this ex-nun and Clergy Project member and asked her to participate in our series on clergy doubt. Unlike many clergy who deny and compartmentalize their doubts for years, her switch from faith to non-belief happened rather suddenly.                      ======================== By Carolyn Clark 1. What caused you to start seriously doubting [Read More...]

Clergy Doubt #10: He Tried his Damnedest to Believe and Now Wants Out


Editor’s Note: This active minister and Clergy Project member shares his poignant story of sincere attempts to believe, mental anguish, his surrender to non-belief and his determination to get out of his predicament. ========================= By “Stan Bennett” 1. What caused you to start seriously doubting your faith? I think it was somewhere in my tenth [Read More...]

Clergy Doubt # 9: Retired Episcopal Priest Believes All Nature is Sacred


Editor’s Note: Caroline Fairless, like the Catholic Catherine Dunphy, preferred to respond to my “doubt” questions in free form. And like the previous former liberal Christian minister, Chris Highland, she is most at home in the natural world. Her concept of religion does not include “god talk.”  Update, 9:55 AM EST 3/6/15 – slight title [Read More...]

Jesus: Human or Supernatural? The Liberal/Conservative Divide


By Linda LaScola Wow, are conservative and liberal clergy ever different when they think about Jesus!  This is especially evident when exploring how clergy doubts grow into disbelief. Speaking from the perspective of a researcher who is very familiar with the differences between liberals and conservatives, I’d say that many former conservative Christians are simply [Read More...]

Clergy Doubt #8 – Liberal Presbyterianism “Naturally” Leads away from Supernatural Beliefs

Editor’s Note: This is the first of two liberal clergy who discuss their move away from religious faith. While we’ve noted a trend of increased liberalism as clergy doubts grow into disbelief, it’s also important to note that some clergy start out liberal-minded and their seminary studies and their denominations encourage it. For them, the [Read More...]

Clergy Doubt # 7: Catholic Church Sex Scandals Ultimately Lead to Disbelief

Catholic  bible- rosary

Editor’s Note: This former Catholic parish priest  lived his vocation intensely and just as intensely decried the abuses he found in the Church as he became more involved and knowledgeable. Like Mary Johnson, the nun, his transition was not complete until after he left religious life. He is the last in our series of four Roman [Read More...]

Clergy Doubt #6: Catholic Seminary Leads to the “Exhilaration of Knowing”

Editor’s Note: Instead of responding directly to the questions I posed, this Roman Catholic seminary grad addresses her experiences with doubt in free form. In my opinion, it’s somewhat reminiscent of Catholic mystics — and quite refreshing to see this style applied to earthly reality instead of divine imagining. ========================  By Catherine Dunphy Doubt – [Read More...]