My Weekend at the World Humanist Congress, Oxford, UK

Editor’s Note:  Catherine Dunphy, Clergy Project member and operations manager of this blog, shares her enthusiasm about her recent experience with humanists from around the world.                                                           [Read More...]

Lesson #5 in Vacation Bible School: Paul Never Quotes Jesus

(Originally published 11/11/11, by Mike Aus, aka, paganpreacher) Editor’s Note:  Here Mike questions how the Apostle Paul can know what Jesus said at The Last Supper if he wasn’t there. ==================== Here’s another oddity of the Bible that Christians hardly ever mention, and apparently it doesn’t bother many people.  But it has sure bothered me [Read More...]

Lesson #4 in Vacation Bible School – Tweaking the Translation Alters the Meaning

(Originally published 2/16/12, by Mike Aus, aka paganpreacher) Editor’s Note: This is the sequel to “Dishonest Bible Translations” in which Mike Aus, a nondenominational pastor at the time he wrote it, points out an additional instance in which a biblical translation makes a big difference in the originally intended meaning. ==================== The Old Testament prophet [Read More...]

Lesson #3 in Vacation Bible School: Dishonest Bible Translations

(Originally published 2/15/12, by Mike Aus, aka paganpreacher) Editor’s Note: In this post, several Bible verses are used as illustrations of how meanings can be easily manipulated, mistranslated and misunderstood. ==================== Translating the Bible is a tricky and imprecise process which allows ample room for translators and Bible publishers to insert their particular theological agendas.  [Read More...]

Lesson #2 in Vacation Bible School: Good Reasons to Read the Bible

(Originally published 8/12/12 by paganpreacher, aka Mike Aus) Editor’s Note: The second lesson in this series was written over a year after the first one featured in this series, and several months after Mike “came out” atheist.  Here he uses several Bible verses to show how meanings can be easily manipulated, mistranslated and misunderstood. ==================== [Read More...]

Welcome to Vacation Bible School – Rational Doubt Version

Editor’s Note: For the next few weeks, in keeping with a long-standing tradition of vacation bible school, Rational Doubt will be featuring blog posts by Mike Aus, former Lutheran and nondenominational pastor and current humanist community leader. Mike has given permission to reprint posts from his paganpreacher blog, which he started writing in 2011 as [Read More...]

Presbyterians: Please Confront Reality and Embrace Evolutionary Science

Editor’s Note:  After writing about Rev. John Shuck’s efforts regarding Evolution Sunday last week, I invited him to speak for himself – and he did!  Please read what he has to say.  I think he’s the future of the liberal church –if the church has a future. ================================  I am a minister in the Presbyterian [Read More...]

Seminary or Cemetery?

Editor’s Note: In his second post, Chris Highland tells us how graduate-level theological study eroded his faith. He is not alone: it’s a well-known saying among seminarians that seminary is the place “where faith goes to die.” =========================== When I entered seminary 35 years ago, little did I know that I was also entering a [Read More...]

Ask an Atheist Ex-Pastor – What about Me and Grandma in Heaven?

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our first “Ask an Atheist Ex-Pastor” column. “Dave” will answer religion questions you always wanted the answers to, but were afraid to ask (like mine below), Even better, Dave will give you straight answers you never got when you did ask your pastor.  Dave’s sensitive and serious answer to my question [Read More...]

Ask an Atheist Ex-Pastor – And He Will Answer

Editor’s Note: Dave, an atheist ex-Pastor with a “coming-out” book coming out in the fall, introduces a new feature on Rational Doubt.  If you have a question for Dave, please email him at askanexpastor [at] gmail [dot] com.  Check the Ask an Atheist Ex-Pastor tab above for answers to questions asked by doubting lay people [Read More...]