Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi and the importance of religious reform


The selection of Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi as co-recipients of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize was widely hailed as a victory for the human rights of children, and especially girls. I was personally thrilled with the choice, having been charmed by Malala’s many interviews following the publication of her autobiography, I Am Malala. I am also happy to learn of Kailash Satyarthi and his three decades of work to end child slavery in India. I and many of my friends are deeply committed to t … [Read more...]

Watch me unravel

unraveled yarn

The unraveling of one’s worldview is a tricky thing. Throughout this year I have wondered where the unraveling will end. My experience often brings to mind the very first single released by Weezer called, “Undone (The Sweater Song).” If you want to destroy my sweater Hold this thread as I walk away Watch me unravel, I'll soon be naked Lying on the floor (lying on the floor) I've come undone Am I going to find myself completely undone? Lying on the floor, just a pile of thread?This song … [Read more...]

Punch Thy Neighbor

Fight Church

I went through my share of fights as a pastor: battles with stubborn church board members more interested in preserving the status quo than moving the church forward into the 21st century; fights with denominational hierarchy about my doctrinal bona fides. But that's not what the pastors featured in this documentary mean by church fights. They're talking about literal cage matches, mixed martial arts, and brutal street fighting.Out on DVD and video on demand platforms like iTunes and Am … [Read more...]

Waking Up: A Review


In the preface of Sam Harris’ new book, Waking Up, out today from Simon & Schuster, he tells us, his readers, that this is the book he’s wanted to write for more than a decade. It is almost as though his earlier books were so much brush clearing to give him the time and space to write this book, which I suspect will come to be regarded as vintage Sam Harris. After all, he has given his entire life, not only to the research behind this book, but to the personal practice of the things he is spe … [Read more...]

Philosophy of Religion: who needs it?

Dan Fincke2

Last month, John Loftus called for an end to the Philoshopy of Religion as a discipline taught in secular universities. This led, in the comments section, to overwrought declarations that philosophy as a whole, is a waste of time. I was surprised to see someone like Loftus call for this moratorium because it was, in large part, philosophy of religion, that got me to where I am today, questioning the validity and utility of religion and a faith-based approach to life. In fact, I am made the exact … [Read more...]

Atheism is like trying hard drugs, right?


It's always interesting when someone new, or an entire group of new people, discover my journey. The conversation starts all over. How does someone "try on" atheism?You either believe or you don't!Is he trying to trick believers or atheists?What a jerk! It's fun to be able to smile and send folks the link to my blog now. The way I've described my journey has evolved over the months, but I'm still completely happy with the "try on" metaphor. I did put it in quotes to indicate that … [Read more...]