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...]

Why Frank Schaeffer is a Christian who has doubts about God’s existence, like everyone else


I first heard of Frank Schaeffer’s latest book, Why I Am An Atheist Who Believes in God, when he posted an image of the cover on Facebook and solicited feedback. Because my Newsfeed is now pretty evenly divided amongst ‘people of faith’ (mostly Christians, many Jews and a few Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists) and atheists, the results could not have been more split—strongly worded opinions in polar opposite directions. The Christians thought it was brilliant and couldn’t wait to read it. The atheist … [Read more...]

From where will our salvation come?


It’s remarkable how quickly my interest has shifted from the single question of whether God exists—or doesn’t ‘exist’—to issues of much greater, practical concern. This is not to say that the answer to the God question is irrelevant or inconsequential. In fact I think it is deeply consequential. It just isn’t ultimate in the sense of most important or the question at the bottom of all questions the way most theists (and many atheists) think it is. This in and of itself is probably worth a separat … [Read more...]