An Open Letter to the President of Pacific Union College


Dear Dr. Heather Knight,I was disappointed to learn this morning that I was dis-invited from the lecture I was to deliver to the Pacific Union College Psychology and Social Work students this Thursday for their Colloquium (PSYC/SOWK 394). As much as I would like to have heard this decision from you directly, it was nice to speak with Dr. Nancy Lecourt. As you may know, she was my English professor when I was a student at PUC in 1989. In those days I was extremely conservative and even … [Read more...]

The religious life of Joe Biden

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I can count on one hand the times that a politician has brought me to tears. This interview, which many of you will have no doubt already seen, is one. Vice President Joe Biden’s obviously genuine responses to Stephen Colbert’s very personal questions about the recent death of his son, Beau, and the loss of his first wife and their daughter was visceral and moving.What struck me most of all, however, is the way both men talked about their Catholicism. For years we’ve heard about Colbe … [Read more...]

Being an atheist in Bangladesh


The world was horrified again when third secular blogger - Ananta Bijoy Das - was murdered in a machete attack earlier this week. For the past month I have been corresponding with a courageous young atheist man in Bangladesh named Dean. He sent me his story and his appeal for tolerance and a return to the democratic ideals upon which his nation was founded. I and others are deeply concerned by what seems to be an organized "hit list" of secular bloggers. I am currently researching ways that the … [Read more...]

Having doubts? Just stop it!

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I used to follow Christian author, Frank Viola, a little bit when I was a pastor and a graduate student. I never really cared much for what he was saying. I quoted him in my dissertation but not favorably. Today I received his occasional email update. I can't remember the last time I read one of these but for some reason today I did and this is what he said right off the top: Hey Friends, Frank V. here. Last month I wrote a blog post that went viral called "The Crisis of Faith." In it, I … [Read more...]

All aboard the via negative

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On Saturday, I wrote on my Facebook page,Some take the via negativa and arrive at a number of versions of theism. Some hold on to nothing more than an echo of God. Others, like myself, take it to the last stop and realize there is no God at all and that God was always the echo of our own voices.This comment generated quite a little conversation over there. Someone felt I was being over-confident about my destination because, among other things, I referred to atheism as the "last stop." … [Read more...]

When criticism becomes harmful

mackintosh article

I've had my share of critics over the past 13 months or so. To recap, in case you haven't been keep score at home, there have been outspoken critics from both sides. Initially, atheists were highly skeptical of my intentions. From where I stand now I really understand why. They were just doing their job, being good skeptics. I'd probably look on my former self skeptically, too. Some went a good ways beyond skepticism to being cruel and ungracious. Even then I've tried to understand why a person … [Read more...]