The Parable of the Undercover Boss

The following is a guest post by Matthew Henry Faraday.Whenever a theologian talks about how beautiful it is that Christ came to earth and died, not to appease God's wrath, but instead, as the image of God who suffers with us, even to the point of death on the cross, I imagine that, if it were real, it would be the worst episode of Undercover Boss ever.So, this is my parable...A fork lift driver, let's call him "Joe", has the worst job at Megacorp. He works hard hours and tons of … [Read more...]

A Human(ist) Revolution

Several of the ideas in this piece were hashed out in conversations with two friends: Cass Midgley and Matthew Faraday. I am indebted to their thoughtful insights in developing this piece. Any shortcomings are my responsibility alone.There is a piece being circulated widely in the past few days which appeared in the Opinion pages of the New York Times on Christmas Day. It is entitled, “The Christmas Revolution,” and makes the case that much of what can be considered secular humanist values ha … [Read more...]

The empty promise of eternal life

One of the perpetual challenges I get from Christians about my new non-belief in the supernatural is the impact this has on life's present meaning, especially absent any universal, external, "objective" value anchored or the eternal nature of the Christian promise.I have thrilled in the past few days to read Philip Kitcher's new book, Life After Faith: The Case for Secular Humanism (Yale 2015). It's few pages and unassuming title belie a challenging and sometimes technical read. Still, it is … [Read more...]

How gods are born and borne in human culture and cognition

One of the most fruitful ongoing conversations I've had over the past two years has been with LeRon Shults. We recently met up in Newport Beach where he was attending the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.LeRon is Professor of Theology and Philosophy at the University of Agder, Norway, the author of Theology After the Birth of God: Atheist Conceptions in Cognition and Culture, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for the Bio-Cultural Study of … [Read more...]

Jeremy Neill’s God is the deus ex machina

RYGER / Shutterstock.comThis post is part of a new feature from Patheos called Head to Head where our best minds debate the big questions of the day. This week, I am debating the Evangelical Channel’s Jeremy Neill of "Everyday Ethics". The question: does emphasizing the incomprehensible nature of god become an expression of atheism? Or put simply does religious faith require a personal God? This topic was brought to us by James F. McGrath. You can see James’ thoughts at his blog, Expl … [Read more...]

My response to Jeremy Neill’s “A God Who Love and Cares”

RYGER / Shutterstock.comThis post is part of a new feature from Patheos called Head to Head where our best minds debate the big questions of the day. This week, I am debating the Evangelical Channel’s Jeremy Neill of "Everyday Ethics". The question: does emphasizing the incomprehensible nature of god become an expression of atheism? Or put simply does religious faith require a personal God? This topic was brought to us by James F. McGrath. You can see James’ thoughts at his blog, Expl … [Read more...]