May 10, 2020

When I was in college and seminary, my professors were always sounding the alarm over the postmodern condition, warning us that the loss of a central guiding “worldview” in America would produce culture wars in which every group and cultural identity would spar with each other, fighting for greater control of the public sphere. Then would come, I suppose, the collapse of “western” civilization and maybe even of democracy itself. They were always harping on “the loss of truth,” by… Read more

April 9, 2020

I think I’ve finally put my finger on what’s beneath my frustration with my fellow Southerners during this global pandemic—I mean besides the mortal peril into which their continued science denialism is putting us all, both in the short term (see COVID-19) and in the long (see climate change). I was already exasperated with their undying devotion to Donald Trump, a man whom they they despised right up until the moment he became the official nominee for God’s Own Party…. Read more

March 5, 2020

As you may already know, last night President Trump phoned in an interview to Hannity and brazenly disagreed with the World Health Organization about the fatality rate of the latest global health threat, the COVID-19 virus. Viewing the appearance of the Coronavirus as more of a public relations issue than as a matter of public health, Trump takes personally any negative talk about American preparedness for dealing with the current spread of the disease. You can look at the numbers yourself. As of… Read more

February 28, 2020

While finally cleaning out a room that I swore three years ago would become a study, I happened upon a booklet from my house church days entitled How to Have a Brothers’ Meeting. It’s just a photocopied transcript of a series of talks given by our group’s founder, Gene Edwards, addressing a handful of internal issues that tend to develop in a group like ours. The Lost Years In retrospect, it’s odd that I’ve never written about my involvement in… Read more

February 11, 2020

If you’re younger than 30, you likely have a list of favorite YouTube channels that you follow. Chances are also good that one of them is Good Mythical Morning featuring Link Neal and Rhett McLaughlin. I’ll confess I haven’t watched a ton of their stuff, but that’s mostly because I don’t watch much YouTube at all. Watching people eat bugs and murderously hot peppers isn’t really my thing, but it’s a different story for my kids. As it is also, evidently,… Read more

February 7, 2020

I kept my deconversion a secret for nearly four years, but after being “outed” against my will I decided to go ahead and own it. Soon after, I began thinking about starting a blog to unpack my thoughts about faith and skepticism out loud for the benefit of others, and that’s when I read on the Friendly Atheist that people were organizing an Interview an Atheist at Church Day. I wanted in. [ iTunes | spreaker | youtube | pdf ]… Read more

February 2, 2020

Groundhog Day has become like a personal religious holiday for me. Around this time every year, I break out my well-worn copy of the Bill Murray classic by the same name and watch it again to relive my most consistent fantasy: Going back in time to undo the mistakes of the past and learn from them, at last. If only real life were so generous. I’ve already written about how this movie takes a Buddhist perspective on life and weaves… Read more

January 31, 2020

Back in the 7th grade I got invited to a weekend-long retreat put on by my church in homes scattered all over the city. It was still the mid-1980s, and the Cold War had not yet fizzled out, so we were still obsessed with whether or not the Russians were going to nuke us, a fact which preachers and evangelists exploited relentlessly. The youth minister who led our Bible study that weekend was just such a fellow. [ iTunes | spreaker | youtube | pdf ] As… Read more

January 22, 2020

It never fails that every time I try to deconstruct the traditional Christian concept of eternal conscious torment, someone chimes in to tell me the church has either never really believed in it, or else they got it wrong all those centuries. The correct version of Hell, they inform me, is the “outer darkness” version in which people just get isolated from everyone and everything, almost like a cosmic-sized sensory deprivation chamber. [ iTunes | spreaker | youtube | pdf ] Call… Read more

January 16, 2020

SCHOOL’S BACK IN SESSION, and yours truly has been buried under a gigantic pile of grading, ACT prep, and family trips for the last several weeks. But the time has come to dive back into putting out podcast episodes (about halfway through now) and working on a couple of manuscripts. The first manuscript is essentially done and will be a self-published anthology of the posts making up the current podcast series. The second will be a kind of counterapologetics book… Read more

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