May 11, 2021

It’s difficult for me to take a book seriously when it misrepresents my own views as consistently as does Tim Keller’s The Reason for God.  I am only on chapter three and already I’ve encountered enough straw men and red herrings to make me want to quit reading. The next chapter is the one that made my blood boil so badly I actually did have to put the thing away for a while. I’ll share that one tomorrow. Like every… Read more

May 10, 2021

Christian theology has wrestled since its inception with the problem of evil. Generally speaking, they believe that God is a being who is completely good, who is everywhere present all the time, who has all power, and who knows everything that has ever happened and everything that ever will. In other words he is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent. The last one is debatable, depending on whether or not you are a Calvinist, in which case you may believe God’s… Read more

May 9, 2021

Tim Keller must read history through a highly specialized pair of lenses, because what he sees when he looks back is very different from what I see. His version reminds me of those friends on social media whom I’d never recognize on the street because they never post a picture of themselves that isn’t so highly filtered it makes them look like a totally different person. In the first chapter of his book The Reason for God, Keller introduces two or… Read more

May 8, 2021

I don’t really care for apologetics books. It’s a tedious chore to make it all the way through them, and interacting with them is exhausting because for every single word it takes to put forth a bad argument it takes ten to properly debunk it. But in every decade there seems to be a favorite book which religious friends and family put into the hands of their doubting loved ones, and this particular decade that book appears to be Tim… Read more

May 7, 2021

The American Church has been feeling the loss of their cultural relevance, and they’re not taking it very well. It offends them deeply. The last thing they needed was to lose the social privilege they’ve enjoyed for so many generations they have become convinced it’s just the way things are supposed to be. As they say, when you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression. But without a means for feeding their persecution complex, they would lose one of the… Read more

April 3, 2021

Yesterday was “Good Friday,” and this time around I was struck with how Orwellian that sounds to someone on the outside of the Christian faith looking in. Strictly speaking, there never has been only one faith by that name, although when the weather is fair they do play nice enough to get along. But despite their many squabbles, they all seem to agree that this Friday is good, and they do so because they all believe that on this day… Read more

February 20, 2021

Why do so many evangelical Christians gravitate toward multi-level marketing schemes? Expatriates from the faith know exactly why:  because they’ve been training for them their whole lives. The evangelical Christian faith is itself a multi-level marketing scheme, and evangelism is its sales process. Of course, the stated goal of any MLM is the selling of its products—in this case, salvation—but those at the top of every pyramid know the secret: It’s never about the product itself; it’s always about bringing… Read more

February 2, 2021

We are not fallen angels but emerging beings. –Bishop Spong I’ve been trying for a while to boil down my chief objections to the faith of my youth, and I think I’ve settled on the metaphor that best sums it up. I’ve decided my greatest problem with the Christian faith isn’t its avoidance of responsibility for anything that goes wrong in the world, like, ever. It isn’t the martyrdom complex they can’t seem to shake no matter how much power… Read more

December 13, 2020

Around the time that American conservatives lurched overnight from hating Donald Trump to loving him, someone wrote that he wasn’t so much an anomaly as he was a revelation. As difficult as it was to accept, it turns out that plenty of people were happy to install the billionaire playboy as the 45th President of the United States. In fact, many of them are still trying to make it happen again even after he lost this year’s election by more than… Read more

September 21, 2020

A younger friend recently told me she knows a number of guy friends who don’t care much for female artists. “Any female artists?” I asked her. “Any,” she replied, as if there’s something fundamental to being female that makes one less capable of making good art. I found this difficult to absorb. How could anyone believe that? Thinking back through the list of those authors, singers, speakers, and general opinion sharers from whom I’ve personally benefited over the years while… Read more

Browse Our Archives