June 17, 2019

I visited another local church yesterday, and as usual it left me with some…thoughts. Friends on social media seem a bit perturbed that I keep doing this to myself, but I have good reasons for it. My family is one of many torn apart by the culture wars that have been driving wedges between loved ones for decades now, so perhaps you could think of this as opposition research. Had we not been evangelical Christians, I suspect we could have… Read more

May 26, 2019

As a left-leaning atheist living in the most religious state in America, I stay keenly aware that those around me judge me on a value scale very different from my own. People around me see faith as a virtue, and many of them put it above all other values. They believe in the power of belief itself, and they have been taught that all other virtues flow out of that one. To their minds, people without faith are devoid of any… Read more

May 5, 2019

Without googling it, would you know what a CVDP is? Would you immediately know what the CMIP and AMIP are? They are, respectively, a tool for analyzing climatological models and the frameworks climatologists use to correlate, organize, and analyze massive amounts of oceanographic and atmospheric data in order to make sense of patterns in global climates. I had to look them up to know what they are, and I’m probably doing a poor job of defining them since I am not… Read more

April 17, 2019

Dear Christian Friend, I want to ask you a question, but first I have to clarify to whom I am speaking, since the word “Christian” has come to mean so many things it’s hardly even useful anymore. I’m not speaking to my friends and family who’ve gradually been nudged away from That Old Time Religion to something indistinguishable from FOX News. I’m not talking to people who still think Donald Trump is a brilliant businessman and an anointed Man of… Read more

April 17, 2019

During the school year, for my day job I teach high school Algebra. Then I write in my “spare time” when I probably should be doing something else to help pay the bills (have you ever seen what teachers in Mississippi make?). Aside from a full panel of Daddy duties, I try to use any free time I get to catch up on the writing I haven’t had the time to do during the rest of the week. I’ve finally… Read more

April 13, 2019

It’s amazing how different your upbringing can look to you after you get some distance from it. I grew up holding certain things as sacred which I now realize are nothing of the sort. Or perhaps I should say I see now that “sacredness” is a subjective value assigned to a thing by an individual or group. What makes it “sacred” is that it’s sacred to them. [ audio | pdf | doc ] Outside that group, however, the magic disappears…. Read more

March 30, 2019

Last week, Scientific American published an interview with Marcelo Gleiser, a theoretical physics professor at Dartmouth and this year’s winner of the Templeton Prize, in which he said some things about the interplay between science and faith that ruffled some feathers. Gleiser, who identifies as an agnostic, said a number of things I would disagree with, mostly because of the way he seems to be defining his terms. But semantics aside, I have to admit that he makes a legitimate… Read more

March 29, 2019

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” –Philippians 4:13 Growing up evangelical, no message featured more prominently in my understanding of the Christian life than this verse. After John 3:16, this verse tops just about everybody’s list of favorite Bible passages, rivaled only by the verse in Jeremiah that says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…” I know these verses top those charts because I still have a plethora of Christian friends in my… Read more

March 19, 2019

In my youth group days, we had a skit we would perform in which someone portraying Jesus would follow the protagonist around wherever he went, silently accompanying him throughout his daily routine. Jesus would sit invisibly beside him in class, walk with him through the halls, and even go out with him on dates (creepy), but he’d never say a word. He just stood there, watching. The point of the skit was to drive home that Jesus is there all… Read more

March 12, 2019

I remember once venerating “the gospel” as a sacred message with which you weren’t supposed to tamper. In fact, I recall reading somewhere that even if an angel from heaven were to appear delivering an alternative message, faithful Christians should disregard it. Given how precisely that comment anticipated the Mormons (I mean Latter-Day Saints), I sometimes wonder if Joseph Smith wasn’t just trolling everybody. In context, Paul was berating the gullible residents of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) for accepting… Read more

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