September 13, 2018

“Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?” –Amos 3:6 “I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, who does all these things.” –Isaiah 45:7 Storms have a funny way of exposing people’s belief systems, like airborne inkblots onto which people can project their worldviews. During the days of the Old Testament, pretty much everyone believed storms were acts of judgment perpetrated on deserving creatures by whichever deity… Read more

September 5, 2018

The Christian Church has successfully weathered many centuries of cultural and geopolitical shifts by reinventing itself from time to time in order to fit the changing times. Like any other organism, it has evolved to withstand the pressures of time and change through a process of mutation and natural selection. Those versions of Christianity which fit a bygone era eventually die away while newer, more creative reinterpretations take their place and speak to a different generation or cultural situation. Incidentally,… Read more

August 27, 2018

Would you like to be a part of a closed, private Facebook group of skeptics and skeptic-supportive people? People regularly suggest that there should be a Godless in Dixie support group, and I’ve always responded that the settings on my personal Facebook wall are configured to provide that kind of environment by default. But the truth is that this isn’t enough for a large number of people who reach out to me or who frequent my social media spaces. People… Read more

August 12, 2018

I’ll never forget the first night I attended a youth group meeting during high school. Somehow I made it to my junior year before finding out the youth ministry was its own separate thing—I mean separate from the Sunday School program I already attended at least a couple of times a month. I had recently “rededicated my life to Jesus” during an evangelistic youth conference and since then had started calling inactive students from the class roll to encourage them… Read more

August 10, 2018

A few years back I had the pleasure of thinking-out-loud-together with Phil Vischer, co-creator of VeggieTales and voice of Bob the Tomato, and despite the passing of time our conversation has lingered in the back of my mind, simmering and percolating at various moments when I’ve been free to chew on it. A couple of things in particular have stuck with me since then. What Is Faith?The first thing was how Phil defined the word faith so differently than Peter… Read more

July 30, 2018

Brokenness, brokenness is what I long for Brokenness is what I need Brokenness, brokenness is what you want for me. – Micah Stampley, “Take My Life” That praise and worship song was usually played with the lights of the sanctuary low, the guitar soft, eyes closed, and hands raised. It was often accompanied by tears – salty drops catching in the corner of my mouth, tears of either pain, longing, or shame. Either I was broken as I sang or… Read more

July 25, 2018

There is a scene in The Truman Show that makes me cry every time I see it because I swear that I have lived it. It’s the moment he finally reaches the end of the little world that was constructed for him—or rather not for him but for other people in order to use him for their own benefit. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, either. Truman is a metaphor for each and every… Read more

July 23, 2018

A friend wrote me this past weekend to ask a really good question: Why [do] you think that some atheists (Lee Strobel comes to mind) become Christians because they studied the Bible, while devout Christians such as yourself end up becoming atheists for the same reason? Whenever I talk about this, I feel obligated to point out how commonly Christian evangelists misuse the word “atheist” to include people who were raised in Christian homes but who didn’t fully commit to… Read more

July 12, 2018

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 itinerary of Daddy duties and a week in the woods volunteering as a cabin counselor at Camp Quest, I try to use any free time I get during the summer to catch up on… Read more

July 10, 2018

I’ve spent a good deal of time lately organizing my thoughts for a memoir, and in the midst of compiling all the most important turning points in my own deconversion I’ve come to see how one development impacted all the others more than I had previously appreciated: I had to study and learn a lot of new things for my job and it broadened my intellectual horizons significantly. If you feed the mind enough, it will soon demand more nourishment… Read more

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