Category Philosophy

Life Purpose: Moving Out Means You Get to Pick Your Own

So here’s a question for you. Have you found your purpose yet? And here’s another question for you. When you hear people talk about Your Life Purpose, what’s your response? Do you get all excited and immediately feel some sort of greater connection to the bigger something of life? Or do you roll your eyes […]

The Oft-Repeated Question: What is Humanism?

The question is posed on at least a weekly basis. It comes up in various ways. Someone will ask about something they read or an interview they came across. And then they ask me: “So what is Secular Humanism?” Or even the more simplified version: “What is Humanism?” I suppose the curiosity and its subsequent […]

A Book Review: Sneddon’s ‘A’ is for Amazing Encyclopedia of Atheist-Stuff

I suppose it may be possible that we as a people are more accustomed, because of the reality of the internet, to the ability to look up random definitions for every anything that is out there waiting to be looked up. I know for myself at least, I’m constantly googling new words, like seriously almost […]

Facing Death: Still an Atheist in the Foxhole

So this is the post where I talk about my recent hospital stay, about brushing up against death, and about whether or not I cried out to God at the last moment… I’m guessing we’ve all heard the repeatedly overstated “There’s No Atheists in Foxholes” argument. The claim of course being that in war, every soldier turns […]

On Rational Doubt Blog: Vacation Bible School

Remember Vacation Bible School?Otherwise known simply as VBS? It’s that time-honored tradition that nearly every church in American seems to perform each year while students all across the country are on Summer Vacation from their public school systems. You’d be invited by the local church on your block to run up the street every day […]

Video Interview: A Seminary Project on Atheism

A group of seminary students recently completed a project on how to effectively counsel an atheist. They are studying in a Masters program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Chicago’s Moody Theological Seminary, and yep, that’s the very same school that I had attended. And one of the students working on this group project had grown […]

More Than a Story: Learning to Live Without Fear

So what was your weekend’s Oscar-winning moment? In other words, what was the funniest or the most adventurous or most inspiring or outrageous moment of your weekend? Or, to put it yet another way, if your life was a movie, would people pay money to see it? Would there be anything worth watching? And if not, why? […]

Why the U.S. Has Never Been a Christian Nation

Yes, a full third of the American population self-identifies as evangelical or ‘born again’ Christian, by far the largest religious group in America. But nearly one half of their neighbors subscribe to another Christian tradition, be it Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Mormon, or mainline protestant, etc. All told that’s 8 in 10 Americans who are Christian […]

Dr. Jenna Jacobs Gets Taken to the Woodshed; And Others Too

I am rejoicing right now in a grand appreciation for logic and wit. And it all began as I stumbled upon a video placed on my Facebook newsfeed. Given my fond affection for The West Wing and the good reputation my friend has for sharing great content, I pushed play and sat with eager anticipation. By the end of […]

Forgiving Satan: The Day My Daughter Asked Even Bigger Questions

“But Daddy, what about Satan…” THINKING THIS MORNING of a conversation I had with my eldest when she was only seven years old. This is the one who was crushed when Hillary Clinton had lost the 2008 primaries and then predicted that at least we’d have another shot next time.* But I’m thinking this morning of a conversation from […]

Why You Don’t Have to be an Atheist

So let me set the record straight, as they say. Last week an old friend from Bible college — one of the ones who remain Christian — commented on a tweet of mine that he found on Facebook. His response: “You sound like a new Christian. You demand that everyone follows this new found belief you’ve discovered. […]

Praying for Terrorists

We all remember what we were doing thirteen years ago today.  Where we were.  What city, what building, what room.  What was going on when we first heard the news.  I had arrived on-campus for seminary classes just after the first plane struck Tower 1 and walked into the commons to find myself standing with […]

From One World to Another

What Goes Into a Transition? And how do I figure out what life is supposed to look like on the other side? Transitioning from where and to what? Well, I guess that is the question… What does it mean when the mythic hero of your youth vanishes or disappears? How long does one wait for […]

Happy Expectations & Picnics in the Rain

It happened again. After loading the car with blankets and a cooler of sandwiches and treats, we drove thirty-six minutes to the lavish yet subtly sweet botanical garden of Central Minnesota. And just five minutes in, we found an unpredicted thunderstorm swoop in to dance giant rain drops upon our pathetic little picnic plans. It […]

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… There is beauty even in brokenness, Glimpses of hope in the biggest of messes. …