Welcome to Evangelical Purgatory – Heaven Waits

Editor’s Note: Here’s an opportunity for non-believers, including clergy, I presume, to eventually arrive in heaven. How good-hearted for evangelicals to offer such a chance. Maybe we’ll meet again in eternity after all. This essay was originally titled “Alternative Viewpoints on Hell: Evangelicals Attempt to Give the Vengeful God a Makeover” and can also be found on the blog of TCP member Bruce Gerencser. ====================== By Bruce Gerencser An increasing number of Evangelicals find themselves uneasy and troubled by the… Read more

The Atheist Muslim – Book Review

Editor’s Note: This thoughtful and comprehensive review kept my attention throughout with its careful explanations of Islam and incisive comparisons to Christianity. Enjoy. ====================== By Alexis Record The Atheist Muslim: A Journey From Religion to Reason by Ali A. Rizvi is a treasure of compelling logical arguments and gripping personal stories housed under a beautifully uncomfortable title. The author’s inclusion of history, his exhaustive study of the Quran, and his first-hand experience in Saudi Arabia as part of a devout… Read more

An Incredulous Creed

An Incredulous Creed Editor’s Note: Chris Highland, Clergy Project member and frequent essayist for the Rational Doubt blog just wrote this creed, encouraged by Mark Rutledge, a previous “creed” writer and me. His creed is different in tone and substance from the other two we’ve recently seen – and why not? Why should we all recite the same creed, like they do in church? Sure, we are all humans living in the same world, but we are individuals, too, with… Read more

Two Creeds for One Good Life

Editor’s Note: When I asked Mason Lane to write a personal “Credo,” he sent me two! His creed, written years ago, is about his panentheism – how he feels and what he strives for. The “Credo” focuses on humanism – how to act in the world. Both are good models for living and I thank him for sharing them with us.  Coming next on The Rational Doubt Blog — Chris Highland’s creed. ======================= By Mason Lane CREED I am the Universe;… Read more

My Credo – Locating Myself Religiously And Spiritually

Editor’s Note: It’s “Back to School” time. This Clergy Project member, Dennett-LaScola pilot study participant and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) teacher shares his notes with us for a personal “Creed” he’s preparing for a class he’s teaching this fall. ======================= By Mark Rutledge Some language for how I self-identify: humanist, non-theist, cultural Christian, spiritual agnostic, secular Christian, Christian humanist, post-supernaturalist, pluralist, Jesus follower, etc. Below are some of my thoughts and the thoughts of others whom I admire. It… Read more

Lesson #4 Vacation Bible School: Biblical Inspiration? Not So Much

Editor’s Note: Our VBS teacher picks out some of the ugliest parts of the Bible, questioning why so much of the “good book” would contain such gruesome material. (Originally published 3/8/12, by Mike Aus, aka paganpreacher) ==================== By Mike Aus Just a little inspiration from the “Good Book” to bless your week: “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.” (Exodus 21:7) “Whoever curses his father or mother shall be… Read more

Lesson #3 Vacation Bible School: Paul Never Quotes Jesus

Editor’s Note: Here Mike questions how the Apostle Paul can know what Jesus said at The Last Supper if he wasn’t there. (Originally published 11/11/11, by Mike Aus, aka paganpreacher) ==================== By Mike Aus Here’s another oddity of the Bible that Christians hardly ever mention, and apparently it doesn’t bother many people.  But it has sure bothered me over the years:  The apostle Paul hardly ever quotes the words of Jesus or even references any of his teachings. How strange! The only time I am… Read more

Lesson #2: Vacation Bible School – Tweaking the Translation Alters the Meaning

Editor’s Note: This is the sequel to “Dishonest Bible Translations” in which Mike Aus, a nondenominational pastor at the time he wrote it, points out an additional instance in which a biblical translation makes a big difference in the originally intended meaning. (Originally published 2/16/12 paganpreacher) ==================== By Mike Aus The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah lived in the early 6th century B.C.E., at the time of the Babylonian Exile.    At one point in his career, Jeremiah makes a withering attack on the… Read more

Vacation Bible School, Lesson #1: Good Reasons to Read the Bible

Editor’s Note: Welcome back to that summertime staple – Vacation Bible School, VBS for short. There are many fine, timeless lessons in the Bible and other ancient writings, but our VBS teacher focuses on the many other things that don’t add up. This was written several months after the author, Mike Aus, “came out” atheist in 2012. Here he uses several Bible verses to show how meanings can be easily manipulated, mistranslated and misunderstood. (Originally published 8/12/12, paganpreacher) ==================== By Mike… Read more

Getting Away from the Craziness of the USA

Hello all – I want to let you know what I’ve been up to. My husband and I are just back from a fabulous European vacation. Fabulous in the sense that there were no horrible mix-ups (always my fear when traveling abroad) and we had several peak experiences. Here is evidence of some of them. This is the 90th year reunion photo of Art’s extended family in France. His paternal grandmother is the only one of seven children to leave… Read more

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