HAPPY THANKSGIVING, 2017 Edition

I recalled that last year at this time, I wasn’t feeling terribly thankful because of the result of the US presidential election. So I looked back to see what I wrote, and found that my characteristic optimism was holding up pretty well. I suggested that we could be thankful for people who felt more impassioned than ever to uphold our democratic and secular values. That hasn’t changed. We had the Women’s March! We had the Virginia elections in which a… Read more

Roy Moore’s Victims Are Just as Guilty as He is (?)

Editor’s Note: TCP member Bruce Gerenscer has done a great job of blasting Christian support for Alabama Republican Senate nominee, Roy Moore. Talk about blaming the victim! Although the four participants in the Dennett-LaScola Study who had lived at one time in Alabama all talked about how “Christian” it was – superficial or otherwise – I had no idea how intransigent Alabamans could be about their beliefs. I still can’t get over how stupid they come across in their defense… Read more

Review – Book by Clergy Project Member & his Famous Preacher Dad

Editor’s Note: After meeting Bart Campolo at the first Clergy Project Conference, I read this book with great interest. I recommend that you do the same for insight into how to approach the widest of religious differences in the context of a loving family. Please read on for our resident reviewer’s excellent analysis of this father/son dynamic. ======================= By Alexis Record   Why I Left, Why I Stayed: Conversations on Christianity Between an Evangelical Father and His Humanist Son is… Read more

My Secular Atheist life – Past and Present

Editor’s Note: Mason Lane, well known here for his clever comebacks and passion for secularism, entertains and instructs us. ===================== By Mason Lane Assignment:  “Talk about your secular life without referring in a negative way to your life as believing or non-believing clergy.” Yes, I had such a life, but I won’t refer to it here. Most of the time, I don’t refer to it in my daily life. It affords me the joyous freedom to live a completely rational… Read more

My Secular Life, So Far

Editor’s Note: Knowing that “RJ Twain” left the clergy before his doubt became disbelief, I thought it might not be taxing to write about his secular life without referring negatively to his previous life in the clergy. To my surprise, he told me that given his current circumstances, it would be hard to approach the task honestly. So I asked him to speak from the heart, and he did. ================================ By R.J. Twain Assignment: “Stop talking endlessly about us [Christians]… Read more

Compelling Conversation through Deconversion

Editor’s Note: Clergy Project member Gretta Vosper offers striking insight and analysis about experiences different kinds of clergy have as their religion beliefs change and die. It’s a prelude to a thoughtful review of the book that Clergy Project President, Drew Bekius wrote: The Rise and Fall of Faith. ================                       By Gretta Vosper A Pastor’s Deconversion A chasm of distrust lies wedged between religious and secular world views, preventing meaningful dialogue and sustainable engagement. Often, those who make the journey… Read more

The Centered Life

Editor’s Note: This is second in a series in which members of The Clergy Project focus on the “joyful secular life” they lead now that they’ve left the clergy, rather than discuss the negative role religion has played in their lives. This can be difficult, given that religion has influenced so much of their lives. A Clergy Project member who has been out of the clergy for 23 years wrote the following essay years ago. It’s obviously not in direct… Read more

My Life Now

Editor’s Note: 
 Recently in The Rational Doubt Blog comments section, the Christian educator, author John Mark Reynolds, who also blogs on Patheos at Eidos, suggested this:  “Stop talking endlessly about us for a month and tell us about your joyful secular lives in detail.” It seemed like a good idea to me, so I put the word out to Clergy Project members, with these guidelines: “Talk about your secular lives without referring in a negative way to your lives as… Read more

Controversy Sells!

Editor’s Note: Speaking of Bart Ehrman, as our most recent poster did at length, here are his thoughts on the value of controversy. He’s right that it sells well. That’s been demonstrated many times here on the blog. It seems logical that it would also apply to the afterlife. Read through this post carefully to see if you can find the clue about one of the controversies Bart will address in his upcoming book on the afterlife. ======================= By Bart… Read more

Why Biblical Inerrancy is Not Intellectually Sustainable

Editor’s Note: Check out the convincing arguments against Evangelical Christian pastors’ insistence on biblical inerrancy. However, in my experience, Evangelicals are not alone in using specious arguments to defend scripture. Progressives do it too! They just try to be more sophisticated about it. ========================= By Bruce Gerencser One of the cardinal doctrines of Evangelical Christianity is the belief that the 66 books of the Protestant Bible are inspired, inerrant, and infallible. Every word, every syllable, every letter is without error…. Read more

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