Making Your Life Count For God (and Other Christian Anxieties)

Tens of thousands of college students from around the country sat on the edges of their seats. From a circular stage centered in the massive arena, the speaker spoke into a wireless microphone, an atmospheric instrumental track underscoring his somber delivery. "Would you leave behind your families, jobs, friends, colleges, and familiar surroundings if God…

Prone To Wander: The Allure of Deconversion Testimonies

On July 26, 2019, Joshua Harris, former megachurch pastor and author of the infamous purity culture bestseller I Kissed Dating Goodbye, announced to his Instagram followers that he was no longer a Christian. "By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian," Harris wrote. "I don't view this moment…

At the Beginning of the World: Dinosaurs, Genesis, and the Gift of Science

When I was ten years old, our church library ordered a book called Dinosaurs and The Bible. I couldn't have been more excited. Like most ten-year-olds, I was a huge dinosaur nerd. When I grew up, I wanted to be a paleontologist, and I could rattle off the Latin names for all my favorite dinosaurs.…

Revolution in the Manger: The Untold Story of the First Christmas

Growing up, I never thought the story of the first Christmas was very interesting. Oh sure, it's a nice story, but for a ten-year-old boy who couldn't even begin to grasp the meaning of the word "Incarnation," the Christmas story was the one with the cute baby surrounded by barnyard animals. But as I got…

The War On Christmas Is Over, and Other Holiday Misadventures

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm happy to announce the War on Christmas is over. And it's been over for about one hundred and fifty years. The Puritans waged the original War on Christmas in 17th century England and, later, the American colonies. A bunch of killjoys, the Puritans were a super-conservative branch of Protestantism that believed…

How to Talk About Jesus Without Being Weird (or a Jerk)

About a year ago, I was helping out at an event and one of the servers asked me if I was religious. Earlier in the night, it had come up that I write stuff about the Bible. She was gay, and I suspected she was posing a somewhat loaded question. "I don't think so," I…

The Divinity of Doubt: A Letter to Those Who Struggle to Believe

To the Poor in the Spirit, I may not know you, but I know how it starts. A visit to another church, a sentence in a book, a comment on a podcast, an encounter with a classmate, a shared article on Facebook, a changing political stance, a travel experience - whatever it was, something jarred the…