022: Christianity: Is There Anything Worth Salvaging After Deconstruction? (with Sam Morse) Part 1

If you've deconstructed your former Christian faith, do you believe there's anything worth salvaging?

This week's guest, Sam Morse (host of the Out of Eden podcast) and I discuss this very question: can you retain a view of God once you begin to question the whole construct of Christianity?

For Sam, the answer is Yes--albeit with a very radically deconstructed and different view of both God and the Bible. 

Find out where he is on the journey in Part 1.

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021: When Evangelicalism No Longer Works for You (with Josh deKeyzer) Part 2

What might Martin Luther's "theology of the cross" have to say to a modern-day post-evangelical Christian?

This is even more the case when that theology has been filtered through radical theology and the work of Deitrich Boenhoffer.

In Part 2 of our conversation, Dutch theologian Josh deKeyzer and I discuss how he came to this position--although sometimes he admits he can be an "angry theist" too.

Not all of the kinks have been ironed out, but he does retain a view of God--albeit a radically different version than his former fundamentalist views of God!

Contact Information for Josh deKeyzer

Follow Josh on Twitter: @AfterGodsEnd

Blog: joshdekeyzer.com

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020: When Evangelicalism No Longer Works for You (with Josh deKeyzer) Part 1

What do you do when evangelicalism no longer works for you?

This involves your views of God...the Bible...and Christianity in general. Are you deconstructing your former faith? If so, where are you on this spiritual journey?

This question I've been asking over the last few weeks continues with Dr Josh deKeyzer from The Netherlands. While in seminary in the USA, he began deconstructing his former very narrow evangelical faith.

In this episode Josh tells his story and how he began to view everything differently...and what that did to his entire belief system.

Contact Information for Josh deKeyzer

Follow Josh on Twitter: @AfterGodsEnd

Blog: joshdekeyzer.com

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019: Finding Rest on Your Spiritual Journey (with Stacie Rae) Part 2

Deconstruction of the Christian faith looks different for everyone. 

Some have become angry atheists; angry theists; or agnostic. Some, like Stacie Rae "The Resting Traveller," have not only deconstructed--they've reconstructed their former views of God.

In this episode Stacie and I discuss how she overcame crippling anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide to do just that--combined with a new understanding of the Bible, too.

We also get into how she wrote her new book--by accident!

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The Resting Traveller Website

Instagram: @stacie_rae_phoenix

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018: Finding Rest on Your Spiritual Journey (with Stacie Rae) Part 1

Where are you along the path of this thing we call "the spiritual journey"?

If you're deconstructing your former Christian faith, have you been able to retain a view of God? How do you read the Bible now, if you still do?

These are all questions Stacie Rae "The Resting Traveller" and I tackle in this week's episode. Despite a very traumatic upbringing in the church, and questioning her very identity, Stacie has been able to retain a view of God and of the Bible--but not without experiencing major loneliness, anxiety, and depression first.

Contact Information for Stacie Rae

The Resting Traveller Website

Instagram: @stacie_rae_phoenix

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017: Burning Down Patriarchy (with Sarah E. Smith)

Why burn down patriarchy in religion?

Sarah Smith, the host of Theosophia podcast, is passionate about promoting women's voices in theology and in religion. She is passionate about bringing out this perspective, since historically patriarchal religions have long silence, oppressed and marginalized women.

Sarah opens up about her backstory--yet through all the pain of growing up in a toxic evangelical background, she has somehow retained her beliefs in God and the Bible.

But how?

Resources

"What Happens After People Leave the Church?" by Dr Clint Heacock

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Contact Information for Sarah E. Smith

Theosophia Podcast on Theology Corner

Follow Sarah on Twitter @theosophiapod

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016: Women v. Religion (with Karen Garst)

There is no question: religion is incredibly important to humanity.

It has permeated every single aspect of human life: music, language, politics, literature, our communities and more. Yet what has been the effect of religion on women? It turns out that religion has not exactly been kind to women, both historically and presently.

Karen Garst, "the faithless feminist" and I discuss this issue related to her upcoming new book Women v. Religion: The Case Against Faith...and For Freedom. In the book, multiple women contributed chapters, and discuss both the historical and current effects of all 3 Abrahamic religions on women--Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

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015: Black Women & Christianity in the United States (with Deanna Adams) Part 2

How does the African-American civil rights movement impact upon the state of black churches in America today? And should it be important to understand the legacy of African-American atheists and free thinkers? 

Today's conversation features the continuation of last week's discussion related to the history of African-American peoples and how that has affected black churches (and treatment of African-American women specifically).

Deanna Adams is an atheist, womanist and author who brings a fascinating perspective to the table, as an African-American woman. 

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Twitter: @deemusings1

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014: Black Women & Christianity in the United States (with Valerie Wade) Part 1

How did the transatlantic slave trade and the resulting cultural violence affect Africans? Add to this the introduction of "white Christianity" into the mix and what results helps to explain much of the current situation within many African-American churches today.

This week's episode features a fascinating conversation with Valerie Wade: author, historian, and "cultural Christian." As a contributor to Karen Garst's upcoming book Women v. Religion, Valerie shares a particular fascination not just with history, but specifically focuses upon the treatment of African-American women in black churches currently.

Even though African-American women make up a large majority of black churches in terms of attendance and finance, they have historically not been allowed to have leadership roles, or to able to preach. Valerie offers up some fascinating historical and cultural insights on this issue.

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Valerie Wade Contact Information

Website http://vcwade.com

Twitter: @lynnfieldhc

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013: Coming Out In A Hostile World (with Dana Stinson) Part 2

In this second episode we pick up Dana's story from last week: coming out as a transgender woman and having to formulate a plan to do so--without her entire world falling apart.

Part 2 continues that story and also develops what happened when she and her spouse decided to talk to the pastor of their church, where they were both heavily involved in leadership.

Would either end well? And where is Dana now, in terms of her own faith journey, as well as her transition?

Listen in to find out!

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Contact Information

http://danastinson.com

Twitter: Dana Stinson @whistler

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012: Coming Out In A Hostile World (with Dana Stinson) Part 1

What's it like to grow up in the evangelical church culture, with parents who were pastors, but all the while struggle with your own gender identity? 

What do you do when you're married with a family, involved in church leadership, yet have the feeling inside that you're not being honest with yourself about your own gender?

How does God factor into all of this also?

This week we're going to hear exactly what it's like from my friend, Dana Stinson.

Making it all the more difficult for Dana was the cognitive dissonance--the conflicted thinking--of trying to balance what the church taught about gender identity and her own feelings. Was she being honest with herself?

f you don't know a trans person at all, well...now you do! Listening to another person's experiences and points of view--with an open mind--is one of the best ways to enter into their world and see things from their perspective.

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011: Surfin' With the Atheist (with Tim Malins)

What's it like to attend a Christian school? And what happens if you've never had any experience of Christianity or the Bible?

This week's guest, Tim Malins, is an old friend from way back--he moved up from Southern California to Washington State at the tender age of just 12 or 13. We met at the Christian fundamentalist school I and several other church friends attended.

This is Tim's story: how fundamentalism affected his mental health; introduced conflicted thinking via the concepts of "secularism;" scared him with end-times prophecy  creationism, and more.

He's since become an atheist...

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010: Did Jesus Exist? Or...Was He A Myth (with David Fitzgerald) Part 2

If Jesus of Nazareth did not exist--as the Gospels surely indicate he did--then what are the implications for Christianity?

Find out more in Part 2 of my conversation with mythicist and atheist David Fitzgerald, author of Nailed: 10 Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All and Jesus: Mything in Action.

We explore the implications for Christianity, society, culture, and as a planet. Christianity is losing its best and brightest, most thoughtful and compassionate people--so who will be left to carry the torch?

Find out in the second half of our conversation!

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David Fitzgerald: everybodylovesdave@gmail.com

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009: Did Jesus Exist? Or...Was He A Myth (with David Fitzgerald) Part 1

Did Jesus of Nazareth actually exist?

Believe it or not, this is not the first time this question has been posed by theologians and biblical scholars. 

Dating to the 18th and 19th centuries, scholars responding to biblical higher criticism sought to find the "real Jesus of history"--not the Jesus of the Gospels, whom they alleged had been covered up by layers of traditions.

But today, mythicist and atheist David Fitzgerald questions whether Jesus even lived at all, or if he was indeed a construct of literary and theological notions. Author of Nailed: 10 Christian Myths that show Jesus Never Existed at All and Jesus: Mything in Action, David searches both the biblical and historical records to see if Jesus ever walked the earth.

Join me for the first half of this challenging and thought-provoking discussion!

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008: From Evangelical Christian to Angry Atheist to...Paleolithic Cave Art (with Andrew Gurevich) Part 2

Should Christians who believe in "young earth creation" be threatened by the notion of ancient civilizations that predate all major world religions?

Only if their own worldview is narrowly restricted by a literalist reading of the Bible.

In the second half of my conversation with Andrew Gurevich of Portland, OR, we somehow tie together a wide range of threads in order to answer that question: apophatic theology, neurology, politics on the right and left, and finally...paleolithic cave art.

How is this possible? I'm not entirely sure myself, but somehow Andrew is able to tie all those seemingly diverse topics together and make it work.

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007: From Evangelical Christian to Angry Atheist to...Paleolithic Cave Art (with Andrew Gurevich) Part 1

How does a person go from evangelical Christian, studying at Bible college and seminary on the path to ministry, to walking away from it all and becoming an angry atheist? 

And now, on a journey to become a leading expert in paleolithic cave art--with a prophetic voice for progressives and conservatives alike?

Believe it or not, this trajectory describes the life of this week's guest: Andrew Gurevich of Portland, OR, USA. A leading mythologist and teacher of world religions, not only is Andrew fast becoming an expert on ancient cave art, but in addition he seeks to discover the multifaceted connections between humanity, religion, spirituality, politics, and tribalism.

In this first half of our conversation, Part 1, Andrew talks about his upbringing and how it's somehow all come full-circle...along the journey of becoming who he is.

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006: Unbuckling the Bible Belt: Deconstructing Christianity in the Deep South (with "Seamus Clarke") Part 2

What happens when you mix the childhood trauma of sexual abuse, a distant father with major issues of his own, evangelical dogma, "spiritual bypassing," and life in a red-state, evangelical Christian Trump-supporting part of the Bible belt?

Let "Seamus" tell his story of a man who is in the process of questioning all these things and more.

Don't miss Part 2 of my conversation with "Seamus Clarke" (a pseudonym), which continues our exploration of the deconstruction of his Christian faith.

Adding all those issues up, and then layering a veneer of Christian respectability and platitudes that are supposed to deal with trauma...then what you end up with is a particularly American brand of evangelical Christianity that desperately needs to be deconstructed.

Resources

The Preacher's Forum page on Theology Corner

The Preacher's Forum Blog

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005: Unbuckling the Bible Belt: Deconstructing Christianity in the Deep South (with "Seamus Clarke") Part 1

This week's episode of MindShift podcast features a discussion with one "Seamus Clarke," who feels the need to use a pseudonym to protect both himself and his family.

But why use a fake name?

Believe it or not, this is actually quite a common theme--people raised in the evangelical or fundamentalist church feel that they cannot "be themselves" and tell their friends and family members (still steeped in the church culture) that they've gone down the road of deconstruction and discovery.

Seamus is in a similar position...but just because he uses a pseudonym doesn't stop us from having a deep and meaningful conversation about his childhood, experiences of trauma, and how misinformed and toxic theology in the church badly failed him.

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004: Can There Be "Christianity Without Churchianity?" (with Richard Jacobson)

Have you left the church behind, but haven't yet given up on God--or on people?

Many have walked away from the "institutional church" but still carry their faith with them. But where do they go from there?

In this episode, Richard Jacobson speaks to this issue. In his book Unchurching: Christianity Without Churchianity, Richard's target audience is those who seek authentic community--yet who, for a wide variety of reasons, are done with the institutional church.

Listen in as we discuss Richard's take on why the church has gotten it wrong, both from a biblical and theological viewpoint.

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Richard Jacobson: @Unchurching and @RichardJacobson

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003: A Pastor Turned Atheist: Should You Ditch the Christian Faith? (with David Madison) Part 2

In the second half of my conversation with David Madison, we finish up talking about biblical inerrancy and move on to two tough problems facing Christianity: the problem of evil and the atonement.

Theologians and scholars alike--both within Judaism and Christianity--have struggled to explain the problem of evil. Theodicy--a defense of a supposedly all-powerful, all-knowing and all-benevolent God--has long been a mainstay of both religions.

David and I tackle this as well as discussing related issues with God requiring a human sacrifice so that human beings could go to heaven. Couldn't God, who makes all the rules, just forgive everybody without requiring Jesus to die?

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Resources

"What Happens After People Leave the Church?" by Dr Clint Heacock on Theology Corner

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David Madison: @DavidMadisonPhD

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