Author Archive

Unequally yoked marraige – episode 1

OK, here it is, warts and all, the first episode of … this. Whatever this turns out to be. Warning, it is about 38 minutes long, so make sure you have a bit of time on your hands.

Don’t expect a Hollywood production here, folks. This has absolutely no production value, and the only edits I made were to remove two or three times where I slipped and called RoseMary by her real name. But I think the audio came out ok, and that is what is important.

I uploaded this to blip.tv since they allow me to embed an audio player here. Here is the description I put there:

My wife RoseMary and I would like to welcome you to the first episode our podcast. She is a Catholic Christian, and has been her entire life. I met her in 2004. We dated, and even though I was a liberal Baptist Christian, we fell in love. We wed in 2005. Some time in 2007, after 2 years of marraige, I lost my Christian Faith, and now considers the term ‘atheist’ to most accurately describe my religious stance. But my wife loves him whom I do not believe exists.

Does this story sound familiar? Is your marraige challenged with a similar situation? Has one of you fallen out of the Faith? Believer, what advice have you gotten from your friends, family and church? Non-believer, do you have anywhere to turn for support, or do you feel compelled to stay in the closet? RoseMary and I both believe that these stories are very common, yet few are willing to share these stories.

We are not so sure that we want to tell others our own stories, but are willing to give it a try. We want to share our experiences of being “unequally yoked”. Do you have a story to share? We would like to hear it, and possibly share it with others. Please contact us at unequallyyoked@hotmail.com

It is my hope that this proves beneficial to somebody out there, and it generates some healthy discussion around here.

- HeIsSailing

May 8, 2010 at 8:27 am 54 comments

Are you unequaly yoked?

It has been over two years since I placed an article here at de-conversion.com, but I think it is time. My wife Rosemary and I have been kicking this idea around forever, and we both think now is the ideal time to start acting on it. We have been married now for 4 1/2 years, and we both wed as devout Christians. I have since left the Christian Faith, and although her beliefs have also evolved, she still identifies herself as a Christian. A couple of years ago, we posted an article here where we shared our views a little bit, but we would like to carry this to the next step and go into the world of podcasting.

I have scoured the online world looking for stories, experiences, perspectives and worldly advice from couples who are “unequaly yoked”, particularly those where one has de-converted after marraige. With the exception of religious sites that dispense advice to win the heathen back to the Faith or consider divorce, I can find absolutely nothing out there. People in hurting marraiges need more than that. I am particularly interested in those who want to remain in a healthy marraige, and those who have children. How do you maintain a healthy marraige when you have different religious beliefs? What challenges do you face? What compromises do you make?

My wife and I would like to discuss these issues, and maybe (with Paul’s permission) post them here for your enjoyment. I should be ready to put the first episode up in the next couple of days. I don’t have any idea what will become of it, but I do think it is an important topic that *nobody* is discussing.

I am interested in your stories. Perhaps we can hook up a skype interview or something, if you are interested in sharing your experiences here – or maybe you can just submit emails for me to read. Right now, I am just in the crazy, brainstorming phase…

Continue Reading May 4, 2010 at 12:23 am 31 comments

Thank God for Evolution, by Michael Dowd

I started writing this review for my Shelfari page, but it kept growing and growing until I decided it might make a halfway decent article here. Since my scathing review of Blue Like Jazz , I thought this one was a little more generous. By a little.

Thank God For Evolution! How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our WorldI wanted to like this book. I really, really wanted to like this book. Inspired by an article by blogger DagoodS, I picked up the book in Dallas while waiting for a connecting flight. Dowd has lately been making the rounds promoting his book, and appearing on everything from Albert Mohler’s radio show to Point of Inquiry. He lives the life of an itinerant evangelist, who travels about the country writing and lecturing on his successful marriage of Christian faith and the theory of evolution. After hearing Dowd being interrogated and his Faith questioned by Dr. Russell Moore, I admit I developed a soft spot for Dowd. I wanted to like him, and his book. I wanted somebody from inside the Christian faith who could successfully promote and evangelize both Christian belief and modern science. Picking up the book, I was struck by 6 pages of accolades from theologians, physicists, ministers, biologists and Nobel laureates. I was impressed by his opening paragraphs which promise inspiration and insight to such diverse beliefs ranging from the Fundamentalist to the Atheist, and everyone in between…

Continue Reading August 24, 2008 at 12:21 am 50 comments

Blue Like Jazz: A book for disillusioned Christian fundamentalists

For the Christian who is disillusioned with the fundamentalists (and the fundamentals), along comes Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz, supposedly the youthful and honest voice of modern Christianity (I wouldn’t know for sure – old fart that I am). Miller writes with a very casual style – more fitting to random and disjointed diary entries, than as a cohesive unit. But I suppose that is what gives the book its seemingly authentic and honest veneer. Yes folks, here is a Christian who attends a secular college, gets drunk, hangs out with the dopers and attends anti-Bush rallies. Not that any of that particularly bothers me; I remember fondly the old days of the Pentecostal Jesus movement from the early 70’s. But even though Miller claims that Christianity is at its core unhip, he strives to make himself and his version of Christianity the hippest act in town. Miller seems almost oblivious to his self-absorption, and I continually wanted to shake him in my frustration so as to snap him out of his stupor.

The book was recommended to me by fellow church-goers as a means of questioning my questions, and doubting my doubts. I read it during the early stages of my own suspicions of the claims of Christianity, and I was told that Miller’s experiences would mirror my own. Wrong – oh how wrong they were. What Miller shows is not doubt nor skepticism toward his beliefs, rather disillusionment towards the political right wing that Evangelical Christianity has recently taken. This goes without saying, and answers no questions about honest doubt in God or the Christians’ supposed relationship with him. To counteract his ‘doubts’, Miller devises a tepid theology is of the ‘feel good’ variety. He admits that he never really doubts his faith in Jesus…

Continue Reading August 9, 2008 at 9:07 am 170 comments

The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins

As a Christian, I was indecisive as to the origins of our four Canonical gospels. Ideally, they were four independent accounts by eyewitnesses, or associates to eyewitnesses, each showing a unique perspective of the life of Jesus. In fact, my church pastors never strayed too far from this ideal course. However, reading the Gospels for myself led me to some troubling questions.

The Gospels contain sayings of Jesus, which in some cases are identical between gospels. For example the Parable of the Leaven found in Luke 13:20-21 and Matthew 13:33 – “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened”. In other cases, the sayings are placed in the same setting, but slightly different, as in the voice from heaven’s proclamation of Jesus after the baptism (Matt 3:17, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22). The voice speaks directly to Jesus in Mark and Luke (‘Thou art my beloved son’), but the voice speaks to the crowd in Matthew (‘This is my beloved son’). Why the differences in some cases but near verbatim in others? Was this design by divine purpose, copyist error, or dare I say, differing Gospel traditions? Of course, my church never dwelled into this territory of Biblical study, and I was left with my questions parked in my brain where they remained for years.

Burton Mack’s The Lost Gospel of Q deals directly with this question with a hypothesis that is wholly plausible…

Continue Reading August 4, 2008 at 11:59 pm 26 comments

The Case For Christianity

The Case for Christianity is a series of transcribed radio talks given by C.S. Lewis during WWII, and edited together with additional notes into book form. It is one of three books that ultimately made up his famous apologetic work Mere Christianity.

Reading the book reminded me of some mathematics seminars I used to attend. The speaker would spend great effort in setting up the initial steps of some elaborate proof, only to spend the last 3 minutes of his talk rushing through the rest to get to his conclusion. It is the classic cartoon of a math professor writing “Poof, a miracle occurs here” in the middle of his equation list. Lewis attempts to build the case for Jesus Christ on first principles. The argumentation style is that of a long chain of assumptions and arguments, with one continuously built on the other. The problem with this type of argument is that when any argument or assumption in the chain is shown wrong, or even questioned or doubted, everything else that follows is discredited. If the foundational argument fails, the whole structure collapses and we might as well not read the rest of the book.

Lewis begins his arguments, indeed the first half of the book, with the argument of our moral conscience. He claims that since we have a moral baseline, which seems to be a standard across humanity, that it must have been implanted into us upon creation. Since our moral conscience cannot conceive of the abstract notions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ unless they exist, they must then exist outside of our selves…

Continue Reading July 31, 2008 at 7:20 am 40 comments

Strobel’s A Case For Christ – religious propaganda

(from comment #96 on A Curious Christian with a Few Questions for de-converts)

It is my firm belief that any book which asks the reader in its preface to put away all subjectivity and view both sides of a debate topic equally will immediately plunge headlong into logical fallacies and spin-doctoring. Such is the case with Strobel’s ‘The Case for Christ’. Not that I mind Strobel presenting only one side of an argument – he is after all making a ‘case’. However, to pretend this has any objectivity at all makes Strobel’s intentions suspect from page 1.

Strobel, acting as a journalist, interviews a dozen or so leading Evangelical scholars for their evidences for their belief in Jesus Christ. The questions he asks are fine, but in general he never asks the follow-up questions that are just screaming to be asked. One assertion after another is left unchallenged. Bruce Metzger claims there are over 5000 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, so the reader is left with the impression that each manuscript is evidence of the reliability of Scripture. But Strobel fails to asks how many of those 5000 are actually useful for determining the actual text. Strobel fails to ask how many centuries have passed between the time of Jesus and the time the vast majority of those manuscripts were written.

Donald Carson claims that Jesus fit the profile of God revealed in the Old Testament. Strobel should have asked Carson about Marcion, the early church heretic who found no similarity between YHVH and Jesus, and in fact claimed they were two entirely different deities…

Continue Reading July 6, 2008 at 3:44 pm 54 comments

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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