Naked Pastor: Atheist *and* a Christian … there’s a grace for that

Naked Pastor David Hayward recently updated this to Facebook:

“Did you know you can be a christian and an atheist at the same time and be at peace? I’m living proof.”

If the conversation that followed is not available without friending or subscription at the above link, I recommend doing either.

I also recommend reading his followup blog post about it here.

I have a sensitive spot for the David Haywards and the Julie Ferwerda’s in the world. Those grownups who have figured out that the facts don’t align with the teachings, and that it’s okay to question, doubt aloud, and pursue “alternate” truths.

I certainly don’t agree that God is a necessary factor in the formula. But I feel like if I were to retain faith, Hayward’s version would be at the top of my list.

Truth is, we all know what it’s like to be an atheist. All of us. Every single Christian practices some sort of atheism toward a HUGE list of gods.

Hayward has figured out that he feels atheistic toward the god whom he finds the best one.

And that — at least to me — is honesty.

There are some mental gymnastics necessary to come to that conclusion, but hell, why not?

At least folks like Hayward have come to something closer to a logical conclusion than most.

And I appreciate that.

What’s my nickname?

@quietcompanytx

I’m going on to a bachelor party in Austin Texas the first weekend in August. The bachelor is the lead singer of Wally Dogger.

A big part of the reason I’m going along is to see a Quiet Company performance. At the moment, I’m not sure if Quiet Company is really playing the date we’re there.

Regardless, as part of the bachelor party, I need a nickname that we are going to plaster on the back of a tee-shirt. Or the front. Or both.

I need a fucking nickname.

I don’t really have one. I mean, I was “Witt” in high school. And while I’m still so very “witty”, I don’t believe that it’s the best nickname.

So I’m reaching out to you awesome nicknaming bad asses.

What’s my nickname?

The winner gets my name on the back of my tee-shirt.

What a prize.

A tale of two creation “scientists”

A reader recently sent me an article from Christianity Today titled, “A Tale of Two Scientists: What Really Happened ‘In the Beginning‘,” by Tim Stafford. The article’s subhead is: “How two evangelicals—one a young-earth creationist, the other an evolutionary creationist—have lived out their faith and professions.”

The article details two scientists’ lives, named Darrel Falk and Todd Wood. Falk is the older and Wood is a bit younger. Both of them have evangelical upbringings, but Wood’s was a little more backwoods and provided a tighter hold on a literal translation of the bible.

Both of these men are rendered a bit close to jokes by the article, despite that it was published in Christianity Today. Take this beguilingly poorly sort out paragraph for example:

Both Wood and Falk grew up with absolute confidence in the Bible, a strong sense of family, and a belief that church was the place to find meaning and community. Both of them had an unusual aptitude for mathematics and an interest in science—though neither one had much idea what science was. They could have followed very similar pathways, and in a sense, they did.

“Absolute confidence”? When I was five, I had absolute confidence in my surroundings, my parents, Sunday School teachers and teachers, too. Why? Because if I didn’t, I’d get a fucking spanking. Or I’d get in trouble. Why, because my parents needed to protect me from the world in the best way they knew how. That means I thought the Bible was real … and so was Santa Clause. And Easter Bunnies.

Absolute confidence equaled absolute naivety and ignorance. 

I had a penchant for book smarts, and I wasn’t aware of what “science” was either. That makes Wood, Falk and I the same goddamn people. Or, the writer is just trying to mythologize  them like writers do. It’s also call lying.

There really is no substance between the first word of the first paragraph in this article and the last period. There are moments that talk about how there is a movement within the Christian umbrella to accept both ideas of young and old, God-guided creation.

Young Earth Creationism is a complete waste of time.

Until Christianity lets YEC go, we can’t take it seriously. During the parts of the article talking about Wood, I found myself trying to absorb more, reading twice, but often disappointed in the writing and ideas behind his so-called search. Which amounts to little more than a stubborn temper tantrum telling the world that he’s not going to stop reading the bible literally.

Take this for example:

Todd Wood graduated at the top of his high-school class and went on to Liberty University in Virginia, the first of the Woods to attend college. Liberty’s biology department emphasized field studies, and he delighted in the freedom of the woods and waters that he explored as part of his learning.

Quite on his own, Wood found creationist publications in the library, and he soon became expert in the literature. He had read a few creationist books in high school, but the university library opened up a much richer field.

The problem with the article is it isn’t chronological at all times. While it’s long, it’s not exactly clear and, to me, it’s poorly edited.

Falk goes from not having kids and only affording one meal a day, often a TV dinner, to having two daughters whom he can’t figure out how to raise without church and the bible. What a slave he is to ignorance. In fact, he never imagines that he could successfully raise children with a secular education. That’s sad.

The article talks about faith, god and stuffing god into science in ways that assumes its audience all agrees on definitions that cannot be defined. I don’t agree that Todd Wood has any relevance whatsoever.

Don’t write about “faith” and insist on being taken seriously

My Christian professors at a Christian college taught us not to write about our personal experiences, or others personal experiences, with god. Why? Because the definitions aren’t set. The ideas are abstract. It might make sense to you, but it’s not universal (despite believers telling you otherwise).

It has no place in professionally written content, so don’t blame me when I can’t accept others writing about it and expecting different results.

While I can assume I know what this writer is talking about when he discusses faith, I really cannot. It means so many things to so many people.

The most ridiculous part of the article is that Wood understands that evolution is incredibly convincing, but he refuses to accept it entirely based on “faith.”

This renders Wood an asshole. The evidence is so convincing and strong, but the dusty book with an evil message that Wood was given as a child is more important than the facts.

What is it about this book and its evil message that if a child accepts it, he brings it into his adulthood? It puzzles me to no end.

There isn’t any room for YEC’ers. Even in the article, they are made out to be silly idiots. I don’t think it was the writer’s intention, but if it doesn’t come across to you, I’m not sure you’ve grasped the intent of this article, nor read enough on the topic.