Category Archives: Reviews

God Behaving Badly

God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist? (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2011) by David T. Lamb

In his 2004 bestseller, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, Sam Harris first introduced the world to the popular New Atheism. Listen to leading apologist William Lane Craig talk about the new atheists.

Christopher Hitchens followed with his attack on God in his 2007 book: God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. The very next year, Richard Dawkins made his claim that the God of the Old Testament is “arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction” (The God Delusion, p.51).

David Lamb, associate professor of Old Testament at Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield Pennsylvania, believes that Dawkins “simply isn’t reading his Bible well” (p.16).

Lamb, with refreshing wit and respect, responds to accusations being made against God in his book, God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist, and Racist? (June, 2011).

Lamb says that the avoidance of certain texts by Bible teachers has actually made it seem that atheists are reading the Bible more carefully than those who accept it as God’s word. Far from ignoring problematic texts, this OT scholar writes from his extensive study of history and Scripture to provide insight into the biblical context, which he claims is the key to proper interpretation.

Lamb notes that the God of the OT has a bad reputation. Are the critical perceptions valid? He doesn’t deny the difficulty with certain texts, but he insists that God’s hesed (love) is abundant in the OT. He rejects the Marcionite heresy that the God of the Old Testament is cruel and vindictive, not the same loving God of the New Testament.

He writes “compared to other ancient Near Eastern literature, the Old Testament is shockingly progressive in its portrayals of divine love” (p.23).

Lamb addresses those OT texts that reveal God’s anger, commands of violence, appearances of sexism, racism, legalism, and what seems to be a stubborn inflexibility in God. Lamb touches on those passages that are most often quoted to show that God is a big meanie.

Why did God kill Uzzah for touching the ark (2 Sam 6:1-8)? Does the Bible present an unfavorable view toward women (Gen 3:1-19; 19:5-11)? Is slavery, racism, and genocide being supported in the biblical text (Josh 10:40; 11:12-15)? Does God endorse child sacrifice and violence against enemies (Gen 22; 2 Kings 2:23-25; 19:35)? And what about all those pesky out-dated commandments (Ex 20-23; Lev 17-26; Deut 12-26)?

Lamb believes that the OT text should be harmonized with the life and teachings of Jesus. He seeks to accomplish this by finishing each chapter with relevant passages from the Gospels.

What is God like? Lamb wants to make it clear that “this book is essentially about the nature of God” (p.177). He writes: “Instead of ignoring passages that seem to portray Yahweh negatively, we need to study them, discuss them and teach them to gain understanding. While all our questions may never fully be answered, we will find that Yahweh and Jesus can be reconciled and that the God of both testaments is loving” (p.178).

I’m recommending this book to all of those wrestling with what seems to be a dichotomy within the biblical text—where God appears to be bi-polar and where Jesus finally managed to satisfy the bloodlust of his abusive Father.

God Behaving Badly should be required reading for all skeptics and students of theology, especially those Christians who habitually yank verses from their OT context to skillfully ignore the teachings of Jesus.

I want to thank Adrianna Wright at InterVarsity Press for sending me Lamb’s book to read and review.

D.D. Flowers, 2011


Q&A with Andrew Byers

Andrew Byers is the author of the recently released book, Faith Without Illusions: Following Jesus as a Cynic-Saint (InterVarsity Press, 2011).

Andy is currently working on a PhD in New Testament at Durham University (England) while serving as a college pastor at Mountain Brook Community Church and leading University Christian Fellowship in Birmingham, Alabama. He is married with four children.

David: Andy, I am grateful for you taking the time out of your schedule to answer some questions about yourself, and to talk about your very timely book, Faith Without Illusions. First things first… you seem like a busy guy. Where did you find the time to write a book? And why this book?

Andy: Time for writing the book… I still cannot figure out how I squeezed it in. There were early mornings and late nights, of course. And since I work with a church I get a day off in the week. My wife deserves enormous praise for allowing me to use those days off to write.

I did not really feel free to work on the book during work hours, but there is a lot of ebb and flow in the intensity of a college pastor’s work. So over the summer and Christmas breaks I was able to make a lot of progress without feeling too guilty about working while on the clock as a pastor. I wore out the seat and table at the window of Primavera Coffee here in Birmingham!

Why this particular book? I actually wanted to write a on “The Myths of College Spirituality,” of which cynicism would have been one of about seven others. I preached a sermon on that topic years ago in my second year of college ministry when I began noticing students acting out of a number of misguided ideas about spirituality with which I myself had struggled. But the Myths idea did not grab the attention of publishers.

After a few years of peddling my book proposal at the bookstalls of SBL meetings, I gave up.

Then one day I was invited to lecture in a class on college ministry at Beeson Divinity School, taught by Matt Kerlin, the University Minister at Samford University. I mentioned cynicism that day, and he soon asked if I would preach on that topic for Samford’s chapel.

After preaching that message, I realized that so much of the material I wanted to write about could be presented in a book that took cynicism as its major theme. Likewise Books with IVP expressed interest and suggested I contact them later in the year.

A contract, to my delightful shock, eventually followed.

So there are these two sermons in my college ministry experience that eventually gave rise to Faith Without Illusions. I am pleased that preaching had such a significant role in the process.

David: Why do you think so many Christians are cynical today? In your book you say that: “Cynicism is a sickness.” You promote a “hopeful realism” instead. Can you explain? I mean… what is going on in the church that we need a book like this?

Andy: Cynicism is in the air of our culture. The dust is beginning to settle from the modern era, and the landscape comes into view we are becoming painfully aware that human ingenuity, scientific progress, and engineering skill have not lived up to touted expectations.

Postmodern critiques are to be welcomed to the extent that they agree with Scripture on humankind’s incapacity to engineer its own salvation. Those critiques, of course, can certainly be cynical.

And since modernity’s approaches and ways of thinking have been so enthusiastically adopted in the church’s recent history, then that cynicism is creeping into our ranks as well.

On a more practical level, cynicism flourishes where there is bad thinking and bad behavior. And we have plenty of that, sadly, in the church!

Misguided thinking (like exact predictions for the world’s end, for instance) and improper behavior (like gossiping about those people who make such weird predictions, for instance) tend to disillusion us. That disillusionment is the first step toward cynicism.

As you mentioned, rather than cynicism (or idealism), I am calling for “hopeful realism.” I am trying to capture with this phrase the disposition and outlook to which Scripture calls us. We cannot be idealists who seem to deny the grim miseries of an ex-Eden world.

But cynics seem unwilling or unable to acknowledge that a new Eden is around the bend… and even in our midst.

The climbing of Jesus out of His grave is the initiation of the re-created heavens and earth—the new edenic paradise—for which we are all longing. Hopeful realists acknowledge the harsh cruelties of a fallen world but not without singing a tune under their breath about the emergence of new creation in our midst that is to be finalized in the future.

David: In your book you discuss several things that have often produced cynical saints: idealism, religiosity, experientialism, cultural irrelevance, and anti-intellectualism. I wish we could discuss a bit of all of these, but if you don’t mind I would like to talk briefly about one of these causes for cynicism. I know that I personally resonated with this statement on anti-intellectualism within the church.

You say, “the ongoing cycle generated by anti-intellectualism in the church and intellectual elitism in the academy may be among the most serious issues Christians must address in our day.” What do you think is going on there? What can folks on both sides of the aisle do about this problem?

Andy: The tension between anti-intellectualism and intellectual elitism in the church was recently put on vivid display by a blog post written by Donald Miller (which was eventually re-posted at The comment streams are very long, and in that online interaction one can detect such suspicion on both sides of the “aisle,” as you put it.

(Let me say that I really like Miller as a writer, I just struggled with the comments in that post. At my blog I write about how I disagree and how I agree with him. And RELEVANT Magazine was gracious to allow me to write on Anti-intellectualism a few weeks after they published Miller’s blog post).

So what do we do about this tension? How do we deflate the stereotypes of the Christian anti-intellectual and the intellectually elitist Christian? I think we should realistically prepare to measure the time it will take to make those changes in terms of decades, not years.

We need a generation of young Christians who will begin to seriously integrate the worshipful laboring of their minds with other dimensions of their faith. 

There are good signs that this might happen alongside some frightening signs that it may not. In the first instance, we have a large number of young ministers (like you and me!) interested in pursuing doctoral work.

The reality is that there will not be enough academic posts for these qualified individuals to fill, a situation that will hopefully direct more and more well-trained ministers into the front line of church work.

If these scholar-pastors will be pastoral scholars (rather than uppity intellectual jerks!), then hopefully there will be a gradual embrace within the church of “the life of the mind” (note: if we take church jobs embittered that we did not get the university job, we are going to harm more than help this problem!).

The bad signs that bridging the divide will not happen are documented in some serious studies on what is happening with the younger generations in our churches.

Sociologist Christian Smith and his collaborating team of researchers describe widespread failures on behalf of parents and pastors to train and socialize children and youth into the rich theological traditions of the church (see his Soul Searching: The Spiritual and Religious Lives of American Teenagers and Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults; see also Kenda Creasy Dead’s Almost Christian: What the Faith of our Teenagers is Telling the American Church).

For the time being, something we can do now to help bridge the divide between the academy and church is to begin nurturing our contemporary scholars and to begin encouraging them to use their gifts in local congregations. For those Christian scholars, a heightened, loving sensitivity to the suspicions surrounding their profession needs to be adopted, and we cannot react defensively to those suspicions. Hard work. But necessary.

And since Christian scholars generally live only in university towns, another major objective should be getting their works into the hands of church-folk who live in “Smalltown, USA” and other places without face to face interaction with our authors and teachers. Lot’s of challenges….

David: That’s interesting that you would mention Christian Smith. My next question was going to involve your call for “biblical communities” in this pursuit of healthy churches.

Smith wrote an excellent book, Going to the Root: Nine Proposals for Radical Church Renewal (1992) that describes a view of biblical community. In this book he proposed Acts 2 home fellowships where folks live in the same neighborhood in order to enjoy the sort of community that allows for every member functioning without reliance upon a rigid hierarchy.

What do you think of those in the “organic” and simple churches today who are seeking to embody what you describe, only in a more familial setting where “priesthood of the believer” is truly becoming a reality instead of just a church doctrine?

Do you think it’s possible that the clergy-laity dichotomy has only fueled the fire that blazes between the intellectuals and “lay” folks? And is there any cynicism directed toward those who have chosen to meet this way, on what might be called the “fringes” of Christianity?

Andy: I have never been an active member of an organic-style church, so I cannot speak with much personal clout about them! I do like much of the vision guiding such churches.

In Faith Without Illusions, my concern is not with promoting a “how” as much of a “what”—no matter the style or polity of church (simple, organic, hierarchical, congregational, etc.), I just want to see local expressions of Christ’s body functioning not as “cliques” or “crowds” but as “communities.”

Cliques function well internally, but not externally, crowds are the opposite, but biblical communities have a healthy balance of the inward and outward orientations we see presented to us in places like the book of Acts.

Because I suspect most of my readers to be younger Christians who are… well, a bit cynical toward older models of church polity and style, I come down fairly hard on what I perceive to be “cultural arrogance.” Churches are so culturally irrelevant for so many young adults. But we run the risk of arrogantly assuming we have cornered the market on “community.”

What I present in my chapter on cultural irrelevance is that there are actually older, traditional churches that know community way more than we do, in spite of our laid back style and our noble decision to free people from those stuffy coats and ties!

Community is a recent buzzword, but I know folks in my grandparents generation who were living it out for years before all these wonderful new books with suggestions for new models of doing church came along.

I do think there are a number of cynical folks in these newer churches.  Sure. And maybe some of those churches have purposely departed for the ecclesial fringes. But then again, I think most of them are probably more like missional outposts, striving to reach those who have migrated to those fringes. In that regard, simple/organic churches are a refreshing necessity!

On the clergy-laity divide… what a sticky issue. I have a high regard for positions of authority, but I tend to view those in the positions simply as brothers or sisters. I think respecting the office while demystifying those who hold them would be a helpful practice to initiate and maintain in our churches.

David: How do you propose then that we “demystify” the role of leadership without losing leaders?

Andy, I come down to this concern because I think a lot of folks have recognized a real problem, which has in fact been perpetuated by the power-over forms of leadership, and has contributed to the cynicism folks have in and outside of mainstream Christianity.

How can we have real “biblical communities” with the presumption that the best time for that to happen is in church sanctuaries on Sunday morning (p.116)—shoulder-to-shoulder instead of face-to-face?

Some authors and teachers are saying, “No, this stuff isn’t new… it’s as old as the New Testament.” They would contend that the clergy-laity dichotomy is a major obstacle for every-member-functioning in biblical community.

And so my final question is this: “How can we confront the cynicism that exists between both those in the mainstream and those outside on the fringes of Christianity?”

Andy: Probably the most effective way of lessening the tension in the clergy-laity dichotomy is for clergy to embody the humble servanthood prescribed and modeled by Jesus in the Gospels.

Henri Nouwen’s In the Name of Jesus is the best book outside the Gospels on urging this.  Matthew 23:8-12 needs to be read much more voraciously than the latest bestsellers in Christian “Leadership.”

If those of us in ministry leadership positions used our office as a means of giving up ourselves rather than wielding power, then surely this would help deflate some of the cynicism that arises from the personality cults and from the demeaning and harsh words of pastors or elders.

As for your final question on confronting cynicism within and on the fringes of church-life, I think what we do not do is judge the cynics or distance ourselves from them. We tend to treat them as our enemies. We do not like interacting with them because of how they ruffle our feathers.

But judging them and distancing them will only justify their cynicism and shove them further out from the harbor of the church.

So I think we make it a priority to find our cynics, talk openly about what makes them cynical, and then respond with a teachable spirit, willing to listen and learn from their frustrations.

Redeemed cynics have so much to offer the church. They may well be the most insightful people in our midst. So we should welcome them for the sake of their healing and ours!

David: Thank you, Andy. I appreciate your time. I know it is valuable. This is an excellent book… very timely. It’s my desire that folks in the mainstream and the fringes of Christianity will read Faith Without Illusions: Following Jesus as a Cynic-Saint.

Life of Jesus DVD

Life of Jesus: Who He is and Why He Matters
Six-Session DVDDiscussion Guide Included
(Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010) by John Dickson

It is with the Life of Jesus documentary that I am reminded of how the Gospels in the New Testament are entirely set apart from all other works of antiquity.

In this wonderful six-session journey filmed on location in Israel, John Dickson explores the world of the historical Jesus of Nazareth. Dickson’s presentation is powerful proof that there simply are no rivals to biblical scholarship. The case for Jesus has never been stronger than it is today.

Unlike other sacred writings making truth claims, the Gospels are not merely a collection of proverbial adages. Instead, they are biographical portraits of Jesus rooted in human history. And the historical background that Dickson sets forth brings the Gospel narratives to life.

Life of Jesus explores what is known about the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus in the context of first-century Palestine.

Dickson even addresses personal issues and philosophical objections along the way with fellow scholar, Greg Clarke. There are 25 extra conversations that deal with those objections and help to clarify the message of Jesus.

Session titles include the following:

  • God’s Signpost
  • Christos
  • Kingdom Come
  • Judge & Friend
  • Cross Examination
  • The Resurrection

Dickson’s Life of Jesus is a refreshing look at the historical Jesus in 150 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised by the intellectual and spiritual balance of this documentary. This production will be helpful for skeptics, and challenging to the fundamentalist and the liberal alike.

“I strongly recommend this study to anyone who wants to re-examine the deep historical roots of Christian faith and to find them as life-giving as they ever were.” N.T. Wright, University of St. Andrews, Scotland

John Dickson (PhD) is the co-director of Centre for Public Christianity, an independent research and media organization promoting the public understanding of the Christian faith. With a degree in theology (Moore Theological College, Sydney) and a doctorate in ancient history (Macquarie University, Sydney), he is a senior research fellow of the Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University, where he teaches courses on Christian origins and the world religions.

“Without a doubt, the best case for Christianity is the life of Jesus.”

Also recommended:

D.D. Flowers, 2011.

Q&A with Becky Garrison

Christian Satirist Tired of Fast Food Faith

Becky Garrison is fed up with pop-culture Christianity.  She contends that humor enables her to trek on through the circus of sycophantic religion that is so prevelant today.

Becky invites us all to laugh at some of the Christian lifestyles and traditions she observed on her travels from the US to the Holy Land in her most recent book, Jesus Died for This?: A Satirist’s Search for the Risen Christ (Zondervan, 2010).

I caught up with Becky and asked her to share a little bit about herself and her perspective on Christian faith and culture.

So what’s the life of a full-time satirist like anyway?

Since the demise of The Wittenburg Door at the end of 2006, I’ve been moving away from jokey type humor. Let’s face it, how many times can one pen goofy bits like “top signs you aren’t going to be ordained” or “The Bible According to [Insert name of the latest politician or pastor who got caught with his pants down]” before one goes on autopilot and starts to dial it in?

I still conduct interviews both for a podcast I did for Jesus Died For This? and interested media outlets, as well as writing non-satirical pieces as requested. Recently, I’ve been exploring the role of the writer as storyteller and different ways one can use technology (e.g., print, web, podcast, You Tube) to convey stories.

I talk about this transition in a bit more detail in an Iconocast podcast that I did with co-hosts Mark and Sarah.

Also, like every other creative, I’m still reeling post-financial crisis regarding how to proceed in the rapidly changing publishing world. I’ve been chatting with a range of creative types including Nicholas Fielder, Ed Cyzewski, Joan Ball, Caleb Seeling, and Spencer Burke, as well as exploring via workshops how we can all communicate theological change without becoming a crass marketing machine.

Currently, I’m embarking on a long-term listening tour where I’m trying to explore other ways of communicating about my work without falling into the Christian branding BS that I deconstruct in Jesus Died For This?. In 2008, Andrew Jones declared the Christian carnival over and it’s crystal clear that  author/speaker model is no longer sustainable especially given this current financial climate.

I reflect in a video I did with Travis Reed for Alter Video Magazine how it breaks my heart when Christian leaders won’t say what’s on their heart out of fear for losing street cred and book sales. Once the focus shifts to crafting a message that’s memorable and marketable, a writer may be rich (see Joel Osteen) but in the process, they lost whatever original voice they had that drew people to them in the first place.

In addition to talking up the themes I raise in Jesus Died for This?, I’m connecting with Episcopal folks about my book Starting from Zero with O$ (Seabury Books, 2010), researching another book for Church Publishing and some other projects. Also, I’m gleaning ideas regarding where the global spirit is heading moving forward so my work can accurately reflect what’s happening on the ground.

Why did you write this book? What is different about your critique of Christianity in today’s society?

I explore this over at Religion Dispatches for those looking for more detail on this topic. In a nutshell, over the past few years, I’ve had a rather unique window into what religion scholar Phyllis Tickle terms the Great Emergence, a period of massive societal upheaval impacting technology, science, politics, religion, and the global culture at large. So decided to chronicle my travels to help others navigate this sea change so that we all don’t become seasick, spiritually speaking.

The unique lens I take to all my work is that I have a satirical world view – humor became my saving grace that helped me to survive as my nuclear family slowly deteriorated and then detonated. I view life as a tragic comedy but in the end, I see the glass as half-filled with hope instead of half-empty dripped in despair.

What have you learned most from emerging church leaders like Brian McLaren, Shane Claiborne, Andrew Jones, etc.?

I chose Andrew Jones and Jonny Baker as the two expert guides during those times in the book when I’m exploring new forms of church. In reading their blogs and then traveling with them to places like Greenbelt and Slot, I’ve observed how they both have a global perspective that far transcends the commercialized US evangelical/emergent model that dominates the discussion here in the States.

Jonny and Andrew like most of the practitioners I meet don’t pimp themselves on the unbiblically branded author/speaker circuit claiming to be experts. Instead, they look for more horizontal approaches that enable all to have a voice in this ongoing global conversation. Take for example, Proost UK, an artists collective co-founded by Jonny Baker, Jon Birch and Aad Vermeyden that highlights the works of a range of artistic communities instead of elevating a few misisonal males as religious rock stars.

In your book, you say N.T. Wright should be “savored and sipped.” Can you explain? Why should the church listen to this preeminent New Testament scholar?

When I was at Soularize 2007 listening to N.T. Wright deliver some lectures, I found it amusing how this bevy of bloggers had their eyes glued to their laptop screens and their fingers going so fast that  they seemed to be on autopilot. They were so busy trying to blog about what NT Wright was saying that they didn’t seem to have any time to contemplate his message and how they could apply his teachings to their ministries. I’m a writer, so I get the need to record what’s happening. But when I get too narrowly focused on note taking, I tend miss the larger story that’s happening around me.

In NT. Wright, the church has an international treasure. Like C.S.. Lewis, he’s one of those rare academics who can write both for the academy and the person in the pew. Unlike most Christian author/speakers, he doesn’t dial it in by continuing to repackage the same idea ad infinitum (or until people catch wind of this ungodly game and quit buying their product).  While one will find the threads of Anglican theology woven through his work, each book either presents new ideas or revised spins on his earlier works.

Check out Wright’s ongoing debates with fellow theologian Marcus Borg for an excellent example of how two scholars with an Anglican backgrounds can engage in rigorous scholarly debates without resorting to the mean spiritedness that all too often dominates today’s blog battles. Even when Wright takes on taking on the far more crankier John Piper in his book Justification, he rises above this Reformed rancor and presents the most compelling refutation of Piper that I’ve seen to date.

You shared a few personal things about your dad in this book. What would you say to others who have been let down by spiritual leaders?

I tell bits of my story and will continue to share as appropriate so that others can realize they are not alone when they find themselves emerging from faith fights feeling more bloodied than biblical. I had done a lot of recovery work relating to growing up as an adult child of an alcoholic but Jesus Died for This? marked the first time I really explored the dark side of my father’s ministry as an Episcopal priest and sociology professor.

In the beginning, his charismatic personality drew others to him as he championed for civil rights in the Deep South circa 1950s. His ministry with young adults dovetailed with his sociological research exploring why students were drawn to fringe groups like the Jesus People or Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

Unfortunately, his narcissism natures coupled with his alcoholism created a cult of personality that ran roughshod over the Gospel. Armed with this self-awareness, I can see a pattern in my life where I’ve been drawn to helping narcissistic geniuses who are filled with potential and promise.

I share in my book how I need to learn to walk away when their talk of “community” sounds more self-centered than Christlike. My hope is that others will learn to do likewise and like me discover find healthier spiritual places to play.

What signs of the “Risen Christ” do you believe are most evident today? What encourages you to press on in Christ through the church?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt connected to the divine whenever I’m exploring nature albeit hiking, fly-fishing, sailing, or kayaking. However, it wasn’t until I actually set foot on Irish soil I found my spiritual home in Celtic Christianity. Towards the end of the book, I describe how I went out west and finally connected with Kurt Neilson, my pilgrim guide for my ongoing pilgrimage and his partner in Celtic crime Karen Ward. In the Pacific Northwest, I discovered the same thin line imagery that connects this world to the next that I encountered in Ireland.

As I continue my travels, I keep meeting other souls from around the world, many of whom might not call themselves Christian for a host of very legitimate reasons. But we can still meet in this thin space as we all seek to make some kind of a spiritual connection outside of ourselves.

As I document throughout the book, once one steps away from Americana Branded™ Christianity, one can find ample signs that the spirit is alive and kicking.

“So I’d encourage folks to stop consuming fast food faith and embark on their own pilgrimage to see where the spirit might be speaking to them.”

What’s next for Becky Garrison? Any upcoming projects? What’s on your mind?

I share some of my reflections regarding possible future projects on Religion Dispatches. Jesus Died for This? marks the end of my critique of the US evangelicalism/emergent scene. I’ve said all I care to say about a form of a historical Christianity that keeps chasing after the next new shiny theological toy. All signs indicate that publishers latest quests to rebrand emergent as organic, missional, outlaw preacher, holy hipster and the like are repelling far more folks than they’re attracting.

Over the past few years I’ve been writing for more secular markets such as Killing the Buddha, The Revealer, Religion Dispatches and On Faith. These ventures broaden my perspective considerably as I continue to explore ways to critique Christian Reconstructionism and other bastardizations of the faith without resorting to the Nazi-name calling between religious progressives and conservatives that has come to define faith-based politics.

And speaking from my own faith tradition, how can the teachings of Christ offer hope in a world dominated by religious leaders spouting forth a fear based rhetoric? Along those lines, I’m interested in connecting with this growing number of people who call themselves “spiritual but not religious” as we seek out ways to create spaces where religious progressives and humanists can come together to explore what we have in common with our shared humanity.

Becky Garrison is a Contributing Editor for Sojourners. Her books include The New Atheist Crusaders and Their Unholy Grail, Rising from the Ashes: Rethinking Church, and Red and Blue God, Black and Blue Church. Her additional writing credits include work for The Wittenburg Door, Geez, Killing the Buddha, and Religion Dispatches, as well as various other odd and sundry publications.

Learn more about Becky @

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