Hug the Shrug


Last week my oldest son, Jack, had a high school project that involved making text/graphic description of himself and his life. Among the many points of identity and culture in the project, there was a section in which he was supposed to talk about his religion. My wife told me that Jack had simply put himself down as an atheist. That’s not surprising, as he has been pretty open about being non-religious among his friends. In this case, however, he included two graphical illustrations to go along. One was an internet meme about believing in “one god fewer,” and the other was my infamous Easter Infographic. Jack didn’t mention it to me, of course, because Jack strides a mellow sort of cadence through life that doesn’t usually dip a toe in dramatic waters.

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Reading the Wrong People

Table of Major Written WorksSome friends have considered that my departure from Christianity must be due to a misplaced emphasis of the sources that I have consulted. That is, perhaps I spent too much time reading “the wrong people”, and so came to bamboozlement. This is a legitimate concern, and I suspect that it may be more broadly held than I would hope. It struck me as incorrect on first blush, but I did go back and actually catalogue my sources by worldview.

Taking only the major written works that I read (a few dozen), the statistics sum as shown in the first chart. As can be seen, theist sources dominate the atheist/agnostic sources by 3 to 1. Neutral sources included generic information without direct bias or commentary on Christianity one way or another, while the mixed category denotes resources like “multi-view” type books.

Table of All SourcesIf the net is cast more broadly and extended to include all resource types – including shorter articles, book reviews, Wikipedia entries, and the many debates and lectures that I have watched – the percentages shift as shown in the second pie chart (130+ total).

For myself, I can find no intrinsic indictment in these statistics, nor a visible dereliction of duty, nor an inundation of dreaded atheistic slant. Rather, the collection represents a range of viewpoints, and it favors Christian-biased sources more heavily than any other segment.

Yes, I must maintain, it is possible to become convinced that Judaism and Christianity face intractable problems as a result of a well-rounded, detailed, and broad-based research effort. My conclusions have not been for lack of consulting Christian scholarship. After all, that was my fortress of first retreat. But the vanguard within those walls sadly could not answer…

See the Review of Sources and the Bibliography for detailed lists.

New Section Published: [13] “Epilogue”

The final page of the Journey has now been finished. This page was certainly one of the more difficult to write, which is the primary reason for the delay in publishing since the prior page.

Section 11, “Faith Card,” Published

Section 11, “Faith Card”, has been published. This section details a rearward evaluation of whether faith is a viable mechanism by which to discern truth and falsehood – i.e., whether it is a way by which we come to know truth or not.

Section 10, “Retrospective,” Published

Section 10, Retrospective, has been published to the Journey, a rearward autobiographical evaluation of my path to date.

Bibliography of Sources from Deconversion Journey

Resources are the most important component of any inquiry. My thanks to the many scholars who make true inquiry possible.

A Brief Note on Stats

See “Reading the Wrong People” for a pie-chart breakdown of resources by worldview.

Written References

  1. Alexander, Denis. “How Does a BioLogos Model Need to Address the Theological Issues Associated with an Adam Who Was Not the Sole Genetic Progenitor of Humankind?” The Biologos Foundation. Undated. (accessed October 2012).
  2. Ayala, Francisco. Darwin’s Gift: To Science and Religion . Joseph Henry Press, 2007.
  3. Beale, G.K. “Myth, History, and Inspiration: A Review Article of ‘Inspiration and Incarnation’ by Peter Enns.” JETS, June 2006: 287-312.
  4. Borg, Marcus J. Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written. HarperOne , 2012.
  5. Calvin, John. The Institutes of the Christian Religion. Translated by Henry Beveridge. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2008.
  6. Carson, D.A. “Three Books on the Bible: A Critical Review.” April April 2006.
  7. Chesterton, G.K. Orthodoxy. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1908.
  8. Collins, C. John. Science and Faith: Friends or Foes? Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2003.
  9. Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006.
  10. Dennis, Lane T., ed. ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008.
  11. Dever, William G. What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It? Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2001.
  12. Ehrman, Bart D. Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them). HarperOne, 2010.
  13. Ehrman, Bart D. Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. USA: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  14. Enns, Peter. Evolution of Adam, The: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins. Brazos Press, 2012.
  15. Enns, Peter. Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005.
  16. Falk, Darrel R. Coming to Peace with Science. Intervarsity Press, 2004.
  17. Finkelstein, Israel, and Neil Asher Silberman. The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. New York: Simon and Schuster, Touchstone, 2002.
  18. Frame, John M. Review of Enns’ Inspiration and Incarnation. Undated. (accessed October 2012).
  19. General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America. The Westminster Confession of Faith. Atlanta, GA: Committee for christian Education and Publications, PCA Bookstore, 1990.
  20. Harris, Sam. Letter to a Christian Nation. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.
  21. Hawking, Stephen, and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. New York, NY: Random House, 2010.
  22. Hitchens, Christopher. God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. New York: Hachette Book Group, 2007.
  23. Josephus, Flavius. The Works of Josephus: New Updated Edition, Complete and Unabridged. Translated by William Whiston. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1987.
  24. Kaku, Michio. Parallel Worlds. USA: Anchor Books, 2005.
  25. Keller, Tim. “Creation, Evolution, and Christian Laypeople.” The Biologos Foundation. Undated. (accessed October 2012).
  26. Ladd, George Eldon, Herman A. Hoyt, Loraine Boettner, and Anthony A. Hoekema. The Meaning of the Millennium, Four Views. Edited by Robert G. Clouse. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1977.
  27. Lennox, John C. Seven Days that Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science. Zondervan, 2011.
  28. Lewis, C.S. The Problem of Pain. New York, NY: HarperCollins eBooks, 1940.
  29. Mark, Joshua J. Enuma Elish – The Babylonian Epic. March 2, 2011. (accessed October 2012).
  30. Massey, Chris. “No Adam, No Eve, No Problem.” http://CognitiveDiscoPants/ June 2011. (accessed October 2012).
  31. Massey, Chris. “Review: Tim Keller on Adam and Eve – Part I and Part II.” http://CognitiveDiscoPants/ June 2011. (accessed October 2012).
  32. Massey, Chris. “The Bible’s Most Overlooked but Really, Really Important Guy.” http://CognitiveDiscoPants/ September 1, 2011. (accessed October 2012).
  33. McGrath, Alister E. Darwinism and the Divine: Evolutionary Thought and Natural Theology. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Blackwell Publishing, John Wiley and Sons, 2011.
  34. McGrath, Alister E. Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 1998.
  35. McGrath, Alister E. The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World. USA: Doubleday/Random House, 2004.
  36. McGrath, Alister E., et al. Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought. Malden, MA: Blackwell PUblishers Ltd, 1993.
  37. Meek, Esther Lightcap. Longing to Know: The Philosophy of Knowledge for Ordinary People. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, Baker Book House Company, 2003.
  38. Meyer, Stephen C. Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design. New York, NY: Harper Collins, 2009.
  39. Noll, Mark A. The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Grand Rapids, MI: Intervarsity Press, 1994.
  40. Olson, Steve, and Jay B. Labov. Thinking Evolutionarily: Evolution Education Across the Life Sciences, Summary of a Convocation. 2012: National Research Council of the National Academies, National Academy of Science, Washington, DC.
  41. Opderbeck, David. A “Historical” Adam? April 15, 2010. (accessed October 2012).
  42. Plantinga, Alvin. Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, & Naturalism. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2011.
  43. Price, Robert M., John Dominic Crossan, Luke Timothy Johnson, James D.G. Dunn, and Darrel L. Bock. The Historical Jesus: Five Views. Edited by James K. Beilby, & Paul R. Eddy. IVP Academic, 2009.
  44. Principe, Lawrence M. Lecture Series: Science and Religion. The Teaching Company, Limited Partnership. 2006.
  45. Sire, James W. The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog. Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press, 1997.
  46. Sproul, R.C. Knowing Scripture. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1977.
  47. Strobel, Lee. The Case for Christ. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998.
  48. Thomas, Robert L, and Stanley N. Gundry. A Harmony of the Gospels, NASB. Harper Collins, 1978.
  49. Venema, Dennis, and Darrel Falk. Does Genetics Point to a Single Primal Couple? April 5, 2010. (accessed October 2012).
  50. Witherington, Ben. The Jesus Quest: the Third Search for the Jew of Nazareth. 2nd. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997.
  51. Wolpe, David. Did the Exodus Really Happen? 2004. (accessed 2013).
  52. Wright, N.T. The New Testament and the People of God: Christian Origins and the Question of God, Volume 1. London: Fortress Press, 1992.
  53. Wright, N.T. The Resurrection of the Son of God: Christian Origins and the Question of God, Vol. 3. Minneapolis, MS: Fortress Press, 2003.
  54. Kitchen, K.A. On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2003
  55. James, Peter. Centuries of Darkness. New Brunswick, NJ. Rutgers University Press. 1993.
  56. Hamilton, Edith. Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes. New York, NY. Grand Central Publishing. 1942.
  57. Walton, John H. Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology. Winona Lake, IN. Eisenbrauns. 2011.
  58. Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Reason within the Bounds of Religion. 2nd Ed. Grand Rapids, MI. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1976/1984.
  59. Berlinski, David. The Deniable Darwin & Other Essays. Discovery Institute Press. 2010.
  60. Zacharias, Ravi. The End of Reason: A Response to the New Atheists. Zondervan. 2008.
  61. Ashton, John F., Ed. In Six Days: Why 50 Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation. Green Forest, AR. Master Books. 2001/2009.
  62. Paine, Thomas. The Age of Reason: Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology. Nineola, NY. Dover Publications. 1794/1896/2004.
  63. Batchelor, Stephen. Confession of a Buddhist Atheist. New York. Spiegel & Grau. 2010.
  64. Chesterton, G.K. The Everlasting Man. San Francisco. Ignatius Press. 1925/1953.

Multimedia References

YouTube and Video






  • Peter Enns. Ancient World, God’s Word: A Look at the Old Testament and its Challenges. Lecture series at Brandywine Valley Baptist Church.
  • Interview with Bart Ehrman. Commonwealth Club Radio Program Podcast.
  • Debate: Craig Evans versus Bart Ehrman. Does the New Testament Misquote Jesus? DebateGod Podcast.
  • Interview with Peter Enns. The Evolution of Adam with Peter Enns. Homebrewed Christianity Podcast.
  • Interview with Bart Ehrman. Jesus’ Existence, Apocalypticism, and Holy Week. Homebrewed Christianity Podcast.
  • Interview with Peter Enns. The Evolution of Adam. The (Re)vangelical Podcast.
  • Interview with Robert Price. Will the Real Jesus Please Rise? Religion for Life Podcast.
  • Interview with John Dominic Crossan. Will the Real Jesus Please Rise? Religion for Life Podcast.
  • Interview with John Shelby Spong. Will the Real Jesus Please Rise? Religion for Life Podcast.
  • Interview with Bart Ehrman. Will the Real Jesus Please Rise? Religion for Life Podcast.

Websites (Selected)

Origins, Creation, & Flood

Old Testament & Archaeology

New Testament



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