For a new series, I’m turning the focus of this blog towards those who no longer identify as Christians. I’m hoping to go on a lot of coffee and dinner dates with heretics, backsliders and infidels.
During the first year after I came out, I was suspicious about picking up a new ideology to replace my old one. I felt vulnerable to new ideas so I avidly avoided exploring them with any kind of battleground rigour. Its been wonderful getting to hang out with the people I present to you in these posts, but on a heart level, the most comfort that I have found in their ideas is that its not totally insane to be something other than an evangelical Christian. Intelligent people make choices to believe other things all the time.
Now, a year and a half after that initial ordeal, I feel ready to move on past a spiritual limbo. I feel ready to explore what it means to live as a Post-Christian, to grow spiritually with that as the basis for my identity. Thus, with a great amount of intention, I would like to seek out those people who are also treading this path at various points: Church people who haven’t “come out” yet, people who left their faith forty years ago, people who replaced their faith with something else – Humanism, Buddhism, whatever, even people who, though they are not in a traditional, credal sense of the word “Christian,” still managed to controversially carve out some space for themselves within the Church.
Why did you leave your traditional faith and what has your experience been like? What is your story?
So far I’ve found some great reading and/or podcast resources, all of whom I plan to engage during this series:
Gretta Vosper, author, speaker and the atheist United Church minister in Scarborough
Frank Schaeffer, author, speaker and the son of the evangelical theologian Francis Schaeffer
Bart Campolo, podcaster, speaker, the humanist chaplain of the University of Southern California and the son of the evangelical preacher Tony Campolo
John Shelby Spong, author, speaker and a retired bishop of the Episcopal Church
Each of these authors/speakers references several other people. Already I feel hugged by a new intellectual community of people. Already this process has been so rewarding.
On top of this series, I’m hoping to gather enough data to write a book. I’m hoping this book will be a helpful resource for other Post-Christians as well as Christians who want to better understand their backslidden brothers and sisters. This path can be lonely and isolating so I would very much like to make someone else’s journey a little bit less bruising. Let the heretical dinner dates begin!