The Not Old Better Show – Heaven and Hell Book Interview

On April 1 I did a podcast interview with Paul Vogelzang, the host of Smithsonian Associates “The Not Old Better Show,” aired on Soundcloud (Washington DC). The podcast focuses on the issues or particular relevance to the 50+ crowd (nence its name) but obviously lots of the topics it hits are on the minds of everyone else as well.

The interview was on my new book on Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife.   I read an excerpt ...

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Teaching Religion as an Agnostic

When I finally admitted to myself that I was an agnostic, I had already been teaching New Testament and the history of early Christianity for ten years or so, first at Rutgers in the mid 1980s and then at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill starting in 1988.   It comes as a surprise to some people when I tell them that my decision to leave the Christian faith made absolutely no difference at all, of any kind, in ...

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My Debate with Kyle Butt on the Problem of Suffering

On April 4, 2014 I had a lively and, well, rather rigorous and at times somewhat unpleasant debate (unpleasant for maybe both of us?) with a conservative Christian apologist named Kyle Butt at the campus of the University of North Alabama (UNA).  Gospel Broadcasting Network aired the event live on their television network, as well live streamed it on the Internet.  We were debating whether the problem of suffering can call into question the existence of God.

Kyle wrote previous of the ...

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Freedom From Religion Foundation Lecture

On May 3 of this year I gave a lecture at a meeting of the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Raleigh NC.    The lecture is about what it is like to be an agnostic who writes about religion.  That’s an irony that I am constantly aware of and most of the lecture is about my experience as a non-religious person who is an expert in something he doesn’t believe in.

I also used  the lecture  to stress that being “free ...

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