Some years ago, after I had written my book How Jesus Became God, I was asked to write an article for a journal to explain why, if I’m an atheist, I’m so interested in Jesus.   Some nine or ten years later, I still get asked that a lot.  Twice this past week!

Here’s the article I wrote, called  “Why I Am Obsessed with Jesus”:


I finally figured out why I’m so obsessed with Jesus.

It makes sense that Jesus mattered to me when I was young. I was raised in a Christian household, we went to church, we revered the Bible, and Jesus was God.

It makes sense that Jesus mattered to me as a late teenager, when I had a born-again experience and became a conservative evangelical. (What I converted from to “become a Christian” continues to puzzle me.) At that point Jesus became not only my Lord and Savior, but also my best friend and closest ally.

It makes sense that Jesus continued to matter to me as I moved away from the evangelical camp to adopt what struck me at the time as a more reasoned, intellectually defensible, and emotionally satisfying form of the faith, as a

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