Phil and Skye are joined by Mississippi geometry teacher and atheist blogger Neil Carter (“Godless in Dixie”) to hear his journey from evangelical to atheist and his experience rejecting faith in the heart of the “Christian South.”
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In ‘principalities and powers’ section of his book the Challenge of the Disciplined Life, Richard J. Foster, argues that ‘absolute skepticism’ is pervasive in the post-modern world, especially in the university system. He is of the opinion that . . . “the task of the university is to pursue truth – all truth – and yet in many cases, precisely the reverse is happening today. What was once a humble position of genuine agnosticism has been turned into the arrogance of absolute skepticism. Not knowing, not being sure, becomes the final dogma that must never be violated.”
I’m surprised that Mr. Carter jumped from Christianity to atheism without first spending some time as an agnostic. Maybe he did and just didn’t communicate that fact. In any event, it would be a shame if ‘skepticism’ has become an idol for him.
Really enjoyed the show! Why does Skye (sp) ring the bell?
Appreciate this podcast. Everyone’s journey in their own systems of thinking & “faithing” is radically internal & distinct. Mutual respect & appreciation for each other opens up a world of discourse & community. Sooooo happy to see this proverbial handshake!
Great episode! The first I’ve seen. I fell in love with Veggie Tales long ago and was a fan of Skye’s when I used to read Leadership Journal back in my believing pastoral days. Great work here. The podcast is fun and energetic and doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously. I’m not a Christian anymore, but I loved the show so much, I could see myself returning in the future!
That said, I’m a huge fan of Neil Carter and am so thankful for his participation in The Clergy Project! Godless in Dixie was the first blog I had ever gotten really excited about as I was embracing my newfound atheism in the summer of 2014. His ability to bridge the gap between believers and nonbelievers is something we need more of and is distinctive of the societal segment Neil calls the “dones.” We need more voices like his!
And one more thought regarding prayer in public schools [just for fun!]… I am now the customer service manager for a downtown Chicago steakhouse. And as is common this time of year, the graduating class of a CPS Chicago public school reserved a private room for lunch last Friday (the same morning that this episode was recorded). I was also asked to do a quick talk on Fine Dining Etiquette. After my talk was done, one of the teachers got up and asked a student to come up and do the prayer. She warned the room of students, teachers, and administrators with a joke that if they did not recognize the prayer they would be held subject to several more! (haha…) And then a young preacher came up and filled the room with a passionate prayer in Jesus’s name. The room was filled with Amens and handclaps. And then then lunch was served. I share this little story as testimony that, though authority-led public school prayer is certainly a much larger problem in the South, it is also a present dilemma in the North and West, even in the great city of Chicago.
But again, thanks for a great podcast. Loved every moment of it!
Love the podcast and was very excited about today’s subject. I think it’s great that Phil has reached out to atheists and started a very interesting conversation including today’s. However, there were two disappointments from today’s show that I want to express. Number one: we learned how long it took the guest to become an atheist; we learned about the consequences. But we never actually learned about his train of thought over the years on be coming an atheist; why did he actually decide to become an atheist? Number two: the guest brought up “Gods Not Dead” and Phil shot him down. On a podcast where they talk about movies and atheism this would’ve been a great subject to discuss. I really wanted to hear his point of view about this movie. Otherwise, keep up the great work! I’ll be listening and will keep promoting the podcast!
Phil, this was a sad sad show! I can appreciate your open mind on subject of disenchanted Christians. But the fact that this man can leave his wife and kids for a temporal existence on his own terms is the height of selfish ego. Why didn’t you challenge him little more on the ramifications of such choices? It broke my heart to hear it.
Diet Dr. Pepper product placement at 7:15. Nice work, Skye.
I am perplexed by this guest. Am I to feel responsible for his apostasy? I got the feeling you and Skye were celebrating his apostasy and making light of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, by indirect asides of criticism against evangelical beliefs that are foundational to Christianity. The more you entertain these types of guests and their ideas, the more you will become like them. Never mind that you are starting to alienate some of your core audience when you have episodes in this vein.
Just saying and thinking…..
I would love to know the title of the biography of Roger Williams that Skye mentioned. I checked online and there are quite a few.
I love that you interviewed Neil Carter! I know Phil is on top of the latest happenings in the Church, and I appreciate his perspective in talking with one who is Godless in Dixie. My family and I would love to see a follow-up episode.