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Long promised, this is not why I don’t believe in God (I do) but reflections on the January 31 podcast by Dave Slusher on The Evil Genius Chronicles. For me, its one of the reasons podcasting is such an effective and underestimated medium. Dave’s podcasts are excellent but this one is a raw, reflective podcast on his spiritual journey and its end. You can check out the entire podcast via the link above as well as his web page. His podcast is favorite of mine and I am very grateful for his permission to use this very personal podcast.

This is only the first part of the podcast and I only offer my reflections on what Dave says. I’m not interested in offering my own opinions or trying to refute what Dave has to say. What he does share is I think a common start and ending to the spiritual journey for many postmoderns. I don’t want to convince Dave to restart the journey – I want to be able to understand and share the language and perspectives with you, so you will have to wait for my take later.

After we finish with Dave as a start, I’ll be looking at how others on the net have met the challenge of creatively meeting postmoderns on the spiritual journey, including some “churches” that are very different from what most of us are used to seeing.

Visit Evil Genius Chronicles here.

Download this podcast here.

7 Responses to “Wired Jesus Podcast #14 – Why I Don’t Believe In God (Part 1)”

  1. This is great. I cannot wait to hear your response to the rest of Dave’s essay (powerful stuff).

    One point of contention: You claim that Dave has reached the “end” of his spiritual journey. I do not agree that he has reached the end of his spritual quest, just because he no longer believes in God or any Christian theology. To be precise, I would say that his spiritual journey no longer depends on the Christian tradition (there’s probably a more CONcise yet still PREcise way to say that).

    For an example, Buddhists do not follow a God – they have no belief in divine beings at all.

    He sounds to me like someone still struggling with what is the best way to live. He still is on a spiritual journey – his just taken him out of Christian territory.


  2. Tom Lyberg says:

    I like the way you put it. I think at that at this point, Dave would say his spiritual journey is at an end because he no longer accepts a spiritual reality. He might say that his journey is an ethical/moral journey only.

    Glad you liked the podcast. Part two is powerful stuff on Dave’s part and a good reference on where many postmoderns are when beginning in an intentional spiritual journey, or in Dave’s case, where he would say it ended.

  3. David Allman says:


    Thanks for bringing this information to my attention. As painful as it was to listen to, I am grateful to be convicted of how some people view Christianity.

    I also appreciate your commentary to his thesis, as it brings added light to a sensitive issue. I look forward to hearing the rest of his story and your comments.

    I believe my feelings of a desire to debate his thesis are not to prove my superiority as he seems to imply, but because I believe he is missing out on a great God full of compassion, grace, mercy and truth. He seems to imply my desire to “change” him makes me a villian, while his apathy toward me makes him morally superior to me. That seems rather ironic.

    If I carried that argument to the extreme then I would prove myself morally superior if I were to leave all ignorant people ignorant rather than work toward a better education system. Or, I would prove myself morally superior if I remained apathethic toward the plight of the homeless, hungry, naked, or imprisoned, rather than try to imporve their lives. I am sure (or I hope) he would say that I misunderstand him; but, no more so than he has chosen to misunderstand Christians (or at the very least to lump us all into one unfair charicature).

    In the oral thesis he also touts himself as a Biblical Scholar because he competed in Bible Bowl quizes. I am sure that is no small feat; however, I would argue that one is not a Bible scholar because one has memorized Bible verses. I have studied the Bible for more than thirty years. I would be hard pressed to consider myself a “Bible Scholar.” He certainly shows a keen awareness of Bible passages, although his interpretation of them is obviously colored by his judgment of Christians (and God) in general. It is simply too convenient, and not raitional (to use his words), to dispose of God and the Bible because you choose not to believe – especially when that choice not to believe stems from your disappointment in a few bad examples of Christianity.

    Ah, but here I am on my soap box where I didn’t want to be. Thanks for continuing to open my eyes (and ears) on your postmodern journey (wanderings).

  4. K.W. Leslie says:

    Fascinating podcast; but Dave’s comments aren’t really anything I haven’t heard before. I’ve dealt with atheists for years, especially my dad.
    Dave’s arguments against Christianity make total sense because the only Christianity he’s experienced appears to be the intellectual kind. It’s the whole “just believe this and you’ll be saved” garbage that I grew up with. God isn’t depicted as present; He’s depicted as distant (or, in the case of the dispensationalists, entirely removed) and the only way we can find him is through scripture and reason. We’re told, however, that reason isn’t adequate; that we have to depend on scripture. But in reality, we either bend or suspend our reason in order to believe it as it’s presented to us—and in Dave’s case, it appears he couldn’t do that anymore. I can’t say I blame him.
    For me, I had to get beyond the idea that God is distant and recognize that not only is He not distant, but that He never wanted me to settle for intellectual knowledge of Him as a substitute for a relationship.
    I look forward to the next podcast.

  5. Dimplemonkey says:

    Where is the Jan 31st podcast for EGC? I wanted to download it and listen to it in its entirety but it is now unavailable.

    Tom, I’ve been a saved Christian (would some call that an oxymoron?) now for over 10 years (I’m 34). If I had heard Dave’s comments back then, it would not have phased me one bit. My attitude was pretty much the same way his is now – live and let live. I can’t say that I feel the same way now because I know that as a Christian, I have an accountability to everyone. I want to share the wonderful experiences that Christ has brought into my life, but man, it is people like Dave that frustrate and sadden me to hear how he has decided to abandon his Christian faith and stand firm. Why would I or any other Christian want to approach someone like Dave?! Why do we give up so easily? Because he’s determined that faith alone cannot be the end-all answer to his questions and we trip over our own words in response. I admire his knowledge and fervor in defending his atheistic views but as he does this, any other listener who’s been on the edge of believing and not believing can easily say “Yeah, I feel the same way.” Not everyone wants to do their homework like Dave. Heck, I could never quote scripture or be on par with Dave’s bible bowl brain, but there a difference between hearing the gospel in your ears and listening to it in your soul.

    Christ was unselfish in every possible action while on earth and I try (even struggle) to model myself after Him in every possible way. Thus, after listening to Dave’s thoughts, I can only ask him to give other Christians the benefit of the doubt and look only towards Christ. But then again, it appears that my blessings for him may fall upon his deaf ears (but not His ears). I can go on with my life examples but the only person who can change Dave’s mind is Dave. I am not persuasive but I am faithful.

    His take on God and Adam and Eve made me think. The only way I can put it in terms that I know I could understand is through my 4 year old son. He is created in my image and I love this little boy so much that it is beyond words and emotions. His love for me is genuine because he choose to show that love for me. I cannot make him love me because that would not be sincere – we would both know it wasn’t sincere. When I ask him to stay out of trouble, he knows I say this because I care for his safety. If anyone else influences his thinking and decides to get into trouble anyway, would it show love and/or make sense to ignore and let him get into more trouble? Of course not. Because I love him, I have to discipline him and hope he sees this as love. God created Adam and Eve so that they would love Him on their own accord (free will). But they (us) chose to be selfish and as a result, man has constantly fallen short of God’s glory. Nonetheless, He still loved, loves, and will love us. He did so by letting Jesus into our lives. Is this playing the game? I don’t think so. I believe it is a loving Father that does not want us to perish in our iniquities.

    I still want others to hear this podcast’s first and second parts of this so they can understand and learn from this. We Christians have so little to learn and not enough gumption or faith to practice it.

    Stay well, Tom. I hope my comments made sense (it is 2:30 am so my brain is a little fried as I type this). Looking forward to part II.

    Atlanta, GA

  6. John Cummins says:

    Yo Tom,
    This was such fun listening to Dave and your editorial comments. What a great idea for a podcast. Can I steal it for mine? I think your comments are very level-headed and full of grace.

    Dave’s misunderstandings about being born again and then “?? unborn again??” are confusing at best but really rather widespread in Evangelical circles, where often people are saved and resaved on a weekly basis. The idea that he gave his life to Jesus and then took it back shows a drastic misunderstanding of Faith from the start, certainly gets into the area of Freewill v. Predestination which has been in debate for centuries. I certainly sympathize with Dave in the areas of hypocritical Christianity but your answers are quite good in that area.

    I had a church background extremely close to Dave’s and this idea of “decision-making” or when I decided to get saved (and then, later, unsaved), is at the very root of the problem. Really, though Dave “studied” the Bible, if it is not mixed with Faith (which is evidence), it is ultimately of no use.

    Really, I think the sovereignity of God is what is missing from Dave’s thoughts. Also, as to killing, there is no comparison between the “Christians’ killing” and the atheistic killings in numbers through the centuries, ie. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Sanger. No comparison at all.

    Tom, you may be right that Dave is at journey’s end or then again, possibly Dave has not even begun the journey.

    Thanks for the podcast.

  7. Chris2x says:

    I was a little leary about your decision to re post Dave’s podcast but I was glad in the end that you did.

    As i thought about Dave and his journey my thoughts kept coming back to his comment about gamesmenship. He talked about friends who went out and lived a wild life during their youth. The go have fun now and repent later approach. It is not an uncommon perspective.

    At an age when Dave’s friends were off doing that in college I was hanging out with the Christian group, but not for the reasons that it sounds like Dave would think. I was not trying to deny myself the fun of frat parties for some reward later on. I was just having too much fun to have time for them. Those years were great years for learning more and deepening my commitment to God, but I was also having a blast and making friends that I still have (including my wife).

    Shouldn’t that always be the case? Aren’t Christians supposed to be recognized by their fruit? Doesn’t that list start with love and joy?

    That has not always been my experience, I have know more than a few with the “sucking on lemons” expressions. But in general, that has been my experience in the church.

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