The Graceful Atheist Podcast

Matt Cook: Deconversion (not so) Anonymous

An episode of The Graceful Atheist Podcast

By Graceful Atheist
My name is David and I am trying to be the Graceful Atheist.
Join me as I interview people who have experienced faith transitions from doubt, to deconstruction, to deconversion.
We will talk about Secular Grace and Humanism. We will explore how to thrive as a human being on the other side of faith.
And finally, we will grapple with the big questions even when easy answers are not forthcoming.
Available on 12 platforms
Andrew McLeod The Practice Of Insight Meditation
Have you noticed on this side of faith, you cannot escape references to meditation? I have to admit I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to mediation. So I decided to have my friend and colleague, Andrew McLeod, on the podcast to help me understand what the practice of insight meditation is all about. Andrew has been practicing meditation for 20 years, he has been on multiple silent retreats and he has had the unfortunate task of trying to teach me meditation. Andrew makes compelling arguments for the usefulness of mediation. It helps one become more accepting of oneself and not mired by emotional reactions. It encourages one to live in the moment. It helps jump start loving kindness for others. Links: Get in touch with Andrew on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mcleodent Learn more about insight meditation: Insight meditation society: https://www.dharma.org Jack Kornfield: https://jackkornfield.com Sharon Salzburg: https://www.sharonsalzberg.com Attribution: "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Makaih_Beats  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
1:38:31
April 18, 2019
Jim Palmer on Humanism
On today's episode I am finally getting the opportunity to discuss the topic I am most interested in: Humanism or what I call Secular Grace. It is ultimately about answering the question, "how do we live life well post deconversion?" Rather than looking backwards, it is looking forward to learning to thrive as a human being. My guest today is Jim Palmer. Jim is an ordained minister, receiving his Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Divinity School in Chicago. After serving several years as the Senior Pastor of a non-denominational church, Jim left professional ministerial life on a quest for more authentic spirituality and has authored five books about his journey. In addition to writing, speaking and his spiritual direction practice, Jim is an adjunct professor in the areas of Ethics and Comparative Religion. He is the Co-Founder of the Nashville Humanist Association and is a certified Humanist Chaplain with the American Humanist Association.  Links: Jim's Website http://www.jimpalmerauthor.com/ Jim's Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Jim-Palmer/e/B001JSBR04 Jim's Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/jimpalmercommunity/ Jim's LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimpalmerauthor Jim's Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jimpalmer_12/ Jim's Twitter  https://twitter.com/jimpalmer Jim's Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6862801.Jim_Palmer Human beings having a human experience quote: https://twitter.com/jimpalmer/status/1109421270444240897 Clergy Project http://clergyproject.org/ The Humanist Society https://www.thehumanistsociety.org/ "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
1:22:47
April 11, 2019
Matt Cook: Deconversion (not so) Anonymous
Today's show is a Deconversion (not so) Anonymous episode. In these episodes, people who have gone through deconversion or faith transitions tell their stories anonymously or otherwise. On today's episode, my guest is Matt Cook from Toronto Canada. Matt was a former evangelical missionary to Pakistan and a preacher who lost his faith about six years ago. Matt is not your typical deconvert. He calls himself religious but not spiritual. Several years after deconversion, Matt chose to live a year "Christianly." During that year he prayed, he read the bible daily, he went to church and practiced other spiritual disciplines. Although, it did not change his mind he has found continued value in these disciplines and practices some of them to this day.  You can learn more about Matt and his year of living Christianly at his blog mwcook.com, on his YouTube channel and @matt_the_cook on Twitter. In the show we discuss the possibility of becoming a humanist chaplain (or celebrant or officiant), if you are interested in exploring that role or if you are looking for a humanist celebrant to officiate a wedding, dedication or funeral find the humanist organization for your country. In the US, it is the American Humanist Society. In Canada, it is Humanist Canada. Wikipedia lists more organizations. "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 
1:17:07
April 4, 2019
Reverend David Hellsten Interviews the Graceful Atheist
This is the first "A Believer Interviews the Graceful Atheist" episode.  In these episodes, I will have believers on who I have grown to trust interview me. Rather than try to argue with them I’ll see if I can get them to understand why I no longer believe. The idea is to reverse the roles and have the believer in the skeptics seat asking the questions. As deconverts, we may find ourselves in the odd position of defending our former faith when believers want to suggest that we must never have been a "True Christian" or that our faith must not have been real. This episode was prompted by a discussion on Twitter on this topic and the genuine and open response from David Hellsten. In this episode, Reverend David Hellsten, a Baptist pastor from Milford on Sea in the UK, will be in the skeptics seat asking the questions. The Twitter conversation that prompted the show. In the show I mention the Clergy Project, which is a great resource for current and former religious professions who find themselves no longer believing. You can find them at: http://clergyproject.org/ "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 
1:29:59
March 28, 2019
Susan: Deconversion Anonymous
This is the first of the Deconversion Anonymous episodes. In these episodes, people who have gone through deconversion or faith transitions tell their stories. On this episode, Susan from Scotland tells us how she grew up Presbyterian but began to ask hard questions at a very early age. She felt empathy for those who were different from herself and recognized a lack of empathy in the church leaders. Ultimately, she deconverted in her twenties and now lives with intellectual honesty, empathy and compassion on the other side of faith. If you want to tell your story about your faith transition, get in touch with me at gracefulatheist@gmail.com or @GracefulAtheist on Twitter. "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 
46:13
March 21, 2019
Welcome to the Graceful Atheist Podcast
Welcome to the Graceful Atheist Podcast My name is David and I am trying to be the Graceful Atheist. I am a humanist. And I believe that human connection is the most profound experience one can have. It is this human connection that will be the focus of the podcast. There are three main themes that I want to explore: Faith Transitions, Secular Grace and Self Honesty. Faith Transitions The first theme is faith transitions from doubt to deconstruction to deconversion. If you are anything like me, the process of deconversion feels lonely and one of the first things you want to do is tell your story. But who are you going to tell? It is possible that your friends and family are still believers and they will be unlikely to appreciate your story. Even the non-believers in your life may be non-pulsed if they have never gone through a deconversion experience. Telling your story is a cathartic part of the deconversion process. If you want to tell your story for the podcast, you can remain anonymous, use a pseudonym, or if you are out as a non-believer, you can tell the world. The message of the podcast is that if you are going through a faith transition, you are not alone. Secular Grace The second major theme is Secular Grace. Secular Grace is a proactive acceptance, love and caring for our fellow human beings person to person. Think of it as humanism plus. Where humanism has tended to focus on the rational for ethics and human rights, Secular Grace focuses on human connection, belonging, awe and love. Rather than be defined by what I don't believe. I want to be defined by what I do believe. I believe in people. Self Honesty The final theme, self honesty, will be an aspirational goal and the ethos of the podcast. One of the plans I am most excited about for the podcast is a role reversal interview called “A Believer Interviews the Graceful Atheist.” In these episodes, I will have friends of mine who are believers who I trust interview me. I’ll allow them to ask the hard questions and rather than try to argue with them I’ll see if I can get them to understand why I no longer believe. If, and only if, they are interested they can come back for a second episode where I will ask them some tough questions about their faith. Join me Please join me on this journey. If you want to tell your story about your faith transition, get in touch with me at gracefulatheist@gmail.com or @GracefulAtheist on Twitter. Attribution "Waves" track written and produced by Makaih Beats Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 
11:47
March 14, 2019
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