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Rational Doubt: What Happens After One Leaves Religion

In July I took a big step publicly and came out of the closet about being a secular humanist. I wrote about it at the Chronicle of Higher Education (“Losing Faith in Religious Higher Education: What happens when a seminary professor joins the religiously ‘unaffiliated’?”) and in The Guardian (“When we give up a faith, we grieve for the community we leave behind”).

This week I was invited by Rational Doubt at Patheos—a blog by founding members of The Clergy Project—to write about what it is like now that I’m out. Of course, Continue reading…


Consider No Evil Review at Crux Sola

Over at Crux Sola, Dr. Christopher Skinner, Associate Professor of Religion at the University of Mount Olive, blogs about my book co-written with Menachem Wecker, Consider No Evil: Two Faith Traditions and the Problem of Academic Freedom in Religious Higher Education (2014). There he details what it’s about and why academic freedom in religious higher education might always be a problem.

“There is much to be gained from thinking through the issues Withrow and Wecker point out in the course of their various discussions. We should be grateful for both their wisdom and their honesty….” Read the full Review


Where Blasphemy Laws Reign

Photo: Sheikyh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi (UAE) by Jörg Peter (CC0)

This week I have an article up at the Religion News Service that looks at state of blasphemy laws as background to the International Blasphemy Rights Day, which is on Wednesday, Sept. 30. I briefly highlight situations in China, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia and Continue reading…


The Adventures of a Curious Ape

For several years now, Mindy and I have had The Discarded Image as our home for exploring new ideas and literature publicly. We’ve always done this within the context of C.S. Lewis’s metaphor. For Lewis, old worldviews, or “images,” are discarded when they collapse under the weight of new information. With some irony, our public pursuit of a better understanding of the world and the constant discarding of old ideas has also led us to discard The Discarded Image.

We’ve loved writing at the blog, but we felt we needed a place that no longer focused on what we had been—circumscribed by the limits of our former backgrounds—but one that looked forward to what we could become. A place to celebrate human curiosity broadly and demonstrate that inquisitiveness in action.

(For more on my transition to secular humanism, see my recent articles at the Chronicle of Higher Education and The Guardian.)

Our new home, The Curious Ape, is our next chapter, and we welcome other curious apes.

We thank everyone for faithfully reading The Discarded Image. We will keep our archives active. But if you’ve enjoyed that blog, know that you may also enjoy The Curious Ape. To learn more, read our post “Introducing The Curious Ape.”

Please follow us over there at We can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.

Continue reading…