Jump directly to the Content

The Churchgoing Atheist

A bad example of the church's prophetic potential.

Why come to church if you don't believe in God? Robert Jensen is a self-described "Christian atheist" who just published a memoir, All My Bones Shake, about his experiences at church.

Jensen drew attention a few years ago when he wrote this article about his decision–perplexing, for Christian and secular folks alike–to become a member of a local Presbyterian church. The University of Texas professor said he "didn't convert in a theological sense but joined a moral and political community."

We could talk about how ridiculous it is for any congregation to affirm someone with Jensen's atheistic convictions as a fellow believer, but I'd be preaching to the choir here. (Speaking of which, Jensen was apparently even invited to preach one Sunday.) Instead, let's look at the most interesting line from Jensen's 2006 piece:

In a depoliticized society such as the United States – where ordinary people in everyday spaces do not routinely talk about politics and underlying values – churches are one of ...
Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

October
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Video Ur: Shane Hipps at NPC
Video Ur: Shane Hipps at NPC
Virtual community and a pixelated gospel.
From the Magazine
Christian Aid Agencies Have a New Approach to Famine
Christian Aid Agencies Have a New Approach to Famine
Relief has changed in time for Africa’s worst food shortage in 80 years.
Editor's Pick
What We Lose When We Livestream
What We Lose When We Livestream
Do our online viewers truly realize what they’re missing?
close