The Journey: A church that dares to discuss skepticism

October 20, 2008 | By | 1 Reply More

About a year ago, I visited The Journey, a new church in my neighborhood.   You can see that post here. Although I felt like a “misfit” at The Journey (because I don’t believe in the literal truth of any of the miraculous claims of the Bible) I reveled in the upbeat energy of the congregation and the positive message of the sermon of Darrin Patrick, the Pastor.  After I published my post at DI, Darrin invited me to lunch.  Since that initial meeting, we have developed a genuine friendship and a clearly articulated mutual respect for each other, based on many of the things we do hold in common.   For instance, we are both strong believers in city living, strong believers in the need to improve city schools, and strong believers in the ability of people to work together to improve their communities, despite religious differences.

About a month ago, Darrin asked whether I would agree to be interviewed about my religious skepticism and about this iconoclastic website, Dangerous Intersection.   He wanted to play excerpts from my interview (and portions of interviews of other skeptics) for his congregation to trigger discussions about faith and skepticism.   I immediately agreed, and The Journey is now in the process of exploring these topics at its Sunday morning services, as well as in discussions outside of regular church services.   Yesterday’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch contains a front page story on The Journey’s willingness to explore the existence and role of skepticism and faith in members of the church.   I am quoted briefly in the story and this blog is mentioned.

My deep-felt reaction is one of admiration for Darrin and his church.  I can’t imagine that many other churches have ever allowed the words of a skeptic to be played during a church service.  I plan to attend one or more of these sessions, which will occur over the next eight weeks.

In my video interview, which Darrin indicates will someday be posted at the church’s website, I stressed that Believers and non-Believers have so much in common that these commonalities almost always dwarf the ostensible differences.  There are thus ample opportunities for people of faith and skeptics (even hard-core Believers and shrill skeptics) to work together to address the serious problems faced by our country and our local communities.

That is my faith.

For those of you who are new to this site, some of our recent posts regarding religious faith, the limits of science and the role of religion include the following:

To deal with “arrogant” scientists we need to move beyond reductionism and break the “Galilean Spell.”

Religious rituals as creative play for adults?

What it means to feel certain: review of “On Being Certain”

Has Earl Doherty proved that Jesus did not really walk on earth?

Why institute a blog comment policy that prohibits preaching?

Why I am not an atheist …

What is religion? Here are two points of view, plus Elvis

Churches: Places where rich people go to get God’s approval to live lavishly


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Category: Psychology Cognition, Religion, Science

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. How very encouraging that is! I look forward to seeing the videos. (As you would expect!)

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