Jerry Johnston Interviews Anthony Pinn on the Increase of Atheism Among the Religious14 August 2016
Completely devoted to church ministry the first 25 years of his life, Anthony Pinn wanted to become a preacher. Then he was done. Pinn became a de-conversion. Has Christianity “lost it”? Despair could easily weigh us down upon observing the many pews vacated by once religiously active youth and adults. While filming at the American Atheist Convention in Memphis, Tennessee, I had the chance to interview Pinn, the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religion at Rice University and Director of Research at The Institute for Humanist Studies Think Tank. I asked Pinn why the number of nones are increasing dramatically. He told me,
“I think people are finding it difficult to reconcile traditional theistic beliefs with the conditions of the world and are looking for new ways to enliven themselves and enliven their communities, new life strategies and they’re willing to leave these earlier traditions in order to make that happen. I think there were periods in our history when Christianity for example could assume allegiance and really didn’t have to work hard to secure it, yeah. But now it’s a different enterprise and churches and other religious organizations are being held accountable, being held suspect, being forced to prove themselves and in a variety of ways falling short. The prosperity gospel is just one example of the ways in which Christianity has just lost it.”
Sadly, men and women in the church are often ill-equipped for the searching questions that a potential de-conversion may ask. You can be prepared for such questions. Cristie Jo and I are creating multiple digital products and resources beyond the documentary that will equip Christians with sound doctrine to answer the tough questions.