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Lost cause

Books | Journalist tells his story of embracing, and then rejecting, Christianity

Issue: "Playing with capitalism," May 23, 2009

"I couldn't stand the person I had become," journalist William Lobdell said about himself as he turned 28-so he stopped being (by his own account) a drunk and philanderer, married his girlfriend (with whom he already had a son), and soon afterward professed faith in Christ. He asked his employer, the Los Angeles Times, if he could write about religion, and soon he was winning awards and developing a national reputation. A decade later, though, televangelists and clergy sex scandals had disgusted him, and he turned against Christianity.

Lobdell tells of his decision in Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America-and Found Unexpected Peace (Collins, 2009). He calls himself a "skeptical deist," among other things, and asks some good questions: How could Jesus be transforming lives when people called Christians act brutally? And if God is just and sovereign, how could He allow what Lobdell saw during his years of reporting about religion? Such questions have good answers, but Lobdell ignores them and settles for easy targets such as "Christianity" and the "church," while largely ignoring Jesus Himself.

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Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren is vice president of mission advancement for The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and the host of WORLD Radio’s Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.


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