A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 8 “The Bill Rice Ranch”

by John Ellis Image is important for the Christian fundamentalist. To be fair, image is important across all subsets of Western culture. We signal how we define ourselves by the ways in which we dress and present ourselves. But, in many ways, especially for the fundamentalism of my youth, image takes on extra import inside … Continue reading A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 8 “The Bill Rice Ranch”

A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 7 “My Year as a Bob Jones University Preacher Boy”

by John Ellis If you continue reading, you’re going to discover that for a span of time as an adult, I was a drug dealer. You’ll read about how truly depraved I was and some of the truly terrible things I’ve done. You’ll find out about some of the weird and incredible, if not miraculous, … Continue reading A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 7 “My Year as a Bob Jones University Preacher Boy”

A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 6

by John Ellis Bob Jones University used to bill itself as the world’s most unusual university. I don’t know if that tag was ever true, but within the fundamentalist bubble of my youth BJU was definitely not unusual. The university was the standard by which many other fundamentalist organizations (including IFB churches) were judged. When … Continue reading A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 6

A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 5

by John Ellis During my transition from a Christian day school to a Bob Jones University student, grunge music and its accompanying culture became my god. It didn’t happen overnight, though. The 1993-94 school year, my senior year, provided me with clarity about my beliefs, or lack thereof, as well as boldness to act on … Continue reading A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 5

A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 4

by John Ellis One of the sad ironies embedded in my authority figures devotion to protecting my testimony was that while they were busy guarding my external actions, Satan was further warping and hardening my rebellious heart of stone. Even if my authority figures had been successful in protecting me from outward acts of sin … Continue reading A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 4

A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 3

by John Ellis Every so often, I wish that my kids could have the schooling experience that I did. My time within the Christian school movement, from kindergarten through high school, was, for the most part, fun and contained a sense of community. I can’t help but wonder if my kids who attend public school … Continue reading A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 3

A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 2

by John Ellis Desiring sympathy and solidarity as we seek an autonomous existence apart from God isn’t new. That’s part of the trap our first parents, Adam and Eve, walked into. In Genesis 3, the Bible calls Serpent-Satan, “crafty.” He is beguiling and a master at feigning understanding through his soothing slither of commiserating words. … Continue reading A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 2

A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 1

by John Ellis On August 2, 1975, I was born for the first time. Interestingly, one of the most vivid metaphors that Jesus used to describe salvation is birth. During a clandestine meeting with a Jewish religious leader, Jesus made the astonishing claim, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he … Continue reading A Godless Fundamentalist: Chapter 1

A Godless Fundamentalist: Introduction and Prologue

by John Ellis Introduction In 1994, Douglas Coupland, the unofficial spokesperson for Gen X, published Life after God. A collection of short stories, the book gave voice to the belief that my generation was “the first generation raised without God.” Beyond just seeing the release of one of Gen X’s seminal works of art, 1994 … Continue reading A Godless Fundamentalist: Introduction and Prologue

Valentine’s Day Played a Role in My Salvation

by John Ellis As a general rule, my wife and I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day. By no means are we opposed to the holiday. But as newlyweds, attempting to live on my theatre artist’s “salary,” we decided that instead of being locked into certain days – Valentine’s Day, our anniversary, birthdays, etc. – we … Continue reading Valentine’s Day Played a Role in My Salvation