Darrin Rasberry’s Journey From a Christ Hating Atheist to Christ Follower.


The testimony of former atheist Darrin Rasberry. He used to write for John Loftus’ blog site Debunking Christianity, and is currently a math teacher at Ellsworth Community College.

Disclaimer: I searched Debunking Christianity (DC) and it appears that this testimony is true (it took place in 2011). To this end John Loftus (admin at DC) commits the No-True-Scotsman fallacy (to say that someone never really believed A before he rejected it to believe B, when he actually did initially believe A) by accusing Rasberry in saying that he “was never an atheist in the first place.” Nevertheless, according to Rasberry:

“Some time last week, I realized that I could no longer call myself a skeptic. After fifteen years away from Christianity, most of which was spent as an atheist with an active, busy intent on destroying the faith, I returned to a church (with a real intention of going for worship) last Sunday. Although I know I may struggle with doubt for the rest of my life, my life as an atheist is over.

The primary motivator in my change of heart from a Christ-hater to a card-carrying Disciples of Christ member was apologetic arguments for God’s existence. Those interested in these arguments may pursue them in the comments section, but I don’t want to muddle this explanation up with formal philosophical proofs. Briefly, I grew tired of the lack of explanation for: the existence of the universe, moral values and duties, objective human worth, consciousness and will, and many other topics. The only valid foundation for many of those ideas is a personal, immaterial, unchanging and unchangeable entity. As I fought so desperately  to come up with refutations of these arguments – even going out of my way to personally meet many of their originators, defenders, and opponents  – I realized that I could not answer them no matter how many long nights I spent hitting the books. The months of study rolled on to years, and eventually I found an increasing comfort around my God-believing enemies and a growing discontent and even anger at my atheist friends’ inability to kill off these fleas in debate and in writing, an anger that gave birth to my first feeling of separateness from skepticism after reading comments related to a definitively refuted version of the Christ Myth theory, the idea that Jesus Christ never even existed as a person at all. Line after line after line of people hating Christianity and laughing at its “lie,” when solid scholarship refuting their idea was ignored completely. It showed that the motive of bashing and hating Christianity for some skeptics wasn’t based in reason and “free thinking” at all, although it would be unfair to lump many of my more intellectually rigorous and mentally cool skeptic friends in this way.

As time went on, I reverted the path I traced after giving up Christianity so long ago: I went from atheist to agnostic to … gulp … *leaning* in the direction of God, to finally accepting that he very well could exist, and then to coming out and admitting (quietly) He did exist. After considering Deism (the belief in a God who abandons His creation), Islam, Hinduism (yes, Krishna, don’t laugh), Baha’i, and even Jainism briefly, I have decided to select Christianity due to its superior model for human evil and its reconciliation, coupled with the belief that God interacted with man directly and face-to-face and had *the* crucial role in this reconciliation. This, of course, doesn’t prove that Christianity is absolutely true (although I can prove that God exists), but rather reflects my recognition that Christianity is exactly what I would expect to be the case given that God exists.

There are problems that I have with adopting any specific layout of Christianity, which explains my current attendance at what many of you may consider to be a very liberal denomination in the Disciples of Christ. Their aim is to unify all believers in the essentials, while leaving nonessential beliefs (however important) up to the member to decide. The essentials are about all I can honestly grasp at this moment. At its philosophical core, I prefer the Reformed (Calvinist) tradition, perhaps by a long shot, but there are many very serious practical issues I can’t resolve. Conversely, Catholicism is a practical Godsend (pardon the term) but I have problems with their philosophy. And I don’t agree with many political issues of either of those branches or the majority of Christian branches in general. I have a long way to go and I know the many problems religion has in general and that Christianity has in specific, but they do not exceed the fatal problems in skepticism.

I understand that this may confuse and even upset many of the friends I’ve had for a long time, both in my personal life and in the years-long journey I’ve made as a skeptic-to-believer. Christianity is not without its critics, and given the absolutely shameful way many “Christians” have treated homosexuals, drug addicts, people of other faiths (and of no faith) and races, and even people of different Christian denomination, and given the often intellectually embarrassing way we’ve handled science and philosophy, I would not blame you for a second if you did not want to associate with me based on the track record of those who claim to believe similarly to what I believe now. I am the same Darrin as I was before, a math teacher, a storm chaser, D&D gamer, drunk philosopher, a lover of beer that’s too strong and spice that’s too hot,  and all the rest of it. I just hope to be a little cleaner, more honest, more Christ-like. I won’t throw the Bible at you and I won’t preach to you with wild eyes and a million mile stare about how you shouldn’t be gay or how you should focus on what Hitch calls the “eternal theme park.” This is all the evangelism you’ll get from me (unless you ask after I’ve had too much Guinness) and I do hope it’s quite enough to motivate you to study the evidence for God’s existence yourself and to read the Bible without the predetermined idea of tearing it apart. Come over to the dark side; we have tea and cookies.”

Source: Ultimate Object and the Journey To Orthodoxy.

18 responses to “Darrin Rasberry’s Journey From a Christ Hating Atheist to Christ Follower.

  1. It seems that he has a long way to go, but he is definitely headed in right direction. He does though seem to be ahead of the curve to a good amount of self proclaimed Christians. The true Christian seeks to be what Rasberry said he seeks be; “more Christ-like.” I believe in order to do that we need to try to think like Christ and accept all scripture(Holy Bible) God has given to us and “pick and choose” what we feel is best or fair. I believe God is more fair than any human could ever want to be.

  2. Amen. The truth is absolute. Keep pursuing it with passion and love in your heart.


  3. Really cool story man. I’m a convert into the Roman Catholic Church. I’m reading Johns book “why I became an atheist” for the first time. I appreciate the scope of the book, but haven’t been very impressed with his rebuttals of the classical arguments for the existence of God. I feel comfortable taking his “outsiders test” and feel that “God” very reasonably exists. In regards to catholic philosophy, have you read any of Ed Feser? “The last superstition” and “aquinas” were both quite worth the price of the books.

  4. Romans 1 says we all know God exists, but we suppress the truth in unrighteousness. I too, once claimed to be an “angry atheist”. But that’s like a criminal saying they don’t believe in a Judge. Keep pursuing the truth, keep reading your Bible, God is good! http://www.180movie.com God bless!

    • Ha! Good one. It has also been said that an atheist can’t find God for the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman.

  5. If those are the arguments that convinced you of a God then perhaps you didn’t spend much time thinking about them or don’t have much interest in logic and philosophy. They are no more than arguments from incredulity which is why the Philpapers survey show 74% of philosphers are atheist.

    this part here “although I can prove that God exists” is of course ludicrous. You’d win a nobel prize for this. Normally when someone asserts they can prove god it is some sort of first cause argument that shows a lack of understanding about special relativity and quantum mechanics. I hope your proof is better than those given by the usual suspects which have repeatedly failed.

  6. Pingback: Part #2. Refuting Atheist John Loftus – Atheism. | Historical Jesus studies.·

  7. I think Loftus was being sarcastic when he said that Rasberry was “never an atheist in the first place.” He was mocking the Christians who dismiss deconversions from Christianity by saying that those who deconverted were not true Christians. Loftus said in that post that people come to faith and lose their faith for all sorts of reasons.

  8. It is important to be filled with the holy spirit and seek the mind of Christ to understand scripture.we tend to interpret scripture carnal minded.

  9. Sorry Darrin but you obviously have a bad stereotypical impression of atheists. Your effective definition as ” Christ haters” and ‘anti Christian” is not one with which I aim familar although I have read comments online from some. I am areligious but not anti religion – except where religious citizens try to incorporate specific religious belief into state/social/political domains. When the latter occurs my opposition is solely to the interference and/or attempts at exclusivity. I have no problems with anyone believing in their own personal philosophy no matter how incredible l find it. It is only when they try to impose their beliefs or its consequences as a matter of right that I draw lines in the ground. I consider myself as having managed to recover from my childhood brainwashing and my philosophy of life is the right to do as I choose provided I do not impinge on anybody else’s rights.

    • Colossians 1:27 ..not ‘advocating’ anything..but this might help explain some things (frighteningly, I saw atheism itself..the reality of it..as a symptom of some kind of ‘Transcedent (cosmic) Lie’. It’s nothing more than a symptom. Atheists do not hold the market on unbelief…they just happen to have allowed themselves to become victims of the symptom so much that they sold themselves on the idea irrationally Apparently Sam Webb didn’t read the post. He wrote: Sorry Darrin but you OBVIOUSLY have a bad stereotypical impression of atheists”..”Sorry” Sam, Darrin would know..he was one and worked with them..there is no such thing as a stereotypical atheist just as there is no such thing as a stereotypical Christian. An atheist is a an atheist, just as one in Christ is one whom is Posseseed by and in Possession of Him. http://www.christinyou.net/pages/Xnotrel.html

  10. Colossians 1:27 ..not ‘advocating’ anything..but this might help explain some things (frighteningly, I saw atheism itself..the reality of it..as a symptom of some kind of ‘Transcedent (cosmic) Lie’. It’s nothing more than a symptom. Atheists do not hold the market on unbelief…they just happen to have allowed themselves to become victims of the symptom so much that they sold themselves on the idea irrationally http://www.christinyou.net/pages/Xnotrel.html

  11. Darrin appears to have originally left faith because of his disappointment and anger in his theist beliefs and he has returned because of his disappointment and anger in his atheist beliefs. My impression is drawn from the old proverb, “In all of your personal disappointments, there is one common denominator: You.”
    Because Darrin draws his anger from his strawman atheists who simply didn’t meet the demands of his superior intellect, I would venture that the gentleman will simply not be satisfied with any club that would have him as a member. Nothing to see here. Move along.

  12. As I understand things, an atheist would examine the claims made by religion and find that there is no evidence for support of those claims. This is an ultimate position, in that if later evidence was found to support the claims of religion, this evidence would be easy to show clearly that gods in fact do exist. Any person who claims to have been an atheist and then changes their position and is not able to show convincing evidence for the reasons of a change, could never have been an atheist in the first place. Sometimes people never were Scottish.

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