Deconversion stories from Evangelical Christianity are a staple of New Atheist propaganda. Many of these stories are moving and reveal a painful personal history. They can have significant influence on leading people away from the faith, especially when they involve the story of a family member of someone prominent in Christian ministry. One such story is told here. One can easily sympathize with the pain and struggle clearly shown.
I cannot comment on the young woman’s family life, since I have no personal knowledge of it. This post should not be construed as a comment or judgment about her or her family. I have no reason to doubt that her struggles with faith are and were sincere. However, I can say this. In 30 years of doing and teaching apologetics I have almost never seen anyone who converts or deconverts because of purely intellectual motives. Most of the time people change worldviews when for personal and emotional reasons, their old view is no longer seen to be working for them. While intellectual issues play a part, usually they are far outweighed by emotional factors. The particular question she raises that derailed her faith, concerning the question of morality and sin in the Bible, can be reasonably answered from a strictly intellectual standpoint. But I doubt that this is, or was, the main issue. I suspect there is more to this story than what she is telling us. But, regardless it raises some issues that Christian apologists ought to consider. Continue reading