Paul Maxwell
Dr. Paul Maxwell, a former Moody professor and author for Desiring God.

Former Moody Professor & Author for Desiring God Announces He’s No Longer a Christian

By Julie Roys

Dr. Paul Maxwell—an author, former Moody Bible Institute professor, and writer for Desiring God—has announced he’s no longer a Christian.

Maxwell announced his decision yesterday in an emotional video on his Instagram feed. Today, that announcement is gone. But it was captured online and is posted below:

The Roys Report reached out to Maxwell for comment about why he removed the video, but he did not respond.

“What I really miss is connection with people,” Maxwell reportedly wrote on Instagram. “What I’ve discovered is that I’m ready to connect again. And I’m kind of ready not to be angry anymore. I love you guys, and I love all the friendships and support I’ve built here. And I think it’s important to say that I’m just not a Christian anymore, and it feels really good. I’m really happy.”

Maxwell then reportedly followed up with a message responding to those who expressed concern about Maxwell’s eternal destiny.

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“I just say, ‘I know that you love me.’ I know, and I receive it as love. I know you care about the eternal state of my soul and you pushed through the social awkwardness of telling me this because you don’t want me to suffer. And that is a good thing. That’s a loving thing to do. And I hear where you’re coming from, and I respect your perspective.”

Maxwell served as a professor of Philosophy at the Moody Bible Institute (MBI) from 2015—2017. Before that, Maxwell was an acquisitions editor for church leader resources with Moody Publishers and a teaching and research assistant for Dr. Kevin Vanhoozer at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Just two months ago, Maxwell published a book called, The Trauma of Doctrine: New Calvinism, Religious Abuse, and the Experience of God, which won the critical acclaim of several, well-respected evangelical authors and scholars, including Vanhoozer, Vincent Bacote of Wheaton College, and Andrew Schmutzer, a professor at MBI.

Maxwell also spoke at Wheaton College in February of 2019 on the topic of his book.

According to Wheaton’s website, Maxwell is a survivor of childhood abuse and believes conservative Protestants are “too captivated by the concept of moral responsibility to see the real pathological elements of trauma.”

In addition to writing and speaking on trauma and theological issues, Maxwell also is an avid body builder. This has been the focus of several of his books, as well.

On Maxwell’s Instagram account, there are several shirtless pictures of Maxwell, as well as his workout plan.

Paul Maxwell
Paul Maxwell (Source: Instagram)

Maxwell also has made several controversial comments about Christian men being too effeminate.

In a 2018 video, Maxwell claimed that young women “who aren’t feminist lunatics” complain that men in the church are “passive and submissive” and “well-behaved beta males . . . which is to say, most Christian men who do well in evangelical churches are basically women.”

Maxwell further argues that questioning the “basic tenets of Christianity” is a sign that one is masculine, or “high in the trait of self-assurance” and “self-confidence.”

Maxwell likens those who question their faith to “the kind of man, who would have gone into the western frontier in the 19th century.” Yet instead of affirming these skeptics, Maxwell says Christians conclude: “No, you’re probably just an arrogant prideful jerk, who needs to repent and buy some pleated khakis, and get a polo, because Proverbs 12:15 says: ‘The way a fool is writing his own lies, but a wise man listens to his advice’—which of course means you need to listen to the advice of your effeminate pastor, right?”

Maxwell is the latest addition to a list of several high-profile Christian men who have renounced Christianity in the past few years.

In 2019, Joshua Harris, a former pastor at Covenant Life Church and author of the best-selling book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, announced he was no longer a believer and apologized to the LGBT community for his views on sexuality.

“I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry,” he wrote.

More recently, Jon Steingard of the Christian band Hawk Nelson announced he no longer believes in God. Former Hillsong worship leader Marty Sampson also posted on Instagram that he’s “genuinely losing (his) faith . . . and it doesn’t bother me.”

Responding to some of these defections, John Cooper of the Christian band Skillet wrote in 2019: “I am stunned that the seemingly most important thing for these leaders who have lost their faith is to make such a bold new stance. Basically saying, ‘I’ve been living and preaching boldly something for 20 years . . . and now I no longer believe it..therefore I’m going to boldly and loudly tell people it was all wrong while I boldly and loudly lead people in to my next truth.’. . . Why be so eager to continue leading people when you clearly don’t know where you are headed?”

In an article published last October, Maxwell announced that he’s launching a new business offering courses on theology and “meta-skills for young adults.” Maxwell also began taking donations for that new business.

An Instagram post by Maxwell in February advertised that annual memberships for his courses are on sale for $99.

This article has been updated with video of Maxwell’s announcement.

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108 thoughts on “Former Moody Professor & Author for Desiring God Announces He’s No Longer a Christian”

    1. Maxwell seems to be a narcissist seeking to discover some confiident sense of his maleness and hoping Christianity would have validated it for him. The idea of grace is sufficient amidst human weakness is an affront to that quest.

    2. The soldier of the Crusades is traditionally viewed as quite masculine and they practiced “chivalry” re: women and children, so I wonder how Maxwell would thinks about that? Yep, this is prepping for an announcement. ……Considering his apology to the LBGT community, I speculate he trends toward “coming out” as same-sex. Brace for more such “falling away.”

  1. To ME it looked like he was in pain, not a place of Joy. I feel sorrow for him. I hope He is drawn back to Jesus soon.

    1. I agree. The title of his recent book shows me he has been hurt deeply and I pray he is drawn to Christ and His healing.

  2. I have some understanding and sympathy for what would drive him to this point. Ever since Trump was a thing I haven’t wanted to have anything to do with evangelicals. Their worship of him and the extreme hate they radiate is just embarrassing.

    1. Amennnnnnnn. If the evangelicals spent some time reminding trump that your smugness and making fun of people and insulting people is not a good Christian walk, therefore show your changing or we have to excuse ourselves from being your spiritual leader. But they saw themselves as prophets of gods (I’m rlmao at their hubris) and were really just PROFITING off trump.

      1. No religion at all

        It’s all about trump and the disgusting members of the evangelical industrial complex who fawned over him. The Falwells still looking for pool maintenance person?

    2. The problem is that Christians don’t understand the role of church and the role of politics in their lives I believe. They are two different things but so many Christians are trying to merge them into one. Many believe that Christians will take over politics, and the world, which will usher in Jesus. The problem is not Trump or Biden as I see it in the church. The problem is our theology and it should be challenged. I think we have too much government in our pulpits on Sunday. I don’t need someone to tell me how to vote. I need someone to teach me how to walk my Christian faith in obediance to God. I need to learn the meat of God’s Word. Politics are the easier of the two and I think we in the church swerve off into it because we have gotten a bit lazy. Most humans prefer to do the easier thing. I think it is much harder to walk the Christian faith in today’s world. I also think there are a lot of people that will identify as Christian until it gets hard or they loose friends over it. They were Christian in name only.

      I witnessed to a man who told me he already said the sinner’s prayer. He told me he did all that. The person who lead him said just say this and the understanding will come later. He confessed to me that he still didn’t understand but he believed he was a Christian because he was told a prayer made him one even though he had no clue what he was praying. How does one go about helping him understand? I tried but probably fell short. Our churches are full of people that said a prayer and think some magic wand made them a Christian.

      In our American political system we have two choices. How in the world can you condemn me for voting when I only had two choices? That is like giving me a choice of eating steak or chicken. If I chose steak I am darned and if I chose chicken I am darned. If you gave me steak, lamb, chicken, turkey, and pork then I chose steak it is different. Republicans had Trump. Democrats had Biden. Someone is going to hate you for a choice you make and we had nothing to do with coming up with the two really. Hopefully we can get third party candidates and more choices but in the meantime please don’t bash me for voting for who I did. Most of those choices are out of our control anyway yet we argue about it. Most countries have lots of political parties to choose from. Thereare many voices to choose from. I guess all systems have good or bad but coupling our faith with politics is not a good idea.

      1. I don’t know if you will encounter the man you witnessed to again. But there is a good video on youtube called: “The truth about the sinner’s prayer and Romans 10:9 (don’t be deceived)”. That may help him to understand what is it to really become a disciple.

  3. Mt 13:18-23 Jesus’ parable of the seed and the sower anticipates all this.

    The pressures and cares of the world are wearing a lot of people down. Why risk the benefits of this rich materialistic society like money, jobs, credentials, entry into esteemed professions, respect, etc.? Just tell the lie and be rewarded.

    Racism in the name of ending racism is a good thing. People have periods. Race is an immutable characteristic, but sex (male and female) is a social construct. An adult man on female hormones is a woman. People are basically good. Get rid of police, ramp up the therapy, and all will be well. Redefine deviance and crime as normal or psychological conditions and a new more just, better society will magically appear. We can create from on high a society with equal outcomes for everyone.

    We can choose to live by lies and get by, but at the cost of our souls.

    Read Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s essay:

    https://archive.org/details/LiveNotByLies/mode/2up

    Indeed, let the whole world succumb to lies if it will, but not by me.

  4. The whole time Dr. Maxwell was telling his followers he is so very happy, to me he just looked devastatingly sad. Life can be so hard. I pray he finds true peace in Christ Jesus.

  5. Each time I see headlines like this, my heart sinks even more than when some sort of scandal comes out. Lord, have mercy on us.

  6. Paul Maxwell is being described as a deconversion. The end of John 6 describes a large deconversion moment during Jesus’ ministry. Maybe we can draw some guidance from that incident.

    1. Good illustration, but at least the disciples that turned away here seem to have done so due to the actual words of Jesus, not a bitter caricature of some of His (possibly fake) followers and the Church like Maxwell seems to be doing.

      Peter and the true disciples recognized Jesus for who He is, the Holy One of God, the only way to eternal life.

  7. They were connected with a form of Christianity until it became unprofitable and unpopular. As has been said by many, God often uses persecution to purge the church of false brethren.

  8. I was a Christian for over 20 years. Experienced miracles signs and wonders. The fact is the Christian religion is man made. Jesus never came to give us a religion or doctrine but to show us who we are. I have deconstructed from religion and I am the happiest and free-est I have ever been. The Kingdom of God is within you not in a religion. I hope you all one day have that revelation.

    1. Gordon Hackman

      “Jesus never came to give us a religion or doctrine but to show us who we are.”

      And you know this how?

      1. Jesus yes religion nooooo

        Hey Gordon By reading the gospels and listening what Jesus says and not what some grifter says and quit acting like some drone with a cash machine attached to yourself. Aka: if someone from the evangelical industrial complex speaks. Assume it’s a lie.

  9. This gentleman, if he never returns to Christ, was never truly converted and thus he was and is an Apostate. I would pay close attention to two scenario where he’s concerned going forward:

    1. He will become a heterosexual “Wild Child” and be promiscuous.
    2. He will “come out” as a gay man.

    One of those two things will probably happen, from my experience of seeing people renounce their faith.

    1. Leaving Piper probably means coming TO Christ – and incidentally Maxwell doesn’t have to announce his religious beliefs in public any more.

  10. All these judgmental comments break my heart, and you wonder why people are leaving the church. If you view them as lost or even your enemy, show some love and compassion — you know, like Jesus told us to. Shame on all of you.

  11. Peter

    If what you write is accurate…
    “All these judgmental comments break my heart…”
    “Shame on all of you.”

    Why did you write a judgmental comment?

  12. Christopher Martin

    If no one’s in line, I’ll have his job at the school. Seriously.

    If this guy was some nobody who came and went from the local church, this wouldn’t be in the news. That happens all the time. But in this celebrity and image based society, he became a star. Fizzled out after he got what he wanted. Raided the pantry and left. It’s amazing to me how these fellas rise to high positions and are promoted, but they’re pretty useless and truly vacuous dudes from the start. They bang a certain drum, the idiots rave about them, then are shocked when the image fails. Does anyone know how to check foundations any more?

    God bless the no bodies and the little people. To hell with your images. Soli Deo Gloria.
    PS- Calvin is NOT the problem. Stop blaming him for the church’s stupid values.

  13. Christian Hernandez

    “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,”
    ‭‭II Thessalonians‬ ‭2:1-3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

  14. Tandy Vaughn

    Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:29–30)

    Nobody leaps out and Nobody falls out out of fellowship with God if indeed they were in Christ. Christ loses none of his own. There are no apostates. There are however, “never wheres.” Stop aggrandizing so called apostates. Pray for them but stop giving them voice to spread their unbelief and anger towards God.

  15. My heart goes out to him, and tonight, when I pray, Dr M your there.

    However some good news: if Dr M believed in Christ then he’s in Christ. Forever. Though we may (say) we forsake Him, leave Christianity, he never gives up on us. Works-driven Calvinism/penance-driven Catholicism has driven millions to desperation but Christ never forsakes us:

    “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28).

    Return back to the Bible folks and you’ll find rest in Christ. No cost. Free gift of salvation. In Christ forever.

    Denominations have their place but in the end they kick out (free) grace for manward-created works, penance, agonizing. The only work that counts was Christ’s death on the Cross for us (John 19:30).

    He’ll never leave us.

    He’ll never leave you.

    Br Martin

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