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Reporting the Truth.
Restoring the Church.

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

By Julie Roys
Paul Maxwell

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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110 Responses

  1. We all enter into periods of depression and despair which can get us to feel as though that God does not exist. Or that their can be no God since a loving and caring God will not allow us to experience the despondency that we are experiencing in our life. I dont know this former professor of MBI. So I cannot say if that would explain his announcement. It could be just some discouragement which is what I am thinking is the case. Hopefully, he will just as Joshua Harris will come to his senses that the world is not a joyful place. Pray for the prodigals and pray for those family and friends who are impacted. If I could talk to this guy I would tell him that the Book of Job tells us that bad things can and do happen even to the best of us.

    1. “Hopefully, he will just as Joshua Harris will come to his senses that the world is not a joyful place.”

      this is simply not true. there is joy to be found everywhere. christian culture / the christian church are not the exclusive domain of joy.

      1. Scottie, Never said or even implied that Church or the Christian life is where “joy” is. I know plenty of depressed Christian’s and some of whom are in constant despair. If hot even angry. Yeah, if if your a Crack-head and your joy is in that Crack-hit than you could say that crack is your joy. Your point is taken but, really is not reality.

  2. The man reckons Christian men are effeminate – must be because they don’t post selfies of their bald head and gross hairy chests on Instagram like he does – bro!

    1. Unfortunately, that statement is not in the bible if you care to check. Perhaps you know the exact verse that says that

      1. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-3

        Like the natural parent-child relationship is impossible to change, so is our relationship with our Heavenly Father once we are born again and He gives us eternal life.

        “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

        1. Consider this verse and how it applies:

          They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

          (1Jn 2:19)

      2. @MIEKHIE, it’s called “Eternal Life” NOT, “Conditional or “Temporary” Life. Like one writer stated above, is impossible to be “ Un born again”. So, like some have rightly stated, he may be a carnal believer who will be saved yet as through fire (1 Cor 5). Or he was NEVER saved at all. Only God knows.

        1. @Del. I asked for the verse that stated “once save… always save”. All that is promised to us is a seal (the Holy Spirit) guranteeing our eternal life with God. Perhaps we should be certain whether that seal has the conditions to it or not (such as keeping the faith). As long as all we received is a seal (meaning we have not received the real thing yet aka eternal life), who said that God will not take away that seal or Jesus Himself will not reject those who have the seal and yet not doing the Father’s will (Matt 7)

    2. Perhaps not saved to begin with.Paul says check yourselves to see if you are truly in the faith.This guy checked and said nope I outta hear.

  3. Seems like it’s going to be hard to blame the liberals for this one.

    As American society becomes more secular, the political spectrum of the non-religious population will inevitably broaden out making it trend more conservative. After all, the Republican base’s love for Trump isn’t rooted in their religious beliefs, but in their political beliefs, confirming what I have long believed — that political belief is the more fundamental driving force in many religious conservatives’ lives.

    This can be amply demonstrated by the experiences of other secularizing nations, like the UK, where conservatism continues to thrive even as Christianity has fallen by the wayside.

    1. Very interesting point, Tacitus. To add to it, the concept of conservatism (and liberalism) is also constantly changing. I often start any political debate by clarifying what is meant by conservatism or liberalism for that reason. For example, during the civil rights movement, to be pro-integration was a liberal stance. (This is why my mother, who is an evangelical Christian, always proudly describes herself as a liberal – because integration was deemed a liberal concept and she’s proud to have friends and family members of many races.)
      The chide of the time was “you liberal race mixer….you liberals want to water down the races!” Even more recently: many of the stances Reagan took in the 80s are NOT those of today’s conservatives.
      I do agree that as evangelicals realize how they have been USED by the GOP – and more flee “organized religion” – that what is happening in the UK will happen here.

  4. He strikes me as an (ex-)evangelical, 21st-century version of G. Gordon Liddy — albeit at a much younger age.

  5. Some people are intense. This man sounds exhausted. It’s time to sit quietly before the Lord and I hope he’ll do so.

        1. He went to church, served in ministry — for sure, however he never knew and loved Jesus as his Savior. No way! Once one knows and understands the Cross, grace, forgiveness, there’s no way one can leave Christ. Jesus is all there is; there is nothing else.

  6. I’m glad these people go public so that we know who’s in the Church and who isn’t. One wonders if their previous ministry was only one of intellectual pursuit and curiosity.

          1. Scottie, I can see that you have a lot of questions about the Bible and Christianity. Maybe we can get together sometime for a Bible study.

          2. you misunderstand. i’ve spent my life in christianity, have a degree in religious studies. i find my fellow christians use catch phrases, words and concepts glibly as if the issue is settled — some of which actually mean nothing at all, some raise even more questions, and some have devastating significance and consequences for others.

  7. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.
    — 1 John 2:19

    1. So, John intended this as THE verse in the bible to prove you can’t loose your salvation? Interpretive fail. You’d be safer sticking with the parable of the sower.

        1. Yes, there are many passages that we use to discuss the subject but the parable of the sower, the words of Jesus, is a good place to start to keep certain principle in mind.

      1. Scottie, I was just citing a verse that I believe gives some context to professing Christians who later deny Christ.

        1. based on what he said in the video, it’s not apparent that he’s “denying Christ”. He said something akin to “i don’t think I’m a christian anymore”.

          the problem is the definition of ‘being a christian’ has gotten so ridiculously narrow in the last many years. For example, it is implied by powerbrokers that ‘being a christian’ hinges on whether or not you subscribe to complementarianism.

          the pressure is steep to do this, do that, believe this, believe that, if you don’t check all these boxes you are considered “liberal”, illegitimate, many words we could use.

          there are scores of people aren’t sure they’re christians anymore because they’re simply worn out by all the minutiae requirements policed by authoritarian control.

          1. Scottie your my hero. Darren you sound like the person that enjoys wearing people out. Darren less smugness goes along way and I know exactly what Scottie means. Learn from him Darren. He speaks for millions who have no voice or are not strong enough to challenge the evangelical industrial complex bullies who use the Bible as weapon of mass destruction against people who only hope to retain there beliefs in Jesus and live humble lives and learn what he teaches us. Not from the BULLY PULPIT.

          2. Gary, I am sorry if I gave any offense to you or Scottie, or if what I said sounded smug. That was not my intention, nor would I ever want to wear anyone out. I was only trying to understand this article through what God’s word says.

            Scottie, your comment is well taken. It is unfortunate that so many people are not sure whether they are Christians anymore because of how some people have added to what it means to be a Christian. In fact, to your point about having to check certain boxes, I have often thought some believers have turned grace back into a law and ended up becoming Pharisees in the process.

            Regarding the article, Mr. Maxwell said, “I’m just not a Christian anymore.” If being a Christian means following Christ and belonging to Him, then it seems that when a person says he is no longer a Christian he has effectively denied Christ (Jude 4). Maybe there is a better way to define what a Christian is and is not.

  8. “But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.”Hebrews 10:39

    1. I came to faith as a young girl and wanted to follow the Lord always. In my mid 30’s, faithfully serving the Lord in church, and walking in all the ways I knew, I grew increasingly frustrated. I was not walking in known sin. Looking back I was just a carnal Christian, but looked like everyone else I knew. I read, from A. W. Tozer, that you can have as much of God as you want. It was like a light went on. I thought that “much” of God was for those in “ministry”, in positions in the church. I grew up with 3 brothers that became pastors so always was subconsciously striving to “find my place” in Gods heart. It came thru full surrender to the Lord and His ways in my life, not ministry within the church.
      This man appears to have lived a head knowledge, religious life. Churches are big on serving, but lacking in zeal for the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It has been habit that has kept me in the church, but passion for the person of Christ that has often kept me out. The normal Christian life today sometimes is only a shell of what it’s meant to be.
      This man’s bare- chested selfie says it all. Finding his worth in the wrong person.
      Im praying for him, knowing how we can be so close, yet so far from the truth of a surrendered life.
      “Unless a man dies to flesh, to self-will, to the world, he never will live a life that is worth calling life. The condition of all noble ness and all growth upwards is that we shall die daily and live a life that has sprung victorious from death of self”.

  9. What I find extremely telling is where Maxwell is cited saying:

    [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?]

    I don’t know how old Maxwell is. We may be around the same age, maybe. But I’ve “been there – done that.” As a young man, I’ve traversed that territory of trying to be your own man who’s not a cookie cutout of some tame and lame Christian male template. But the thing is, the bible doesn’t allow you to become that if you lean into the bible more than you do human expectations. The bible itself is quite masculine.

    And while I’ve seen individuals who, at least on the surface, seem to somewhat adhere to the caricature Maxwell describes, I’ve been privileged to see many Christian men who are BOTH gentle and unquestionably masculine. As my relationship with God has grown, God has given me an identity of my own that He forged. And that identity isn’t concerned with the templates society tries to throw on me. And so I have no chip on my shoulder towards a church culture that, at times, may try to mold one into a man-made template (rather than God’s ideal). But when one is struggling with identity and security as a man (or woman) too long and not perceivably moving towards resolution, one tends to get bitter.

    I’m sure there’s a whole lot more going on with Maxwell that has led to his declaration of departure from the faith, but I wonder how much of it is about the struggle of identity in relationship to other humans. Maxwell stated of Christians concerned with his eternity “I love you guys, and I love all the friendships and support I’ve built here.” Gracious words, but it’s a bit curious to me that those who leave the faith talk about missing the friendships. I treasure the family of God for sure, but that family is a distant number 2 to my Father God. I’d be more despondent over losing relationship with God than over the friendships I built.

    I pray that Maxwell finds true and abiding relationship and identity in Christ alone.

    1. I pray for him too. He’s hurting. I think God is after him too.

      MM, you nailed it when you said “Identity”. I’ve heard it’s mothers who give us life and show us significance, from fathers we get our identity. If we don’t know our earthly dads or have problems/issues with them it can hinder our understanding of our Father in Heaven, and receiving the Father Heart of God.

      Maxwell was abused by his dad, he is seeking to prove his masculinity by building his muscles. He needs the Father heart of God.

      Men like John Cooper are indeed gentle and masculine. He’s not afraid to question and call out, say what needs to be said, and to be kind.

      I pray Maxwell can find healing and be befriended by genuine, masculine Christian men who can help him know God’s Father heart and how to be a true man of God.

  10. “The bible itself is quite masculine.”

    is it, now. please explain.

    please use your imagination and consider what your statement means for female christians.

    christian culure and its celebrities give all sorts of messages that women should behave according to the feminine stereotype of submissive, obedient, helpful, quiet, in the background.

    so either they should only read the bible sparingly, read it as not *really* meant for them or applying to them…. or is it alright, then, if women read it and become less stereotypically feminine?

    1. I suppose I can try, Scottie.
      I’m a female Christian. I think I understood what MM meant and I can expound.

      The Bible is masculine and feminine.
      On “Revive our Hearts” Nancy Dismoss Wolgemuth once explained the Hebrew words for “man” (ish) and “woman” (isha) translate to “piercer” and “pierced one”, respectively.

      To be masculine is to initiate, to be feminine is to be responsive. Masculine energy protects and contains, feminine energy receives and nurtures life. You could say everyone has a mix of both, a woman will trend more feminine, a man, masculine and HOW it looks in each varies. How a woman is feminine or a man, masculine depends on their nature.

      American Christian culture has made mistakes about “how” men and women “should” be. The Bible has examples of strong women who initiate, yet are feminine and responsive too. Consider Deborah, Ruth, Abigail, Hannah, Esther, even Mary, the mother of Jesus. They are great role models for us ladies. They were strong and at center. They were responsive and submissive when they needed to be. The first witness to Christ resurrected was Mary Magdalene.

      We also have examples of men who are masculine and responsive, such as King David, responsive to what God is initiating in him. Messiah Jesus is also such a man. He teaches and initiates, He is responsive to his Father.

      Maybe this helps answer your questions. It’s us who put masculine/feminine in too small a box, the Bible shows a truer picture.

      1. I appreciate your attempt, S, truly.

        However, I don’t see why a hebrew definition of man and woman should inform anyone as to what it means to be masculine or feminine, to inform them about what it means to be who they are.

        i suspect the hebrew language took its cues from observation of the anatomy of human procreation. So what? Truly, i fail to see why and how that should define who anybody is, aside from how procreation happens.

        Leave it to christian culture to forget about Jesus Christ and fixate on sexual organs instead as the meaning of everything. the irony floors me. (i’m not referring to you, but to the direction of crazy lunacy my religion has taken)

        i’m totally done with it. But not with Jesus Christ.

        it doesn’t occur to some of the commenters here with undeveloped imagination that there is a difference, and who i would expect consider me a hell-bound dangerous disappointment.

        1. I’m curious how you think we know “who anybody is” since you apparently think the design of our bodies is completely meaningless? Is based on our feelings, our desires?

          1. quite the presumption, there.

            i’m saying the etymology of ancient words plucked from their ancient context is not a basis for defining who someone is.

            (the concept of “who someone is” is a conversation topic for the ages.)

          2. I’m sorry if I presumed, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to read from your “so what?” comment a rejection of the significance of the body in determining our meaning and identity.

            In any case your claim about ancient words is nothing but an assertion that you’ve done nothing to establish. Why should anyone accept it as settled fact?

            And in the end, you deflected from giving any kind of answer to my question. But if you can’t answer the question of how we can know who someone is then it’s not at all clear to me how you can make any kind of meaningful assertion about how we can’t either.

        2. Short reply. It can be that creation tells us greater theological truths.

          Julie has a few good blog articles describing the “theology of the body.”

      2. Agreed. God has both traits, but it seems like the masculine ones have been kind of watered down or dismissed a little more than the caring traits in the church generally… You know like mommy church. There’s a book I read a while back called why men hate going to church, and it hit a lot of things on the head. Can totally relate to it. I mean at times there were churches I went to where I felt many of the men were kind of milk toastish. Again it’s not a blanket statement… For a long time I felt like I was just going to church to have my behavior changed. To make me a nice guy. But then I grew really frustrated because there were often times where I didn’t stand up for myself because I felt like it wasn’t being Christ like or I wanted to be nice and be an example. But then I look at Christ in the New testament and men used in the Old testament who were so bold. For example when I was watching that movie Gran Torino, there was part of me that was drawn and attractive to Walt, the main character because of his protective nature his ruggedness yet he had a soft spot and he gave his life for his friend. I just wished in a way there were more Christian Walt’s in the church.

  11. Obviously he angry and this Covid situation has alienated a lot of families. Most younger folks have been dealing with uncertainty, depression, suicidal ideation and lack of personal social bonds. This lockdown has been devastating and scientists look at one thing and do not focus on all the other issues such as alcoholism, drug abuse, family rage and abuse, along with the deleterious affects of social isolation. There were better ways of handling this situation.

  12. Scripture prophecy MUST be fulfilled.

    More “falling away” is “on the way.
    Christ TRANSFORMS.

    Those who have tossed aside the Lord…were only CHANGED…

    and they CHANGED back.

    1. christianity is what people make of it.

      perhaps all these so-called ‘falling away-ers’ are simply worn out from what christian powerbrokers have made of their religion, and the general response of passive compliance.

      perhaps they are they are not tossing aside Jesus Christ but rather a religion that barely resembles Jesus Christ, that focusses on political power, is psychologically destructive, with low ethical standards.

      perhaps their own personal integrity permits nothing less.

      perhaps it’s a matter of survival.

  13. I wonder if the experience of some of these famous folks walking away from the Faith is akin to what Jonah experienced in the last sentences of his eponymous book? A prophet of God on a high profile mission from God undertakes a task only to realize he does not agree with or ultimately understand God and therefore sulks in anger and self-pity trying to come to grips with the vast grace and concern of Yahweh for all peoples?

    1. Jonah did listen to God in the end even if he whined. Otherwise we wouldn’t have the book of Jonah. Despite his humanity, God used him save the Assyrian people.

    2. “walking away from the faith” could actually mean seeing that ‘the faith’ has become a modern-day talmud of sorts that is destructive to self and relationships.

  14. Sounds like a messed up dude. There’s no theological basis for any kind of masculinity litmus test for the church, but putting that aside there’s certainly no shortage of manly men types within the church if he wanted that. Most of the hard core calvinista types would be a reasonable place to look for that.

    I’m an ex-evangelical (though still a believer) and there are a lot of legit reasons to question the current state of evangelicalism, and I could even understand how some people leave the faith over it. But to do so because of its lack of some imagined masculine ideal seems, well, just weird.

    1. JL,
      I often see people who have “fallen away” or “no longer believe” to have been brought up in or started their Christianity in a “fundamentalist” sect. They often are responding against oppressive Christianity and not the real deal. I know the evangelical culture well-remember Amy Grant and Hal Lindsey and that Rock is a tool of Satan?
      I like the term “Orthodox” Christian, but American Evangelicalism is in dire straights.

  15. Maxwell’s words and picture are almost a caricature of an extremely mixed up, messed up person. It is sad that he wastes so much of his time and effort trying to convince everyone, including himself, of his superior masculinity. The most worrisome part of this article is that our brother Maxwell and some of the others say deserting the Lord Jesus feels good or doesn’t bother them.

    If his opinions tempt you to feel bad about yourselves, encourage yourselves with the truth that most of the living, dying, daring deeds, christian living, self sacrifice, and plain old hard work have always been done and are still being done by plain ol’ regular folks. In the spirit of Galations 6:1let’s sincerely pray for those mentioned in this article and for ourselves too.

    1. “The most worrisome part of this article is that our brother Maxwell and some of the others say deserting the Lord Jesus feels good or doesn’t bother them.”

      ‘Christianity’ and Jesus Christ are 2 entirely separate things. Christianity is what people make of it — it’s become some weird Frankenstein of ideas that bear no resemblance to Jesus Christ. Laced with hypocrisy and no accountability it is not unreasonable that someone would see it as prudent to desert, while not deserting Jesus Christ at all.

      1. Or can we can call that the “traditions of men?”

        God gave us His Word and the Holy Spirit to show us how to walk and abide with Him. That Word is true.

        1. So, who’s interpretation of His Word is the right and true one?

          the problem is no matter where a person goes in christian culture, the favored interpretation among so many is the only right one. have a different perspective and you are viewed with suspicion and ‘discipled’ about the gravity of your errant ways.

          well, this is largely driven by powerbrokers who seek to consolidate power, and wannabe powerbrokers who try to dream up the next big thing to make a name for themselves for their own careers & legacy, churning out more and more ‘new’ content so they get read and get attention. rules, rules, and more rules.

          clueless and oblivious as to what it means for the lives at ground zero.

          and the inhabitants of christian culture drink it up, cyclically generating more nonsense ‘content’ from their celebrities-in-the-making. if critical thinking skills were learned at all, most are too lazy to use them.

          if evangelicalism doesn’t implode on its own first, the logical conclusion will be multiple millions of denominations of 1 person each.


          you are kind to interact, and i realize you are the unwitting recipient of my pointed & very focussed thoughts. i can’t help but be angry at the sabotage that has taken place — an entire religion, an investment of so much of my life.

          1. Thank you for your humility. I agree, “Churchianity” in the USA (and other places) is a mess…what I mean by the “traditions of men”.

            God asks us to come as a little child—a childlike faith. He is Father. We are his sheep, He is the shepherd, His sheep know His voice. We have the word, and God talks to us.

            It’s simple and deep all at the same time.

  16. The big shouts who pretend to hold themselves up as role models actually aren’t doing that – they want us to be passive. Perhaps that is what Maxwell means. I’m realising what shocking things I lived through in my youth. I hope Maxwell will slow down enough to attain accurate expression and become a wholesome agnostic like John Henry Newman (and by that I don’t mean turn Roman).

  17. He’s raising $ though. He’s not too depressed or irrational. There’s money to be made by leaving Christianity! Cash in now!!

  18. If being non christian makes him full of joy and loving himself more, then there must be something wrong about the christian faith that he embraced that rob him of that joy and disable him to love himself. Perhaps it will do us much good if we check whether our faith in Christ produces the same kind of results. That is definitely not the Gospel that Jesus preached.

  19. Following the link to his book and reading the preface will give you a lot more empathy for this guy. His struggles are honest and rooted in childhood abuse from his father. I suspect some of his odd statements on masculinity are rooted in that as well. Hopefully his story doesn’t end here.

  20. I had two friends in college/young adulthood that I really looked up to. Both were missionaries, one single the other married. Both were well-respected by their believing peers, and then I didn’t hear from them for a long time. One left her husband for a same-sex “partner”, devastating her family. The other “quit” God and became involved with some sort of New Agish counseling system. The conclusion I came to-I need to be examining myself, not trying to figure them out. I did inquire to see if there was any way I could pray for them. The response from both was “we’re better than we ever were as Christians.” I have come to two conclusions-they never were Christians (it can happen), or, they are extremely confused and God will work in their lives as He chooses.

    I could spend all my time trying to figure them out, but their salvation is really God’s department. I do believe in eternal security, and I have seen God bring people back, although it wasn’t a pleasant experience for those folks. I continue to pray that God will work in their lives, and I watch my own spiritual growth carefully to make sure I am walking with the Lord in integrity.

  21. Hey guys isn’t Christianity thriving in areas of persecution? Honestly, as a 20+ year Christian in the USA I really understand the anger and frustration (confusion even!) at what church has become in this country. Churches that suck the life and time out of people instead of being the life to the community. We are called to follow Christ, not men. Most often the gospel that’s preached from the pulpit is, “invite people to church.” Well.. I don’t want to. I want to introduce them to Jesus. But no.. churches want/need another person to hold a door open or serve coffee or teach Sunday school. Why? Because they’ve become a giant building with all these “extra” needs. Hey church building- the needs are OUTSIDE!! So look.. our seeker friendly churches got filled, and for the wrong reason a lot of times. So I totally get the loss of real connection with people. Churches in 3rd world countries- they’re living life together in their own communities. Not here- here we drive 40 minutes to get to the church of our choosing. It’s consumer driven and it’s become like a business. So I get it. And it’s causing a natural effect. I’m raising a child and have been concerned for years not just of the influence of secular society but of the Western/American church just the same. It’s a thing! And hasn’t been a very good one for a long time. So none of this surprises me and other Christians in my circle. I have family members that love Jesus & study the Bible- feast on it- they too are finally coming to terms with their inability to support most churches in their area. It’s all about hype and marketing. It’s sickening. I can’t speak regarding this man specifically, but in general the true believers will not fall away- and maybe we’re just seeing a hunger for Christianity to be more authentic in regards to what a church body looks and acts like. This poor man is claiming to have joy when he looks quite sad and damaged. Confusion/deception is a real thing. Those who are his will never be lost; even if they get tripped up by the enemy for a bit. The Good Shepherd will leave the 99 to find the 1 who wandered off.

    1. What you said about church in 3rd world country is no longer true. Now a church in the mountain village of Papua has a big building with all the pomps. They imitate the success of american church.

  22. What is your source for the assertion that Maxwell was ever a “Professor” at MBI? Surely, as a legitimate journalist, you fact check the assertions made on the websites of your subjects.

    Maxwell was never a Professor at Moody. (Do you even know what the title “Professor” means?) He was a part time adjunct instructor. Messes with the click-bait headline though.

    1. He’s listed as a philosophy professor on both LinkedIn & Desiring God. His bio at Patheos also lists him as a professor at Moody. Also, on Wheaton College’s website about Maxwell’s speaking engagement, it explains that Maxwell was “a professor of philosophy for 3 years at his alma mater, Moody Bible Institute.”

      None of those sources noted that Maxwell was an adjunct professor. Maybe that’s because adjunct professors make up the majority of professors in higher education, and though they are part-time and non-tenure track, they are still professors. That said, I have sent an email to Moody to confirm Maxwell’s former position and will clarify if/when I get a response. Given that it’s a weekend, I doubt I’ll hear before Monday at the earliest.

      1. From my experience, it is still a title that is used for adjunct part -time teaching staff. This is not a case where someone is inflating their credentials. Most have Masters Degrees and many are working on their Phd’s, which was what Maxwell actually did.

        Michael Patrick,

        I doubt you are in education as you made this mistake and you accused Julie of using the term as click-bait.

        Furthermore, your email was a veiled attack on Julie’s professionalism.

  23. My coming here to read responses to this man’s very personal issues is sadly so revealing. Seeing people finding it necessary to declare what he now is, what he never was. So grateful we are not God and His thoughts and ways are not ours – . We will be surprised who we see on the other side in glory. Pray and leave people to Christ.

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