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Dec 28, 2017

Mars Hill Church


Episode 20
27 December 2017

Why Mars Hill?

I have loved religion from as far back as I can remember.  I am also more accurately described, when done so objectively, as a secular humanist more than anything else at least as regards my personal spiritual leanings. I don’t even claim agnostic per se, although that label might be accurate. I understand that term to mean that more or less we can’t rule a conscious Creator God out, but by no means can one be ruled IN, either. Therefore, agnostics claim to know NOTHING, or to not know one way or the other, if there is or is not a God.  

Note: Definition of Agnostic, Origin; Greek (Unknowable)



  • a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God,and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.
  • 2. a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.
  • 3. a person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic:


Synonyms: disbeliever, non believer, unbeliever; doubter, skeptic, secularist, empiricist; heathen, heretic, infidel, pagan.

Some notes on the Host and my own context for my interest in Mars Hill Church

  • I grew up in the Episcopal Church on Long Island NY in the 1970’s and 80’s
  • No Abuse, nor did I know of any in our church, specifically the clergy were scandal free
  • I was an Altar Boy
  • Was Confirmed at age 13, Catechism, etc
  • Grew up watching The 700 Club and other Evangelicals on TV
  • Youth Group, Vacation Bible School, Etc
  • Began to distance myself from the church after Confirmation
  • Questions I had were not being answered
  • The standard teenager questions, albeit politely put always- “How could Jesus die and come back after three days? How did Mary have Jesus if she had never laid with Joseph? How did Noah and so many others live to such advanced ages? Speaking of Noah, how about all those animals? Dinosaurs? Lazarus? The Parting of the Red Sea? Etc
  • Glib answers, then polite evasion gave way to eventual exasperation, (never malicious just lacking imagination) is how I would characterize the response from both my youth pastor and our actual Minister.
  • I had to argue my way out with my parents finally at age 15 or so, when we relocated to WA State and I no longer had my old Youth Group and Sunday School kids to care about
  • Still- I loved religion and spirituality, even as at the time I might have claimed to be an Athiest!  I read and studied religiously inspired books throughout High School and into my adulthood. This was during the Barnes and Noble and Borders Books heyday, and you felt like you could purchase your own personal LIbrary of Alexandria at the time. .
  • Everything from vapid Christian self help books like “The Road Less Traveled” and others, to annotated translations of difficult to appreciate texts like The Dhammapada and The Upanishads. Now these books are not to be maligned as not worth understanding- indeed the opposite is quite true, and there are wonderful concepts that see expression in the beliefs and mythologies of Hinduism, Bhuddism, and indeed a personal favorite of mine, Taoism. Taoism, who’s most famous texts are the Tao Te Ching, and the Chuang Tzu, or Zhuangzi. They just take more work than reading your average study bible, for a young self taught reader trying to apply some critical analysis, or so I thought at the time- to the materials.  

What follows is an unedited chat between the host and two guests, Adam Schaeffer and Douglas Moreland. Friends and former members of the Mars Hill Church Congregation. Part Two to follow in the next couple of days. Thank you for listening and please drop a review on iTunes sometime if you are enjoying the Pod!