A former minister and Protestant missionary who publicly announced his atheism nine years after his ordination discusses his journey to deconversion and offers a critical analysis of Christianity in an address at Lawrence University.
Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, presents â€śLosing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheistâ€ť Wednesday, May 17 at 8 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
The presentation is based on Barkerâ€™s 1992 autobiographical book of the same name. His began his ministry as a 15-year old evangelist and he was ordained in 1975. Barker went on to serve as an associate pastor at three different churches and later spent two years in Mexico as a Protestant missionary.
An accomplished pianist, arranger, songwriter and long-time record producer for popular Christian singer Manuel Bonilla, Barker maintained his own touring musical ministry for 17 years. But in 1984, after five years of soul-searching, Barker â€ślost faith in faithâ€ť and openly declared his atheism. He joined the staff of the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation in 1987 and was elected the organizationâ€™s co-president in 2004.
Barker has been a frequent talk-show guest, having appeared on â€śGood Morning, America,â€ť â€śOprahâ€ť and â€śHannity and Colmes,â€ť among others, and speaks regularly at Freethought concerts around the country. In additional to â€śLosing Faith in Faith,â€ť he has written four other books, including â€śJust Pretend: A Freethought Book For Childrenâ€ť and â€śMaybe Yes, Maybe No: A Guide For Young Skeptics.â€ť
Barkerâ€™s appearance is sponsored by the student organization LU Forum for Freethought, which promotes critical discussions of contemporary religion, superstition and pseudoscience and their place in and effects on society from scientific, philosophical, historical and governmental perspectives.Tags: Appleton, Christianity, Lawrence University, lecture, Wisconsin