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Writer and speaker, Ryan Bell, of A Year Without God, shares insightful commentary on religion and irreligion in North America and engaging interviews with believers, heretics and the uncertain.

Writer and speaker, Ryan Bell, of A Year Without God, shares insightful commentary on religion and irreligion in North America and engaging interviews with believers, heretics and the uncertain.
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Writer and speaker, Ryan Bell, of A Year Without God, shares insightful commentary on religion and irreligion in North America and engaging interviews with believers, heretics and the uncertain.




061 - #Exvangelical with Christopher Stroop

On this episode I speak with scholar and writer, Christopher Stroop. As an ex-evangelical himself, Chris has been instrumental in galvanizing the ex-evangelical voice online with the hashtags #EmptyThePews, #Exvangelical, and #HowToEvangelical. His mission is to foster community for those harmed by and alienated from conservative religious communities. His recent writing has appeared in Religion Dispatches and Playboy. LINKS Chris's website | Chris's Twitter |...


059 - How And Why We Believe [part 1]

Guest host, Brian Peck, shares a fascinating conversation about HOW and WHY we believe. Not surprisingly, we humans care a great deal about WHAT we believe but we're often unaware of the underlying conditions and psychological processes that give rise to our beliefs. On this episode, Brian talks with two of his close friends and trusted colleagues about how beliefs are formed and how they function for us individually and within relationships. A former Catholic, an ex-Mormon, and a...


058 - Religious Abuse and the Problem of Forgiveness

*Content advisory: sexual abuse, rape, and violence* On this episode I speak with Anais Chartschenko about her experience of extreme abuse in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Her experience is tragic but not uncommon. In the second chapter I speak with Brian Peck and Gretchen Meader about the subject of forgiveness. Those of us who grew up in the church know that forgiveness is a central virtue. But post-Christianity, Christian appears much more sinister. Building on my conversation with...


057 - Varun Soni - Hindu Buddhist Humanist

On this episode I speak with Dean of Religious Life at University of Southern California, Dr. Varun Soni. Varun's rich and varied background and experience growing up in Southern California as child of one Hindu parent and one Buddhist parent makes him a unique voice in the academic and interreligious spheres. LINKS Learn more about Varun Soni and his work at his personal website: Office of Religious Life at USC: Room to Thrive:


056 - Ex-Files: Your Atheist Pastor with Luke King

On this episode I speak with former pastor and fellow podcaster, Luke King, about his deconversion and future plans to cultivate community for former Christians. You can hear Luke's podcast and learn more about his community at Learn more about Life After God at Support the Life After God at


055 - Emancipation of a Black Atheist with Dauv Evans

On this episode I speak with author and leadership coach, Dauv Evans, about his book, Emancipation of a Black Atheist. Learn more about Life After God: Support the Life After God: Buy the book here:


054 - A Better Life with Chris Johnson

On this episode I speak with photographer and filmmaker, Chris Johnson, about his book and documentary project, A Better Life, which tells the stories of 100 atheists who have found joy and meaning in a world without God. Chris is just completing a long season of touring with the film. You can learn more the links below. Learn more about Life After God: Support the Life After God: Mentioned in this episode A Better Life website:...


053 - Escaping Quiverfull with Brooke Arnold

On this episode I speak with comedian and survivor of the Quiverfull cult, Brooke Arnold. Mentioned in this episode: Brooke Arnold's website || I could've been a Duggar wife (Salon) || Kurt Metzger ||


052 - Ex-Files: Matthew Faraday

On this episode of The Ex-Files I speak to Matthew Faraday. Matthew lives with in Michigan with his wife and two kids. He is a nurse, an avid cyclist, and a lover of craft beer. Unbeknownst to either of us, Matthew and I started a journey to get to the bottom of the claims of Christianity around the same time. We began corresponding in Nov 2014. We finally talked about our overlapping experiences.


051 - The Big Picture with Sean Carroll

This week I speak with theoretical physicist (Caltech), Sean Carroll. We talk about his new book entitled, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. The author of two previous books on physics for popular audiences (From Eternity to Here, The Particle at the End of the Universe), Sean now turns his attention to questions of meaning, purpose and ethics, weaving this subjects together with his understanding of physics. Mentioned in this episode: Sean Carroll's...


050 - Confessions of a Lapsed Podcaster

In this episode, Ryan returns from a 6 month hiatus and explains where he's been and what's next. Mentioned in this episode: --Mary Oliver, *Upstream: Selected Essays* --Room to Thrive, the coaching and counseling practice of Brian Peck, LCSW (


049 - Talking Faith and Deconversion with Andy Stanley

This week I speak to Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Andy founded the church over 20 years ago and today it is the largest congregation in America, according to Outreach Magazine. I talk to Andy about his experience growing up Christian, his interest in people's stories, including deconversion stories, and how Christians can be their own worst enemies. We even chat for a minute about politics and how evangelicals might be able to salvage their...


048 - Finding God in the Waves with Mike McHargue

This week I speak with speaker and podcaster, Mike McHargue, about his first book, "Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science," which came out yesterday. In both his book and this episode, Mike tells of his journey from fundamentalist Christianity to atheism to what he calls mystical Christianity. Mike is the host of two popular podcasts: Ask Science Mike and The Liturgists, which he co-hosts with musician, Michael Gungor. LINKS Buy Mike's book:...


047 - SPECIAL UPDATE with Gretta Vosper

In this special update I speak with Gretta Vosper about the decision that just came down last week, declaring that she is "unfit for ministry in the United Church of Canada." This decision has come after a year and half of investigation into Gretta's beliefs after she said publicly that she does not believe in a theistic God. For more background on Vosper's work at West Hill United Church in Toronto and the United Church of Canada's investigation into her fitness for ministry, please listen...


046 - Ex-Files: Ciera Ramirez and Facing Depression

On this episode of The Ex-Files, I speak Cierra Ramirez. Ciera is was born and raised in New Mexico but for the past couple of years has called Austin, Texas, her home. As you’ll see, she’s a thoughtful and articulate woman. She’s a theater actor currently puppeteering in a local puppet opera production! She loves hiking, kayaking, going to the movies, and good beer. We begin our conversation talking about Ciera’s early religious experiences, her conversation to Christianity, and her...


045 - One Year Anniversary of the Podcast with Brian Peck

On the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the podcast I had the opportunity to visit with Brian Peck. Though Brian and I had never met until last weekend, we have become good friends over the past year. He has been volunteering for Life After God, making the thoughtful memes you see on Facebook and Twitter, and generally running our social media accounts. In this episode Brian and I talk briefly about some of our plans for the upcoming year, including new resources we plan to create as...


044 - Interview an Atheist at Church with Kile Jones

This week I speak with Kile Jones, founder of Interview an Atheist at Church Day and activist at the intersection of atheism and progressive religion. LINKS Interview an Atheist at Church website | Kile's YouTube channel | Interview an Atheist at Church Facebook Page | Unbelievable? with Justin Brierley |...


043 - Getting High with Kester Brewin

This week I speak with highly acclaimed author and speaker, Kester Brewin. Kester recently spent two weeks in Los Angeles, speaking to various audiences about his new book, Getting High: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the Dream of Flight. We recorded this conversation LIVE on Saturday, August 6, at the Level Ground Headquarters in Pasadena California.


042 - Humanist Service Corp with Conor Robinson

This week I speak with Conor Robinson about the Humanist Service Corp that he created and directs as a part of the Foundation Beyond Belief LINKS Donate to support Humanist Service Corps | Foundation Beyond Belief | Humanist Service Corp | HSC Facebook | Songtaba Facebook | The Danger of a Single...


041 - The Ex-Files: Rachael Gunderson

This week on The Ex-Files I speak with Rachael Gunderson. Rachael courageously shares her harrowing experience of being ensnared in a modern-day cult and how she eventually escaped. LINKS Eva's Eden Is There a Cult in Columbia, TN? To learn more about Life After God please visit the website at If you appreciate this podcast please consider supporting our work by going to...