Menu Close

Category: Blog News

Understanding My Writing Methodology

writing a letter

There’s a method behind the madness.

I have been blogging since 2007. When I first started publicly writing, I was still a Christian — barely. By then, my theology had moved leftward, so much so that I was no longer an Evangelical. Still Christian, but not “that kind of Christian.” In those days, my writing attracted Fundamentalist Christian critics such as Ken Silva, Preacher Boy (John), and others. These keepers of the Book of Life were convinced that I wasn’t a True Christian®. Eighteen months later, proving my critics right (in their small minds, anyway), I left Christianity and declared I was an atheist. My wife, Polly, also deconverted.

Whether as a Christian or an atheist, the focus of my writing has always been the same:

  • To help people who have questions and doubts about Christianity
  • To help people who have left Christianity

The content of my writing has remained constant too: telling my story — my journey from Evangelicalism to atheism — and critiquing Christianity. Five years ago, I added the Black Collar Crime series, focusing on Evangelical preachers’ sexual misconduct (and other criminal behavior).

I do my best as a writer to stay in my lane. I am not a philosopher or a scientist, so I typically don’t address these subjects. It’s not that I don’t know anything about these things — I do. However, I choose to focus on what I know well: Evangelical Christianity and the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church movement. My unwillingness to be all things to all men irritates some readers. Some atheist readers have stopped reading because I am not atheist enough or don’t write enough about atheist issues. I do, on occasion, write about these subjects, but they have never been my focus.

My writing style is an acquired taste. I will leave it up to readers to decide if that taste is fine wine or a $5.99 bottle of Boone’s Farm. Using my fifty years in the Christian church and twenty-five years I spent in the ministry as a backdrop for my prose, I write from an Evangelical perspective. I write from an insider’s perspective, someone who knows the secret handshake and where the bodies are buried. Because I write this way, first-time Evangelical readers often think I am a Christian. Oh, the shock and outrage when they find out I’m on Team Satan®. I have received emails from Evangelicals filled with praise, only to receive another email from them, upset that I am an unbeliever. Cognitive dissonance sets in. “How can an atheist know or say anything of value about Christianity and the Bible,” they think. It’s as if the moment that I left Christianity, decades of reading, study, and knowledge magically disappeared from my mind. I went from being an expert on these subjects to someone who doesn’t know anything. Of course, such thinking is absurd. I know what I know, regardless of my belief on the existence of God.

When I write a post on, say, “salvation by grace” or “being filled with the Holy Spirit,” it is not that I believe these things to be true. I don’t. I write from an Evangelical perspective. I know my writing has an “Evangelical” vibe, but remember my aforementioned purposes: to help people who have questions and doubts about Christianity and help people who have left Christianity. I want to draw Evangelical readers in, hoping to get them to critically and honestly examine their beliefs. I want them to see me as an insider who knows where they are, speaks their language, and understands their experiences.

Thank you for reading my writing. Your love and support are greatly appreciated.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Bruce, Your Site Deserves an “R” Rating

After publishing on Twitter the post, Defiance City Schools Blocks Student Access to This Site, I received the following response (not from the school):

r rating

I responded:

the f word

While I do use curse words on this site (and allow commenters to do so), I am not a profuse swearer. There’s nothing said by me in my writing that is “harmful” to young children. Certainly, parents should monitor and control what their youngsters read on the Internet, but I doubt reading the word fuck will cause harm. Besides, the focus of the aforementioned post was middle school and high school students. I have grandchildren who are in this age bracket. I guarantee you that they have already heard the F word, and I have no doubt that they have even used the word. “Fuck” has become my generation’s shit, hell, damn. Culturally, the word has been disconnected from its sexual connotation.

I get it. Some readers wish I wouldn’t swear. They wish I would have an atheist heart with an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist mouth. That’s not going to happen. As the stats above show, I don’t use curse words in my writing very often. And when I do, I typically mean to do so.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Blog Design and Functionality Changes

blogging

I have made some changes to the design and functionality of this site. Particularly, I changed the plugin I am using to serve up content to mobile devices. This remains, much like my life, a work in progress. If you see any errors or have functionality problems (just take a stool softener), please let me know.

I removed the social media sharing buttons. Readers rarely used this function. Best I can tell, people who share my writing on Facebook or Twitter are using other ways to do so than clicking on post share buttons. Every time a reader came to this blog or loaded a particular page, the sharing function would contact the various social media sites. Doing so slowed page loads.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Social Media

social media

I am no longer on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media sites. I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause a handful of readers. Based on site statistics, very few people access this site via social media. At this juncture in life, I must focus on the core aspects of this site, those which attract and reach most readers. Unlike the Apostle Paul, I can’t be all things to all men (women).

Readers, of course, are still free to share my writing on social media.

I still intend to resume writing original content sometime in April.

Thanks!

Bruce

Bruce Gerencser