Apostasy in the Church – Why are Christians Abandoning Faith


Apostasy in the Church

Apostasy is the wilful choice of a professing Christian to disbelieve and disobey crucial truths of God’s word as revealed in the Bible. We are witnessing today many Christians abandon faith in Christ. While there has always been apostasy in the Church it is occurring at an unprecedented rate especially in Western societies with a long Christian heritage.

While at one time it was happening in orthodox/mainline churches it is now happening to an alarming degree in conservative evangelical churches. Apostasy, departing the Christian faith, is one of the greatest tragedies: that one for whom Christ died has been lost.

Why and how does apostasy occur?

Very simply, apostasy occurs when Christians no longer believe and do what God has plainly said in His word.

1. Apostasy begins when a Christian becomes deceived by believing false teaching. This can happen through spiritual deception originating from the spirit realm. The very nature of spiritual deception is that it does not seem evil. It may seem logically good and appealing to our human nature but in fact contradicts what God has plainly stated. The other dangers leading to apostasy are when man’s wisdom supplants God’s wisdom as revealed in the Scriptures and when Christians seek man’s approval over God’s.

2. It follows when God’s word – the Bible – is no longer considered inerrant. Some claim to hold to ‘inerrancy’ but then say the Bible needs to be ‘interpreted’ to take into account ‘science’ or ‘cultural norms’. It need not be an outright rejection of God’s word but a selective belief where parts of God’s word are either ignored or reinterpreted because they seem hard or contrary to human wisdom.

3. Apostasy rarely happens in one step but through little by little departures from and trust in the truth of God’s word. Each departure builds on the other until, like a ship off course by one degree, over time will miss its destination completely.

4. The 19th century saw the rise of so called ‘higher criticism’ which rejected the ‘supernatural’ events of the Bible and essentially made the Bible the writings and opinions of fallible men rather than the word of God. The 20th century saw the rise of many so-called Christian leaders who rejected the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. For example Episcopal Church bishops James Pike and John Spong. As a consequence of their false teaching many have followed them into rejecting historical Christian teaching of the last 1900 years.

5. Particular departures:

a. Genesis – the creation account not taken as it plainly reads.

The ‘days’ were long periods of time and there was death before Adam – supposedly because science has demonstrably ‘proven’ the earth is billions of years old. Some (e.g. Biologos) have gone so far as to accept Darwinian evolution and reinterpreted Scripture to conform, even denying a literal Adam and Eve and the Fall. Without these basic truths of Scripture the basis of Christ’s death and resurrection are meaningless.

b. The departure from marriage being a covenant relationship between one man and one woman for life.

Despite Jesus’ (and Paul’s) clear teaching that divorce and remarriage was adultery, this is now condoned in many Christian churches. Many pastors and church leaders have been divorced and remarried multiple times. Pre-marital sex (fornication) is also being condoned despite Scripture’s clear teaching that it is sin.

c. The respective roles of men and women in the home and in the Church.

The clear teaching of Paul (and consistent with all Scripture and teaching of the Church in history) that the responsibility (which does not mean superiority) of leadership in the home and in the Church (elders, shepherds/pastors, overseers) was given by God to men many have, to conform to modern culture, re-interpreted Scripture to reject this in the name of ‘equality’. This article ‘The Role of a Christian Man‘, though addressing marriage has much relevance to roles within the Church and brings much needed clarity.

d. Following closely the confusion or rejection of God’s order for men and women in marriage and in the Church has been the rejection of God’s created sexual order for men and women: the acceptance of homosexual acts as legitimate expressions of ‘love’, same-sex marriage, trans-sexuality and the ordination of ‘gay’ clergy. This departure is not surprising since it logically follows the justification of divorce and remarriage. The same type of arguments to justify revision of God’s revealed order for marriage and in the Church have been used to justify homosexual relations and same-sex marriage. It is reasoned that it is all in the name of love, compassion and natural justice. Of course we should always be ready to show love, compassion, justice and forgiveness but it must be according to the truth of God’s word as given in the Bible.

Recently (December 2023) Pope Francis approved a measure allowing Roman Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples. While not approving of same-sex marriage this ‘blessing’ is a significant departure from the historical teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.

e. The lack or absence of Church discipline.

In the name of love and not being judgemental discipline of a member who is sinning is weak or absent. Consequently because of the failure of church discipline sin can and does spread like a cancer. And even if an offending member is disciplined by the church they simply can leave and go to another church who will ‘forgive’ and accept them.

4. Many it seems, depart through witnessing hypocrisy in church leadership – leaders who don’t live what they teach. Many have left after finding ‘cognitive dissonance’ (intellectual conflict) between what they have been taught is the truth and what seems to be demonstrable ‘facts’ which contradict that truth. It all goes back to ‘when Christians no longer believe and do what God has said in His word.’ This is particularly so for leaders: if they don’t show love, humility, forgiveness, faithfulness, purity and holiness and a living, prayerful relationship with God and Christ – how can they expect their flock to?

In saying these things I am not suggesting that if a Christian or a church believes or practices any one or more of these that apostasy has occurred or will occur. What I am saying is any departure from the plain statements of God’s word sets a precedent which can or will lead to further departures from the truth. Once we doubt or reject one thing it is easier to doubt or reject another.

This means each of us needs to know God and His word for ourselves and know and practice what He has told us to do. Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the mount (Matthew 5 to 7) is foundational to Christian living.

Apostasy Today

Surveys conducted in recent years have shown a marked change in religious affiliation in the USA and other western nations, especially Europe. The Pew Research Centre in the USA reports that over the last 50 years the percentage of people who claim to have no religious affiliation has gone from 5% to nearly 30% in 2023. These religious ‘nones’ now make up the largest segment of the population in the USA.

Over the last decade many well-known Christians have abandoned Christianity. This ‘apostasy’ has been relabelled as ‘deconversion’ or ‘deconstruction’ where Christians have either ‘deconstructed’ their faith and adopted what is called ‘progressive’ Christianity (which holds some of the basic beliefs but rejecting others) or deconverted – and abandoned faith altogether becoming atheists (as seems to be in most cases) or agnostics.

While there has always been apostasy in the Church throughout its history we should not be complacent but learn from those who depart the faith and why, so we are prepared and not fall into the same error. This is particularly of concern today when historic Christianity is under attack from many quarters. In the Western world this is coming from secular humanism with its roots in evolutionary philosophy, moral relativism and neo-atheism. This philosophy claims certain ‘facts’ of science falsify the biblical narrative of creation. This claim will be examined in more depth later.

It is possible what we are witnessing today is the beginning of the apostasy Jesus and the apostles Paul and Peter warned would come about near the end time. (Matthew 24:10, 1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 4:3-4, and 2 Thessalonians 2:3)

What are the reasons professing Christians abandon the faith?

Reasons For Departing the Faith

There is usually more than one reason a Christian departs the faith but as I see it they broadly fall into 3 categories:

1. Experiential
2. Theological
3. Rational or scientific

It’s not wrong to have doubts. We all need a reason to believe and there are and will be questions. But as Jude 1:22 says, we should show mercy to those who doubt. And it seems these reasons for doubt are stated with regular frequency. This poses a challenge to the Church today: are we answering these challenges to faith?

Christian faith is not blind. There are good rational reasons to believe so seeds of doubt can be removed and faith strengthened.

My main concern, which I’ll attempt to address in more detail, is the rational or scientific reasons for abandoning the faith of Christianity. But first I’ll briefly describe the other two.

1. Experiential

This typically happens when a Christian has been deeply hurt by a tragedy, a life crisis or by the unloving actions of another professing Christian – especially a pastor or leader of a church. Because of their previous trust in that person, who, to them has been a supposed example of a Christ follower, their faith in Christ and God is severely tested.

Evil, Suffering and Injustice

Doubts of God’s justice can arise when a tragedy or crisis occur in a time of persecution or when there is great physical and emotional trauma (which is happening today in many places around the world).

One of the most common objections to the existence of God is the presence of evil, death, suffering and injustice in this world. It is reasoned if God is all powerful and loving why doesn’t he prevent or intervene to address these wrongs? This thought stems from a misunderstanding of the world we live in. This world is a fallen world as a consequence of man’s sin (beginning with Adam) and it is ruled by the prince of this world – Satan who seeks to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).

The Bible tells us one day there will be a new heaven and a new earth in which there will be no more death, suffering or injustice. This future restoration is God’s plan of redemption which will be fulfilled when Christ returns. That is the real hope of every Christian.

Censure and Rejection

Then we may experience censure or rejection by another Christian. Questions form: I’ve faithfully served God so why didn’t He prevent this, or why hasn’t this person been bought to justice? Such unresolved questions then lead to doubt God Himself – that He doesn’t love or just that He doesn’t even exist.

In such situations the experiential reality of Christianity has been severely eroded such that they no longer feel the benefits and joys of being a Christian. For many it seems, life as a Christian became an ordeal, just a ritual or even an illusion.

The reality is, as we live in this world and especially as a Christian, we will experience hurt and injustice – tribulation in many forms. It is in such times it is crucial we keep our eyes on Jesus, on the eternal perspective, just as He did and for the glory before Him endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2). Our faith must be in Christ and in Him alone – not in our church, its members or our expectation of them.

The Danger of Unforgiveness and Bitterness

The danger of ‘bitterness’ taking hold in a Christian’s life when tragedy or hurt happens (especially by another Christian) is one we must guard against. As the writer to the Hebrews warned:

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled (Hebrews 12:15).

Bitterness and unforgiveness are deadly. The lesson here is not to allow them to take hold. Trust God for He will execute true justice at the right time.

2. Theological

These reasons typically question God’s character: if He is good and loving why does He allow suffering of the innocent?; why did God sanction the destruction of the nations who inhabited the promised land?; why would God cause those who don’t believe to be tormented in hell for eternity?; how can the Bible be trusted and be believed as the inspired word of God when there are so many contradictions?

In essence all these question or doubt the goodness of God and the truth of his word as revealed in the Bible. These questions have been asked, and answered, for a long time – since the beginning of the Church. There are many excellent sources of Christian apologetics. This is one.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us of the necessity of building our house on the Rock (Matthew 7:24 – 27) – an allegory for building our faith on the truth of God’s words and the disastrous impact of disobeying or rejecting them. Building on man-made ideas or philosophy has similar consequences (Colossians 2:8).

Unless we believe God is good and His word is true we are in danger of departing from the faith. Therefore we need to be equipped to counter these arguments against God and His word.

3. Rational or scientific

I believe this is the prime reason for apostasy in this time. The previous two reasons, of themselves, need not be cause for someone to abandon their faith. But when rational or scientific doubts arise then the foundations of faith are weakened and eventually fall. For if there isn’t a factual basis for Christianity – that God exists, He created the world and all living things, that the historical events described in the Bible happened, that Jesus lived, died on a cross and rose again – if these things are not true and can be shown to be false then whatever faith we might have had is based on a falsehood. It’s all just in the mind and in vain.

Having reviewed many accounts of those who have abandoned faith in Christ and become agnostics or atheists, rational and scientific reasons are, without exception, given for their journey from faith to unbelief. Of the rational and scientific reasons the one which ranks most often is the idea science has shown unequivocally that the Earth and the universe are billions of years old and that life has evolved from non-living chemicals into complex organisms, including man, by unguided naturalistic processes. This idea contradicts the Biblical account of creation as it plainly reads. Consequently because it is believed the scientific account is true then the Biblical account is false and must be rejected. And because the Bible has been shown to be wrong it cannot be relied upon as an authoritative source of truth.

A number of recent surveys have shown young people are leaving the Church in significant numbers. What is of particular note are the reasons why they leave. Of these the most common was some form of intellectual skepticism. For example:

“Learning about evolution when I went away to college”
“Religion is the opiate of the people”
“Rational thought makes religion go out the window”
“Lack of any sort of scientific or specific evidence of a creator”
“I just realised somewhere along the line that I didn’t really believe it”
“I’m doing a lot more learning, studying and kind of making decisions myself rather than listening to someone else.”

The studies showed that on entering college or university, young Christians encountered seemingly logical scientific evidence for evolution and, by implication, the myth of the Biblical account of creation. The alarming thing was that these young people did not receive adequate teaching and scientific evidence for the Genesis account of creation while attending church. Tragically many churches held the view that the details and mechanisms of origins were unimportant to faith in Christ.

See this link for more information.

The Seeds of Doubt

There are many accounts of how and why Christians have departed the faith. I will relate two here to illustrate how the supposed facts of science – the age of the earth and the universe – created doubt and led to apostasy.

John Loftus

This is adapted from a review:From Apologist to Atheist: A Critical Review‘ by Norman L. Geisler of John Loftus’ book ‘Why I Rejected Christianity: A Former Apologist Explains‘ Trafford Publishing, 2007. 

John Loftus was a former Christian evangelical apologist. His cousin Larry, was a bio-chemistry teacher in the Air Force. Loftus had tried unsuccessfully to convince him of the truth of creation over evolution. Instead, he said:

He did convince me of one solid truth; the universe is as old as scientists say it is, and the consensus is that it is 12-15 billion years old. Now that by itself isn’t too harmful of an idea, . . . but it was the first time I really considered the theological implications of it. Two corollaries of that idea started me down the road to being the honest doubter I am today.

The first is that in Genesis chapter 1 we see that the earth existed before the sun, moon, and stars, which were all created on the fourth day. This does not square with Astronomy. . . . The second corollary for me at the time was this. If God took so long to create the universe, then why would he all of a sudden snap his fingers, so to speak, and create human beings?” (22-23) “Nearly two years later, I came to deny the Christian faith. There were just too many individual problems that I had to balance, like spinning several plates on several sticks, in order to keep my faith. At some point they just all came crashing down.

While there were other incidents in his life which contributed to his final rejection of Christianity, it was the contradiction between the supposed fact of an ancient universe and what the Bible plainly stated which caused his final foundation to crumble.

Drew McCoy is another young atheist who was a Christian and now runs a popular YouTube channel dedicated to spreading skepticism about Christianity and alternative medicine. It was learning about the evidence and supposed fact of an ancient universe while studying astronomy in college that began his journey to atheism.

Charles Templeton and Billy Graham

This account of Charles Templeton and Billy Graham in the late 1940’s is another example of how doubt in God’s word leads to apostasy and how trust in His word leads to strength and assurance:

Charles Templeton was a popular evangelist working with Billy Graham in the 1940’s. In 1946, he was listed among those best used of God by the National Association of Evangelicals in bringing thousands to faith in Christ. However, despite his popularity and seeming success as an evangelist, all was not well with Charles Templeton. The more he read of the claimed scientific fact of evolution, the more he questioned the essentials of the Christian faith. Science had, for Charles Templeton, disproved God’s Word.

In a conversation with Billy Graham in early summer 1949, concerning Templeton’s desire to attend Princeton Theological Seminary, Templeton stated:

“But, Billy, it’s simply not possible any longer to believe, for instance, the biblical account of creation. The world wasn’t created over a period of days a few thousand years ago; it has evolved over millions of years. It’s not a matter of speculation; it’s demonstrable fact.”

Templeton warned Graham that it was ‘intellectual suicide’ to not question the Bible and to go on preaching God’s Word as authoritative.

In August that year Charles (Chuck) Templeton and Billy Graham had been invited to speak at the annual College Briefing Conference at a retreat centre east of Los Angeles. During that week Templeton told Graham:

“You’re fifty years out of date. People no longer accept the Bible as inspired the way you do.”

At the time of their conversation, Graham was president of the North-western Bible School. Greatly disturbed by these words Billy Graham knew he had to resolve his doubts and questions concerning the Bible once and for all. If he could not trust the Bible he could not go on.

Graham had put up a brave front with his Canadian friend, but the confrontation left him stunned. He sought the counsel of Henrietta Mears, a Bible teacher and evangelical visionary who had founded Forest Home – the retreat centre – ten years earlier. Mears gave Graham reassuring confidence in the Bible. The truth and inerrancy of Scripture was foundational to Christianity, she reminded the evangelist. Undermine that foundation and the whole edifice collapses.

Billy Graham picked up his Bible and wandered into the hill country surrounding Forest Home. By an old tree stump on the side of the path, Graham fell to his knees, laid down his opened Bible, and began to pray.

“O God! There are many things in this book I do not understand. There are many problems with it for which I have no solution. There are many seeming contradictions. There are some areas in it that do not seem to correlate with modern science. I can’t answer some of the philosophical and psychological questions Chuck and others are raising.”

“Father, I am going to accept this as Thy Word – by faith! I’m going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be Your inspired Word!”

When he rose from his knees his eyes filled with tears and felt the Spirit of God flooding his soul. He sensed the presence and power Of God that he had not known for many months. When he addressed the Forest Home audience the following evening, Henrietta Mears knew she was listening to a new man. There was a confidence, a sense of authority to his preaching that was new and powerful. A month later, the response to Graham’s Los Angeles crusade was so overwhelming that organizers were forced to add several nights to accommodate the crowds. Billy Graham never looked back (1).

Charles Templeton left the ministry in 1957. In addition to his doubts about Genesis, Templeton wrestled with the problem of evil in the world and could not reconcile this with his concept of a loving God. Eventually he rejected faith in God altogether and wrote ‘Farewell To God‘ (published in 1996). He died in 2001.

Billy Graham, by contrast, went on to be the most effective and well-known evangelist in modern history. Why? Though he didn’t have all the answers he trusted God’s word.

These examples show how seeds of doubt can be sown once we accept man’s wisdom over God’s as revealed in the Bible. This is particularly a danger if we accept the consensus of science on origins and the age of the earth and universe as opposed to that plainly revealed in Scripture.

Why We Can Trust God’s Word in the Face of a Skeptical World

We can trust God’s word because I am convinced that confidence in the prevailing scientific explanation for origins and age of the universe rests on two faulty assumptions:

1. that science can reconstruct the past with certainty

2. that scientists are totally objective and infallible

The Limitations of Science

First we need to appreciate the limitations of science. In saying this I am not anti-science. I have had a great and active interest in science since my youth. Having worked in science for most of my working life (40 years) I have a good appreciation of how science works in the real world.

We regularly hear from those opposed to biblical Christianity a false dichotomy: science vs faith interpreted as fact vs myth. It is false because there is no contradiction between science which is demonstrably true and the biblical narrative. It is false because there are limitations of science to determine our origins.

We often hear the phrase “Science tells us …“. Yet we should understand that science itself does not tell us anything. Science is the means or method by which scientists investigate the natural world. It is scientists, who through the scientific method, endeavour to explain the working of the natural world. Secondly, scientists can only investigate directly by observation things in the present. If something is observable and testable we can be confident it is a scientific fact.

The observable and testable laws of physics, for example, give us the confidence to travel to the moon and back and explore other planets. However, if something is not observable it is not testable and if it is not testable it is not strictly science. For that reason there are limitations of the scientific method. It cannot directly investigate the past but only through observations in the present and making certain assumptions it may make a proposition of what happened in the past.

When science endeavours to reconstruct the past it is at best like forensic and archaeological science which, on the basis of a number of independent lines of evidence, propose a probability of what happened, but never an absolute certainty.

It is an established step in the scientific method that to determine or quantify the age (value) of something, the method to determine that age must first be validated with things of known age. This of course cannot be done for prehistorical things. While scientists do make estimates for the age of prehistorical things they are all based on a number of assumptions which cannot be held conclusively (such as radiometric dating and sedimentary rates).

The major problem with the supposed ‘fact’ of an ancient earth are the many independent scientific evidences which give ages orders of magnitude less than the prevailing evolutionary time scale. Furthermore when objects of known historical age have been dated by the most commonly used methods they have given erroneously high ages.

Therefore it is not an incontrovertible scientific fact that the universe, the Earth and life evolved  billions or millions (or for that matter thousands) of years ago. It is not possible for science to prove or validate pre-historical events such as the origin of the universe and the earth and how life first arose because they are no longer observable or testable.

What is less known, and ought to be, is that there is scientific evidence which is consistent (not proof) with the intelligent design of living things and creation which occurred less than 10,000 years ago (see link above). But this is ignored by most scientists.

The Fallibility of Scientists

Second, scientists, like all of fallen mankind, are fallible, subject to sin, prejudices, pride, self-interest and foremost a resistance to acknowledge their Creator to whom they are accountable. Unregenerate man is said to ‘walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart’ (Ephesians 4:17-18). Therefore we would expect scientists, like all mankind in general, to resist the Bible’s revelation of creation and cast doubt on its historical truth.

So when it comes to examining the origin of life and the universe we should expect prejudice and an unwillingness to be objective. It has become almost axiomatic that the findings of contemporary science must preclude the role of a supernatural creator (this idea, in reality a philosophy, is known as naturalism) even if there is evidence which points to that. Naturalism has become the dominant scientific philosophy of this time and strongly resists attempts to question it.

Professor Richard Lewontin (1929-2021), a geneticist, was one of the world’s leaders in evolutionary biology. He wrote this revealing comment (italics were in the original):

‘Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.’ (2)

This illustrates the philosophical bias of many scientists against the Genesis account of creation – regardless of whether or not the facts support it.

So if we allow ‘science’ to re-interpret Genesis where do we draw the line? Science has ‘proved’ dead people can’t be resurrected, that water can’t be turned into wine and that over 5000 people cannot be fed from 5 loaves and 2 fish. The virgin birth of Christ and His miracles all stand in contradiction to the consensus of scientific opinion. There is clearly no way science, as it is popularly taught, and Scripture can be harmonised in a consistent manner.

Many Christians, lacking the specific knowledge required, are reticent to challenge the prevailing views of the scientific establishment. While rightfully opposing science’s naturalistic philosophy and observing the plain evidence of design in God’s creation, the idea of a 6000 year old earth is seen to contradict established scientific fact and therefore untenable.
However we must discern between what is conclusive and what is just conjecture in science. We should not just accept the consensus of scientific opinion without question since consensus in science does not determine the truth of a matter.

The Bible plainly teaches us God created the heavens, the earth, all that is in them and man in six literal 24 hour days and rested on the seventh (Exodus 20:11). Scripture also reveals that creation occurred about 6000 years ago and the global flood about 4500 years ago. Yet many Christians do not believe this to be historically true and have reinterpreted the Genesis account to accommodate the opinion of contemporary science.

The Conflict

However this belief creates a serious and unnecessary conflict with the plain reading of Genesis and sound exegesis. Those who hold this view I believe have accepted the consensus of scientific opinion and not been sufficiently critical of the naturalistic underpinnings of scientific methods to determine the age of the earth. The evidence shows such belief carries potential dangers not only for our own faith in Scripture but also for those we teach and disciple and in particular young Christians who are in the process of growing in the Faith.

This is why I believe God has raised up many Christian ministries which, beginning with the Bible as our ultimate reference for truth, examine what is fact and what is conjecture. There will never be conflict between what are truly facts and Scripture. For more in depth reading on Genesis, creation and science see here.


The issue ultimately at stake is the trustworthiness of Scripture’s record of history as it plainly reads. The teachings of the Scriptures are not disconnected doctrines but form an interwoven fabric. Therefore once we allow man, on the authority of ‘science’, to question and re-interpret one part of Scripture’s record every other doctrine we hold as sacred is also in danger of being challenged and rejected. Once we accept man’s word over God’s we are in danger of sowing seeds of doubt and apostasy.

This is why the age of the earth and the universe are not incidental details but integral to an enduring faith in God, the authority of Scripture and a true understanding of the Genesis account of creation. There is considerable evidence (both within and outside Scripture) that upholds Genesis as a literal narrative of history. If the clear teaching of scripture is for a (relatively) young earth and creation as an event (not a prolonged process), then science, true science, will ultimately be found in harmony with the Scriptures. In that I have every confidence.

1. Adapted from: Billy Graham’s shadow: Chuck Templeton and the crisis of American religion by Alan Bean, https://friendsofjustice.blog/2015/08/03/billy-grahams-shadow-chuck-templeton-and-the-crisis-of-american-religion/

2. Richard Lewontin, ‘Billions and billions of demons’, in a review of ‘The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark’ by Carl Sagan, 1997), The New York Review, p. 31, 9 January 1997.

Photo Credit: Martin Roberts