Larry Alex Taunton doesn’t have a lot of fans in the atheist world.
He’s perhaps most famous for his book, published after the death of Christopher Hitchens, that suggested the famous atheist was “contemplating conversion” near the end of his life, though he never actually made that leap. It was widely considered an insult and a lie by everyone who knew Hitchens personally. Not only did Hitchens never convert, he never even thought about it. He had no reason to. His own wife, Carol Blue, said of Hitch that the deathbed conversion never happened: “He lived by his principles until the end. To be honest, the subject of God didn’t come up.”
That’s a polite way of saying Taunton’s book was just a way to capitalize on the deaths of one of the world’s most famous atheists.
Since then, he’s only gotten worse, writing that atheism “unquestionably exacerbates the evil in our nature.” He pushed ideas like these in his job at the director of the Fixed Point Foundation, a religious group that organizes debates between atheists and Christians.
You know what those groups preach: Christianity makes you good, atheism makes you evil, and we should rejoice in the (false) narrative of a famous atheist who (allegedly) reconsidered God’s existence while on his deathbed.
So you’d expect everyone at that organization to be moral exemplars, right…?
Larry Taunton, founder and former executive director, resigned [from the Fixed Point Foundation] after he was confronted about allegations that he had inappropriate relationships with two young women on the ministry staff, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Two former board members who have resigned declined to comment. At least four board members who were on the board of directors in 2015 have resigned, a former board member confirmed.
Taunton didn’t mention those allegations in his resignation letter. Instead, he blamed exhaustion and an accident he suffered in 2015.
“I am, to put it bluntly, spent,” Taunton wrote in the letter announcing his resignation. “As many of you know, I have maintained a manic pace for several years now. After my horrific accident of two years ago, I returned to work much more rapidly than was wise. Many friends and family have expressed concern about my unrelenting travel and work schedule, and I have, up to now, ignored their counsel. But the Lord has made it very clear to me that I need to properly renew my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health if I am to be effective in the coming years. As such, I need to step back from the work of Fixed Point Foundation and let others lead that work and fulfill its mission…”
Uh-huh. God’s calling for him to take a break, and the “inappropriate relationships” have nothing to do with it.
The irony here is that there are really two possibilities here: Either the allegations are true, in which case Taunton deserves to be pushed out of his Christian ministry… or they’re false, in which case he’s finally getting a taste of his own medicine.
Thoughts and prayers all around.
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