Why Christians Need to Read HL Mencken – Patheos (blog)

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The most self-serving reason is the publication of my new book, Damning Words: The Life and Religious Times of H. L. Mencken. The publisher, Eerdmans, recorded an interview with me about the book, for anyone who wants to learn a little more about the man and the biographer.

But the best reason for Christians to read Mencken is to ponder how Christians sometimes (maybe more often than sometimes) come across to unbelievers. Mencken was aware that his lack of religion put a barrier between him and Christian Americans. But he couldn’t help it:

[T]his deficiency is a handicap in a world peopled, in the overwhelming main, by men who are inherently religious. It sets me apart from my fellows and makes it difficult for me to understand many of their ideas and not a few of their acts. I see them responding constantly and robustly to impulses that to me are quite inexplicable. Worse, it…

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