Former Fundamentalist with Ph.D. from BJU is now an Agnostic

by Ken Pulliam, Ph.D.

I was saved (trusted Christ and Christ alone) and baptized in an independent, Fundamental Baptist church (Galilean Baptist Church). Later I became a member of Forrest Hills Baptist Church in Decatur, GA, which was started by Curtis Huston, a former editor of the Sword of the Lord publication, the periodical originally begun by John R. Rice (Mr. Fundamentalist) in 1934.

I graduated from Baptist University of America (BUA) in Decatur, GA in 1981. BUA was associated with the Baptist Bible Fellowship, which was started by followers of J. Frank Norris, a major fundamentalist leader in the early part of the 20th century. Then I went to Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC, perhaps, the most well known fundamentalist Christian college in the world.

After earning an M.A. (1982) and a Ph.D. (1986) in Theology at BJU, I went to teach at International Baptist College (IBC) in Tempe, AZ which was founded by James Singleton (also the Pastor of Tri-City Baptist Church). Singleton was a board member and active speaker in the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship, a group that originally came out of the Northern Baptist Convention in the early 20th century. The term "Fundamentalist," while a pejorative term for many people, was held as a badge of honor by the people with which I associated.

After teaching for about 6 years at IBC, many doubts began to accumulate. I taught Apologetics, Theology, English Bible, Introduction to Philosophy, Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Greek courses. On the graduate level, I taught N.T. Introduction, N.T. Biblical Theology, Historical Theology, and advanced Greek courses.

I remember fielding many difficult questions from students in these classes and I always responded with the "pat" answers that I had been taught at BJU or had read in evangelical theology books. These usually satisfied the students but in my heart they did not satisfy me. I continued to study and research, thinking that somewhere, someone must have an adequate answer to these questions. For example, one which I could never resolve was the "justice of an innocent person (Christ) being punished in the place of the guilty parties (sinners)". This is counter-intuitive to what every man knows is right. Punishment, in order to be just, must be directed towards the guilty party. To substitute an innocent party, even if that party is willing, does not constitute justice.

In Dec. of 1996, I left the ministry. I "layed-low" for many years because I did not want to debate and I did not want to disappoint my dear Parents (who had paid for my education and who were devout Christians). Beginning in 2003, I started posting on TheologyWeb anonymously under the name FormerFundy. I enjoyed debating the so-called apologists who frequent that site. This year, I started my own blog, in which I am systematically discussing the reasons I left the faith.

I am also working on a book which may be entitled: "The Death of Christ for Sinners was both Illegal and Immoral."


Ken Pulliam, Ph.D.

Pageviews this week: