John serves at Biola University as the Research and Program Coordinator for the Biola University Center for Christian Thought and teaches in the Department of Philosophy. A former pastor, he holds a Ph.D. degree from The Cook School of Intercultural Studies. His dissertation focused on deconversion from Christianity to atheism.
He is the author of five books on deconversion, A Recipe For Disaster: How the Church Contributes to the Deconversion Crisis (Wipf & Stock, 2018), The Anatomy of Deconversion: Keys to a Lifelong Faith in a Culture Abandoning Christianity (ACUP, 2021), Going... Going... Gone..! Why Believers Lose Their Faith and What Can be Done to Guard Against it (Renaissance Publishers, 2020), Before You Go: Uncovering Hidden Factors in Faith Loss (Leafwood Publishers, 2022), and Set Adrift: Deconstructing What You Believe Without Sinking Your Faith (Zondervan, 2023).
John is the Director for Cultural Engagement with the Renaissance Forum which focuses on connecting calling to culture for societal wellbeing. He enjoys speaking at churches and conferences on topics related to biblical studies, philosophy of religion, deconversion, and the relationship between the Church and culture.
I have three main areas of interest and research: the sociology of religion, (specifically the phenomenon of deconversion from Christianity to atheism) the relationship between Christianity and culture, and to a lesser extent the philosophy of religion. Most of my time is spent thinking about deconversion, or the loss of religious faith. It is my hope that my research into deconversion can help two groups within the Christian Church engage with the phenomenon of deconversion in a meaningful way.
First, I hope that my work will aid parents and church leaders to understand why people abandon the Christian faith. Some of the problems are of our own making. Surprisingly, a certain sort of apologetics may even contribute to deconversion. Second, I would like to be a resource for and aid to those who are within the Church but are wrestling with retaining their faith. Belief in Jesus in the 21st century is not easy. I understand the doubts and misgivings that believing in Jesus can give rise to because they often exist in me as well. Too often the Church has offered simple answers to deep, complicated and troubling questions. I would like to counter that by engaging in meaningful, honest dialogue about the Christian faith.
Above all, I seek to honor Jesus through my research. It is my hope that in all things I will represent him well, by being clothed in humility, grace, and respect for others.