Prominent Christian Rapper Renounces Faith: ‘I Lost Faith in the Bible at Bible College’

Prominent Christian rap artist Phanatik has renounced his faith in a video published to Facebook, announcing that “ I sent a letter to my church withdrawing my membership and saying that I am denouncing the Christian faith that I have believed, professed, proclaimed, and defended for the last 30 years of my life.”

Phanatik, whose real name is Brady Goodwin Jr, was the founding member of the Grammy-nominated Christian rap group The Cross Movement, formed in 1996, who has worked with most Christian rappers today.

A graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary who has also studied at Lancaster Bible College, he has also written several Christian books and when he is not producing or making music, he has been teaching courses in apologetics and biblical studies at the Center for Urban Theological Studies

He explains:

For me over the last couple of years, I sort of been trying to throw out little hints that kind of just advertise or at least let people know I’m not where I once was, I’m not where I used to be.

And even when I didn’t know where I was, I knew I wasn’t totally where I used to be. And that’s just on some social matters, political matters. Not even theological just, I don’t see things the way some folks in my Christian community do, a lot of folks in a Christian community do. But then there were others who were in the Christian community who I did see eye to eye with you. Even when I was wrestling with the theology.

So what am I saying? I’m really making this video because I know the word is kind of going out from some people who were part of the church that I was at for the last maybe four or five years. I recently sent a letter to the church withdrawing my membership from the church. And it was a heavy, heavy letter because as I said in the letter, I was not just withdrawing my membership from this local body. It’s actually the universal church that I said ‘you know what? I really can’t ‘Amen’ what I used to ‘Amen.”

My struggle is I know that there’s a world of people who are going to be crushed, who are going to be let down and disappointed and hurt and sad and by hearing this.

Anyway, I sent a letter to my church withdrawing my membership and saying that I am denouncing the Christian faith that I have believed, professed, proclaimed, and defended for the last 30 years of my life.” 30 years travelling the world, preaching to others, preaching to others about what I wholeheartedly believed

He goes on to explain that he began struggling in 2014, and that it was in bible college that he adjusted his view from biblical inerrancy to ‘infallibility’ which “which was kind of a, a lesser claim, but still just as solid in terms of the Bible being trustworthy.”

Despite doing apologetics for 25 years, he attended the Westminister Theological Seminary in order to better “defend the Christian faith against atheism and liberalism” where he started to deconstruct his faith

“I began to ask those more penetrating questions. And I begin to second guess the answers that I was getting, and answers that I would give someone else if they asked me that same question… I’m in the class and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Okay, you want me to give that response to my unbelieving coworkers? I don’t think that’s going to be good enough’… I don’t know if it’d be good enough for them. And I’m starting to wonder why is it good enough for me?

He went on to live his life after that, even teaching apologetics despite struggling to believe in it, when a friend challenged him to really start reading his bible again, and really dive in, something he hadn’t been doing much of.

“I literally told God, like if I find one more thing in the scriptures that doesn’t have a good explanation without resorting to some kind of, having to bend over backwards and hop over barrels to explain it, I’m going to lose my faith.”

He dove in and he quickly saw the bible not as the word of God, but as a non-sensical amalgamation of error and contradiction “all these issues are jumping out of me issues I never saw before. I’m like, yo, who put that in the Bible? Where’d that come from? No, that’s, that’s been there. Why am I just now seeing this issue?”

“I realized what had happened in those five or six years since seminary when I wasn’t living in the text. All my presuppositions had fallen off. All of the things that I used to, almost like the armour that I had, that helped me to bulldoze my way through issues in the text, all those things had fallen off.”

He spent 2021 traveling the country talking to experts and professors. He says he consulted the conservative people first, and not the liberals, and their answers left him wanting, explaining “it got to the point where the liberal Jews were the ones bringing the most comfort because they were the ones that were being the most honest about the issues.’

I know people who they signed statements of faith so that they can still teach at Christian universities, but they believe very different. And they would hardly tell their students what they’re really thinking. And I just said, I can’t do that.”

He doesn’t say what his issues were, but they seem to be your run-of-the-mill apologetic issues that have existed for centuries, such as the pericope adulterae, authorship of genesis, death of Moses and who recorded it, longer ending of Mark, Johannine comma, , added bible verses, lost bible verses, angels that stir up waters, differing numbers, Jesus lineage, etc. He concludes:

“When I hold the Bible, in my hands, I think I understand what I’m holding now. I think I understand it now better than I ever have. And I don’t believe it, but I understand it. And I actually still love the gospel actually. Still love the way that the message has been massaged and presented to us. The way that the scriptures present themselves, the various authors, I get it. I just don’t believe it.”

h/t Reformation Charlotte


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      28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

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  5. If you are reading this Mr. Goodwin, please consider prayerfully reviewing this text:

    Keeping Faith in an Age of Reason: Refuting Alleged Bible Contradictions by Dr. Jason Lisle

  6. “….on some social matters, on political matters….”

    A stark admission and warning as to where those social and political matters which he held to (no further elaboration necessary) will lead.

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