Dr. Ken Pulliam is Dead

My good friend and fellow ex-Christian former minster is dead. His wife Cheryl announced this today on Facebook:
This is Ken's wife. My husband passed away suddenly and unexpectedly yesterday from a massive heart attack. I thought you would like to know. He was 50. Cheryl
This was Ken's Facebook page. This was his Blog page.

This is a Facebook page dedicated to his memory.

He will be personally missed by me as the first skeptic I met online and one of my greatest encouragers. Be assured that people will know of him and remember him. Just days ago he submitted his chapter to me for the anthology The End of Christianity. He was writing a book about the atonement. That work would have been a tour de force unmatched by anything produced so far. His keen intellect and grasp of the issues were evident in everything he wrote. I will miss him, and I wish his family the very best during this time of grief.

39 comments:

Anthony said...

Wow, this was shocking news. It definitely brings home our mortality and makes you even more appreciative of the life that we have in the here and now.

Mike said...

I am in total shock and am VERY saddened by this. This is extremely upsetting to me. I met Ken online as well and I loved talking with him about everything from religion to college football.

LadyAtheist said...

How sad and tragic. My stepdad passed away suddenly the same way so I know from experience how devastating a sudden loss like that is. I truly do feel for his friends and loved ones.

I'm so glad he deconverted and was able to enjoy the here and now for what it was even if it was far too little time.

Gandolf said...

I agree its such shocking and extremely sad news.My thoughts go out to Kens wife Cheryl and the whole family as they go through this time of grief together.So honestly true John his writing on lots of these subject was really detailed and well thought through which really was very evident in everything he wrote.

Plus it was a real bonus to enjoy his sense of humor and taste in music.

Thom Stark said...

This is astonishing. I am deeply affected by this. Ken PM'd me on Facebook the other day, with a significant question, and I have yet to answer him. That his question will remain unanswered is a fitting tribute to his work.

I mourn.

Jon Hanson said...

This is awful, he was one of my earliest influences after my deconversion and a hero to me.

He had so much to do, this is a real tragedy.

Bud said...

I am very saddened by this news. Ken was a great man, and he will be sorely missed.

Dr. Hector Avalos said...

This is a terrible loss. I only met him last year at the New Orleans SBL, but he impressed me as a very kind and intelligent man. My deepest sympathies to his family.

Mike D said...

This is a terribly sad loss. He was a fantastic writer, one from whom I learned a great deal. We'll miss you, Ken.

Paul Baird said...

I'd only recently found his blog and posted a few comments.

What a terrible loss.

Mike D said...

Wait... why was there a post just now on his blog? I'm confused.

"Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated"?

Mike said...

Mike, I have the same question. His facebook page has been updated as well.

Knitterman said...

Some blog systems allowing post-dating posts, so you can write a few days in advance and the system won't publish until a specified date.

John W. Loftus said...

I am friends with Ken's widow. It's for real. Ken is dead. I have post-dated things myself.

Lynn said...

I'm crying. I feel like I've lost a friend. I read several blogs, but I always read his first.

I liked him because he was so obviously a kind, decent person. You see that in his replies to others. He was a fellow Southerner. He obviously loved the rock music we grew up with. It was a privilege to interact with such an educated person who shared our issues with Christianity.

I will miss him, and I thank him for all he taught me.

And thanks for posting all the links, John.

mikespeir said...

So shockingly sudden. I check in on his blog every day, though I've rarely commented there. Very sad. My condolences to the family.

Clare said...

Very tragic. A great loss to all of us. I followed his blog regularly and commented from time to time.
Did he finish his book on Penal Substitution theories? If not perhaps John or his wife could finish it for him and get it published.

Hacksaw Duck said...

This is just terrible news. My condolences to the family and his many friends. I knew Ken through his blog and through Facebook. I live in metro Atlanta and had hoped to meet him for coffee one day. Wish I hadn't put that off. RIP, Ken.

JS Allen said...

Oh, no! Really terrible news. I had been holding out hope for Ken to write a book (or two) on PST, and was enjoying his beginning steps in looking at biological bases for morality. It's just not right for someone with so much energy and so much left to do, to be taken away.

Lvka said...

For smoke is our nostrils' breath, and thought a sparkle kindled by our moving hearts; which, -when extinguished-, our body shall be turned to ashes, and our soul shall fade away as thinnest air.

May he rest in peace. +

Eric Thomson said...

That sucks, it really does. We hve lost a great voice of reason. In this age of tweets he provided substantive thoughts.

Mike D said...

On a slightly related note, does anyone know what happened to Bruce Gerenscer and his NW Ohio Skeptics blog?

daryl said...

really sad news.

Mike said...

Mike, Bruce took down his blog.

Mike said...

Just when I thought the behavior of Christians could not get any more disgusting. A Christian decided to post a message on the facebook memorial page to Ken that implied Ken is in hell if he died as an atheist. I responded to the guy but I'm just so angry I thought I'd write about it here. Grrrrr....

Ryan Anderson said...

This is very sad, Ken was the voice of reason on most the atheist and apologist blogs I would visit.

Also, the brennon from the memorial page has a blog here

Hacksaw Duck said...

Yes, Ryan, thanks for providing that link. Did you notice the despicable comment from "the Seeking Disciple"?

exreformed said...

very tragic

Ken was one of the first blogs I fond as well, I have a link to his site on my blog.

His work on refuting the pineal substitution garbage will live on.

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

This is truly sad new.

Ken and I were both alumni of Bob Jones University where he took his PhD in theology.

Although I later left to study and Southern Wesleyan University and Columbia Theological Seminary, we had many of the same professors at BJU and we often conversed in emails over the short comings and damage Fundamentalism does to the religious mind.

While people may debate the logic and shifting reality of "God" and the Bible here at DC, the fact of death is a realty that both humanity and the religious world must (and will) pay homage to. It is a common fact that can’t be debated.

(For those Christian who chose to use this sad event to attack his memory, his completed and freed life surpassed the religious life of Jesus by 17 -21 years.)

Rest well my friend and may your memory comfort us all who (like you) find their religious life also in their rear view mirror!

mindyourmind said...

I really enjoyed Ken's blog. I think his work on the atonement was monumental.

My condolences to his family and also to John and his other friends here.

Brad Haggard said...

I want to leave my condolences as well. Ken and I had some interesting discussions and I feel he was always gracious in his online debates.

BeamStalk said...

I commented from time to time at Ken's blog. I enjoyed every post, my condolences to his family, he will be missed.

Victor Reppert said...

I am very sorry to hear this. But why are there posts on Ken's blog dated after Oct. 29?

cneil said...

I'm confused too... there are new postings on Ken's blog today (1st Nov) and no mention of his passing. I'd be very happy if the reports of Ken's death are more than premature.

Bud said...

Ken must have post-dated some blog entries. I do the same thing on my blog. As sad as this is, at least we can still look forward to seeing what Ken's final post will be.

openlyatheist said...

@ Loftus,

Will you or anyone be taking pains to archive Ken's posts? I believe I only scratched the surface of what I could have learned from him. I'm so glad he contributed to the new book.

I do hope comments will be disabled on his blog as long as it remains.

Victor Reppert said...

I see. Postdated items.

Robert said...

openlyatheist,

I downloaded Ken's entire blog using http://www.httrack.com/ in case it goes down.

It is about 1.5 Gigs of data. Now I can browse the entire site on my laptop - disconnected from the Internet.

If his site goes down, we will have a copy that (perhaps) can be hosted elsewhere. I don't know what copyright limitations there would be in doing that.

Gandolf said...

Harry H. McCall, CET said..."While people may debate the logic and shifting reality of "God" and the Bible here at DC, the fact of death is a realty that both humanity and the religious world must (and will) pay homage to. It is a common fact that can’t be debated."

Hey Harry, yeah i agree with you.Most often differing faith beliefs dont really tend to effect humans ability to feel "empathy" specially in tough times like when peoples loved ones only just passed on.And hopefully specially when "visiting a special space" like their blog that is kind of almost like their own personal homespace.A space where its quite likely that other family members will possibly also soon visit as part of an attempt of remberence of their loved one.

But it seems strangly its the hard-hearted calvinists having the most trouble understanding it.Specially over on that triablogue.Their thoughts is caught in a spirialing spin.Empathy they lack understanding of,specially when trying to get a grip on understanding how this simple emotion might have had to do with helping provide "standards" that became human moral.

With one track minds that only can concieve morals delived via God-s ,it leaves em lost and loopy.

Sadly on Kens blog a calvinist couldnt help himself exclaiming in kind of glee.

Quote.."Goodbye Dr Pulliam. Your pitiful arguments against Christianity will be missed. I pity you greatly."

He had to nastily use the word "pitiful".And act deceitfully like he`s honestly saying he will really "miss Ken", when reading between the lines just by the look of his tone used, it (looks like) he`s far more likely really suggesting "good riddance".

It seems like a really low blow aimed at a person 1, who can no longer reply for himself 2, in a kind of homespace where its even quite possible other grieving family members just may also decide to visit.

With use of the emotion of some simple human empathy, this shouldnt be hard to understand right Harry ?.

But no the calvinist on Kens blog didnt.Then calvinists on triablogue get their knickers in a twist cause some atheist dare make use of the extremely ancient human emotion of empathy ,as standard .To dare reprimand a calvinist, one of their own, and rattle their calvinistic pride.

They stomp their tootsies! ,and write poems .Suggesting atheist cannot claim to have naturalist ways of obtaining "standards" .The natural human emotion "empathy" that even Ken had previously discussed !,it seemed they had forgot.

And this fellow Steve commenting in this post here http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2010/11/when-you-lose-loved-one-to-atheism.html#comments , it seems he really cant seem to understand any difference between Christians feeling sad when a family member turned atheist passes on , and what it maybe might be like if atheists suddenly turned up on a christians family members blog, and started gleefully gloating about it,specially within the very earliest period of their time of grief.

Why cant this Steve see the diff ?

I do understand science suggests "charismatic devotion" tends to shut down some parts of the brain that supposed to deal with critical thinking.

But please tell me the blatant lack of understanding displayed by some of these folks in a time like this, is really a POE right?

If i "went to a christians blog" who had a atheist family member who had "only just" passed away.And saw another atheist their specially going out of their way to be nasty and gleefully say ha ha ,your family member had turned atheist.

Id rip ! into them.And tell them to pull their freaking head in and simply respect the fact "family of the loved one" were trying to be dealing with their grief at the present moment.

And you wouldnt see me writing clicky poems and endless crap trying to somehow find ways to try excuse the lack of "empathy" in a time like that.

I just dont get it.