Larry Taunton

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Larry Taunton
Born (1967-05-24) May 24, 1967 (age 52)[1]
OccupationAuthor, public speaker
GenreChristian spirituality history

Larry Alex Taunton (born, May 24, 1967) is an American author, columnist, and cultural commentator.[2] Larry Taunton's work has been covered by the BBC,[3] The New York Times,[4] and many others.[5][6][7]


Larry Taunton has personally engaged some of the most outspoken opponents of Christianity, including Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens,[8] and Peter Singer.[9] In 2007, he organized "The God Delusion Debate"[10] on the merits of Dawkins' arguments against Christianity as set forth in his bestselling book, The God Delusion. The discussion was heard by over a million people worldwide. In 2008, he chaired a follow-up debate at the University of Oxford. In 2010, Taunton publicly debated Christopher Hitchens.[11] In 2015, he debated atheist Daniel Dennett and imam Zaid Shakir on Al Jazeera America,[12] as well as skeptic writer Michael Shermer.[13] He has also been a guest on a variety of television and radio shows, and has been quoted by the New York Times and Vanity Fair,[14] among other newspapers and magazines.[15][16][17]

When not writing, teaching, or producing, Taunton travels widely, speaking on issues of faith and culture.[18]

In 2016, Taunton published a book entitled The Faith of Christopher Hitchens about his friendship with the late atheist, in which he claimed that Hitchens seemed to be reevaluating his religious options, "if only theoretically," after his cancer diagnosis.[19] But the author is nonetheless clear that he does not believe Christopher Hitchens made a deathbed conversion: "I make no Lady Hope-like claims regarding Christopher Hitchens. As we have seen, there were no reports of a deathbed conversion."[20]

Personal life[edit]

Taunton was born at Fort Benning, Georgia. He and his wife, Lauri, have four children and live in Birmingham, Alabama.[2]

In October 2015, Taunton was nearly fatally injured when hit while cycling, suffering 39 broken bones including a skull fracture, his jaw, 19 breaks in his neck and back, all ribs on the right side of his body, and a punctured lung and massive internal hemorrhaging.[21][22]

In the fall of 2017, Taunton resigned as the executive director of Fixed Point Foundation citing a lack of recovery since his injury and manic pace of work. In 2018, Taunton admitted that he "had engaged in inappropriate (consensual) behavior outside the bonds of my marriage some time ago."[23] His resignation came "after he was confronted about allegations that he had inappropriate relationships with two young women on the ministry staff."[24]

In September 2019, the board of Fixed Point Foundation unanimously decided to reinstate Taunton as executive director, stating, "Larry accomplished more than most of us thought possible, often at great personal risk and sacrifice. It is not wholly uncommon for people in high profile work to suffer their own setbacks, and Larry did. But he faced it with courage and dignity and he has done all that we have asked of him and more these last two years."[25][26]

Published works[edit]

  • The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief, 2011 (Thomas Nelson) ISBN 1595554408
  • The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World's Most Notorious Atheist, 2016 (Thomas Nelson) ISBN 0718022173


  1. ^ "Larry Alex Taunton". Facebook. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Larry Taunton official author site". Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  3. ^ "Has Science Buried God?". BBC. October 15, 2008. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
  4. ^ Mark Oppenheimer (February 4, 2011). "Super Bowl Ads Will Leave a Religious Question Unanswered". The New York Times. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  5. ^ Sam Cohen (January 31, 2011). "FOX Sports Rejects Another Religious Super Bowl Ad". Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  6. ^ Joanna Sudgen (October 4, 2007). "Richard Dawkins debates in the Bible Belt". The Times. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  7. ^ Melanie Phillips (October 23, 2008). "Richard Dawkins still evolving?". The Spectator. Archived from the original on April 4, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  8. ^ Ed Kemmick (October 23, 2010). "City Lights: Billings blessed with spectacle of mix of beliefs". Billings Gazette. Retrieved August 26, 2011. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Scholars match wits over God's existence |". October 4, 2007. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  11. ^ "Christopher Hitchens vs Larry Taunton Pre-Debate Interview". YouTube. Fixed Point Foundation. May 30, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  12. ^ "Does Religion Do More Harm Than Good?". Third Rail. Al Jazeera America. May 14, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  13. ^ "Michael Shermer & Larry Taunton in Conversation". Fixed Point Foundation. April 23, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  14. ^ Christopher Hitchens (October 2010). "Unanswerable Prayers". Vanity Fair. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  15. ^ Cathy Lynn Grossman (February 7, 2011). "Super Bowl miracle? 'Rejected' Bible verse ad runs anyway". USA Today. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  16. ^ Lewis Bazley (February 4, 2011). "John 3:16 Super Bowl advert rejected for 'religious content'". Daily Mail. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  17. ^ "John 3:16 Super Bowl Ad Rejected". The Atlantic Wire. February 3, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  18. ^ Larry Alex Taunton (November 14, 2011). The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief. Thomas Nelson Inc. p. 237. ISBN 978-1-59555-441-3. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  19. ^ Taunton, Larry (2016). The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World's Most Notorious Atheist. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-7180-2217-4.
  20. ^ Taunton, Larry (2016). The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World's Most Notorious Atheist. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-7180-2217-4.
  21. ^ Taunton, Larry. "Ye of Brittle Faith". First Things. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  22. ^ Garrison, Greg (January 8, 2016). "Christian debater nearly killed in bike wreck reflects on those who saved him".
  23. ^ Taunton, Larry (February 7, 2018). "Statement of Larry Taunton". Larry Alex Taunton. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  24. ^ Garrison, Greg (February 7, 2018). "Founder of Christian ministry resigns, admits inappropriate behavior". Advance Publications. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  25. ^ "An Important Announcement from Fixed Point – LAT".
  26. ^ Garrison, Greg (September 16, 2019). "Birmingham ministry founder reinstated after scandal".

External links[edit]