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The Case Against Christianity Hardcover – April, 1991

3.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Martin has said something fresh and fruitful that theologians and philosophers of religion simply cannot afford to ignore....Every serious student of Christian doctrine would do well to spend time on Martin's insightful chapters."
Free Inquiry


"A thorough, logical examination of the major tenants of Christianity by a professional philosopher (not a theologian).... [This] is the best book for the intelligent reader that examines the case for and against Christianity.... The book is must reading for all who discuss (or defend) Christianity from a critical point of view."
American Rationalist



"An insightful and provocative rational analysis of the major doctrinal claims of Christianity.... While a creative critique in its own right, this work is in the tradition of Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Paul Kurtz, and Edmund Cohen among others...."
Choice

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

A rational critique of Christianity
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Temple Univ Pr (April 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877227675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877227670
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,542,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In this book, Michael Martin does an excellent job of dissecting the Christian religion with a tone of objectivity. The reader knows the author's conclusions from the title of the book, but it does not weaken his intellectual style. Though his position as philospher instead of theologian has brought his credibility in doubt, I was at least insured he would not jump to conclusions and keep them with stubborness. He states the problems with each Christian doctrine, reviews rebuttals to his arguments, and goes on to show the fallacy of the rebuttals. Some Christians, especially evangelicals, will quickly be unimpressed with his arguments when he doubts the probability of miracles. I personally thought his conclusions on miracles were rational and reasonable, but it takes an unbiased mind to appreciate his logic. Overall, I recommend this book to any person interested in religion because the book is based upon facts and philosophy, and I find it a devastating blow to Christianity's reasonableness. In conclusion, I find it to be a rational belief to accept Michael Martin's conclusions on Christianity and its doctrines.
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By A Customer on August 1, 1998
Format: Paperback
I was reluctant to read this as I thought I had read all of the arguments against religious belief that existed. I expected a rehash of the old arguments from David Hume and Thomas Paine. It turns out that Martin has much to add that is new. If you value rationality, and want to make your mind superstition proof, you can strengthen yourself with this book. If you are an atheist, this will only make you more self-confident about the nonsense of believing in the christian god. If you are a believer, watch out! This will plant more doubts in your mind than you may wish. But that's okay! As a former christian, I can tell you that I am much happier as an atheist than I ever was when I wasted my time on believing in god.
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Format: Paperback
Martin is a reasonably well known free thinker who has a background as a academic philosopher. This book is an attempt to suggest that Christian doctrine is not true. The methodology of the book is to suggest that a Christian is someone who accepts the doctrines outlined in the three major Christian Creeds. That is that Jesus existed as a historical figure and was God incarnated, he died and was resurrected, he was born of a virgin and will come again.
As a text some of it is a bit plodding. The reason for this is that unlike other books rather than just outlining his position, he advances his argument by contrasting it to other arguments against his position. Thus in the chapter about the resurrection he discusses at some length the position o Habermas a thinker who suggests that the resurrection is a historic event. He then responds to those arguments at some length but the narrative flow is rather poor.
The arguments around the resurrection and the historical nature of Jesus are the same arguments which have been running around free thought circles for years and have been outlined by such people as Remsberg (The Christ) and Cutner (Jesus God, Man or Myth). That is that the biblical accounts of Jesus life are contradictory and the Gospels appear to have been written years after the event. The structure of the Gospels suggest stories which are mythical or elaborated and there is a complete absence outside Christian sources to verify what is meant to have gone on. Martin tends to labour these points a bit and in my view Remsberg is by far the strongest exponent of these arguments.
The rest of the book is however reasonably original. The argument against the incarnation is in short that the biblical account of the temptation of Jesus is inconsistent with his divine nature.
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1 Comment 61 of 76 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This is by far the best sustained, scholarly attack on xianity I've seen. Martin's previous book, Atheism: A Philosophical Justification, dealt with theism in general, but this book shows the failings of xian theism in particular. Not only does Martin masterfully present the strong anti-xian arguments, he anticipates-- and defuses--possible objections to which theologians might resort. Convincing and well done. Atheists often read theistic material, including the bible, in order to stay informed. If only more xians were as open-minded and would read works such as this. There would be fewer xians!
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Format: Paperback
This book should be examined by anyone who wants an unbiased perspective of christianity. The arguments are as objective as any and the author doesn't go out of his way to scandalise the religion. Instead he makes the all important point that ultimately, christianity is a religion of blind faith more than anything that could possibly germinate in human logic or reason. Highly recommended to anyone contemplating a christian conversion and for christians who dare examine the arguments. Anti-missionary groups will want to order copies for their members and the Jews will rejoice for having stuck to their faith. Truly a book for all!
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By A Customer on December 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Reading through the other reviews here, it is obvious to see where each person stands in reference to their belief (or lack thereof) in Jesus Christ. And, as one would expect, the ratings tend to follow those lines.
Don't let Christians/Atheists with agendas throw you -- This book is a must-have for anyone interested in the topics it covers.
Does it thoroughly discredit Christianity? No, it does not. But, as the author admits, that isn't the point of the book. What The Case Against Christianity is... is a great introduction to the topics-at-hand... not too bad for a book that is already almost 10 years old.
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