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Deconverted: A Journey from Religion to Reason
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156 of 164 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2012
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I have read many of the more popular, well known atheist authors from Dan Barker's "Godless" to Ayaan Hirsi Ali's "Infidel" and their personal stories of struggling with religious believe, their doubt and their difficult personal journey, down the path from devoutly religious to freeing themselves, from religious faith and dogma and becoming non-believers. Seth's own story is no less compelling reading and just as emotional and moving.

"Deconverted: A Journey from Religion to Reason" is a well written autobiography told with humour and heart by an "average" person. It is the story lived by many thousands of people in America and around the World, every day. This story could very well be your story of doubt and loss of religious faith.

I think this book will be an insightful read for both the non-believer and the faithful. Those doubting their religious faith and the irrational religious dogma, will find solace in knowing that it is indeed ok to question one's religious faith and what you have been instructed to think by your Parents, Pastors and Priests.
The Faithful will gain an understanding in simple terms, as to why their loved ones and friends can and do quit their faith and turn away from religious dogma.

The reader will receive a first hand account of the experience of someone, who was raised in a very Christian home by loving, devout Christian parents in a majority Christian community, in the belt buckle of the Bible belt of Mid Western America and who, as an adult began to question his religious faith.

The Believer who has doubts, will be able to relate to Seth and his story on a personal level. Seth had those same doubts about his faith, as you do and began to ask the difficult questions, started thinking for himself and finally followed where logic, common sense and reality, not faith, indoctrination and traditional ancient dogma, lead him.. To Reason!

I highly recommend this book :)
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Seth Andrews, the man who gave us The Thinking Atheist, knows Christianity. He was raised in it, worked in it professionally spreading its message across the airwaves, and finally reached a crossroads where his faith could not stand against the occurrences of this world. So many of us who have been on similar journeys can identify with what Seth has to say, and yet learn some insights that we may have not considered. His story is heart breaking. This is not the story of someone who faced one tragedy and threw it all away; most walking away from faith stories aren't. Not only does he share his story, but he also addresses common questions from Christians and answers them; what else from "The Thinking Atheist"? To those unfamiliar with Seth Andrews and his website/podcast/youtube page The Thinking Atheist, it may sound as if he is being condescending or arrogant. Nothing of the sort. In his words, the name "simply reflects the fact that my own liberation came when I stopped assuming and broke the chain of inherited belief through reason, curiosity and common sense. My freedom came when I began thinking for myself."

"Deconverted" is a great read, not very long, yet very powerful. It's not just an atheist story, but a human one. It does more than take us one on man's journey through emotional ups and downs; it makes us think.
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72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2012
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Seth, like most atheists I know, did not make his decision lightly. His book tells his readers where his quest for the truth took him. I have followed Seth since his beginning into atheism and found his book to show his, honesty, compassion, courage and wit. I highly recommend this book. I started reading it and couldn't put it down until I finished it.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
After reading a few of the other well-known atheist authors, I found Seth Andrews' book to be the most "comfortable". I've listened to many of his podcasts, and couldn't help hearing his voice as I read the book. It is written in more of a conversational tone than Dawkins or Harris, who are both scientists, and read as such. Seth, having a background in the entertainment industry, is much more personable. His story is easy to relate to for anyone raised in a religious household who may have grown to have doubts, such as I did.
I highly recommend this book to anyone. But if you enjoy Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitch, you will love it. Seth Andrews adds a welcome new voice to the freethinking literary genre.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 9, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
In this book tells his story of being true believer in God and Jesus Christ to becoming a skeptic and non-believer. Unlike books by authors such as Hitchens and Dawkins, Seth tells a more personal story. And unlike Hitchens in particular, Seth talks about his loving family and some positive parts of Christianity. The fact that he was a Christian for over 30 years and that he was immersed in the culture he can speak to the recently converted in a way that many others cannot. He shares a common story with us all, and though his journey is his own, many have traveled a similar road.

Well written with short chapters, this book tells of his upbringing in a Christian household, his work in contemporary christian radio to where he is now. He discusses some of the points of Christianity and religion in general he now questions or finds absurd, but does so not to confront, but merely to tell a story of where he was an where he is now.

An excellent book. For those of you who are non-believers, it's a great read, and for those who have started to come out of the slumber, and rising to fully opening your eyes this book will be a great way to approach your questions and fears.
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69 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
One of the very best of the "genre?" of beleiver to atheist books I have read. Seth knows how to tell a story, his story. Genuine, honest, open, kind to beleivers but never to beleif. A priveledge to read.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I have listened to Seth Andrews on his podcast, and I have to say right from the start that I enjoy his writing as much as his speaking. He is witty, jovial, and conversational. I did not get much from the content of this book, however. I have read many of the books that he encountered during his de-conversion, but as someone who was raised without religious indoctrination, I could not really connect with his personal story. I was raised largely without any religion, and arrived at an interest in philosophy and religion as an adult. Seth's religious upbringing created a backlash for him that prompted his de-conversion and propelled him into his role as an atheist activist. I suppose if one has been told as a young child to literally accept many of the myths of the Bible as fact, and has been duped into accepting and believing in bad science and outrageous stories, it would only be natural that said person would suffer from a sense of embarrassment and regret later in life. This explains how Seth Andrew's catharsis and healing involved assuming the opposite view than the one he was raised with.

After getting about halfway through this book, I felt like I was re-reading atheist arguments that are primarily aimed at dismantling biblical literalism and fundamentalism... it poses no real challenge to more sophisticated or esoteric theology, philosophy, or mysticism. It consists (primarily) of shallow arguments against shallow religious fundamentalism. The same arguments are made better and more thoroughly elsewhere (see "Why I Became and Atheist", by John W. Loftus, for instance). Near the end of the book, I couldn't help but feeling that this book is essentially about Seth Andrews. I had read many pages exploring details of his life as a radio voice, a video producer, and eventually an internet sensation that really were of little interest to me.

Readers with a similar background as Andrews, especially those who are just beginning to question their beliefs, or who have recently turned their backs on the religion of their childhoods, will likely find this book of value. For those readers already versed in atheistic arguments, who are familiar with the contradictions and nasty bits in the Bible, and/or who were not indoctrinated as children should probably pass on this book.

All of that said, I did enjoy his style of prose.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I felt very alone during my 2007 middle-aged deconversion, despite living in the most unchurched part of the country (Pacific Northwest). However, as time passed fellow faith-expats like Seth Andrews published their exodus stories and I began to feel like I was part of a burgeoning movement. Reading "Deconverted" was like a trip through memory lane, and I easily identified with the story of a man who, after decades in the Church, finally figured out it was a house of cards and abandoned a comfortably numb religious fantasy for the soothing balm of atheist rationality.

Mr. Andrews and I are both Generation X and therefore experienced many of the same Christian rites of passage, such as being scared towards God by the apocalyptic "Thief in the Night" cheese-fest series of movies and rocking out in a holy way to righteous acts like Petra and the Imperials. He got saved at a much earlier age than I did due in no small part to the influence of his Christian parents, but our post-conversion result was the same: a passion for all things Jesus and a quest to become a "man of God" via the Scriptural use of spiritual gifts and natural talents.

In the author's case, coming of age during the big boom of contemporary Christian music in the 80s and 90s led Mr. Andrews to his calling as a Christian radio deejay. At first life seemed divinely ordered, but as time went on he began to question his beliefs as he grieved over the senseless deaths of devout Christian musicians Keith Green and Rich Mullins, cringed at the excesses of evangelical luminaries such as Oral Roberts, and recoiled from the horrifying actions of religious fanatics during 9/11. Mr. Andrews' once fiery faith began to sputter and he settled into what a more zealous believer would call a "lukewarm" mindset.

But as the saying goes: "when the student is ready, the master will appear." This fateful event happened for Mr. Andrews (and me as well) when the New Atheists began releasing their controversial and hard-hitting tomes. In particular, raconteur Christopher Hitchens made a strong impression on the author with his witty and articulate demolition of all things religious. The last of Mr. Andrews' Christianity fell before the onslaught of Mr. Hitchens and his rational comrades, and he was reborn with a new mission as founder of The Thinking Atheist and producer of podcasts and video resources for non-believers.

Each chapter of "Deconverted" begins with an encouraging quote from a member of The Thinking Atheist Internet community. In addition to his personal tale, Mr. Andrews has gathered some of the gorier and more contradictory aspects of the Bible that are usually ignored or rationalized by believers (provided they actually read their holy book, which is less common than you might expect). His categorization of Christian apologetic archetypes was familiar and insightful as well (check out Bill Maher's fine documentary "Religulous" for real-life examples in the wild).

After finishing the book I was inspired to hit the Web and investigate Mr. Andrews' organization and other atheist-related websites and Facebook groups. Turns out I'm not so alone - "Deconverted" is now one of many ex-Christian memoirs, blogs, and groups where the newly rational can find fellowship and encouragement. Although lifelong unbelievers will enjoy "Deconverted", those of us who did time in Christianity will deeply appreciate and relate to Mr. Andrews' pilgrimage to atheism.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If you've seen/heard/read anything Seth Andrews, you already know how good this book is. He brings you from the confessions of his religious days of faith-turned-doubt, to his enlightened days of apostasy with relatable humor, anger, sadness, and joy. I feel like I finally found an atheist book I can ask my religious mother to read so she will understand where I'm coming from. This book doesn't try to prove there isn't a god. It just documents the journey that so many of us have gone through to get to that conclusion. It is also kind to the Christians who deserve kindness, which doesn't happen very often in the atheist community. Ten thousand gold stars. :):):)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
One of Seth Andrews' many excellent works, this book touches on the details & struggles that are representative for so many others in an increasingly polarized scene of American family life & religious politics. Like Julia Sweeney's autobiographical documentary, "Letting Go of God", this works combines the narration of an often frustrating intense personal conflict with insightful moments of comedic retrospect. It laughs at one's own capacity for gullibility & smiles at new-found recognition of the strength to question, to learn, & to grow. This book is a testament many of us would like to have written, which sets the stage - like the "Thinking Atheist" online community - for increased dialogue & understanding in our society, and among our own family members.
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