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Leaving The Fold: Testimonies Of Former Fundamentalists Paperback – June 30, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 462 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (June 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591022177
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591022176
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,339,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Between an introduction and appendix provided by Babinski, 33 former Christian fundamentalists explain how and why they first embraced, and later abandoned, that belief system. Of these, eight have become atheists, eight (including Babinski) agnostics, one a wiccan, and one a Zen Buddhist; the remainder have remained Christian. Major contemporary religious writers such as Harvey Cox and Sam Keen are included. The agenda here is unmistakably antifundamentalist, and the occasional leak of vitriol does distract. Also, in its ambition to be comprehensive, Babinski's annotated "list of additional testimonies" neglects a distinction between trash and treasure. However, in the main the individual statements and recollections are clearly, thoughtfully, and intelligently presented, and documentation is thorough. For this reason, and because no similar collection of such breadth and depth is available, this work is reservedly recommended as a useful addition to church, academic, and larger public library collections.?Bill Piekarski, Southwestern Coll. Lib., Chula Vista, Cal.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

For links to my online writings visit:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/ed_babinski/

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/ed_babinski/babinski-bio.html

http://www.edward-t-babinski.blogspot.com

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1997
Format: Hardcover
There are other atheists who are former Christian fundamentalists--I am not alone! Some of them had, as I did, ties to Bob Jones University, perhaps the foremost incubator of fundamentalists. After reading "Leaving the Fold," I felt free to talk openly, for the first time, about my recanting Christianity. I even told my family--incorrigible fundamentalists! I am indebted to Mr. Babinski.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Parts of this book are painful for those of us who are still Christian believers, but Ed Babinski has done a superb job of bringing together a wealth of material and presenting it clearly and efficiently. Not all Christians could read through such a litany of disillusionments withut going into depression (just as not all anti-Christians could read through it without gloating). I think this book is too harsh for naive, well-meaning Fundamentalists, but that it contains valuable information for moderate and conservative Evangelicals who care about truth even when it hurts. Mature Christians, seminary students, and seminary professors would do especially well to ponder and discuss the contents of this book.
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76 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Ronald A. Veenker on October 16, 1997
Format: Hardcover
LEAVING THE FOLD contains the personal reflections of ex-fundamentalist Christians regarding why they left their particular subculture. I was amazed to find out who some of the contributors were, e.g., Harvey Cox, professor of religion at Harvard! I think that many people leave fundamentalist Christian groups and, in the spirit of Christian charity, try not to say anything critical about the group. This is a mistake. Some of the heinous behavior, abuse and crimes of these groups as revealed in the testimonies ex-members must be exposed. Many thanks to Ed Babinski for a job well-done and for his service to Christendom for getting us all to be honest with ourselves about abuses committed in the name of God. Ronald A. Veenker, PhD, Dept of Religious Studies, Western Kentucky, University Bowling Green, KY 42101 I
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69 of 80 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The "Reviewer" who gave this book but one star has either not read it, or, not digested its contents. Like a lot of reviews written by people of an evangelical faith he rates it with only "one star" because he disagrees with its contents on apriori religious grounds and hopes to discourage others from being contaminated by its contents (not because the book was written badly or researched badly or lacked interesting information - it is in fact, written well, researched fastidiously, and contains much interesting information not found in other such works).
Predictably, the reviewer suggests a "better" book that agrees with his particular evangelical faith, like "Why Christian Kids Leave the Fold." Such a "review" is both "sad" and "not surprising," and says more about the reviewer than the book he has "reviewed."
To put what I said above in perspective, even having "left the fold" I, for instance, have not searched for books by Evangelical Christians to give them only "one star" and then suggest that readers would be better off reading "Leaving the Fold" instead. (Though come to think of it, what better way to try and draw attention to books you wish others to read. Though such "non-reviews" are also an annoyance to those of us seeking to gain knowledge from a book review. ...
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Kevin R. Henke on December 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I contributed a chapter to this book. Some have accused me and the other authors of this book of not having sincere conversions or not wanting to be "accountable" to a "creator." Because no one, including these "know-it-all" accusers, can know the minds of the authors of this book, I will only speak for myself. My conversion and deconversion testimonies in this book are entirely SINCERE. I wanted salvation. I committed my life to Christ and I encouraged others to do so. However, after I read the Bible, and especially the false prophecies in Revelation and the countless contradictions in the Gospels, I realized that the claims of Christianity were false. Also, I could no longer swallow the irrational and far-fetched excuses that fill the "Christian apologetics" literature. As discussed in my essay, the arguments used by fundamentalists are no different than the feeble and subjective attempts by Mormons to defend their "scriptures." The excuse-making of the "apologeticists" clearly violates the Principle of Parsimony (that is, "Ockham's Razor": a principle that now goes far beyond the embryonic thoughts of William of Ockham).
I finally had the courage to stop lying to myself and admit that the claims of the Bible are wrong. Fundamentalism FAILED us. The authors of Babinski's book discovered alternatives, which they found to be more realistic, fulfilling and moral than Christian fundamentalism. At the same time, it's just so easy for fundamentalists to blame the victims of fundamentalism rather than be adults and responsibly admit that there are SERIOUS problems with fundamentalism and its interpretations of the Bible.
My moral life has not changed since I left Christianity, so there's no evidence that I left because of any "love for the world.
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