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Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity Paperback – October 30, 2008


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Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity + Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (October 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591025923
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591025924
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #482,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A thoughtful and intellectually challenging work presenting arguments that every honest theist and Christian should face."
-Dr. Norman L. Geisler Christian apologist, author of The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics

About the Author

John W. Loftus (Angola, IN) earned MA and MDiv degrees in theology and philosophy from Lincoln Christian Seminary under the guidance of Dr. James D. Strauss. He then attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he studied under Dr. William Lane Craig and received a ThM degree in philosophy of religion. Before leaving the church, he had ministries in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana, and he taught at several Christian colleges. He is also the editor of The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails and The End of Christianity. In addition, he has an online blog at http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com.

More About the Author

John W. Loftus is the "Debunking Christianity" Blog founder and author of "Why I Became An Atheist." Be sure to get the most recent 2012 edition, which replaces "Why I Rejected Christianity," a self-published book. He is the author of "The Outsider Test for Faith," and the editor of two books, "The Christian Delusion," and "The End of Christianity." John also co-wrote a debate book with Dr. Randal Rauser, "God or Godless." His self-published book, "Why I became an Atheist: Personal Reflections and Additional Arguments," contains chapters not to be found in his books or Blog.

Customer Reviews

If you're wise you will buy and read this outstanding book!
Andrew Atkinson
He claims that even if God created the universe He "may have gone out of existence after creating as His last act."
Stevie Jake
In summary, "Why I Became an Atheist" is one of the best arguments against Christianity.
Book Shark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

225 of 259 people found the following review helpful By Dan Barker on September 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
Atheists are often accused of not taking Christianity seriously. If we would only read the bible with an open mind, we would be impressed with its wonderful truths, believers often tell us. And it is a fact that many (perhaps most) atheists don't want to bother with biblical or theological studies -- why should they? -- but this is not true of John Loftus. John has taken the claims of Christianity seriously, diving in with both feet (full immersion atheism!), unflinchingly examining the exact sources that believers urge us to ponder. What more do they want? When you read Loftus's penetrating analyses, you have no choice but to discard the truth claims of Christianity. Some might try to argue, nevertheless, that Christianity is useful -- but the most important question that can be asked of any religion is, "Is it TRUE?" Finishing John's book, I am now more convinced than ever that it is not. As a former evangelical preacher myself who can identify with the agony John was forced to endure as he methodically rebuilt his world view, I agree that atheism is not only defensible, it is liberating.
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302 of 354 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Atkinson on August 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read hundreds of Christian Apologetics books. I have read all of Lewis, all of Schaeffer, all of Peter Kreeft, all of Dr. Geisler's books, including his encyclopedia A-Z twice, and his Systematic Theology twice, I have read Plantinga, McDowell, Craig, Ravi, Moreland, Holding, Swinburne, N.T Wright, Paul Copan, R.C Sproul, Van Til, Gary Habermas, Lee Strobel, David Noebel, Francis Beckwith, Chuck Colson, Nancy Pearcy, Chesterton, Stuart C. Hacket, Martin, Richard Purtill, Stephen T. Davis, Dembski, Behe, Johnson, Collins, Paul K Moser, and many other Christian Philosophers and theologians . I have also read all the top skeptic authors, so I am pretty familiar with worldview issues, and the arguments and counter-arguments from both sides. I can't imagine why someone would say this book is not worth reading, unless they're either uninformed or have some axe to grind. I would rather take the word of both top Christian Philosophers and Skeptics that endorse this book before I would listen to some disgruntled person reviewing it on Amazon (whom I suspect has not even read the book). There must be something very admirable about a book that can be granted endorsements form both sides!

Here is what Dr. Geisler said (who is considered the DEAN of Christian apologetics, and wrote the Christian Encyclopedia of Apologetics, along with 70 other books): "[John's book] is a thoughtful and intellectually challenging work, presenting arguments that every honest theist and Christian should face."

---------------------

Dr. Mark D.
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84 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Guy P. Harrison on May 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John W. Loftus has written an important book that should be read by every Christian who cares about truth and reality. This is not the angry rant of some disgruntled former believer with an axe to grind. Loftus is thorough, fair and convincing. As a former Christian minister and apologist who became an atheist, he knows both sides of the belief question very well.

The insights and detailed information contained in this book make for enlightening reading. There is much for everyone, from believers who are courageous enough to think more deeply about their faith to nonbelievers who want to better understand the arguments Christians make in defense of their religion. I highly recommend this book.

--Guy P. Harrison, author of

Race and Reality: What Everyone Should Know About Our Biological Diversity

and

50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By G. M. Arnold VINE VOICE on January 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've just finished reading three books on a common theme: losing one's (Christian) religion and becoming an atheist. All three are excellent, but each approaches the topic from a very different perspective. I thought I might review them all together, and post the combined review on each book at Amazon. I don't know if this is consistent with the Amazon review policy, but never mind.

The first book is Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan Barker. I was slightly put off by the subtitle: "How an evangelical preacher became one of America's leading atheists." After all, one of the key points about atheism - and one that we have to keep reminding theists about - is that atheism is not an organized body of belief, it's no more a religion than "bald" is a hair colour. So how can anyone be a "leading atheist"? Who's being led? However if one substitutes "prominent" or "influential" for "leading", we can let that pass. And Barker is certainly influential: he's co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which is one of the most active groups working to uphold the Constitutional prohibition on church-state entanglement, and seeking to counteract the negative image of atheism in this country.

The second book that I considered was William Lobdell's Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America-and Found Unexpected Peace. Lobdell is an award-winning journalist who covered religion for the Los Angeles Times.
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