Why I Rejected Christianity: A Former Apologist Explains
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Why I Rejected Christianity: A Former Apologist Explains [Paperback]

John W. Loftus
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 30, 2006
This book presents a cumulative case against Christianity by a former defender of it. It shares both the personal experiences and the powerful intellectual arguments that changed his thinking.

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About the Author

I graduated from Great Lakes Bible College, Lansing Michigan, in 1977. Afterwards I became the Associate Minister under Eddie Bratton in Kalkaska, Michigan, for two years. Then I attended Lincoln Christian Seminary, Lincoln, IL, and graduated in 1982 with M.A. and M.Div. degrees, under the mentoring of Dr. James D. Strauss. After this I attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and graduated in 1985 with a Th.M degree, under the mentoring of Dr. William Lane Craig. I also took classes at Marquette University in a Ph.D. program with a double major in Philosophy and Ethics, but didn't finish. At Marquette I studied with Dr. Ron Feenstra, Dr. Marc Greisbach, and Dr. Daniel MaGuire. I have taught extension classes for Lincoln Christian College, Lincoln, IL, and I taught for Great Lakes Christian College, Lansing, Michigan, for the College of Lake County, in Grayslake, IL, for Tri-State University, Angola, IN, and for Kellogg Community College, Battle Creek, ! MI. I was in the "Who's Who Among America's Teachers" in 1996.

From December of 1987 to December of 1990 I was the Senior Minister of the Angola Christian Church, Angola, IN, and for a year was the President of the Steuben County Ministerial Association. Before that I had several ministries in Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. I was in the ministry for about fourteen years, or so, and wrote many articles for the Christian weekly magazine, The Christian Standard.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Trafford Publishing (June 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412076811
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412076814
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,844,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delves far deeper than most similar texts. June 26, 2007
By Greg
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
John W. Loftus' book is a great read for anyone confused by Christianity's many contradictions. As a former paster himself, Loftus' position lends extra credibility to his conclusions.

Here are four reasons why this book is superior to many similar texts:

1. Loftus is well-read in the Christian apologist realm, and he cites these authors' works frequently. Anyone in the "Zondervan school of thought" will quickly become comfortable in his context, even if he/she is in total disagreement with his point.

2. The book reads without even a hint of condescending tone towards his former faith. It is obvious that the man is simply sincere, and he resorts to no personal attacks on any level. This is more than can be said of most current atheist authors.

3. The level of research and brutal logic applied to the Bible is absolutely stunning, as is the sheer number of examples given. Loftus mentions several of the most popular Biblical contradictions, but goes much further, offering evidence that even many simple Bible stories defy logic.

4. There is "no stone unturned", as Loftus takes on nearly every apologist angle ever conceived. Science vs. religion debate? It's here. ID people knocking on your door? Read this book. Historical evidence issues? Loftus tackles them head-on.

On the back cover, the book is critiqued by Dr. James Sennett, who is credited as a Christian philosopher and author. One of Dr. Sennett's quotes (taken out of context here) is, "Scholarly unbelief is far more sophisticated, far more defensible than any of us would like to believe."

This book will give more insight into this "scholarly unbelief" than you ever thought possible.
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100 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What we've always suspected... December 28, 2006
By A Customer
I presume many Christians will react to this book with "rantings and tantrums" since it always hurts deeper when one who has been there, comes back to tell it like it is. Having been a believing Christian myself and finally seeing the light, that Christianity is no different than any other religious myths that went before it, I can empathize with the author. Loftus gives a very personal account of his road to de-conversion and presents some very powerful arguments to expose the intellectual bankruptency of Christian beliefs specifically and theistic beliefs in general. He clearly shows how trying to have "a relationship" with an imaginary supernatural being only fulfills a delusion supported by pure slight of mind. Loftus provides a substantial number of references to support his journey from supernaturalism to freedom. He was a true believer who had clearly read the Bible numerous times and finally came away with his original delusions shattered and reality clearly in front of him. I hope this book will lead others from their religious supernatural bonds to freedom. Its about time we examined religion with rational thinking. I recommend that after reading this book you take the next step and also read Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion and Daniel Dennett's Breaking the Spell.
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200 of 263 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Review of "Why I Rejected Christianity" December 3, 2006
The trend is growing. More and more often nowadays we are hearing about Christian preachers walking out of their pulpits, away from lives of privilege and honor, leaving the fold of God. Emerging from different sects of Christianity, these ex-ministers are observed to defect for strikingly similar reasons. When they let us into their lives to see why they forsook their lord and master, we see that virtually all of them found Christianity to be evidentially problematic, if not patently false.

In 1963, a young Church of Christ preacher by the name of Farrell Till left the faith. A number of years later, he became quite outspoken against his former religion in a publication he founded known as The Skeptical Review. Then in 1984, Dan Barker appeared on the scene, a former Assembly of God preacher and graduate of Azusa Pacific University. After leaving Christianity, he joined the Freedom from Religion Foundation where he is now co-president, and in 1992 published his account of the desertion entitled, Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist.

As of 1997, another name has been thrown into the hat of unbelievers, John W. Loftus. Like myself, Loftus was a Church of Christ minister and graduate of several Christian colleges and seminaries. Making John even more unique to the already exceptional caste of minister-turned-atheist is his education at the feet of renowned Christian apologist, Dr. William Lane Craig. Craig is best known for his work and defense of the Kalam Cosmological Argument and is viewed as a "Big Gun" in the world of Christian-atheist debate.
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32 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction October 29, 2006
Why I Rejected Christianity provides a skeptical introduction to philosophy of religion and Christian apologetics from a former apologist who studied under William Lane Craig. It covers standard issues like proofs of the existence of God, evil, and miracles, as well as less-discussed issues like theories of salvation. As I was familiar with most of these issues, it's a little hard for me to judge how well it works as an introduction, but where I'm not familiar with the material, I have found Loftus' book quite helpful. I also have no trouble saying the section on the problem of evil was top-notch.

Of course, an introduction with many topics will never be as effective on a given issue as the best one-issue treatments. However, Loftus' extensive use and citation of existing material makes this an excellent guide to the literature for anyone who wants to do further reading.

There are also a few real gems originality thrown in there. One is the section where Loftus goes through the Bible using nothing but it to show how superstitious the people of the ancient world were--and how reluctant we should be to trust them as a source of divine revelation. The best section, though, is at the beginning, in a setion called the Outsider Test: "Test your beliefs as if you were an outsider to the faith you are evaluating." Here, Loftus solidifies an idea that has floated around in much skeptical rhetoric for some time. He opens up the possibility of consistently applying an idea that has so far only been applied haphazardly. When this is done, the effect is utterly devestating to religious belief. The Outsider Test should earn Loftus a permenant place in the history of critiques of religion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Baseless Conclusions
I had previously read WIBA, expecting a great challenge, and saw that Mr. Loftus had used a scatter gun approach to deliver over 40 different arguments as a kind of "cumulative... Read more
Published on April 26, 2011 by KC James
1.0 out of 5 stars God's gift to theists.
My problem with this book and everything Mr. Loftus puts his hand to is that, rather than promoting respectful and, perhaps, productive dialogue he throws gasoline at burning... Read more
Published on December 30, 2010 by Health Care Anthropologist
1.0 out of 5 stars FOUND ALL HIS HUGE ERRORS YET?
If Loftus became an atheist based on the information in this book, then he badly needs to do more research because his facts are wrong or out of date. Read more
Published on April 25, 2010 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Filled with contradictions, and he thinks as a fundamentalist
I find Loftus contradicting himself many times. He says that we should not believe in something that has no scientific evidence. Read more
Published on August 30, 2009 by Mr. Paul A. Ackermann
3.0 out of 5 stars Four-Star Author, Zero-Star Editor/Publisher
I must give a mixed review to this effort. As a former defender of faith, Mr Loftus has great familiarity with the many arguments he once used. Read more
Published on May 14, 2009 by Eugene R. Walker
1.0 out of 5 stars Not surprised
I'm not surprised that a United Church of Christ (UCC) "minister" would toss aside Christianity. The UCC is one of the most liberal Christian denominations to be found. Read more
Published on November 3, 2008 by W. McCarter
3.0 out of 5 stars This is a TOUGH Read.
This book takes real determination to get thru. His philosophical aurguements are outrageously tough to follow. They reminded me of the proofs in my old college Calculus text. Read more
Published on July 8, 2008 by David Ellis
2.0 out of 5 stars A Book to be Familiar with for Christian Apologists!
***THE OUTSIDER TEST FOR FAITH (OTF) (pp. 40-46) [Updated: June 13, 2008]
(From `Why I Rejected Christianity' and soon to be `Why I Became an Atheist' by John Loftus)... Read more
Published on April 16, 2008 by DONG TUAZON
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
The summaries already written by other buyers pretty much cover what I want to say about this book. My only real qualms with it are some typos that occasionally pop up... Read more
Published on March 30, 2008 by M. Lenda
5.0 out of 5 stars Breakthrough Book
Excellent book. When I first ordered it, I was teeter-tottering on my faith, well leaning towards atheism truthfully, but he shreds the principals of Christianity so logically;... Read more
Published on January 27, 2008 by John Hancock
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Topic From this Discussion
A respectful comment - about God indeed being real
"J. Hogsett says: "I became a Christian, 15 years ago."
"Then you never were an atheist. "

I think you mean "Then you were never a true closed-minded idiot" It seems he would know whether or not he was an atheist. It's not a position requiring much thought or... Read More
Jan 15, 2010 by LTSpike |  See all 4 posts
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