Customer Reviews: Christian No More: On Leaving Christianity, Debunking Christianity, And Embracing Atheism And Freethinking
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When I first picked up "Christian No More: a Personal Journey of Leaving Christianity" and glanced at the description on the back cover I was not impressed. My immediate thought was, "Ho-hum, another emotion-filled personal 'testimony' of someone's break from traditional Christianity."

Don't misunderstand me. I don't mean to belittle or ridicule the often painful, physiological struggle associated with the break from engrained religious beliefs; I have my own personal story. Those stories provide great therapeutic value for the doubter by assuring him that he is not alone, and they create a bridge from religious faith based thinking, to the rationalization of the freethinker.

My first impression of Jeffrey Mark's book was wrong. Yes, it is the story of his journey to freedom. It does reveal his emotional suffering and confusion. It tells of the anger, resentment and depression he felt upon realizing how he had been deceived. And it tells how he overcame those emotions and turned a seeming tragedy into triumph. But it goes beyond the personal tale by revealing how he turned to logic and reason to negate the misinformation he had been taught from childhood.

Making an intellectual decision doesn't necessarily dispel an emotional belief. Such was the case with Jeffrey Mark. To reach that point where he could believe what his intellect revealed he turned to science, history, archeology, mythology, and simple reasoning. His insight and logic, in many cases, are unique and enlightening in their simplicity; and his knowledge of the Bible and the sciences, especially evolution and physics, are impressive. The argument he makes against religions, using these studies, is the great gift that "Christian No More" offers it reader.
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on August 24, 2008
When I first started reading this book I was expecting a personal narrative of internal struggle and inquiry, and it is. However I was not expecting the extensive amount of research Marks undertook in his journey.

It is easy to read yet avoids dumbing-down the material. Mark's doesn't just stick to the basic questions but covers everything from science and logic to biblical facts. It's not just about facts though - the personal account takes the reader through his thought process and while stimulating the reader to question preconceived notions and society. This book will make you think. His personal story is sincere, humbling, and occasionally humorous. I wouldn't recommend this book just for Christians though. It's also a must-read for many atheists still dealing grappling with feelings of shame and guilt remaining from childhood indoctrination.
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on August 28, 2008
When you are a Christian, you will feel like a "true" Christian and that others just aren't getting it right. When you really start to study the bible many questions will arise. There will be contradictions and improbable stories in the bible. The bible is supposedly the infallible word of god, right?

Sometimes the most obvious answer is hard to see. What if the bible is not infallible?

This may be obvious to some who were not brought up as a Christian, but for a large percentage of people brought up in religion it is hard to accept this possibility as fact.

In Jeffrey Mark's book Christian No More, he talks about his own personal journey from Christianity to clarity, discovering facts that led him to the most intellectually honest conclusion.

I recommend this book to Christians who question, and those who can't imagine how we possibly can.
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on March 28, 2009
Jeffrey Mark, like many Americans, was born into a Christian family. He grew up attending church regularly, saying prayers, and believing all the biblical stories he learned about. Eventually he had doubts about some of the church's beliefs, and this sent him on a remarkably thorough search for answers.

Because of his background, Mark is uniquely qualified to write a book such as this. It is easy for someone who was never a strong believer to question religion without doubt or fear. This is not the case for someone who was brought up believing in God, Jesus, and the stories in the Bible. Because of this, you won't detect a sarcastic or belittling tone in this book. Mark understands why people have the religious beliefs they do, and he lays out many compelling arguments against these beliefs.

For a nonbeliever, some of these arguments may be familiar. You have probably had some of these same thoughts. In Mark's book however, these arguments are articulated in a way that only a skilled writer can. There are also plenty of internet links and books mentioned for those who would like more evidence or details. Many of Mark's arguments will surely be ones that you hadn't considered. It is obvious that he spent a lot of time researching the topics covered in the book (and there are many). He lays out numerous arguments that I have never considered, and I've been thinking about these topics for many years.

If a book may be judged by how many pages have been dog-eared, marked with a highlighter, or indexed with a sticky note, then this book is excellent. Lots and lots of great information in this well-written book. I highly recommend it for believers and nonbelievers alike.
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on September 4, 2008
"Christian No More" by Jeffrey Mark is an intelligent, thoroughly researched and thoughtful compilation of his personal journey in which he directly challenges the puzzling contradictions in the christian faith and/or the bible.

Using humor, careful research and plain common sense, he addresses the "pink elephant" in the room (i.e. why are there so many concepts in the bible that are inaccurate, why do christians focus on hell rather than heaven, and is it possible to have a healthy/happy life outside of this religion?).

As I read this book it was as though Jeffrey Mark had observed my personal pains and fears as a child growing up in a conservative christian home. "Christian No More" is a must have for all individuals struggling with the internal strife of logic & reason versus faith. It IS possible to overcome the fear and doubt... this book is an excellent tool!
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Author Jeffrey Mark wrote in the first chapter of this 2008 book, "Long ago I had decided to write this book, but at the time, I was only upset with Christianity, and wasn't ready. So I began researching and reading and talking to people and studying everything I could, both for and against Christianity... This book is about a journey, about my own journey of coming to realize that the faith I so long embraced isn't real, and hopefully this book will help others work through similar struggles." (Pg. 27)

He admits, "That's the great irony of it all: I don't even believe in the ancient stories in the Bible, yet I agree with many of the teachings of Jesus. Many people who claim to worship Jesus, however, have severely TWISTED ideas about what he would do." (Pg. 21) He says, "I don't buy that people are fundamentally evil. It just isn't true. But... just because I don't like the theology, does that really mean it's not true? Not necessarily. But there are many reasons why Christianity cannot possibly be true. Let's talk about the starving people in Africa." (Pg. 41)

He asserts, "Armed with what we know about Thermodynamics, we can easily see why the Creationists are intentionally ignorant here. (I say 'intentionally' because it's terribly easy to see why the argument is wrong, and yet, so many refuse to accept the facts. Thus I feel it is an intentional act on their part to ignore reality, an act of ignorance and stubbornness.)" (Pg. 112-113)

He states frankly, "What if I'm wrong? What if Jesus and God are real, even though the ideas seem flawed? And what if they're going to be very mad at me? To get past this fear, I had to open my mind to the idea that humans existed long before the Bible claims humans did. I had to open my mind to the idea that the Bible was a lie and filled with myths.... Today I know there's no Hell, that the Bible is just a collection of myths, and there's no reason to be afraid." (Pg. 136)

He rejects the argument that "you were never a Christian," on the grounds that, "Until my late 20's, I completely believed that Jesus was a real man and that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and that Jesus rose from the dead and went to Heaven. I believed that Jesus now exists as a spirit, as the son of God. I completely believed it to be true... So was I a Christian? Of course I was." (Pg. 202) He concludes, "I am a good person. I really am. Contrary to what these preachers had told me all these years, contrary to what all these Christians were telling me, I am, in fact, a good person." (Pg. 245)

This is not the most "philosophically sophisticated" such ex-Christian testimony available (compare Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity and Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist, for example), but it's still of interest to skeptics, atheists, agnostics, and other types of freethinkers, as well as Christians questioning their own faith.
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on February 2, 2010
I enjoyed the book. I left Christianity in 2008 during the Prop 8 campaign in California. I saw first hand the dishonesty and underlying oppression of religion. I was told that I would never go to heaven because I married the love of my life while I legally could. It made me realize how ridiculous the whole thing is. If they are right, I wouldn't want to spend eternity with Jerry Fallwell types anyway. I love my gay brothers and sisters. Wherever Juan goes is where I want to be. The author captured much of how I felt leaving Christianity. I felt truly free. The book is another mans journey to the same conclusions written in an easy style that reinforced my own journey.
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on February 5, 2009
This book is very easy to read yet it provides a wealth of information. It would be perfectly suited to anyone engaged in the struggle of leaving Christianity, had this been around when I left the religion it would have saved me years of time. Many contradictions and dead-ends of the Bible are presented in a concise format and the arguments are spelled out in layman's terms.

This book would suit more than simply those on the brink of leaving Christianity though - I know there are many people out there of various beliefs who simply want to know more about why the debate between Christianity and freethinkers has become so heated and vocal. This book provides a perfect assessment of the issues at hand and can be easily digested, it shouldn't cause even readers of average skill to bash their heads against the wall in the way works by Dawkins, etc. are sometimes prone to do. Quantum physics is only mentioned briefly in the book, it doesn't cover twelve chapters.

And even for those long in the tooth in regards to atheism this book can provide both a refresher and also new, more specific information. I was particularly struck by the dissection of the Bible's presentation of Satan and Hell, or rather the Bible's lack of presentation as discussed thoroughly in this text.

This is a scholarly effort though presented in an all-encompassing way and it's very kind to the grey matter while being read. For people of any strain of belief who simply want to know what all the fuss is about, this would be a great place to look.
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on June 7, 2010
Jeffrey Mark has written an excellent and well researched 200 page book on his journey from believer to non-believer. Unfortunately the book is 267 pages long and contains personal rants, poorly constructed sentences and a political view point that the reader is ironically expected to take on faith. I am an atheist and almost put this book down after the first 100 pages because of just how poorly it was written. I was shocked to see that this was Mark's thirteenth book. In my mind I can see my freshman composition teacher giving the first part of this book an F and writing "wordiness" across the cover. Mr. Mark's, please get a new editor.

I am neither a democrat or republican but I found his on going, unsupported political opinions, presented as fact throughout the book nauseating. For example, on page 227, trying to equate the mid 90's U.S. congress with potentially starving children. On page 229 he said that many Muslim clerics decried the horrific events of 9/11. Please Mr. Mark's direct me to a web page listing the names of those Muslim clerics. I respect that Mr. Mark's has political opinions, but in this forum he almost destroys the point he is trying to make. On the bright side, he has taken material already written in many other books and contructed an understandable argument that may help those taking their first steps towards non belief. I also found his web site listings excellent. This is not a book for the advanced Christian apologist or non believer.
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on May 5, 2012
"Christian No More" is unique among books written to challenge the faith. Over the years I have read many books arguing in favor of (and against) Christianity. Many of the books which argue against Christianity come off as dismissive or condescending and argue from emotions or superficial perceptions about the faith. This book does not fit that mold at all, and I was relieved that it wasn't another juvenile diatribe equating a belief in God with a belief in Santa Claus while ignoring scholarly support of Christian beliefs.

I have been a Christian for a long time, during which time I have been enthusiastically involved in the church and diligently studying theology, apologetics, and church history (mostly trying to understand and defend my faith). However, after years of struggling with serious Bible difficulties and doctrinal problems in Christianity, I came to a crisis of faith and needed to find some answers to my questions from someone sympathetic to my point of view.

From reading this book I can tell that Jeffrey Mark was really a sincere, Bible-believing Christian who believed enough to become a missionary. His conversion story was slow and obviously the result of thoughtful consideration. In his book, he manages to present a number of problems with the Christian faith and gives very sound arguments to support his views.

Thus far, this is the most well-reasoned critique of Christianity I have found in one location, and it is easy for a Christian to read without feeling offended or belittled (as long as one has an open mind, of course). I would recommend "Christian No More" to anyone who is looking for a thorough analysis of the problems in the Christian faith, even if it is just for a Christian to get a better understanding of the arguments against his or her beliefs. At the very least, this book should cause Christians to take a more open-minded approach to the Bible and whether it's claims are true or historical.
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