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Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary Paperback – July 1, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
This brilliant book is not a vicious attack on Christians. It is a strong but polite plea for them to see and hear new ideas, to consider the possibility that their belief system might be a mistake. Daniels maintains a humble tone throughout the book. He does not blast believers with arrogant claims of intellectual superiority on the question of faith. He simply shares thoughts and questions about his journey through Christianity and escape from it. This is a powerful story and Daniels has many piercing ideas that are likely to carry considerable weight with believers because of his difficult work as a missionary in Africa. Daniels earned his stripes as a committed Christian. He went way beyond the easy life of a casual Christian sitting in a pew on Sunday mornings. He lived his Christianity; he made serious commitments and followed through with sacrifices for his religion. For someone like him to walk away from it, with great reluctance, humility, and no rage says a lot. It gives Daniels tremendous credibility.
Daniels is well read and obviously knowledgeable about Christianity.Read more ›
Barker's otherwise excellent book suffers from a forward by Richard Dawkins that will cause the very people who most need to read the book to shut it before they reach page 1. Loftus' closely reasoned volume is at times too academic to appeal to the masses, yet too awkwardly written to appeal to the educated book-lover. Daniels' book is perfect: persuasive, humble and elegant.
I have read the usual suspects...Chris Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris...to name but a few. I have grown weary of the in-your-face attitude of many authors who personally attack their readers of faith which does nothing to promote understanding and true intellectual discourse.
Thank you, Mr. Daniels, for bringing peace to my heart in my resolve to reject my religious roots.
I read many of your chapters to my Christian husband and it helped him to understand me better.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to truly understand atheism and how difficult it is to "come out" as an atheist.
An intelligent, articulate, and emotional journey.
Many of the other Skeptical authors (Dawkins, Harris, etc), while powerful and helpful in their own ways, don't quite speak the language of the "once convicted." They understandably have a hard time putting themselves in our shoes, and speaking to us where we are or were. (Much as I would have a hard time connecting deeply with, say, a Mormon.)
Ken gets it. There were so many passages that made me laugh out loud in the sheer joy of shared experience. When you are leaving your faith -- especially one that almost all your friends and family belong to -- it can be a lonely time.
This book is deeply researched, and clearly presented. Many times he selected the same examples and arguments that I have been using over the last year -- but other times, added surprising new (and helpful) bits of evidence or context to the picture. I'm going to be giving this book to people who have questions about where I am now, because it so perfectly captures my own point of view.
Thank you, Ken, for having the courage, and putting the time and effort into writing this book. Best $0.99 I ever spent.
For the formerly believing but now apostate readers, such as myself, Daniels lays out a familier story: Years of service to a chosen Christian faith, occasionally challenged by information or ideas that don't quite fit the party line. These "seeds" then take root and grow in the mind over time until they cannot be ignored. Eventually, Daniels, for the sake of intellectual honesty and personal integrity, takes a serious look at the details that have been bothering him. Much to his dismay, he finds they have merit, are worthy of closer inspection and lead to other problems for his faith. Eventually, again for personal integrity's sake, he can no longer identify himself as a Christian.
There is a lot in this book for both Believing Christians who have an open mind and former believers who are still trying to come to terms with the loss of a faith that had been central to their life for years.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent book for anyone interested in the reasoning, logic and struggle that so often precludes freedom from religious belief and looking for truth. Read morePublished 9 days ago by J. Roberts
Well written, well researched, and well worth reading. The author's spiritual journey was explored in exceptional detail. Fascinating to read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amanda C
An excellent book! Thank you, Ken for writing it. A comfort to evangelicals coming out of religion, a great insight to those who love them. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Greg Cathell
I find it difficult to give any less than five stars to an author who is writing about themself. If I were to judge this with a more critical eye I may have given a lesser rating... Read morePublished 7 months ago by alane farmer
This is just the book I needed on my journey to...I'm still not sure yet. Well written and backed up with lots of scripture and secular citations.Published 8 months ago by Kelly L. Costello
sincerely lay out although could be a bit more in details his own journey. Will certainly echo in this world.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Fair, honest, intellectually stimulating, thought provoking, and very readable. If you're looking for a sympathetic but opposing view to religion, this is the book for you.Published 9 months ago by elijahwill
Great book. He addressed a lot of the same doubts that I always had about God and religion. Very good read.Published 10 months ago by Matt Jesse