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Why I Rejected Christianity: A Former Apologist Explains Paperback – June 30, 2006
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About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 morePublished on April 26, 2011 by J. Blair
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 morePublished on December 30, 2010 by Health Care Anthropologist
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 morePublished on April 25, 2010 by Jeri
I find Loftus contradicting himself many times. He says that we should not believe in something that has no scientific evidence. Read morePublished on August 30, 2009 by Mr. Paul A. Ackermann
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 morePublished on May 14, 2009 by Eugene R. Walker
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 morePublished on November 3, 2008 by W. McCarter
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 morePublished on July 8, 2008 by David Ellis
***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
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 morePublished on March 30, 2008 by M. Lenda