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Why I Rejected Christianity: A Former Apologist Explains Paperback – June 30, 2006
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
Among the topics are: Alvin Plantinga's "basic beliefs," Pascal's Wager, William James's acceptence of emotion when reason is lacking, Kierkegaard's "leap of faith," supposed Christian moral superiority, the ontological argument, a few cosmological arguments, the design argument, unanswered prayer, creationism, mythical biblical beasts, dubiously fulfilled prophecies, pseudepigrapha (e.g., anonymous/pseudonymous gospels), biblical acceptance of slavery. And many more. This breadth of interests limits the depth of development that can be given to each. It makes the book an excellent (if almost hectic) overview that should be valuable to believers and skeptics alike. For this reason I recommend it.
But now some caveats. The limited depth of treatment for each topic means that Loftus's new arguments against his former beliefs are not always strongly developed. In a back-and-forth debate, a clever apologist might regain the upper hand for a time, though I don't think for very long or very many times. We'll just have to see. Loftus has room for growth and perhaps opportunity to fortify his position.
Unfortunately, the book suffers from some problems. Though meant as a popular treatment, it really needed a more academic slant, in particular a bibliography and index. Loftus gives prodigious references, but they are only imbedded in the text. If you mark them for further reading, you have to scrounge back through the whole book to make a list. Also distressing is the number of misspellings, punctuation errors (especially missing or superfluous commas), and inconsistent formatting (line breaks sometimes there, sometimes not; odd intentations--or not--, underlining rather than italics for titles, etc.) Here I fault the editor(s), if any, and the publisher. Sad to say, this is now common among vanity, print-on-demand, and small presses, and worse in desktop or self-publishing. If there is a second printing, I hope such problems will be corrected.
It's a great summary of all of the arguments one can muster against the Christian faith. Some astounding things about this book...
-Loftus still loves and respects most of his Christian friends despite being rejected by his community and accused of rape that he did not commit./
-Loftus has an incredibly rich source of material. Every paragraph is ridden with reference after reference after reference. The person most likely to read this kind of book will recognize many of the titles Loftus cites, but he's got a few dozen more up his sleeve! He recognizes that what he wants to say has already been said to a much more effective degree than how he might be able to say it, so he quotes a lot. No problem there! He's also got some great lines of his own: "If Christians want to maintain that God doesn't curtail our free human actions, then how does prayer get answered at all? When we pray for safety as we leave our house, how does that prayer have even a remote chance of being answered, if there is a predator out there who is going to meet up with us? If God does not stop this predator's free choices, or anyone else's for that matter, how can any prayer that involves free human choices have a remote chance to be answered?" He treatment of many topics like this is brilliant.
-Loftus does not get bogged down in a lot of the science one can mount against Creationism/YE Creationism/ID; one should read "Scientists Confront Creationism" for all the science they can take!
I'm only about halfway through and am very impressed.
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(From `Why I Rejected Christianity' and soon to be `Why I Became an Atheist' by John Loftus)...Read more