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Why I became an Atheist: Personal Reflections and Additional Arguments Paperback – November 7, 2008
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About the Author
I have the equivalent of a PhD degree in the Philosophy of Religion, having earned three master a*s degrees, one under Dr. William Lane Craig, known as one of the greatest Christian apologists of our generation. I had several ministries in Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. I was in the ministry for about fourteen years, or so.
Top customer reviews
If Why I became an Atheist is the meat, then this book adds the potatoes. Personal Reflections and Additional Arguments is designed to augment the original book but it is not for everyone. The book is for those people, like me, that read the endnotes for context and scan the bibliography for additional reading. It is also provides a deeper understanding of "why" John de-converted from Christianity and why he maintains his current position as a Atheist. The book, like similar books from Dan Barker and Edward Babinski, documents the pitfalls of leaving a secure position as preacher, to become a non-believer. This encapsulates all of Part One and unlike his previous editions, there are few new gems here including A Letter to Dr. James Strauss. The honesty in that chapter is both painful and enlightening. Deconversion, we learn, is not an easy thing to do.
Part Two takes on additional arguments and as some have noted, these are reworked, and longer, versions of articles from John's blog. The benefit here is they are now documented as opposed to being left in the clutter of the internet. Since most people may not read the blog, they are a welcome inclusion.
John's strongest points can be found in his critique of Christian theology, especially when addressing theodicy--otherwise known as the problem of evil. I consider Chapter 25, "The Fall of Adam Is No Answer to Evil" to be an excellent starting point to challenge any believer. The basis of Christianity starts with the Fall, so John fires back with nine questions that are extremely problematic to any believer. The book's only real downside is that it covers a lot of ground. Each chapter could have been longer, but that does not seem to be the point. This may be a matter of taste. I prefer the long-winded diatribes, but for those who like their text short and sweet, this is their book.
The bottom line here is this: Why I became an Atheist: Personal Reflections and Additional Arguments is like a super-appendix. It fills in a lot of missing places left out of the original book, yet there is still more to be added. The inclusion of 44 Chapters adds to a complete work that could amount to a decent compendium. This is not a book designed a quick read on the beach since it is not a lineal text jumping from one point only to segue into the next. Instead, it is a supplement of many arguments and points of view designed to challenge those who feel secure in their faith and feel they are up for a decent test of that faith. This also provides additional ammunition for the non-believer. If you have purchased "deconvesion" stories before and you like your theology challenged and philosophy deconstructed, then this book--along with the original--are for you. This would make an excellent college text since it can be used to cover numerous topics over a broad spectrum.
This book and this "preacher" are an embarrassment to atheists everywhere. Instead of dealing with the "phenomena" of religion this guy and this book give Fundamentalist Christians exactly what they crave. He uses his skills as a preacher to build a new anti-christian flock and bilk them for money in the same manner and with the exact same techniques that Jerry Falwell used in his time on his flock. (Please send me money so I can buy a new computer to get the word out.) COME ON!
True atheists have nothing to gain by attempting to take the psychic crutches away from fundamentalist Christians... only to replace them with new ones marked [Anti-Christianity]. I mean REALLY! How many volumes do you need to read to understand that the Easter Bunny didn't come in the night and hide eggs on your lawn? I understand that his Masterpiece is almost ready for publication. "If You Don't Have a Chimney... HOW Did Santa Get In?"
It is bound to be yet another triumphant work.