In this anthology of recent criticisms aimed at the reasonableness of Christian belief, a former evangelical minister and apologist, author of the critically acclaimed Why I Became an Atheist, has assembled fifteen outstanding articles by leading skeptics, expanding on themes introduced in his first book. Central is a defense of his "outsider test of faith," arguing that believers should test their faith with the same skeptical standards they use to evaluate the other faiths they reject, as if they were outsiders. Experts in medicine, psychology, and anthropology join Loftus to show why, when this test is applied to Christianity, it becomes very difficult to rationally defend. Collectively, these articles reveal that popular Christian beliefs tend to rely on ignorance of the facts. Drawing together experts in diverse fields, including Hector Avalos, Richard Carrier, David Eller, and Robert Price, this book deals a powerful blow against Christian faith.
Religious scholar Hart argues that contemporary antireligious polemics are based not only upon conceptual confusions but upon facile simplifications of history and provides a powerful antidote to the New Atheists' misrepresentations of the Christian past.
Perhaps the most persistent question in human history is whether or not there is a God. Intelligent people on both sides of the issue have argued, sometimes with deep rancor and bitterness, for generations. The issue can't be decided by another apologetics book, but the conversation can continue and help each side understand the perspectives of the other. In this unique book, atheist John Loftus and theist Randal Rauser engage in twenty short debates that consider Christianity, the existence of God, and unbelief from a variety of angles. Each concise debate centers on a proposition to be resolved, with either John or Randal arguing in the affirmative and the opponent the negative, and can be read in short bits or big bites. This is the perfect book for Christians and their atheist or agnostic friends to read together, and encourages honest, open, and candid debate on the most important issues of life and faith.
According to recent polls, the number of atheists and agnostics has more than doubled in the United States in the last twenty years. A coterie of their intellectual spokesmen have mounted a multifaceted attack on the Christian faith in a book entitled The Christian Delusion, which the atheist philosopher, Michael Martin, described as "arguably the best critique of the Christian faith the world has ever known." Dr. Hanna dismantles their arguments one by one, not only clearly exposing the fallaciousness of their contentions but also indicating how their failed case carries implications that furnish positive support for biblical Christianity. This book is more than a set of refutations; it provides a wide-ranging theological and philosophical purview that both biblical theists and anti-Christians need to take seriously, not only in order to understand the current debates but also to reflect on crucial issues relevant to one's own life and destiny. _______________________________________________________________________ Mark M. Hanna, now devoting full time to writing, was a professor of philosophy for many years at California State University and Talbot School of Theology. He also taught at the University of Southern California, where he earned M.A. degrees in philosophy and world religions and a Ph.D. in philosophy. He lived in the Middle East for four years, earning his B.A. at the American University in Beirut. He has lectured in numerous universities and theological schools around the world. He is the author of Crucial Questions in Apologetics and The True Path: Seven Muslims Make Their Greatest Discovery. *************** "This is masterly and brilliant...." --Norman L. Geisler, Ph.D. "A devastating critique of the critics...." --Gary R. Habermas, Ph.D. "A stunning achievement...It is a model of irenic, tough-minded, well-informed argumentation...." --J. P. Moreland, Ph.D. "Give this book a careful reading ...." -- Dallas Willard, Ph.D
The Bible is the most overrated book in the world, and Jesus of Nazareth the most overrated person in world history. These are some of the propositions which the author, who has a doctorate in theology, formulates in his examination of the Christian religion. In a very readable and often humorous style the book asks whether the Bible really is such a good, ethically valuable book, as the Churches always claim, or whether the God of the Old Testament is not rather an irascible war god while the New Testament announces the destruction of all unbelievers at the end times: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16: 16). The book also asks whether the Churches are right to invoke that Jesus of Nazareth whom they announce as the Son of God. After all, academic research has long established that the real Jesus was very different and had almost nothing in common with the Jesus of the Churches. Christianity has been driving through history without a driver's licence. This book is addressed both to believers who do not shy away from confronting uncomfortable facts, and to those people who have nothing to do with the Church and who have always suspected that something in Christianity is not quite right.
For about two decades John W. Loftus was a devout evangelical Christian, an ordained minister of the Church of Christ, and an ardent apologist for Christianity. With three degrees--in philosophy, theology, and philosophy of religion--he was adept at using rational argumentation to defend the faith. But over the years, doubts about the credibility of key Christian tenets began to creep into his thinking. By the late 1990s he experienced a full-blown crisis of faith. In this honest appraisal of his journey from believer to atheist, the author carefully explains the experiences and the reasoning process that led him to reject religious belief. The original edition of this book was published in 2006 and reissued in 2008. Since that time, Loftus has received a good deal of critical feedback from Christians and skeptics alike. In this revised and expanded edition, the author addresses criticisms of the original, adds new argumentation and references, and refines his presentation. For every issue he succinctly summarizes the various points of view and provides references for further reading. In conclusion, he describes the implications of life without belief in God, some liberating, some sobering. This frank critique of Christian belief from a former insider will interest freethinkers as well as anyone with doubts about the claims of religion.
World-renowned scientist Richard Dawkins writes in The God Delusion: 'If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down.' The volume has received wide coverage, fuelled much passionate debate and caused not a little confusion. Alister McGrath is ideally placed to evaluate Dawkins' ideas. Once an atheist himself, he gained a doctorate in molecular biophysics before going on to become a leading Christian theologian. He wonders how two people, who have reflected at length on substantially the same world, could possibly have come to such different conclusions about God. McGrath subjects Dawkins' critique of faith to rigorous scrutiny. This book will be warmly received by those looking for a reliable assessment of The God Delusion and the many questions it raises -- including, above all, the relevance of faith and the quest for meaning.
Fostering mutual understanding by viewing religion from an outsider perspective Depending on how one defines religion, there are at least thousands of religions in the world. Given such religious diversity, how can any one religion claim to know the truth? Nothing proposed so far has helped us settle which of these religions, if any, are true--until now. Author John W. Loftus, a former minister turned atheist, argues we would all be better off if we viewed any religion--including our own--from the informed skepticism of an outsider, a nonbeliever. For this reason he has devised "the outsider test for faith." He describes it as a variation on the Golden Rule: "Do unto your own faith what you do to other faiths." Essentially, this means applying the same skepticism to our own beliefs as we do to the beliefs of other faiths. Loftus notes that research from psychology, anthropology, sociology, and neuroscience goes a long way toward explaining why the human race has produced so many belief systems, why religion is culturally dependent, and how religion evolved in the first place. It's important that people understand these findings to escape the dangerous delusion that any one religion represents the only truth. At a time when the vast diversity of human belief systems is accessible to all, the outsider test for faith offers a rational means for fostering mutual understanding.
In this successor to his critically acclaimed anthology, The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails, a former minister and now leading atheist spokesperson has assembled a stellar group of respected scholars to continue the critique of Christianity begun in the first volume. Contributors include Victor Stenger, Robert Price, Hector Avalos, Richard Carrier, Keith Parsons, David Eller, and Taner Edis. Loftus is also the author of the best-selling Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity. Taken together, the Loftus trilogy poses formidable challenges to claims for the rationality of the Christian faith. Anyone with an interest in the philosophy of religion will find this compilation to be intellectually stimulating and deeply thought provoking.
'Timely, impassioned and brilliantly argued' Rod Liddle, Sunday Times 'A spirited and exhilarating read' Joan Bakewell, Guardian Dawkins attacks God in all his forms. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry and abuses children. The God Delusion is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required reading for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.
Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion is one of the most serious attacks on religion in recent times. A number of highly capable authors have countered it. Neil’s reply is different from most. He finds areas of agreement with Dawkins over a number of his assessments of religion while exposing his erroneous understanding of the nature of God. He shows that Dawkins’s attack on God is irrelevant even though he successfully demolishes what he imagines is the Christian “god”. At the same time, Neil tries to equip Christians to come to an informed intelligent position, to lose their fears of science, and to see its wonderful strengths. He challenges the assumptions made particularly by the New Atheists in imagining that faith is a childish approach to origins and furthermore that their own views are similar to some religions so that they virtually have a “god” themselves. Tackling thorny topics like the meaning of faith, miracles, morality, and righteousness, Neil honestly appraises Christian views, tries to debunk misconceptions about these topics, and shows that science and faith can be mutually enhancing.
Is God a Delusion? addresses the philosophical underpinnings of the recent proliferation of popular books attacking religious beliefs. Winner of CHOICE 2009 Outstanding Academic Title Award Focuses primarily on charges leveled by recent critics that belief in God is irrational and that its nature ferments violence Balances philosophical rigor and scholarly care with an engaging, accessible style Offers a direct response to the crop of recent anti-religion bestsellers currently generating considerable public discussion
Sprinkled throughout this book is a rebuttal to Richard Dawkins book, "The God Delusion." In addition to that, however, there is a strong message for the Christian Church. Over time, the Church has allowed much to dilute Christ's message and gets fairly caught up in social activities, food, musical events, more food, and bringing in the lost by giving them, yes, food, rather than spending much time equipping the Body of Christ with the tools to follow Jesus' commands ("If you love Me," He said, "follow my commands!") We tend to avoid the tasks before us that are the most difficult. High on the list of things to NOT do, because they are too hard, is love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, die to self, swallow pride, and be a humble servant of God. We have no excuse to avoid Jesus' commands any longer. The TRUE Christian rubber must hit the road. God has given His Church reason to unite in prayer in the three New Atheists who brandish swords of unbelief, as they ride their black steeds through the courtyards of the Christian Church. Through this Biblical based book, the Christian will receive encouragement to "pray through" until the job is accomplished and the three New Atheists are brought to their knees, not by our cleverness, not by our threats, not by our preaching, nor by our curses—but by our prayers to the Almighty God of the Bible, which Christians will once again discover, is the most powerful force in the universe. Once the Christians see the power of God bring the atheists to their knees, which will happen when the Church unites in prayer for them, they will understand that all things are possible through Christ who strengthens them—all things the Lord commands we do, CAN be done, through Him! The Atheist Delusion can lead to some mighty intense discussions. The atheists tend to think this spiritual discussion is the most ridiculous thing in the world. If one aggressive godless soul comes to the Lord, it will have been worth it.
This in-depth discussion of New Testament scholarship and the challenges of history as a whole proposes Bayes’s Theorem, which deals with probabilities under conditions of uncertainty, as a solution to the problem of establishing reliable historical criteria. The author demonstrates that valid historical methods—not only in the study of Christian origins but in any historical study—can be described by, and reduced to, the logic of Bayes’s Theorem. Conversely, he argues that any method that cannot be reduced to this theorem is invalid and should be abandoned. Writing with thoroughness and clarity, the author explains Bayes’s Theorem in terms that are easily understandable to professional historians and laypeople alike, employing nothing more than well-known primary school math. He then explores precisely how the theorem can be applied to history and addresses numerous challenges to and criticisms of its use in testing or justifying the conclusions that historians make about the important persons and events of the past. The traditional and established methods of historians are analyzed using the theorem, as well as all the major "historicity criteria" employed in the latest quest to establish the historicity of Jesus. The author demonstrates not only the deficiencies of these approaches but also ways to rehabilitate them using Bayes’s Theorem. Anyone with an interest in historical methods, how historical knowledge can be justified, new applications of Bayes’s Theorem, or the study of the historical Jesus will find this book to be essential reading.
The book is a logical Bible study and in-depth examination of Race, Sex, Power, Politics and War. The Author addresses the false doctrine and propaganda that has been fronted for centuries, by Christianity and Judaism, as to their supremacy above other religions and races. He also examines the role these two religions have played in promoting these false doctrines, which literally contradict, the written laws of the Bible. The book further looks at Islam where the Author acknowledges the origin and foundation of its “original teachings,” as is likened by God's Commandments and as written in the Holy Bible and Holy Qur'an. The Author takes a scalpel to dissect race and religion to its core. The Author separates the gentile dogma of Christianity and Judaism and highlights their contradiction to the Laws of God. Lastly, he dwells on separation of races based on their individual religious philosophies, concluding in the introduction of Lucifer as a Chief Architect of Gentile religious doctrine and practices. Lucifer’s mission is to maintain the delusion of the white God and its false power to rule over Black and Semite people. Quotes from Author: “I am challenging the world’s Christian religious believers, communities and the general masses to follow the true laws of God. They should stop falling prey to the “False Luciferian Doctrine” and the delusion of White God.” “I affirm to the world that, I am a true servant of God who is challenging all religious ministers to debate evidence and facts, referred to in this book through the lesson chapters, so that they may distinguish the truth from the lie. I challenge them to debate about the alleged religious authorities in reference to the Christian and Jewish faith, in order to determine, if truly, their religious practices is of the God of Heaven and Earth. “I challenge all ministers to prove that they follow and believe in the commandments, Laws and Statues of God as written in the scriptures. I further challenge all of them to debate the true ethnology and race of God’s chosen people; his first family being the black and Semite (Hebrews), who are identified by their skin pigmentation and coloration; and their true religion to be “Abrahamic.” This would also prove that ‘True’ Israelites” are cousins to the Ishmaelite’s. In addition, I challenge all ministers of Jewish Authority, to a debate, as to the true ethnology of ‘True’ Hebrews of the Land of Palestine and Canaan. It is worth noting that the “true Hebrews” were removed from the Holy land, and thereafter “cursed” by God and “Scattered” unto Gentile nations in all four corners of the earth. And shall remain there, until the second coming of Jesus; as was prophesied in his Revelation war against the Christian, Jewish Armies of Gog (Europe) and Magog (America, Israel), and as foretold in the book of Revelations. I challenge them to deny that it has been 2000 years of Christian Propaganda Crusade by the gentiles and gentile Jews, and Theologians, Philosophers and Historians, to hide the true identity of the true Israelites. Their mission has been to remove parts of, and alter the Holy Scriptures, thereby changing the Laws of God. Their intention is to make everyone follow Luciferian Doctrine. Because of this, God gave Revelation unto Jesus Christ, to bring forth the final “Armageddon” to all who changed His Laws. This led to his prophecy against the Christians (Nicolaitans) and Jewish doctrine (religion), which He hated, for they are the synagogue (disciples) of Satan.
Your relationship with God is just a psychological crutch. Belief in God is dangerous. I used to believe, but I've given it all up. Is God real? Is it possible to know anything, let alone know him? Why do bad things happen to people who worship this God? What about the spiritual experiences of other faiths? All of these accusations, objections and questions have come directly from real-life situations. Amy says, 'I hope that the thoughts offered here will help you see what the Christian faith has to say amid all the pain, confusion and complexity of life.'
This anthology of new critical essays written by experts in their fields, in honor of the late Victor Stenger, examines Christianity using established scientific criteria. Where science specifically touches upon the claims of Christianity the authors seek to show those claims lack the required evidence. The result is that Christianity is not a sufficiently evidenced religion. In his New York Times bestseller, God: The Failed Hypothesis, physicist Victor Stenger argued that claims of religion should be subject to the same standards of scientific rigor as any other truth claim. Taking this approach, the contributors argue that Christianity fails every known scientific test for truth. Stenger himself wrote a chapter for this volume before he died. In it he presents a brief history of ideas about cosmology, showing that Christianity’s premodern understanding of the cosmos is incompatible with current scientific evidence regarding the origin and structure of the cosmos. Other contributors examine a wide variety of topics, including biblical archaeology, Intelligent Design, the Shroud of Turin, free will, the existence of the soul, the efficacy of petitionary prayer, and more. This challenging work is indispensable reading for both skeptical readers and open-minded people of faith.
Addressing every single issue that touches on miracles in a thorough and academic manner, this compilation represents the most extensive look at the phenomenon ever displayed through the lens of an ardent non-believer.