Why I Became an Atheist A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity 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 theolog

  • Title: Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity
  • Author: John W. Loftus
  • ISBN: 9781591025924
  • Page: 430
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 begaFor 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.

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    One thought on “Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity”

    1. I first heard of Loftus after listening to a debate between him and evangelical heavy hitter D'Souza. At the end of the debate he motivated the audience to buy both his and D'Souza's books and "get the information from the horse's mouth". I'm glad I did, because as a believer, most of what I get are arguments that authors claim are still being used by their opponents followed by their counterargument. It's a protective shell, full of straw men and outdated information that I find frustrating to [...]

    2. An interesting book that tends toward high density, abstract arguments. Norman Geisler, author of A General Introduction to the Bible and The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics says it "is a thoughtful and intellectually challenging work, presenting arguments that every honest theist and Christian should face." "Thoughtful and intellectually challenging" are simultaneously this book's strengths and the things that make it sometimes rather dull.When reading this book, one should not forg [...]

    3. It was very thorough and thought provoking and most importantly, written in a non-inflammatory tone making it digestible for those who come from an opposing perspective. It definitely confirmed my beliefs and changed my life.

    4. While lengthy and repetitive in some areas, John Loftus makes an excellent case against the belief in a deity; specifically with regards to Christianity. A former preacher, Loftus is familiarized with the Bible and religious teachings in ways that many are not. In this book, he begins by listing the multitude of arguments in defense of Christianity (ranging from philosophical, to evidential, to historical; and beyond) from which he systematically refutes their plausibility. Brilliantly executed, [...]

    5. The arguments are based on modernist interpretation of knowledge with elements of positivism. There is no consideration of critical realism or the valid critiques postmodernists have leveled against modernist views. Philosophy of science and religion have come a long way and little consideration is given to this. It is important to acknowledge that a fair number of atheists have turned to theism or Christian Theism (e.g Mortimer Adler, Alister McGrath, and Antony Flew a fierce critic of any kind [...]

    6. While I found Loftus' approach interesting, this book would certainly not be for everyone. For one thing, he carefully is focusing his arguments to the conservative evangelical (or similar) Protestant christian If your background is otherwise, much of what he is debunking here would sound too weird and extreme even without prior to Loftus' discussions. On top of that, he needed some editing help -- while his arguments are good, he has some odd errors that could be confusing (e.g forgetting to pu [...]

    7. This book has excellent excerpts and if I had nothing better to do I would love devouring the mountain of research and information that must have gone into creating it. However the topic - WHY Christians are misinformed - just isn't relevant to my life as an Atheist. I gave it just over 50 pages and I'm ready to move onto re-reading The Blind Watchmaker. Apologetics just aren't my thing. The field to me seems to comprise of circular arguments that are never going to convince "one side" or "the o [...]

    8. I have mixed feelings about this book. To be honest, if I cared more about arguing Biblical issues, I might take issue with a few of Loftus' conclusions, but on the whole, I found his thorough treatment of evangelical and fundamentalist arguments to be entertaining. I felt like John was a little out of his element trying to thoroughly deal with more philosophical issues like the cosmological, teleological, and ontological arguments for god. I wrote a full review here: hambydammit.wordpress/2009

    9. Well-researched book mostly written toward a Christian and Christian Apologist audience. Every Christian should read this book and answer at least some of the questions it raises. As an aside -I grew up in the church and went to a Christian school through high school and it answers a LOT of questions I had about "extra-Bible" dogma (as well as questions I had about situations in the Bible itself). I always felt that some explanations were lacking in depth, and this book provides a perspective be [...]

    10. A very good journey from Christianity to Atheism. He's also has editor a number of books that show why Christianity is not true.

    11. The Christian-to-Atheist journey for the rationalist. For a book so heavy on the philosophy, it keeps you engaged, mostly.

    12. Whilst too detailed for me, this would have been brilliant at an another stage in my life when I was inside the Christian tent. Loftus' "outsider test" should be compulsory for anyone belonging to any particular creed - would you join this group if you ere on the outside looking at the evidence? Loftus applies the test to Christianity with devastating insight.The one bit of the book where I was less convinced however was his comments about Deism more generally, where he reaches for the multivers [...]

    13. I really didn't find this book very edifying. I don't think I came across anything that I didn't already know. My rule of thumb, if you're going to write a 30 plus hour book, tell me things I don't already know. The bible was created by man, it has really weird stuff in it, superstition is superstition no matter when, a God that punishes his Son for the sin that a talking snake tricked a man into, and Zombies roaming Jerusalem it's all too impossible to believe. But, the one thing I don't want t [...]

    14. Fair to good content marred by bad editing. I don't know what the author of Why I Became An Atheist and it's publisher, Prometheus Books, were thinking when they sent this one to the presses. For all the good content the book has to offer, the book itself is a mess.The various chapters vary widely in terms of their depth, style, and quality of argument. For example, chapter three ("Faith, Reason, and the Cumulative Case Method") and chapter five ("Does God Exist?") are fairly heavy-going, in-dep [...]

    15. Loftus does an excellent job of summarizing the main criticisms of the Christian faith. Thatโ€™s essentially what this book is a collection of every argument against Christianity Loftus could dig up or come up with himself. Not much else but your standard arguments (Biblical contradictions, problem of evil, logical consistency of the hypostatic union, Humeโ€™s argument against miracles etc). I suppose that is my problem with this book. Loftus tries to cover way to much ground in very little spac [...]

    16. Why I Became an Atheist by John Loftus "Why I Became an Atheist" is one man's personal journey from being a devout evangelical Christian to an ardent atheist. What sets this book apart from other personal journeys is the information-rich content and Mr. Loftus's ability to convey compelling arguments against Christianity. This 428-page book is composed of the following three major parts: Part 1: The Basis for my Control Beliefs, Part 2: The Biblical Evidence Examined, and Part 3: What I Believe [...]

    17. This is another book on my short list of must-reads for anyone that wants to better understand Christianity. In fact, for people that are interested in understanding the Christian Bible, Christian apologetic, philosophical Christianity, and some scholarly refutations of each of those matters, John Loftus brings it to them here. Christians that want to be informed about how highly educated non-Christians see their religion owe it to themselves to read this book, as does any non-Christian that thi [...]

    18. I agree with another reviewer who felt that the editing could have been a lot better. But this is actually a collection of essays that have been put into book form with some added material. So it is no surprise that it is spotty. Hence the four stars.This book is not necessarily intended to convert readers to Atheism. In fact, it probably won't. Rather it explains how one man wrestled with the apparent conflicts within the Bible and the various and assorted arguments meant to resolve them. There [...]

    19. The author was raised in the Catholic religion, converted to the Evangelical church and became a minister and college professor in the Evangelical church. He has evidently written a number of other books about his becoming an atheist and currently operates a blog on atheism.In this book, the author seems compelled to go on almost ad infinitum with arguments against Christianity, particularly that practiced by the Evangelical church. Some of his arguments are philosophical, which are hard to foll [...]

    20. This book is one of the few books (that I'm aware of) written by an atheist that has been well-received by both the Atheist community and the Christian community. I'm hoping this will be an insightful and just plain good read. ------------This was not an easy read, especially as some of the philosophical and theological discussions were aimed at those who was a bit more seasoned in their understanding of the topic. I believe the target market is conservative Christians, and I certainly don't fal [...]

    21. Why I Became an Atheist, gives more than the reasons John Loftus became an atheist. He attempts to discredit every area of the Bible and Christian belief. Loftus' story is a sad one of immorality and rejection. Christians ought to read this for a couple of reasons - one is the way Loftus was treated. Unfortunately, his testimony after his "affair" is too common. Christians did not know what to do with him, one of them a relative of his.Another reason to read this is because Loftus practiced Chri [...]

    22. This is an excellent book. I highly recommend it to the following crowds: atheists, agnostics, Christians, religious apologists, and just about anyone. :)Seriously, I wish I had read this years ago. As a Christian apologist, I made several of the mistakes and assumptions listed in here, and it may not have changed my mind even then, but it sure would've saved me a few moments of ignorant foolishness!The book is a pretty sizable read, but it's easily digested and articulated in a way that doesn't [...]

    23. A fantastic cumulative-case against Christianity. Probably the best overall case for atheism I've read, and it has chapters covering just about everything, from philosophical problems to historical, scientific, and way too many more. Seriously, this is a really long book, but it's all very good. It's too much heavy reading that I'm not sure if I would recommend it to everyone, but for anyone who has a few doubts or is a beginning-atheist, it's a great resource to have.I like what Richard Carrier [...]

    24. Great book. Provides a lot of background information on the history of religion, especially in regards to things that preceded it & the culture around the people when Judaism & Christianity came about. The author is a former evangelical preacher & former christian apologist. A little trying to read at times but in the end it was worth it. It raises questions, points out a lot of facts in regards to tenets & beliefs that most believers probably don't know are what is believed & [...]

    25. There are predominantly two kinds of people that might want to read this book: Christians and atheists. Sure, there are other people, but these are the two main readerships I can think of. Regardless of whether the reader is a Christian or an atheist, this book can be summed up in one word: pedantic, pedantic, pedantic. Yes, one word three times. Maybe people that are into philosophical or mental masturbation will love this book, but it was a long slog for me. And I am not the simplest minded of [...]

    26. Not much new here. The most thorough atheist-based books I've read have been Evolution of God (anthropologically), several by Dawkins (scientifically) and Godless (historically). But with all these books, as well as this, Christianity is not debunked. Radical evangelicalism? Sure. Extreme right-winged ideology? Absolutely. But learn about the cultural context of biblical writings and the arguments fall away. This book just rehashes things that better writers have said before. If you're looking f [...]

    27. When I heard that Loftus had come out with a new edition of his "Why I," I had to check out the changes. As might be expected, I basically would reiterate my comments from the first time out: not intended to be for everyone; and in need of a bit of proofreading. That being said, I was glad to see that Loftus tightened his arguments a bit, as well as adding some interesting and relevant new sections. I would say overall (if he fixes the darned typos!), that this is an improvement, and it continue [...]

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