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.
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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.
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.
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 biophysi 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.
- Author : Robert ANGUS (of Melbourne?)
- Publisher : Unknown
- Release Date : 1872
- Genre : Uncategorized
- Pages : 23
- ISBN : OCLC:558102954
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.
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.
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
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.
- Author : Henry STEBBING (the Elder, Archdeacon of Wilts.)
- Publisher : Unknown
- Release Date : 1739
- Genre : Uncategorized
- Pages : 22
- ISBN : BL:A0019854723
A caution against religious delusion A sermon on the new birth occasioned by the pretensions of the Methodist The ninth edition
- Author : Henry STEBBING (the Elder, Archdeacon of Wilts.)
- Publisher : Unknown
- Release Date : 1758
- Genre : Uncategorized
- Pages : 23
- ISBN : BL:A0019650391
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.'
A preeminent scientist—and the world's most prominent atheist—asserts the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm religion has inflicted on society, from the Crusades to 9/11. With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. 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, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly. It also offers exhilarating insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe's wonders than any faith could ever muster.
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.
Judaism and Christianity differ from each other on the most fundamental issues. Yet both use the same Jewish Bible as the foundation of their faiths. Only one of these belief systems can be true. Those who talk about “Judeo-Christian heritage” have no idea that Judaism and Christianity are the most fundamentally conflicting principles in the history of humanity. They inherently cannot co-exist, as light cannot co-exist with darkness. History since the beginning of the Common Era testifies that humanity cannot afford to regard Christianity as an innocent lie, as a bad idea. A real war is being waged around us between alien spirits and G-d’s angels. People usually ignore this unintuitive and invisible reality, but this ongoing celestial conflict often affects our everyday affairs, as if no one is in control. The Torah and the “New Testament” cannot co-exist, despite ongoing efforts of Christian preachers to prove the contrary. This book is intended to be an encouragement to those who have already begun to see though the vicious veil of the Christian delusion. The basic principle of Christianity is nonsense. Any human being with the weakest sense of justice would reject the idea that someone else died for his or her sins. The fake god came up with the death trick. Death will be its everlasting reward. Christians are desperate to support their faith with fabricated references from the Torah and Prophets, while those who live on the Torah have never needed the “New Testament” to support their faith. Everyone on this planet should have realized the issues presented in this book by now, as theological qualifications or credentials are not necessary to understand them. Mankind has been given more than 2,000 years to comprehend these ideas. Humanity has paid a heavy price for false rationalizations motivated by a wicked desire to cast off the Torah’s requirements. Let us value and safeguard this wisdom acquired with difficulty with unspeakable gratefulness.