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God or Godless?: One Atheist. One Christian. Twenty Controversial Questions.

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Overview

Honest debate on the big questions of faith

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 probably won't be decided by another book, but when we engage in civil conversation, we can begin to understand each other's point of view.

In this unique book, atheist and former pastor ...

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God or Godless?: One Atheist. One Christian. Twenty Controversial Questions.

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Overview

Honest debate on the big questions of faith

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 probably won't be decided by another book, but when we engage in civil conversation, we can begin to understand each other's point of view.

In this unique book, atheist and former pastor John Loftus and theist and professor Randal Rauser engage in twenty short debates that consider Christianity, the existence of God, and unbelief from a variety of angles. This is the perfect book for Christian, atheist, and agnostic friends to read together, and it encourages honest, open, and candid discussions on the most important issues of life and faith.

"In God or Godless?, Randal Rauser and John Loftus provide bite-sized discussions on a variety of topics. The discussions are very readable and provide helpful overviews. This book is an enjoyable and informative read that will challenge you to think about the issues discussed."—Michael R. Licona, associate professor of theology, Houston Baptist University; author of Paul Meets Muhammad

"This is not a quarrel, nor one of those flame wars of the deaf that rage across cyberspace then spill angrily into print, nor even that stuffy, artificial creation known as a 'religious dialogue.' What we have here is conversation: at times witty, at times tendentious, often humorous, and almost always engaged on emotional as well as intellectual levels. Rauser is master of parables with a philosophical point; Loftus makes an art form of heart-on-his-sleeve pragmatism. Both land blows, yet the book contains hardly a trace of bitterness. At its best, it reaches the level of a mythical, Platonic debate in a pub. Almost no one will fully agree with either writer, nor fail to enjoy the rhetorical flow."—David Marshall, author of The Truth Behind the New Atheism

"This is a fascinating and sometimes humorous intro to twenty common debates between atheists and theists. You'll find countless rambling and confused versions of such debates online. But here you will find a clear, concise, well-written exchange on each. Keeping it short, the authors can't include every point to be made, but they make a good show of where each side stands on these questions and why. If you want to continue these debates further, start with this."—Dr. Richard Carrier, author of Sense and Goodness without God

"The argument between skeptics and Christians has existed since the beginning of Christianity. Randal Rauser and John Loftus continue that argument with gusto, conciseness, and civility. This book should be the first stop for readers shopping for dueling voices from two of the most articulate advocates for Christianity and atheism."—Dr. Hector Avalos, professor of religious studies, Iowa State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801015281
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/15/2013
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,424,540
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

John W. Loftus is a former Christian minister and apologist with degrees in philosophy, theology, and the philosophy of religion from Lincoln Christian University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He also did PhD studies at Marquette University in theology and ethics. John is the founder of an influential blog called Debunking Christianity (http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/). He is the author of Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity and the editor of The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails, and The End of Christianity. He lives in Indiana.

Randal Rauser (MCS, Regent College; PhD, King's College London) is associate professor of historical theology at Taylor Seminary, Edmonton, Canada. He is the author of several books, including Finding God in the Shack, You're Not as Crazy as I Think, and The Swedish Atheist, the Scuba Diver, and Other Apologetic Rabbit Trails. He is a popular speaker and gifted communicator who seeks to bring the truth of Scripture to bear on the real-life issues of today and who blogs regularly at www.randalrauser.com. He lives in Alberta.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    No clear winner (go read A.W. Tozer)

    Picking cherries off the 30 foot cherry tree without using the proper tools was difficult. However, after renting a boomlift, the job was expidited, entertaining for children, and productive.

    God or Godless? Is a "debate" between a now atheist former minister (with an affection for biblical illiteracy and liberal view of the Bible) and a liberal doctor of theology who likes to have "orthodox" views when they are convienient.

    While John, the atheist, stays on topic more often, his arguments are weak and easily desmissed. If he would have read the vereses he referenced much of the time, he would not have used them. The thought that an all loving, knowing, and wise Creator does not exist because he cannot fathom how he would allow suffering (65 percent of his argument), is irrational. I cannot fathom the temperature variation on Mars, but don't deny it.

    On the other hand, Randal the Christian, cannot make it through a topic without an illustation that requires most of the topic to explain how it aids his argument. And when he does attempt to stay on topic, his arguments often do not affirm his position when he is in the affirmative.

    Like me referencing picking cherries, these men pick their responses without a well thought out rationalization. Their tools are "you too," "no, your wrong," and "the Bible isn't trustworthy on this topic" (stupidly used by both debater).

    The best argument comes from John when Randall says he doesn't believe what the Bible says, and John encourages to finish the step to denying all of the Bible if he is going to deny a lot of it. Randall's denial of biblical truth is a really egnoramous statement from a really ignorant professor. If he would follow his own advise in his closing argument, then he would see the Bible is true and trustworthy.

    Alas, neither is a clear victor, and the main loser in this debate is orthodox Christianity. But that is the result when liberal theologians come together. It would behoove the reader of this review to read Tozer (who argues for orthodoxy and Biblical trustworthiness in fewer pages).

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  • Posted June 5, 2013

    Highly recommended. Rauser is no match for John Loftus; if you

    Highly recommended. Rauser is no match for John Loftus; if you are already a non-believer I could almost advise skipping Rauser's contributions as they don't really say anything at all. It's basically just him saying that we need to believe b/c the bible says so or stating that the texts don't mean what they actually say.
    Sadly, at the time they were written, the texts meant a lot of what they said and even sadder is that people in 2013 still use the bible as their moral compass. (Sacrifice your virgin daughters to gang-rape since homosexuality is wrong, anyone?)
    Loftus has the power of reason and science on his side and is actually providing proven, factual information to the reader while Rauser is simply twisting words and telling boring stories about people who have experienced so-called miracles.
    Anyway, it is a very good read and I would also recommend to anyone interested in this subject any of the books written by Richard Dawkins.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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