Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity

Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity

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by John W. Loftus
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A thoughtful and intellectually challenging work presenting arguments that every honest theist and Christian should face."
-Dr. Norman L. Geisler Christian apologist, author of The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591025924
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
06/28/2008
Pages:
355
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

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Meet the Author

John W. Loftus (Angola, IN) earned MA and MDiv degrees in theology and philosophy from Lincoln Christian Seminary under the guidance of Dr. James D. Strauss. He then attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he studied under Dr. William Lane Craig and received a ThM degree in philosophy of religion. Before leaving the church, he had ministries in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana, and he taught at several Christian colleges. He is also the editor of The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails and The End of Christianity. In addition, he has an online blog at http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com.

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Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity (Revised and Expanded) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
random_skeptic More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be very enlightening. Mr. Loftus has some very importnat points to make and he argued them with clarity and reason. Not only has it given me insight into Atheism, it has also given me a better understanding on why a person would choose to abandon theism. I recommend this book to any open minded individual.
Guest More than 1 year ago
John W. Loftus has written an important book that should be read by every Christian who cares about truth and reality. This is not the angry rant of some disgruntled former believer with an axe to grind. Loftus is thorough, fair and convincing. As a former Christian minister and apologist who became an atheist, he knows both sides of the belief question very well. The insights and detailed information contained in this book make for enlightening reading. There is much for everyone, from believers who are courageous enough to think more deeply about their faith to nonbelievers who want to better understand the arguments Christians make in defense of their religion. I highly recommend this outstanding book. --Guy P. Harrison, author of 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God
mrwhiteout More than 1 year ago
john w. loftus' book is the almost the best atheist book next to the richard dawkins, victor j stenger, bart erhman, and michael sherman. I enjoy mr. loftus book best cause of the detail and the really hard arguements that christian apologist make to support a claim that god exist. i found this book very interesting. im an open minded person and i read book on both sides for my own opinion. and this book is a must. i the christian aruguements were hard to understand but i got it.
JessLucy More than 1 year ago
Really detailed, informative book. Fascinating read b/c the author is a former religious insider; now on the outside. I would describe this book as geared toward doubting and non-doubiting believers (specifically Christians) rather than non-believers as I found it to be soft and sympathetic toward the typical (non-fundamentalist/extremist) point of view.. The text includes a lot of direct quotes from the bible which I found interesting as I have been an atheist for many years and have never read much of the bible (and what I have read, I certainly don't like). Loftus makes some valid, thorough points regarding the argument from evil and I especially enjoyed that chapter. I would def recommend this book to believers and non, as well as students and their teachers. If you like more of the scientic proof against the existence of god, I would for sure recommend anything by Richard Dawkins and Victor J Stenger.
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John W. Loftus has written an excellent detailed explanation of his reasons for rejecting Biblical faith and embracing atheism. I urge you to purchase a copy of his book. Loftus now stands thoroughly refuted, however, by David Reuben Stone (2010), The Loftus Delusion: Why Atheism Fails and Messianic Israelism Prevails. This is the critique Loftus hopes you'll never discover.
TheologicalDiscourse More than 1 year ago
This is book that is designed to make the uneducated Christians question their faith, obviously due to lack of space I cannot point out all of the factual and logical errors in this book. On page 85 he states "David Ramsay Steele reminds us that according to quantum mechanics "Things begin to exist without any cause all the time." So if some things can begin to exist without a cause, the universe could be one of them, which does not require a creator at all" The problem with this is is no such thing as NOTHING in quantum mechanics. "Nothing" in reference to quantum mechanics has properties and a measurable existence as part of the quantum-mechanical vacuum, so there is SOMETHING there, but it is referred to as 'nothing' because there is no matter, but there are physical fields, so there IS something there, not to mention an entire universe of existence around it. Furthermore, the things he is talking about that exist without a cause are quantum fluctuations, but to say they exist without a cause is a downright lie, since they pop in and out of existence due to the uncertainty principle, not to mention that these things happen when there is ALREADY something in existence, principles, fields, physics, etc. On page 85 he also criticizes william craig on his premise (Kalam cosmological argument) that the universe began to exist. Loftus states "Craigs second premise is that the universe began to exist. It too has difficulties when it comes to scientific discussions abotu time, relativity, cosmic singularities and quantum mechanics." Then on page 266 he states "There is overwhelming evidence our universe originated from a big bang." He quotes Wes Morriston on page 84 in response to william craigs assertion that 'tigers don't spring into existence uncaused' (they were talking about the kalam argument, premise 1. Everything that beings to exist has a cause of its existence) "We have no experience of the origin of worlds to tell us that worlds don't come into existence like that. We don't even have experience of the coming into being of anything remotely analogous to the 'initial singularity' that figures into the big bang theory of the origin of the universe. That is why the absurdity of tigers and the like popping into existence out of nowhere tells us nothing about the utterly unique case of the beginning of the whole natural order." But on page 85, as I noted Loftus tries to use quantum mechanics as an analogy that the universe could exist without a cause, not only that but referencing david ramsey steele as a source on quantum mechanics? that guy is an author and is hardly an authority on quantum mechanics, he also cites Richard Carrier on metaphysics who is a historian which qualifies as 2 fallacious appeals to authority, since I highly doubt Loftus or any other atheist would accept an argument on the evidence or proof of God found in physics from a P.E. instructor or someone with a P.H.D in Botany. I don't recommend this book to anyone, although the first couple pages are interesting as it shows Johns de conversion is purely emotional and not intellectual or rational at all.