Betty Brogaard was raised to be a good Christian. By the time she was 20 years old, she had joined a fundamentalist church. She even met and married a young man who became a minister in the congregation. However, the more she came to understand Christianity from within, the more she found herself asking questions instead of finding answers.
In The Homemade Atheist, Betty shares her sincere, personal and fascinating journey from the mental slavery of religion to the happiness she found in freethought. Along the way and without malice, she offers questions that challenge you to analyze your own beliefs-exactly as she did over a period of many years.
Her transformation provides a wealth of insights for anyone seeking a path to a nonreligious way of life.
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About the Author
Betty Brogaard is a former Christian church leader and religious writer turned atheist. Her first book, Dare to Think for Yourself, was published in 2004. She lives in Wisconsin.
Table of Contents
Part 1 The Path to Unbelief
1 The Unbeliever's Happiness 19
2 Can Adherence to the Bible Bring Real Happiness? 38
3 The Omni-God 62
4 This, Too, Shall Pass 72
5 Schizophrenic Religion 80
Part 2 A House Divided
6 The Religious War of Words 89
7 The Ten Commandments and the Sabbath Day 107
8 Freewill, Open Theism, and Open View of God 115
Part 3 Religious Experience in Perspective
9 Who Can Know God? 123
10 Morality, Ethics, and Atheism 127
11 The Importance of Evidence 134
12 The Logic of Unbelief 142
13 How Tolerant Should We Be? 149
14 What's It Going to Take? 155
About the Author 176
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Though Betty Brogaard is a capable writer, this is one of the worst books I have ever read. She comes across as very arrogant and self-assured, but ironically, she is woefully ignorant in her understanding of some simple scientific realities that make the atheist position untenable. Like most atheists, she seems to have missed or intentionally ignored the facts that 1) something never comes from nothing, 2) life cannot come into being where life did not previously exist, 3) order does not come from chaos unless directed by a sufficient intellect, and the list goes on. Her book speaks mostly to the already converted, shallow thinkers, who accept the atheistic mantra without question. The author dismisses the faith of Christians as being little more than wishful thinking. Yet all humans exercise faith of some kind. Even Brogaard has faith in the idea that she possesses a mind and even a conscience, though she has never seen either. And when she married her late husband, she didn't know everything there was to know about him; she knew enough to trust that he would make a good mate and that the two of them would be happy together, and apparently they were. This is what Christians mean when we say that faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Of course no one has ever seen God, but we see the evidence of Him all around us. The fact that anything exists in the material universe requires that a sufficiently powerful Creator exist outside of it. Brogaard is less an atheist than a committed anti-Christian. Despite her professed years of studying the Christian Bible, it is clear to me that she is practically clueless about the essential teachings of the Christian faith. To put it simply, the Christian faith is all about the Person of Christ and what He did on the cross to save a fallen humanity from the righteous and deserved judgment of a holy God. And He is the standard by which the faith must be judged. Brogaard makes repeated attempts to show that the Bible can't be trusted. She even goes so far as to express doubt that the man Jesus of Nazareth ever existed in space and time, an idea impossible to sustain when one considers the impact this single individual has had on the history of the world. She is only able to maintain her arguments by setting up and knocking over straw men, by taking Scripture out of context, and by ignoring some verses that could add clarity to issues she seems intent upon confusing. Continuing her attack on the Christian faith, Brogaard asks why an all powerful, all loving God allows the kinds of evil we see in our world, to which I ask, is it possible that a God Who knows everything, and I do mean everything, would know how best to manage His created universe? The Bible teaches that God created intelligent creatures to be free moral agents, but He knew we would disobey Him. Yet, even before the first man sinned, God already had a plan for rescuing us from our state of rebellion. That plan was summed up and effected in the Person and the work of the Christ. No, this is not the best of all possible worlds; with death and sickness all around us, how could it be? But I submit to you that if there is a God, and the preponderance of the evidence suggests that there is, then this plan of God's is the best way to get to the best possible world. And it is from this plan, God's plan of redemption, that we Christians feel safe in calling this good news, or simply, the gospel.