Customer Review

23 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Missed Opportunity, 12 July 2010
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This review is from: Biblical Nonsense: A Review of the Bible for Doubting Christians (Paperback)
As an atheist, I would love to have a detailed account of the contradictions, misunderstandings and downright dangerous instructions in the bible. Alas, I did not find it here. It was at times badly written (does this man really have a PhD from a genuine university?). Many of the arguments were vague and unstructured, often close to a rant and full of inaccuracies. Dr (?) Long clearly has a high opinion of himself but I found his sometimes boastful claims irritating. He seemed to me as obsessive and fanatical as the religious nutters who predict the end of the world so regularly, his opinions as poorly thought out and his evidence as selective and unreliable as theirs.

This book is a disappointing wasted opportunity. Don't waste your money: there are far better books readily available.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Jul 2010 19:21:29 BDT
G. High says:
I personally find it disappointing that your review is so similar to B J Sinclair's review posted on 21 August 2009. In fact (if I were an uncharitable person) I could suggest that you are desperately trying to increase the one-star average of this book. Why would you want to do that?

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jul 2010 20:47:07 BDT
jude says:
Actually, I wrote my review before I read B J Sincair's. I was certainly not trying to increase the book's rating. I wrote what I felt - the book was a self-aggrandising rant and was thin on useful content.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Sep 2010 08:22:36 BDT
Vegplanet says:
'Rant' is a very overused term in by reviewers on here. Putting forward a case forcefully does not constitute ranting. It seems to be a last ditch attempt to denigrate any atheist argument.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Sep 2010 11:58:49 BDT
jude says:
I was certainly not trying to denigrate atheism - I am an atheist. The author came across to me at times like someone ranting on a soapbox, (I could hear him shouting!)not one presenting reasoned arguments backed by good evidence. I used the word 'rant' carefully. He did not put his case forcefully; he failed to make a coherent case. That is why I called the book a missed opportunity.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Sep 2010 17:23:40 BDT
Jude, have you had a look at "skepticsannotatedbible.com", there is plenty of fodder there for when the people in black with briefcases come to your door.
They show me pamphlets with drawings showing the lion, lying down with the lamb.....aaaah!, but can't answer the question of how the Koala got to the ark and back.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Sep 2010 02:24:01 BDT
jude says:
What an interesting site, with some rather odd links too. Thank you. Now I'm just waiting for the bods in black...

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Nov 2010 15:24:52 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Nov 2010 23:37:25 GMT
Vegplanet says:
Jude
I would be interested to see an example of the badly written prose to which you refer. I found his style very clear and refreshing.
Dr Long's approach for the majority of the book is to examine some of the nastier/ more ridiculous/ more risible passages in the Bible and pass comment. He does not need to go to much effort to put forward a persuasive case - the Bible does his work for him in many instances.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2010 12:22:38 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Nov 2010 12:24:57 GMT
jude says:
Hi Vegplanet
I'm sorry that I can't give you the full answer you deserve at the moment. It's some time since I read the book so I can't remember the details that annoyed me. I'm really really busy at the moment so I haven't time to re-read the book and, to be honest, I don't really want to. I have three very interesting books on the go that I'm short of time for, and I'm finding them much more useful and thought-provoking than Dr Long. I'll try to make time to find a bit of what I consider bad writing but I can't promise. Please accept my apologies for an unsatisfactory reply.
By the way, I do agree with you that the case against the bible is contained in its own nasty, contradictory and downright silly pages.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2012 11:37:24 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 6 Feb 2012 11:59:59 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2012 11:40:05 GMT
O. Hall says:
I have to echo one or two of the other reviewers who've commented on the writer's style.

First of all - I'm an atheist, I think the book has a lot of interesting content, and it's comforting to get a bit more insight into what I'd already undesrtood (though without devoting much time to any analysis) of the contradictions within Christianity. However, from a subjective position on readability, I'm not a fan of Dr Long's writing style.

I quite often found myself re-reading sentances to confirm what I'd read meant what I thought it did. I'm not stupid, and normally have no problems with reading (I don't have a doctorate in Pharmacy, but I do have a good degree in Computer Science from a good English University), though I found the liberal use of unnecessary adjectives and the pseudo-intellectual doses of Latin detracted from my enjoyment of the material. Of course there's a balance between this and terminally-dry literature, but (I'm currently on page 182) I would have been quite happy with "... we can actually consider plausible." rather than "... we can actually consider for the realm of historical plausibility." - but like I say - this is totally subjective. Just as is my dislike for the way he ends this section "... in the next *shocking* chapter." Really? I haven't been shocked so far - I'd better read on, sitting on the edge of my seat!

What isn't subjective, and also taken from this same page is an example of the author's hypocrisy. Of course, Jesus hasn't returned in the past 2000 years, but the author *mustn't* state as fact that Jesus won't return in the next 20,000 or 200,000 as he does "... when those times inevitably arrive undisturbed". I firmly believe this will be the case, but being true to the scientific method, we shouldn't fall into the trap of stating the future as fact, just as Dr Long attacks Christian appologists for making statements that cannot be either proven or disproven. This might seem harsh criticism, but we're dealing with a subject with many semantic twists and turns, so I think any argument needs to be squeeky clean to have any gravitas. [ there's my contribution to Latin ;-) ]

That's two or three observations from a page that only has 6 lines on it... I found the whole book (so far) to have a similar tone, and it's not my cup of tea.

The book gets a 4/5 for content, but a 2/5 for style from me.
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