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Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity (Revised & Expanded) by [Loftus, John W.]
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Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity (Revised & Expanded) Kindle Edition

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-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

"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

About 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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  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2701 KB
  • Print Length: 543 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; Revised edition (10 Oct. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C4B2FLU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #356,514 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Loftus does a fantastic job of demonstrateing how absurd christianity really is. You get the sense of how painful it was to realise how the faith that meant so much to him turned out to be a mere myth.
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John Loftus is a former preacher; the one thing this book doesn't do is preach. Definitely not from the Dawkins school of atheism!

If you're looking for an easy read, go elsewhere. If you're looking for a rewarding read, this is the book for you. The breadth & depth of the writer's knowledge of Christianity make for a very long book & it's a book which demands that the reader be prepared to think, not just read passively. A book best read a few pages at a time - as another book says, " read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest".

Challenging, thought-provoking & comprehensive. Well worth reading!
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The author makes a very good case as to why he left the Christian Faith. I am only sorry that he did leave. This book should be read by both believers and non-believers. Certainly a believer should understand how it is so easy to lose someone where something has gone wrong.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Williams - Published on Amazon.com
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Why I Became an Atheist is a well developed treatise that thoroughly examines the existence or non-existence of God

Loftus begins his lengthy work with a description of himself and his early life, that he was raised as a Catholic, then later converted to a Christian Fundamentalist Evangelical church. Loftus then spent 14 years in the ministry before losing his faith and dropping out

He had always assumed the Bible was true, before he began to read it critically, and was forced to reject its incongruous passages

The author provides arguments by many famous Christian apologists and historical writers, including William Lane Craig, under whom he once studied Bible theory These are not straw men arguments but legitimate first class pronouncements by the very best in the field. Loftus is successful in destroying them all.

He begins with Pascal's Wager, where Pascal believed it was the wisest choice to believe in God even if God does not exist rather than not believe and risk the punishments of hell. Loftus says this only works for the Christian God and only with a god with those values. There are thousands of other possible gods to believe in. The Muslims claim you will go to hell if you don't believe in Allah

Loftus argues that it is the theist who has the burden of proof to prove his god/gods are real and that it is not the onus of the Atheist to prove him wrong. And that Carl Sagan once said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The Christian has none. Loftus considers the book to be one single argument against Christianity with each chapter a subset of that one argument. He says little of other faiths

Loftus gives us both the insider's argument and the outsider's argument. The outsider's test being how one would view Christianity from the view point of someone who is completely unfamiliar with the faith and how "believable" it would appear to him. From this point of view, Christianity seems absurd

Loftus then discusses the ontological and the cosmological arguments and how Anselm, Hume and Kant argued of them. Loftus says these arguments can't even get off the ground because, according to Craig and Aquinas, they presuppose that God exists beforehand therefore Begging the Question of God's existence

The teleological ( or design ) argument suffers the same fate. It supposes the universe is "fine tuned" by a creator God, thus having the exact components in the right proportions and physical laws wherein life can be created and flourish. However, the universe is what it is and there is no evidence that another one could have been created any differently and there is no evidence that God created it

Loftus does not believe morality came from God. Instead, he believes that morality is a function of humans and the social animals adapting to function more smoothly within the societies in which they live, and that it's a genetic adaptation. And also, that the Bible, from whence Christians obtain their morality is perverse in its endorsements of slavery, human and animal sacrifices, barbaric punishments and the condemnation of homosexuality and the sequestion of female liberties

Lofus believes that Methodological Naturalism, the method he employs, denies the existence of a transcendent god. This method assumes that for everything we experience there is a natural cause. Theology assumes a Supernatural cause which can never be justified as scientific phenomena

Loftus believes the biblical gospels are religious propaganda. He says the writers of the gospels were works intended to convert the outsider and strengthen the believer. They were not writing history but instead religious propaganda. And how can we be sure the whole story has not been colored by the pious imagination of the earliest Christians? In those days, miracles were a dime a dozen. Every religion and faith had them. In order for Christianity to flourish, they had to compete by providing greater deeds and action to prove that their god was God. Even the great philosopher David Hume said he didn't think that miracles could not occur, but said that it is irrational to believe that they did

Some believers seem to have what they call a self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit. They believe they're right because they know they're right and that's the end of it. And that's why ( in their minds ) Christianity is true. Loftus's answer to that is, "what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence"

This is a well thought out, well researched book that requires some critical thinking. It can't be read in a single sitting. I suggest reading one of two chapters a day to let his thoughts and message thoroughly sink in. I would not recommend it as a first choice in Atheism. There are other simpler less complex books having the same message you could start with. I might mention Atheist Universe by David Mills or The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins for starters. My one criticism of Loftus's book is that there is no index which is greatly needed
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent piece bar the final commitment page. 5 Sept. 2014
By barsKii - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very thorough account that provides comprehensive reasons from multiple facets on why not to believe. The book is mostly respectful in a way that seems lacking from most published atheists though I do feel the last commitment page was not necessary and seemed to underwrite the whole piece. Aggressive public declarations like that are turn offs to Christians and when I passed the book onto others to enlighten them, assessing the book objectively was the last thing they wanted to do after seeing that.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful but Complex 11 April 2013
By JH347 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Loftus does an excellent job of completely demolishing the central arguments of Christianity. Many Christians argue that atheists are afraid to take on William Lane Craig, yet here we have Loftus who studied under Dr. Craig and attacks all his arguments backed up with evidence. In response Dr. Craig has talked about Loftus's personal issues which Loftus admits to in the beginning of this book. Although there are some errors such as Loftus misspelling Bart Ehrman's name a few times the book overall is very detailed and provides an excellent refutation of Christianity. At times it is hard to read to the point I felt like quitting. However, this was not due to the it being a bad book but because it was so in depth and complicated. The final two chapters however I feel that he glosses over. In these chapters he simply discusses hell and satan. I have read other books on this subject so I knew more about the development of the satan myth, but I wish Loftus would have gone more in depth on that. Another criticism would be at the end he has a pledge to sign to help end Christianity. I think this is an example of atheism becoming more dogmatic instead of freethinking. I have read over 25 books on this journey away from Christianity and this is by far the most detailed. I warn you this book is wonderful but read other secular books first or you will be overwhelmed.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conise yet extensive to the belief in God, as well a practical and honest way to challange the faith of others -or yourself. 5 April 2014
By T. York - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have only read the first five chapters and decide to go back and start highlighting sentencing I wanted to remember. He not only provides new insight into how the Christian mind thinks but offers a them a fair challenge they really shouldn't have a problem with. He puts together information and quotes from all kinds of sources, both for and against, in a well thought out argument. I already know I'm going to read it again. OTF -read the book to find out.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth buying and reading. 4 Jun. 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very, Very, Very interesting. Clears up lots of questions one has about miracles, evil, and other things happening in the Jewish scriptures that people have wondered about for centuries.
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