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Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity Paperback – 28 Apr 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; Rev Exp edition (28 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616145773
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616145774
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 808,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa1e7e6fc) out of 5 stars 52 reviews
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94c1e78c) out of 5 stars the best popular level atheist book 5 May 2012
By A. Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
John's massively revised book surpasses the original in just about every way (the original was very good, so this is saying something). The sections on explaining faith, the cumulative method, and the reasons why theists reject the classical arguments for god greatly surpass anything in Hitchens, Dawkins, or Harris. Like in the first edition, he also does an excellent job explaining the way apologists use worldview and how his Outsider Test plays into this. On top of these more academic investigations, John explores the Bible (both Old and New Testament) and the historical Jesus. These will probably be more helpful in a casual level discussion of these issues.

If one seeks a good introduction to the arguments and nuances of "the God debates", this book is probably the best starting point because it goes over all of the relevant material but is not as technical as something like JL Mackie's classic The Miracle of Theism.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94c1e7e0) out of 5 stars Wide Ranging and Excellent Overview 14 May 2012
By Book Fanatic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is fairly content dense. It is 460ish pages. Of course given its comprehensive scope it can't go into any one topic in deep detail. So this book should be considered wide in scope not deep. It should not be criticized for this because its purpose is to go wide and not deep. I can (and have) read whole books on the individual issues (like argument from evil). If somebody wants to read a whole book on a particular topic they can. That's not the purpose of THIS book. Despite the wide scope, Loftus does an amazing job of distilling the essential points out of each topic. I say all this because a previous reviewer criticizes this book because it doesn't contain book length individual arguments inside itself. This same reviewer has made similar arguments on other book reviews and evidently doesn't see the complete absurdity of such a criticism. I guess he thinks books should be a million pages long.

This book by Loftus is heavily footnoted with references to longer treatments by authors on both sides of the issues he is addressing. I have added many books and articles to my list as a result of pursuing his footnotes.

Despite the wide scope, its arguments are cumulative. The same point made on one issue usually applies to another so considered as a whole it does indeed make what I consider a quite formidable case. I haven't read any previous versions of this book so I have no idea how this edition compares to those. I do know that THIS edition is very well done. It does an excellent job of giving an overall and comprehensive view of why someone would or should become an atheist.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94c1ec18) out of 5 stars Extremely thorough treatment of atheism 2 Sept. 2014
By Paula L. Craig - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I wish I'd had this book back when I was 15 or 16 years old. I would have become an atheist much, much sooner than I actually did. Instead, I wasted decades trying to make Christianity work for me. For years I thought my problems with my church were due to my not being good enough or spiritual enough. Well, turns out that I had actually been the victim of a con going back centuries.

The best part about this book is its thoroughness. It covers absolutely every angle of why religion in general and Christianity in particular should be rejected. The philosophical arguments are covered. Problems with the Bible are discussed. It's great. If you can only read one book on atheism, it should be this one.

Be warned that this book is for serious readers willing to invest a lot of time. If you're looking for something short and entertaining, you might want to try some other book. Believing Bulls***: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole might be a better choice.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94c1efe4) 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.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94c1ef90) out of 5 stars R.I.P. Evangelical Christianity 12 May 2012
By Connor B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a powerful refutation of both Conservative and Liberal Christianity. Unlike many Atheist books on the market this books has great depth while covering a diverse range of topics. This said the book is by no means a light read especially the first half which deals in depth with a boatload of philosophy concerning the existence of god. My favorite part of the book was John's criticisms of the Bible and its theology. I highly recommend this book.
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