Christianity is Not Great: How Faith Fails

Christianity is Not Great: How Faith Fails

Paperback

By (author) John W. Loftus

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  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Format: Paperback | 520 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 229mm x 38mm | 590g
  • Publication date: 29 October 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Amherst
  • ISBN 10: 1616149566
  • ISBN 13: 9781616149567
  • Sales rank: 176,040

Product description

In this new anthology critiquing Christianity, John Loftus--a former minister and now a leading atheist--has brought together an outstanding group of respected scholars who focus on the harms caused by the world's leading religion. The contributors begin by dissecting the many problematic aspects of religious faith generally. They repeatedly demonstrate that, with faith as a foundation, almost anything can be believed or denied. And almost any horrific deed can be committed. The authors then take a good hard look at many of the most important political, institutional, scientific, social, and moral harms committed in the name of Christianity. These range from the historical persecutions of the Inquisition and witch hunts to the current health hazards of faith healing. Finally, the authors answer three common Christian retorts to criticisms from nonbelievers: (1) that atheists cannot judge a harmful action without an objective moral standard; (2) that atheists need faith to solve the world's problems; and (3) that atheists cannot live a good life without faith. Loftus and the contributors generally conclude that, given both the well-documented historical record and ongoing problems raised by the faith, Christianity decisively fails empirical tests of its usefulness to humanity.

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Author information

John W. Loftus earned M.A. and M.Div. 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 Th.M. degree in philosophy of religion. Before leaving the church, he had ministries in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana, and taught at several Christian and secular colleges. Loftus is the author of "Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity; The Outsider Test for Faith: How to Know Which Religion Is True; "and the coauthor with Randal Rauser of "God or Godless?""One Theist. One Christian. Twenty Controversial Questions." In addition, he is the editor of "The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails," and "The End of Christianity."

Review quote

"John Loftus knows from the inside what's wrong with Christianity. Few people are better qualified to explain to those still in its clutches why they'd do well to leave, and he has assembled a fine team of colleagues to assist him in doing so. This book should convert a high proportion of those with the courage to read it." --RICHARD DAWKINS "Americans are constantly told to believe that faith is a virtue, even when evidence of the opposite surrounds us all the time. In "Christianity Is Not Great," John Loftus and his panel of experts explore evidence of that in a variety of areas: politics, science, morality, and more. Loftus teaches us that the problem isn't just a fringe group of religious people; the problem is faith itself. And the sooner we can break free from its grasp, the more enlightened and fulfilling our lives will be." --HEMANT MEHTA, editor of FriendlyAtheist.com "A compendium of the world's most iconic freethinkers and science writers at their finest. This may very well be John's most celebrated work--which is saying a great deal indeed." --DAVID MILLS, author of "Atheist Universe" " " "Rich food for thought, not only for evangelical apologists and conservative believers, but also for those for whom faith is failing or has already failed." --GRAHAM OPPY, professor of philosophy, Monash University, author of "Arguing about Gods" "From the day I stumbled across "Why I Became an Atheist," I have been a fan of John Loftus and his books. One of his strengths as a writer and editor is his desire to raise as many issues as possible for readers to consider. This new anthology is another excellent example of that. As a Christian, I disagree with the overall conclusions of the many well-qualified contributors, but I cannot ignore the significant theological, historical, and social problems they raise. Christians who consider themselves to be intelligent thinkers about matters of faith need to read this book, examine the evidence for themselves, and consider the implications for Christianity." --DAN LAMBERT, Associate Professor of Education, Tiffin University "Philosophers of religion tend to focus on whether religious claims are true and, if so, how beliefs in such claims can be justified. They tend to spend much less time on whether such beliefs are good, harmful, or a combination of both. In "Christianity Is Not Great," ""John Loftus and his contributors defend a modest claim: Christianity causes real harm. What makes this book so valuable is its catalog of the numerous ways in which Christianity can be (and has been) harmful. Anyone who wants to learn more about the harms of religion needs to read this book." --JEFFERY JAY LOWDER, cofounder and President Emeritus, Internet Infidels, ""and coeditor of "The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave"