The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails
In this anthology of recent criticisms aimed at the reasonableness of Christian belief, former evangelical minister and apologist John W. Loftus, author of the critically acclaimed Why I Became an Atheist, has assembled fifteen outstanding articles by leading skeptics, expanding on themes introduced in his first book.
Central is a defense of Loftus' "outsider's test of faith," arguing that believers should test their faith as if they were outsiders with the same skeptical standards they use to evaluate the other faiths they reject. Experts in medicine, psychology, and anthropology join Loftus to show in four chapters why, when this test is applied to Christianity, it becomes very difficult to rationally defend.
Three chapters follow that demonstrate errors and superstitions throughout the Bible, making any claim of the Bible being God's word nearly impossible to sustain. Two chapters expose the immorality of the biblical God, with an innovative argument from animal suffering and a cogent reply to Christians who attempt to defend the depravity of the Bible's God. Three chapters then focus on why it is unreasonable to believe that Jesus is the risen son of God.
Finally, three popular Christian claims are dispatched. The contributors show why Christianity does not provide the basis for morality, why atheism was not the reason Hitler murdered so many, and why Christianity was not responsible for modern science. Collectively, these articles reveal that popular Christian beliefs tend to rely on ignorance of the facts.
Drawing together experts in diverse fields, including Hector Avalos, Richard Carrier, David Eller, and Robert Price, The Christian Delusion deals a powerful blow against Christian faith.
"I'm quoted in this book as saying that treating the arguments of others fairly is simply an application of the Golden Rule. Christians regularly ask atheists to listen to their arguments and read their books. If a Christian wishes to return the favor, this volume offers atheist views on a range of subjects, presented respectfully (for the most part) yet with conviction. Christians who wish to critically examine and reflect on their beliefs will benefit from the outsider perspectives offered here. I join with its authors in encouraging you to dare to doubt. If you follow that courageous path, you may at times draw the wrong conclusions. If you do not, you will certainly be wrong at least as often."
— Dr. James F. McGrath, Associate Professor of Religion and Clarence L. Goodwin Chair of New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, and author of The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in Its Jewish Context
"The contributors to this book have interesting, important, and controversial things to say to conservative Christians: It isn't true that modern society has Christian foundations; it isn't true that there is significant historical evidence for the Resurrection; it isn't true that scripture portrays a perfectly good God; it is untenable to suppose that the Bible is the Word of God; and there are many new challenges to the believability of Christianity in contemporary sciences: psychology, sociology, cognitive science, archaeology, and the like. This book is a fitting successor to Loftus' book Why I Became an Atheist, and merits a similarly broad readership."
— Dr. Graham Oppy, Associate Dean of Research and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University, author of Arguing About Gods (2006), and coeditor (with Nick Trakakis) of The History of Western Philosophy of Religion, 5 vols. (2009)
"John Loftus and his distinguished colleagues have certainly produced one of the best—and arguably the best—critique of the Christian faith the world has ever known. Using sociological, biblical, scientific, historical, philosophical, theological and ethical criticisms, this book completely destroys Christianity. All but the most fanatical believers who read it should be moved to have profound doubts."
— Dr. Michael Martin, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus and author of The Case Against Christianity and Atheism: A Philosophical Justification
Editions (via Amazon):