The End of Christianity
In this successor volume to his critically acclaimed first anthology, The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails, John Loftus—a former minister and now a leading atheist spokesperson—has assembled a stellar group of respected scholars to continue the critique of Christianity begun in the first volume. The contributors include Victor Stenger, Robert Price, Hector Avalos, Richard Carrier, Keith Parsons, David Eller, and others. Loftus is the author of Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity. Taken together, the Loftus trilogy poses formidable challenges to claims for the rationality of the Christian faith.
The first part considers the wildly improbable nature of basic Christian tenets; the lack of agreement among diverse Christian sects regarding the essential Christian message; and a counter argument to the popular Christian claim that it was incredible that the Christian faith arose if it wasn't true in the first place.
The second part analyzes the role of ancient Near Eastern myth in the creation of the Bible, revealing that the image of God depicted there is a projection of evolving human needs during the Iron Age beginning with polytheism.
In the third part, the contributors critique the Christian doctrines of the atonement, hell, and the resurrection.
The final part considers the incompatibility of religion and science, reviews claims for intelligent design and life after death, and advances the proposition that science can help discover morality.
Students and scholars with an interest in the philosophy of religion will find this compilation of incisive critical essays to be intellectually stimulating and deeply thought-provoking.
"This book is well worth reading. I am happy to endorse it. Initially, I was concerned that it was a rehash of other works or ideas but found it refreshingly informative and challenging. I am pretty well read and educated in the field and felt I was learning much of the time, or getting a new and interesting angle on an old idea. The creative ideas explored by the authors show how little Christianity has to offer our culture. Indeed, it is time for it to end."
— Darrel W. Ray, Ed.D, an organizational psychologist and author of The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture
"No collection better demonstrates how taking Christianity seriously reveals its all too human origin. This superb, often witty, and exceedingly well-researched collection explains how early Christianity is only a pale resemblance of any of the diverse Christian sects today. As well, the authors reveal how vastly improbable Christian dogmas are: such as the notion that a god designed the universe; that life replete with personal identity continues after death; that hell represents divine justice; and the claim that morality is exclusively Christian. Overall, very sobering for Christians, and so wonderfully delightful for the rest of us."
— Malcolm Murray, PhD., Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Prince Edward Island, and author of The Atheist's Primer
"Like everything else, religions evolve under pressure. The cultural environment for Christianity is currently as rigorous and demanding as ever. Perhaps the 'End of Christianity' should take the form of extinction, as this book's authors portend. At the very least Christianity's theological defense mechanisms are proven inadequate by the sharpest set of intellectual criticisms found under the cover of a single volume. The end of Christianity cannot be predicted, but it can be helped along by a careful reading of this tremendously useful book."
— John Shook, PhD, Director of Education at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, NY, and author of The God Debates: A 21st Century Guide
"Should Christianity end? I think not. But unthinking Christianity definitely should. For that reason I am grateful to the authors of this outstanding collection of essays."
— Randal Rauser, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Historical Theology, Taylor Seminary, Edmonton, Canada, and author of the book You're Not As Crazy As I Think: Dialogue in a World of Loud Voices and Hardened Opinions
"The End of Christianity reads like a family reunion which brings together the family of disbelieving intellectuals that we've grown to love and respect. The stories that form the great narrative of the history of unbelief find in this book fresh voices with new and exciting angles. Loftus and his friends annihilate the Christian Goliath with their disputatious sling shots. The reader will probably hope that believers will not shy away from this text if only so that Loftus will soon publish yet another exciting anthology."
— Johnnie Terry is an instructor in the Philosophy department at Sierra College, California, where he wrote and regularly teaches an Introduction to Atheism course.
"A blurb does not do this fascinating book justice with its beefy arguments as well as tasty tidbits of information all geared to show that when it comes to 'God talk' and the 'revealed religion' known as Christianity, the questions outnumber the certainties. And though Christianity and religion in general will certainly endure long enough for John Loftus to edit additional works, that sort of blessing does not appear to be one for which some Christians will be eager to thank God."
— Edward T. Babinski, editor of Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists, and author of the chapter, "The Cosmology of the Bible" in The Christian Delusion
"The Christian Delusion is the first book I give to anyone who wants to understand why I am no longer a Christian. Loftus and company have returned with The End of Christianity, which will now be the second book I give to anyone who wants to read a substantive case against Christian faith."
— Luke Meuhlhauser of the popular blog Common Sense Atheism
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