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The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  639 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
In this anthology of recent criticisms aimed at the reasonableness of Christian belief, a former evangelical minister and apologist, 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 his "outsider test of faith," arguing that b
Paperback, 422 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Prometheus Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Paul Bryant
May 01, 2014 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it
Shelves: godreads
The new atheists are like Tourette’s syndrome sufferers who’ve just recovered from having laryngitis for two thousand years. They’re not in a reasonable frame of mind. They can’t stop barking, like your neighbour’s really annoying dog. I’ve been avoiding them because I don’t like their table manners. They make me feel like converting to something oozing with 13th century eschatology just to annoy them. They’re the gang I don’t want to be in, too macho for me. But eventually I thought well, gonna ...more
Mar 24, 2010 Landon rated it really liked it
This book has been touted as the definitive refutation of Christianity, but potential readers should come to it with less lofty expectations. Some of the chapters in this book are well worth-reading. Most of them are at least interesting and informative. Some of them are excellent. I originally planned on writing a chapter-by-chapter review, but I don't have the time or motivation to do that at the moment so I'll briefly highlight some of the important points and sometime later will (probably) f ...more
Bryant Rudisill
Aug 12, 2011 Bryant Rudisill rated it it was ok
As a Theist, I enjoyed the read for the greater part.

(1) The book itself had a nice flow about it, making the transitions from chapter to chapter (and even part to part) fairly smooth in most places. (To be real specific, part 2 and its chapters all flowed so very well into part 3 and consequent chapters.)

(2) The author's are definitely passionate learners with strong convictions and I fell in love with their angst. (Robert Price became a bit unbearable to the point of loosing his scholarly rese
David Melbie
Dec 02, 2010 David Melbie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Atheists Only!
Recommended to David by: Found it at Barnes & Noble
The latest and greatest from some wonderful critical thinkers of the 21st century! I especially like the chapter, "Atheism Was Not The Cause Of The Holocaust," by Hector Avalos, Phd. Also quite revealing is one of the four chapters contributed by Loftus called, "At Best Jesus Was A Failed Apocalyptic Prophet."
First read: July 11 - 30, 2010
Read it again in October, 2010.
Sep 01, 2010 Paul rated it did not like it
One of the worst pieces of atheology on the market. This is fundy village atheism at its finest. Here's my thoughts in the book:
Aug 02, 2010 Jc rated it it was amazing
A well-written and well-selected series of papers criticising christian theism and basic christian beliefs (with an emphasis on conservative Protestantism). The authors are well known authorities in their respective fields (e.g., anthropology, pscychology, NT-era history), and the papers all work well together to reveal issues with philosophical, historical, behavioral, and other aspects of christianity. Specialists in a any academic field can attest to the tendency in any collection of papers t ...more
Mar 17, 2014 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Loftus, who happens to be the first atheist writer AFTER Hitchens whom I read ("Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity"), edits a collection of previously published essays which systematically address some of the more frequent arguments by apologists.

If nothing else were to "sell" this book as one worth reading, the inclusion of two of my favorite academic atheist writers, Richard Carrier and Robert Price, does it nicely.

As with "The End of Christianity," which foll
Michael W.
Jan 26, 2013 Michael W. rated it did not like it
Hot-headed, hostile, irascible, irritable & pugnaciously petulant. That about sums up the tone of the book. & then the contents of most of their "evidence" is bombastic blow-hard balderdash. The editor, John Loftus, has a piece on his Outside Test of Faith (OTF) that is an interesting twist. But there is a logical fallacy between points 1-2 & 3 that don't necessarily follow, but he builds his case on it anyway.

Now that I've blown off some steam, I have posted a real book review on m
Feb 17, 2012 Garren rated it did not like it
Written by skeptics for the already (un)convinced. Chapter One starts from the assumption that Christianity is false and asks why people stubbornly hold onto something so obviously false:
"After all, every argument in support of religion has been shown to be inconclusive or demonstrably false, yet religion persists"

Christians who pick this up are more likely to put it down with greater confidence in their religious beliefs, not less. A few of the chapters are fine essays on their own. It's the ov
Feb 26, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
Chapters on diverse topics, such as biblical criticism, neurology, and philosophy. Definitely worth a read for Christians and non-Christians alike.
Chris Bonds
Nov 24, 2012 Chris Bonds rated it it was amazing
A superb collection of essays on problems with the Christian religion.
Mike Day
Jun 22, 2016 Mike Day rated it really liked it
Loftus (and other authors) make arguments for why Christianity is false. Some of the arguments are really good. Many of the arguments are thwarted by the facts surrounding the Restoration of the gospel - the fact that God has restored his Church to the earth. For example, Loftus talks about the OTF, the "Outsider Test of Faith" - in other words, how an outsider would view your faith is how YOU should view your faith. He says, "it is very likely that adopting one's religious faith is not merely a ...more
Jun 21, 2010 Graham rated it really liked it
If you are looking for a critique of the Christian religion, The Christian Delusion makes a much better case than The God Delusion. Loftus and his authors (the book is a composite of essays) do an excellent job of covering multiple problematic facets of Christian belief. A section on falsifiability and a less combative tone would have made the book worthy of five stars.

The first set of essays concentrates on the role religion plays in a believer’s life. One of the better points made is that most
Seth Brownmiller
Nov 08, 2011 Seth Brownmiller rated it it was amazing

The Christian Delusion by John Loftus happens to be the first book on atheist philosophy that I’ve ever taken the time to read. Prior to reading this book, I assumed that all philosophy was far outside my realm of understanding and that I’d never be one to buy such literature. However, I feel as though The Christian Delusion was fairly accessible to a teenage reader, such as me. That isn’t to say that it was an easy read; in fact, I found that if I tried to read this as quickly as I do with othe

Jun 26, 2011 Book rated it it was amazing
Shelves: atheism-religion
The Christian Delusion by John W. Loftus

“The Christian Delusion" is an extension of sorts to his previous great book “Why I Became an Atheist” but instead of going solo this time around John Loftus brings along some of his friends and these are good friends to have. A series of interesting essays by fantastic authors that support the main thesis of the book, that Christianity is a false belief. This 422-page book is broken out into the following five parts: Part 1. Why Faith Fails, Part 2. Why t
Eric Wojciechowski
Nov 12, 2016 Eric Wojciechowski rated it it was amazing
“The Christian Delusion” is considered by the authors supplemental material to Richard Dawkins', “The God Delusion”. But of course, as the title implies, dealing primarily with Christianity. Filled with numerous essays on this subject, several in particular deal a severe blow to the very heart of Christianity. The one, without a doubt, is “Why the Resurrection is Unbelievable” by Richard Carrier. That is the crux of Christianity, isn't it? As it is written in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “And if Christ ...more
May 15, 2013 Dennis rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, really. This book addresses some very challenging topics/questions regarding the Christianity familiar to many in the United States of America. Definitely biased towards a skeptic/atheist mindset at many points, sometimes unfairly so, but this fact does not discredit the many valid points raised. Chapters are written by different people from various fields of study, providing a wide range of opinions and perspectives.

Some chapters are better than others. At times the arguments made a
Michael Liggett
Jun 26, 2013 Michael Liggett rated it liked it
It's a collection of essays about why Christianity doesn't make sense using everything from psychology to anthropology to philosophy and some other "y's" I forget. One of the essays was written in response to someone else's article published elsewhere and gave no real sense (that I could detect) of what the previous article was about so I skipped it...which they probably should have, too.

It was an interesting read overall and got me thinking about the more cognitive and behavioral aspects of rel
John Strubhart
Sep 08, 2010 John Strubhart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to John by: John Loftus
If being Christian means that you follow the more compassionate teachings attributed to Jesus of Nazareth, then none of these essayists has a bone to pick with you and neither do I. If, however, you have never critically read The Bible, accept it as infallible and think that Christianity is better than all other religions (including no religion at all), then these essayists beg to differ. Some of the essayists do come off as heavy handed, but none ore mean spirited and all of them are done by pe ...more
Dan Joseph
May 02, 2013 Dan Joseph rated it it was ok
More of an academic text discrediting the entire Bible than one that focuses purely on the New Testament. In fact only the final third of the book is specifically about Christianity.

Chapters 8-14 could have stood alone and made The Christian Delusion a very worthwhile read.

Chapters which argue that the God of the Old Testament is very clearly a genocidal monster, that the Resurrection of Christ is thoroughly implausible, that Jesus failed in his apocalyptic predictions and that Atheism was not
Jun 03, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it
Loftus does a good job of collecting essays concerning the ongoing topic of Christian belief and those who accept the claims thereof. While I have read many such collections, I think that Loftus' collection captures the exasperation of those who realize that religion no longer offers valid arguments or warranted claims. While most essays are written from an atheistic point of view, there are a few that present softer claims of agnosticism. What makes this collection a bit different than others i ...more
Steve Smith
Mar 23, 2013 Steve Smith rated it it was amazing
A very scholarly yet readable book that is quite different than the works of either Hitchens or Dawkins. It rather demolishes the arguments for Christianity using meticulous and thoroughly supported research. I would note that some of the later chapters struck me as a bit less self-critical; some of the statements supporting secular viewpoints could have been better made. The work probably only deserves 4.5 stars, but as I still consider the work an essential read for any serious skeptic, I can ...more
Jan 01, 2012 Russell rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent collection (edited by John Loftus) of essays from an assortment of ex-christians turned atheist. Not all of the essays are perfect, but they're mostly outstanding. Together I think they present a devastating critique of Christianity. Of course, most believers will not even read this book, and many who do will not fully consider the implications. So the end result will undoubtedly not be as devastating as it should be. But if the subject interests you at all, I can highly rec ...more
Aug 08, 2011 Rachael rated it it was ok
While a couple of essays are thought provoking, too many of them feel snotty. One author felt the need to note multiple times in one short essay that Christians must be stupid because they believe in a "book that has a talking donkey." (That's kinda how I felt about him when I finished it.)

I suppose when it comes down to anyone trying to persuade me through the written word, I don't have a lot of patience for name-calling, or pettiness. Share your argument and let your argument do the talking. S
Dan Henk
Nov 24, 2013 Dan Henk rated it liked it
This book was...ok. It has mostly very valid arguments, and some are even well written. But it's not for the armchair philosopher. Too many are needlessly repetitive, and overburdened with little, technical details. A few are sloppily written, and come across as too angsty or too coy. Overall, it's a bit dry, a bit long winded, and spends too much time making it's various points. All of which are definitely valid, it's just a shame they aren't better scripted and more concise.
Mike Martos
This is a great book, some chapters are easier to read than others, there is no single author but different authors taking care of each chapter, but the flow is good.
The book attacks Christianity from every angle not leaving any doubt in my mind at least... If you are like me looking for answers and questions... This is the book...
May 19, 2015 Wesley rated it it was amazing
Pretty good account of so many aspects of civilization, psychologically and sociologically held belief systems, historically dubious claims, as well as an outstanding source of literature citations for both believers and nonbelievers. A must read for all.
May 07, 2013 AllInStride rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
Very thorough analysis of the beliefs held by Christians. Though some of the authors could reduce the amount of words written about their own books and papers. At times some of the comments were fairly personal.
Jul 04, 2010 Kevin rated it liked it
Tightly argued, as an ex-Christian apologetic.
Morgan Dreiss
Aug 17, 2014 Morgan Dreiss rated it it was ok
Shelves: find
I used to really enjoy reading books like these, but I just can't do it anymore. It all seems so smug and self-congratulatory.
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