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Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist
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Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  528 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Tells Dan Barker's dramatic story of conversion from fundamentalist minister to atheist, after 19 years of preaching the Gospel. Presents arguments for atheism and godless morality.
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. (first published 1992)
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Feb 28, 2012 Frrobins rated it it was ok
I was really interested in reading this book and a bit disappointed when I did. I was expecting an autobiography, and I did get that for the first quarter of the book. Most of it is a series of essays that have been republished that explain his thoughts on rejecting Christianity. And they're categorized by subject.

I thought it would have been more interesting to see a detailed progression of how one "loses faith in faith" but did not come away with that.

I also wish he would have focused more on
Dec 21, 2007 Jill rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every person in the world
Simply put, Dan Barker shows what a scam religion is. He methodically points out discrepancies, untruths, and how a person can lead a much more fulfilling life when free of religion.
Apr 10, 2015 Jim rated it did not like it
Recommended to Jim by: Tommy Cummings
I realize this book is about 20 years old, but I'm getting tired of all these "books" that everyone seems to be printing that are merely collections of reprints of previously published essays or articles or blog posts. Especially when you think you're going to get something a bit more cohesive - something fresh and new.

Especially when they are a collection of poorly written articles and essays.

Maybe "poorly written" is too strong. But it's very pedantic, and at the same time comes across as no
Charlie George
Oct 29, 2008 Charlie George rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Agnostics, rationalists, and truth-seekers
Shelves: religion
Very solid, accessible, engaging, personable book. It is rare to find all these qualities in a treatise on atheism, so I recommend it with high marks.

Mr. Barker is to me a luminary of rationalism, and therefore a valiant champion of a brighter future in which we, as a species, take responsibility for our own actions, misdeeds, and limitless potential.
Chase Parsley
May 18, 2016 Chase Parsley rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 stars. The book’s cover is an eyesore and some sections are a bit dull, but beyond that this book is a masterpiece. Author Dan Barker relates an incredible personal account in which he goes from preacher to atheist after 19 years. Next, this book lays waste to the religion of Christianity and makes the case that being a freethinking (i.e. non-religious) person is a better choice in life. Barker is not as eloquent as a Dawkins or Hitchens, but he makes fantastic, straight-forward points and ...more
Mar 16, 2012 Jeremy rated it it was ok
Barker adds an interesting perspective (that of a former Evangelical minister) to the mix, but not a whole lot else. Most of the logical and empirical arguments have been presented more forcefully and clearly by Russel, Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens, although Barker does present some interesting internal biblical contradictions to share with your believer friends. My major problem, though, was the lazy editing: the book in mainly a collection of Barker's essays from Freethought Today over a ...more
Oliver Eldridge
Jun 13, 2015 Oliver Eldridge rated it it was ok
Losing Faith in Faith is a very insightful read for Christians, people who are on the fence about Christianity, and people who have recently walked away from Christianity. If you're an individual who is fairly well-versed in the areas of Jesus' historicity, mythicism, scriptural criticism, and everything else that goes along with the more common anti-theistic arguments then this will be slightly less than insightful for you, but you're not the audience Barker wrote the book for. I found this ...more
Jan 20, 2008 Paul rated it did not like it
Shelves: atheology
LOL. Get real. This book gets no stars.

I debated Barker on the Infidel Guy radio show in the summer of '06. I went through this book with a fine-toothed comb. I can't even get started on a review. You can purchase that debate here for 98 cents. (That site isn't my own, and I make no money from it. That's just the only place where I know that the link is available.)
John Gordon
Nov 11, 2011 John Gordon rated it really liked it
Shelves: free-thought
This book is a bit disjointed being a series of articles for Freethought Today along with some added chapters although it contains some really good material. Some themes are lightly covered but nevertheless there is plenty of material here for those who are involved in debating this subject. The recollected conversations, poems and songs are most entertaining. Dan has managed to present his life journey, thoughts and ideas in a fun, thought provoking and easily readable way. Recommended
Christina Knowles
Feb 08, 2013 Christina Knowles rated it liked it
This book would have been good if it was a coherently organized testimony of one religious man's gradual deconversion, but it is a repetitive collage of previously published nontracts and articles with a little bit of original material mixed in. The book should have been half as long. I did like, however, the perspective of someone who had previously been a Christian and then gradually had a realization that it was all myth, fantasy, and the emotion a psychological phenomenon.
Jun 26, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: atheism, read-in-2012
I borrowed this from the library but I think I am going to invest in a copy of my own as this is eminently highlightable.

While there were some things even as a hardcore atheist I found myself disagreeing with for the most part I found excellent information that further solidified my atheism. It was also nice to read about someone who lost their faith and the crisis of conscience they went through, the backlash from christian friends. I related to alot of the things he said.
Feb 18, 2012 Scott rated it really liked it
Despite the somewhat cheesy title and cover, I found this to be a very moving and thoughtful book. One of my favorite chapters is available online: Dear Theologian -- a letter from God inquiring as to his own nature.
Sheryl Tribble
Sep 06, 2015 Sheryl Tribble rated it did not like it
Baker's position seems to be that the Bible is so a-historical, so out of line with reality, that he can hardly believe he ever believed in it. Where there certainly is a point where believing that what the Bible says is true requires faith, Barker doesn't get within eight miles of it. He argues that Jesus never existed, and that crucifixion didn't exist at the time Jesus was supposedly around, either, which latter puts him way outside of generally accepted history, whether secular, Jewish, or C ...more
John Strubhart
Jan 16, 2016 John Strubhart rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to John by: Dan Barker
In his first book, Dan Barker details how he lost faith in faith.

First, he describes his transition from fundamentalist Christian preacher to atheist and co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Dan's account of this transformation will seem very strange to those who have always been atheists, but it will seem very familiar to those who underwent similar transformations from believer to non-believer. I count myself among that second group.

Secondly, Dan makes the case for atheism. Th
Feb 23, 2008 Todd rated it liked it
Thought I'd read a book from the other side. It was interesting, I always like to try to understand people who think differently from me. Many of his arguments seem emotional and from someone who didn't pay attention in Sunday School. I understand he has improved his skills since writing the book, but this is basically the work of a bitter man.
Dan Barker is co-founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and former evangelical preacher. Like John Loftus, his arguements gain a bit of power as they come from the 'inside-out.' Barker introduces himself on the FFRF podcastr as "your friendly neighborhood atheist" and he is a calm voice for the side of rationalism.
Salomon Joensen
Nov 05, 2012 Salomon Joensen rated it it was amazing
An interesting and thought-provoking story about how a preacher loses his faith in God, turned atheist. Contains the typical atheist arguments and also atheistic songs, albeit I found the story about going from preacher to atheist the best part of the book.
Mar 08, 2012 Alwyn rated it it was ok
It's only an partly an autobiography for a few chapters. I think Dan would have done a better job if it were entirely so.

The rest is made up of tracts and re-hashed articles.

Well useful ammo for the atheists at the very least.
Aug 31, 2008 Steven rated it liked it
Barker speaks to my struggle with faith in this book, especially lying in the tent, looking up and realizing he is alone. That took my breath away. The second half is a retread of his articles which I had already read.
Apr 30, 2011 Cathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have been reading lots of stories of former Christians. I like this one the best so far. I am on a very similar path as him.
Oct 02, 2011 Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very insightful! I have been atheist for quite a few years now, and reading that made me open my eyes even more...
Jun 18, 2007 Mscharlee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read chapters from this book online and really liked it. Great story of a guy who went from staunch believer, to total non-believer. Good read. I'm hoping to own it one day.
David Melbie
Dec 06, 2010 David Melbie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christians & Atheists
Recommended to David by: Richard Dawkins
The first one that went into my "Atheist Tool Belt." I refer to it often! One of my first perks of membership in Freedom From Religion Foundation
Feb 19, 2012 Dave rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
insanely interesting story about a man who was born into Christianity, became a Preacher, and then slowly lost his faith. Now debates believers as an atheist. mind-blowing.
Hank rated it really liked it
Jul 05, 2014
Jason Röhde
Jason Röhde rated it it was amazing
Sep 24, 2012
Shaun rated it it was amazing
Aug 21, 2015
Saul López
Saul López rated it really liked it
Sep 09, 2014
Muhamed rated it it was amazing
Feb 11, 2016
Kyle Deming
Kyle Deming rated it it was ok
Jan 13, 2011
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #98: Losing Faith in Faith by Dan Barker 1 2 Sep 21, 2014 09:06PM  
  • The Born Again Skeptic's Guide To The Bible
  • Sense and Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism
  • The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails
  • 2000 Years of Disbelief
  • The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man: How Reliable is the Gospel Tradition?
  • The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason
  • The Atheist's Way: Living Well Without Gods
  • Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All
  • The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? Challenging the Existence of an Historical Jesus
  • The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity
  • The Secret Origins Of The Bible
  • 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God
  • Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  • Philosophers Without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life
  • The Cambridge Companion to Atheism
  • Atheism: The Case Against God
  • God Hates You, Hate Him Back: Making Sense of the Bible
  • Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America—and Found Unexpected Peace

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“The next time believers tell you that 'separation of church and state' does not appear in our founding document, tell them to stop using the word 'trinity.' The word 'trinity' appears nowhere in the bible. Neither does Rapture, or Second Coming, or Original Sin. If they are still unfazed (or unphrased), by this, then add Omniscience, Omnipresence, Supernatural,Transcendence, Afterlife, Deity, Divinity, Theology, Monotheism, Missionary, Immaculate Conception, Christmas, Christianity, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Methodist, Catholic, Pope, Cardinal, Catechism, Purgatory, Penance, Transubstantiation, Excommunication, Dogma, Chastity, Unpardonable Sin, Infallibility, Inerrancy, Incarnation, Epiphany, Sermon, Eucharist, the Lord's Prayer, Good Friday, Doubting Thomas, Advent, Sunday School, Dead Sea, Golden Rule, Moral, Morality, Ethics, Patriotism, Education, Atheism, Apostasy, Conservative (Liberal is in), Capital Punishment, Monogamy, Abortion, Pornography, Homosexual, Lesbian, Fairness, Logic, Republic, Democracy, Capitalism, Funeral, Decalogue, or Bible.” 124 likes
“I do understand what love is, and that is one of the reasons I can never again be a Christian. Love is not self denial. Love is not blood and suffering. Love is not murdering your son to appease your own vanity. Love is not hatred or wrath, consigning billions of people to eternal torture because they have offended your ego or disobeyed your rules. Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission. It is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment, or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being.” 41 likes
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