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The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails

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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  801 ratings  ·  43 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
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Kindle Edition, 429 pages
Published April 20th 2010 by Prometheus Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Paul Bryant
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Landon
Mar 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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) ...more
Bryant Rudisill
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
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Graham
Jun 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Eric Wojciechowski
“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
David Melbie
Dec 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Paul
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:

http://www.calvindude.com/ebooks/Infi...
Seth
Nov 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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

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Jc
Aug 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dennis
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Daniel
If you've ever wondered why "nones" (persons with no religious preference) have been the fastest growing "religion" in the USA over the 2010s, books like this one are surely part of the reason. Religion in the USA (which predominantly means some of the over 40,000 varieties of Christianity) has simply lost the argument. On more levels than most people can imagine. Read this book (and the dozens of others like it) and you'll see that religion is running on fumes, mainly kept alive by the ...more
Paul
Mar 17, 2014 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
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Michael Philliber
Jan 26, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Chris Bonds
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A superb collection of essays on problems with the Christian religion.
Ryan
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Apart from the title, it's the best counter apologetics book out there. Actual scholarship rather than just opinion writing.
Garren
Feb 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Amy
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, psychology
Chapters on diverse topics, such as biblical criticism, neurology, and philosophy. Definitely worth a read for Christians and non-Christians alike.
Jason
The first thing I want to say about this book, The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails, is this: It’s an absolutely excellent book with an unfortunate title. While I understand they were having some word play with Richard Dawkins’ best seller, The God Delusion, I feel that the title automatically guarantees that the vast majority of average Christians will, out of fear or revulsion, never even crack it open to give it a chance. And that’s unfortunate because the information contained within ...more
Mike Day
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: questions
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
Book
Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Michael Liggett
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
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John Strubhart
Sep 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Dan Joseph
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
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Mark
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dave
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fifteen chapters, each written by one of 13 top scholars, debunking various aspects of Christian dogma and beliefs. Everything is thoroughly researched and documented, and I found the work persuasive.

One outstanding chapter examines morality, defines it, and shows conclusively that it is NOT dependent on Christianity or any other religion. The final chapter left me shaking my head. Apparently there is a new Christian belief being promoted that says Science did not exist prior to Christianity.
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Rachael
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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Steve Smith
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Russell
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dan Henk
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.
Michael Mikowski
Collection of articles by various scholars disputing/debunking various claims regarding Religion generally and, frequently, Christianity specifically. The scholarly credentials of all of the authors and the soundness of their arguments make the articles well worth reading, although several of them will not win friends based on the tone that they take. My impression of that: too bad! What you’re saying is far more important than how you’re saying it if you actually care about the truth.
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