Jill Maxick the Director of Publicity at Prometheus Books was so very generous and kind to send me a copy of his newest version called "Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity." What's needed is a circular-reference tagline of "from the author of Why I Became an Atheist." like Colbert. Didn't Colbert say about his own book though "written so good there is no need for another." John cannot claim that. Anyway moving on.
I came up with an idea (so I thought) and I was going to sell the PDF version online back in October and told John about it in December. He has since removed everything I said which is so typical of John and one of the main frustrations to start my own blog here. He does hate when I speak truth and goes to great lengths to erase what I say. Denial? I will address that later. Although if you go to post comments, the comments are still there. Most recently I said: "Doesn't "pulling a Loftus" mean the same thing as pulling a (Jim) Baker?"
Anyway, I have since scrapped that idea and it lost that idea's luster since I have become too saddened by John's plight. Also, I have since found out that fellow Christians, over at Tektonics, have already thought of that idea, so I don't want to get in the way. Plus, I am sure the most thorough refutation of John, my favorite so far, is Why We're Doubting John.
To help give a history of John's descent into hell, he started a thread at Theology Web on May 26th 2005. Since then entire blogs have been created, like Debunking Loftus: Setting John Straight, to directly debunk and refute the arguments of John. He did admit to being raised in a Catholic home so that might be a "tell". So what more can I offer as a refutation for this book?
Also, John filled his book with prior arguments from other people which was quite agonizing, so to discuss those would be pointless. Obviously John has spent a great deal of time in front of Wiki presenting arguments to Christianity from many others. (cheap shot noted) He also showed himself to be quite upset when I recently countered his "YOU can't handle the arguments in my book."
With: "You mean other people's arguments? Those all have been refuted many times over. Why would I spend time presenting other people's arguments for the other people's arguments in your book? Seems to be all a waste of time."
Addressing his Denial, my review.
At the beginning I looked forward to reading this book. I was hoping for a look at the struggle with faith and a personal look into John's head. Maybe even a personal story told that would be comical and enlightening. If you want that then do not read this book. The reading of this book can be better described (By Patty) as reading a microwave manual. It was a huge disappointment and very, very dry. Plus, to read views of others on a plethora of subjects was a let down.
I didn't like it. The beginning creeped me out a great deal. To get people to understand what I am talking about, I will borrow this from Triablogue to highlight the creepiness of John. Unlike Baker, Loftus blames his ex-wife for the affair. Loftus blames his fellow ministers for condemning the affair. Loftus blames Linda for seducing him. Loftus talks about how she accused him of rape, and how most of the folks he knew found her side of the story more credible than his. He also blames God for his affair.
My view or summation on, his labeled, "affair".
I feel that John got very bitter and angry for allegedly raping an individual while still married, to an atheist for that matter (2 Corinthians 6:14?). The Church properly rebuked him outlined in Leviticus 19:17-18 and Proverbs 28:5. John admitted expressing his bitterness about this and left the church and subsequently Christianity. John is a good example how from the day that a person breaks God's Law of Sin and Death, God's greatest desire is that they will come to repentance. And so we then go along thinking that we're just living life, but the reality is, that our life's experiences are filled with acts of God trying to bring us back into a relationship with Himself.
John dedicated his life to truth and Christianity and received his entire education, just short of a PhD, in theology. Then he "allegedly" raped a girl and walked away. I assume he still had his student loans to deal with and had to make a living. He continued in the only field he knew, Christianity. Only this time he wanted to make a living off Christianity in an entirely different way, by speaking against it.
Also, in his book he claims that we are taught religion and Christianity by our parents. "The reason they adopt their faith in the first place is because of social and cultural conditions." Even though this is not true, I was raised by an Atheist, he may have a point.
"We just end up believing what we were taught to believe" he claims.
Is that is the main reason to secularize our schools and teach evilution? Thanks for at least admitting to that John. Listen to what an American Humanist named John Dunphy said by correctly prophesying about children back in 1983:
"I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level--preschool day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new--the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism."
There are so many examples of complaints that were so extreme to one side without consideration to understand the points or the arguments. This was one of the main reasons why I wanted to write my own book about this book. Maybe the Publisher would place it right next to John's book. I would name it "Why he should not be an Atheist, a former preacher incorrectly rejects Christianity"™ Of course the cover will be white with black lettering. Jill Maxick, contact me if you want to consider this route. It could be a fun way to double the return.
I guess I can share some of the real comedy that I truly enjoyed in his book. One was on page 113 under the Title of "SCIENCE HAS ALSO DISPLACED GOD", the fourth out of four cosmological displacements: "4. The possibility that there are an infinite number of universes, called a multiverse. God is no longer needed."
Slams it home! That is right folks John thinks that a belief in a multiverse is Science! Then just a few pages later has the nerve to claim "It is no longer possible for anyone seriously to hold the N.T. view of the world. We no longer believe in the three-storied universe."
Just in a multiverse? The stench of hypocrisy is palatable.
In commenting about Genesis 2:2 he claimed "But only a physical being needs to rest." I guess he never considered that God rested, as in completed the task, not that he need a nap. That is why we are today in Jesus rest (Hebrews 4:9-10) This dude is clueless. People, this man claimed "I was a Christian apologist with the equivalent of a PhD degree in philosophy of religion" Pshaw!
Besides being Linda's sex slave and speaking of Girlie-Men. Something else struck my funny bone. He kept alternating the he/she label for himself. He said " Later I found out that none of these initial reasons for believing had any real merit to them" Then later down the paragraph: "at what point can someone say she can make an informed decision about the Christian faith?" (emphasis added) Transvestite sex slave? Just goofing, calm down.
Another hilarious part of this 428 page monstrosity, the man actually only dedicated five (5) pages to answer the question "Why I became an Atheist." That's right he put us through the grueling torture of "filler" to answer the simple question. And what was his answer? A long winded five pages of "I don't know." It started with bitterness, then doubt (The Fox and the Grapes?), and ended with atheism. Where did I hear that before? Didn't I predict that? Am I a prophet to Atheists now, or is John just predictable? Anyway, I viewed these arguments and book as derisory.
At least, according to Tektonics, John has been properly diagnosed. Jim Baker, at least, attempted to repent of his mistakes, not stewing in perpetual denial. And that's tonight's word.
You get nothing! Good day, sir.