`John Loftus, Why I Became an Atheist -- Detailed Refutation

Special Edition

John Loftus' book Why I Became an Atheist is perhaps not the poorest apologetic against Christianity on the market, but that is mainly because works by the likes of Acharya S are still available.

More seriously: Arguably, one could call Loftus' book "the best of the worst" -- since at least (as yet) he does not endorse ideas like the Christ myth. But that does not say much. And given Loftus' record, he may well change his mind and someday endorse that, should the wind be blowing in an appropriate direction.

While no one has yet written this ministry about Loftus or his book, this group of collaborators has agreed that the time is right to present a full refutation of it. A good reason to do so, quite frankly, is to break Loftus' self-confidence and arrogance, which the record shows is something quite easy to do. The very existence of a rebuttal offends Loftus in the most profound way, and historically has been shown to let loose the dogs of war on his self-image. While this rebuttal is not strictly necessary in one sense -- despite his premonitions, I have received not one inquiry about any of his books in the several years he has been active -- it may be considered warranted in another sense, as a brake on his arrogance. As one of my professional apologist friends has put the matter, someone did need to do it...and it may as well be myself and those who aid me in this endeavor.

Loftus has deceived some few people into thinking he is a reasonable, intelligent, well-informed commentator. This reply will show among those who are themselves reasonable, intelligent, and well-informed that this is not the case. Each member of this team has had extensive interactions with Loftus on the TheologyWeb forum. Our observations about his character and competence (re: lack of both thereof) are therefore verified both by fact and by experience.

Unless otherwise indicated, responses are authored by J. P. Holding.

This series was begun September, 2009. To access it responses that are not samples or links, please subscribe to the E-Block, or you may simply get this reply by itself in exchange for a grautity/donation:


Chapter 1: "My Christian Conversion and Deconversion" -- comments by "Truth be Told", titled, "The Personal Agenda". SAMPLE CHAPTER

Chapter 2: "The Christian Illusion of Rational and Moral Superiority" -- Two part response. The "rational" part of the chapter is essentially a rewritten TheologyWeb posts Loftus made in 2005. Our answer here. SAMPLE CHAPTER. The "moral" half of the chapter has already been answered offsite by the posting here by Matthew Flannagan.

Chapter 3: "Faith, Reason, and the Cumulative Case Method"

Chapter 4: "The Outsider Test for Faith" SAMPLE CHAPTER

Chapter 5: "Does God Exist?" -- by Jonathan Brown and Nick Peters

Chapter 6: "The Lessons of Galileo, Science, and Religion"

Chapter 7: "The Strange and Superstitious World of the Bible" -- with sub-chapters, "Pseudonymity in the Bible" and "Archaeology, Exodus, and the Canaanite Conquest"

Chapter 8: "The Poor Evidence of Historical Evidence" -- "Loftus vs. History" by "Tophet"

Chapter 9: "Do Miracles Take Place?"

Chapter 10: "The Self-Authenticating Witness of the Holy Spirit"

Chapter 11: "The Problem of Unanswered Prayer"

Chapters 12 and 13: "The Problem of Evil" -- by Nick Peters

Chapters 14 and 15: "Science and the Genesis Creation Accounts" -- by Lita Cosner

Chapter 16: "Prophecy and Biblical Authority"

Chapter 17: "Was Jesus Born of a Virgin in Bethlehem?" by "Rayado"

Chapter 18: "Was Jesus God Incarnate?"

Chapter 19: "Why Did Jesus Suffer?"

Chapter 20: "Did Jesus Rise Bodily from the Dead?"-- I will reserve response to this chapter's contents, such as are unique, in my next book, Defending the Resurrection. However, readers will want to consider this as an illustration of Loftus' poor research on the subject (as well as how he tries to rationalize his errors).

Chapter 21: "The Devil Made Me Do It!"

Chapter 22: "Hell? No!" SAMPLE CHAPTER

Chapter 23: "Why I Became an Atheist" -- some comments by "Tophet": "Loftus on Deaf Ears"

Chapter 24: "What Is Life Without God?" COMING SOON!

Another rebuttal to the book by someone of a more liberal bent can be found here. Readers may find it useful though we do not endorse everything on the site.


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