David Marshall's Latest Book, Little Ado About Something

Coming shortly may be the last two posts of mine for a little while, apart from brief announcements and quotes. I am fully engaged in writing another book, due March 31st. I'm also in the process of editing another anthology, on science and Christianity, with about ten authors on-board so far. At least, that's what I should be doing rather than blogging (we'll see). Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss anything from us here at DC.

Before turning my full attention to those tasks I need to show why David Marshall's book is anything but "Much Ado About Nothing." Randal Rauser has endorsed it with a blurb. I will attempt to show why Marshall's book is really bad. If successful then it says something about Rauser, that he will say and endorse anything in order to defend his Christian faith. No educated intellectual should think Marshall's book is worthy of a blurb. No educated intellectual worthy the name would have written it.

Now this isn't to say Marshall's book is worthless. It has little ado rather than much ado. For Marshall is a Christian apologist who embraces The Outsider Test for Faith with a few caveats (OTF). I'm minimally thankful for this. But that's it. Stay tuned. The second post will be forthcoming soon.

How to Defend the Christian Faith

Quote from atheists like Thomas Nagel or Jean Paul Sartre who say things you agree with. Throw them all together and let them make your case for you. Then forget or ignore why these people are atheists in the first place.

A February Class Offering On My Latest Anthology, "Christianity is Not Great"

A reminder. A class offering based on my latest anthology, "Christianity is Not Great" will be held in February. To read more about this class and sign up then follow this link. (Details to be found there).

That's right, come study my latest book with me, Christianity is Not Great.

Yes, anyone can sign up. It should be very informative as it's such a huge book. As an extra bonus I'll contact the contributors to the chapters with the best questions from students of the class!

If you don't plan on taking the class and you know of someone else who might be interested, then please send them this link. Or better yet, post it to your wall even if you don't plan on taking it. Thanks!!

*Ahem* The Cover of My Next Book


John Loftus vs David Marshall: "Does Christianity Pass the Outsider Test for Faith?" Part 1

Justin Brierley hosts the very popular Christian podcast Unbelievable? He's an amicable guy, but he's clearly not as neutral or objective of an interviewer as he portrays himself. Before agreeing to have this discussion with David Marshall, who had written a book on the OTF, I had insisted on equal time. However, it was a bit annoying up until the 28 minute mark to sit and listen to so much drivel without a good chance to respond. So when I was given a chance to speak at length (after the 28 minute mark) I came up with 5 objections to what was being said. Justin subsequently took each one of my objections and had a discussion about them. This is not what he did when Marshall spoke. There were many times in the interview where Marshall said things I wanted to respond to, but wasn't given the same chance. LINK. I can understand that, but it was annoying. Part 2 is next week. It was pre-recorded.

John Loftus Interviewed On the Drew Marshall Show 1/17/15


New Paperback of "God or Godless" Available on Amazon Cheap

Do you want the paperback to my co-written book (with Randal Rauser) "God or Godless"? It's available right now for just $1.98. I can't say how long the price will remain this cheap. It's cheaper with postage than a Kindle version. Get it, titled, God or Godless?: One Atheist. One Christian. Twenty Controversial Questions.

College Accreditation Should Be Denied To All Evangelical Institutions That Require Professors To Sign Doctrinal Statements

Here is an example of why people subscribe to this blog. We consistently produce interesting discussions. Here is another one that I'm introducing today. We have addressed the problem with institutions of higher learning that require their professors to sign doctrinal statements before, especially here, but also here and here. This is a typical doctrinal statement:
We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are verbally and plenarily inspired of God, are inerrant in the original writings, and are the infallible authority in all matters of faith and conduct (II Timothy 3:16).
Evangelical scholars who teach for evangelical and other sectarian colleges must sign similar doctrinal statements every year. Some students are required to sign them in order to graduate, or so I've heard. Why do they need this if the evidence for evangelical and sectarian scholarship is there in the first place? Why are they needed if the goal is the search for truth in a world of religious confusion?

Evangelical backward thinking colleges seek legitimization. Gaining accreditation is one way to do that. So accreditation should be denied these colleges. Do it now! Apply this retroactively to sectarian colleges who already have accreditation. Colleges like Biola University. No, I am not kidding. The principle to be used in denying them accreditation is that signing doctrinal statements disqualifies a higher institution of learning worthy of the name from accreditation.

When It Comes to Christianity, A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

Both are "Slain in the Spirit"
One Point Where Both Atheists and Believers are in Honest Agreement

12 Really Bad Religious Ideas That Have Made the World Worse, By Valerie Tarico


Michael Shermer's New Book Is Now Available, The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom

Consider ordering Shermer's book today, The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom. It looks like a good one!

The Second Wave of New Atheism is Here

Here's a note I received from Professor Dan Lambert. Is it possible that Peter Boghossian and I are representative of the next wave of atheism after the Four Horsemen? He thinks so. Woooo Hooooo!
Hi John. I'm headed to a conference in Phoenix this week called Christianity21. I'll be presenting on you & Peter Boghossian and the growing tide of antitheism as evidenced by the growing sales of your books and the interest in Street Epistemology. Hopefully you'll both see a slight uptick in book sales and web traffic Friday & Saturday.

The crux of my presentation is that the America Church is in the midst of a second Copernican Revolution and that the increasingly aggressive proselytizing by antitheists such as you and Pete represents the next wave of atheism after the Four Horsemen. The juxtaposition of these events will usher in a new, stripped down Christianity that will return to majoring on the major themes of orthodoxy while allowing, an even encouraging, more liberty in the non-essentials as was true in the early days of the Church. I want to continue to push church leaders to read as many of your books and those you recommend as possible.
Dr. Hector Avalos tells me that in his forthcoming book, The Bad Jesus, he speaks of a Second Wave of New Atheism, which he defines as atheist advocates "who have more formal training in philosophy, biblical studies and theology." I would like to have some kind of fuller list as to who might be representative of this Second Wave. I know Dr. Avalos would be in it for sure.

Are Apologists Posing As Archaeologists Destroying Ancient Finds In Search of Biblical Texts?

A team of archaeologists at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia are dismantling ancient mummy masks to access the papyrus texts. They're looking for biblical texts and in the process destroying archaeological finds like this mummy mask to the left. There are fears of improper research done by Christian apologists. They're treating biblical texts with a higher degree of value than other ancient texts. LINK. This practice should stop. Let's implement Hector Avalos's call for the end of biblical studies now, seen in his book The End of Biblical Studies.

'I Lied', Says Boy Who Claimed to Have Gone to Heaven

Gullible Christians lapped up this bat shit crazy stuff, making liars rich. Why, I outta start a church or something!! ;-)
Sat 17 Jan 2015, By Antony Bushfield

A popular book about a Christian boy describing his time in heaven after he fell into a coma has been pulled from the shelves. Alex Malarkey has admitted he made up the story inside The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven for attention. He had claimed to have went to heaven and even met Jesus Christ whilst in a coma after a car crash in 2004. But he has now said it was a lie and he made up the story in the 2010 book. In a blog post he said:

"I did not die. I did not go to heaven. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough."

The publisher, Tyndale House, has said it will stop selling the book but has not made any further comment. LINK.

42% of UK Christian Men Admit "Porn Addiction"

The stats:
30% Church leaders who access porn on the Internet more than once a month
42% Christian men who say they have a 'porn addiction'
90% Christians who believe the Church does not adequately support porn users
75% Christian men who view pornography on a monthly or less regular basis
10% Christian men who say they have paid for sex LINK

Treat Believers As if They Are Six Years Old

Are you frustrated that most believers stare back at you with that blank caught-in-the-headlights look as you ask them to think about their faith? Is it maddening to you? Are you scratching your hair out and looking balder by the day? Then here's a solution for you. It's not for everyone. Atheists who are not so frustrated and encouraged that they're making a difference should keep on doing what they're doing. But others might consider taking the following advice. Treat believers as if they are six years old. Al Blazo, a friend of mine, suggested doing something brilliant with this in an email. It's also hilarious:

How Secular Family Values Stack Up, by Phil Zuckerman

Very well, says Zuckerman. But we already knew that!
The number of American children raised without religion has grown significantly since the 1950s, when fewer than 4% of Americans reported growing up in a nonreligious household, according to several recent national studies. That figure entered the double digits when a 2012 study showed that 11% of people born after 1970 said they had been raised in secular homes. This may help explain why 23% of adults in the U.S. claim to have no religion, and more than 30% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 say the same.

So how does the raising of upstanding, moral children work without prayers at mealtimes and morality lessons at Sunday school? Quite well, it seems...

My own ongoing research among secular Americans — as well as that of a handful of other social scientists who have only recently turned their gaze on secular culture — confirms that nonreligious family life is replete with its own sustaining moral values and enriching ethical precepts. Chief among those: rational problem solving, personal autonomy, independence of thought, avoidance of corporal punishment, a spirit of “questioning everything” and, far above all, empathy.

For secular people, morality is predicated on one simple principle: empathetic reciprocity, widely known as the Golden Rule. Treating other people as you would like to be treated. It is an ancient, universal ethical imperative. And it requires no supernatural beliefs. LINK.

The Moderates Who Aren't: A Mirage We Can't Help Chasing


I have been of opinion quite some time that when it comes to Islam, there are no “moderates”; only reformists. If you are not a proponent of radical reforms in Islam and you call yourself a moderate, you may as well simply call yourself a hypocrite. Because orthodox Islam is in such sharp contrast with modern values of modernism and basic human rights, that trying to present it as tolerant and peaceful, which essentially negates the need for reform, is nothing but deceitful. This certainly doesn’t make the average Muslim on the street (who likely cares more about paying rent than defending doctrine) violent; but it does show why Muslim public figures trying to claim violence is not about Islam untrustworthy and opportunistic.

I'll Be On the Drew Marshall Show at 2:40 PM EST Today, Jan 17


Some New Arguments Against Religion

There is no shortage of arguments against religion. Some are practical in nature, others are philosophical. Some aim to discredit theism in general, others target specific propositions of Christianity, Islam, and so on. These arguments come from a huge variety of fields, including textual criticism, historical criticism, archaeology, anthropology, evolutionary biology, cosmology, sociology, logic, the philosophy of mind, and epistemology. Many are by themselves sufficient to render religious belief unreasonable, but together they constitute an overwhelming case against faith-based beliefs in “truths” privately revealed by supernatural agents to human prophets.

While working on a forthcoming book, a few arguments occurred to me that I either couldn’t find in the literature, or don’t think are represented the way they should be, given their strength. Two of these arguments are, as far as I can tell, new. I’d be very interested to know what readers think.

So, here goes:

WWJD: What Would Jesus Do?

One of the major reasons Christianity should be rejected is in its daily reality and application.  Believers are instructed in the New Testament (especially by Jesus himself in the Gospels), that Christians should offer the attacking person the other side of their face (Matt. 5: 39 = Luke 6: 29) and if a believer is sued for their shirt, he or she should give them their coat too (Matt. 4: 40 = Luke 6: 29); but these points follow as closing statements to Jesus’ master ethical sermon on Christian practicality commonly known as The Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 4: 24 – 5: 2 = Mark 3: 7 – 13 = Luke 6: 17 – 20a).  In short, Christians are to have Jesus Christ as their example.
Before you watch this real life video, I would ask believers to apply the totality of Jesus’ Gospel teachings in handling this person’s misunderstanding this past Christmas Day at a MacDonalds.  If your response would be to “Call the police!” then I must ask where in either the Gospels or Paul’s letters can you support this (secular) action? Now watch this real life video and ask yourself WWJD?

Praise God in All Things, Right?

(Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; James 5:13)

Alan Colmes of Fox Radio Interviewed John Loftus [Nov. 3rd 2014]


In February I'll Be Offering Another Class On My Latest Book "Christianity Is Not Great"

That's right, come study my latest book with me, Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith Fails.To read more about this class and sign up follow this link. Yes, anyone can sign up. It should be very informative for the students as it's such a huge book. As an extra bonus I'll contact the contributors to the chapters with the best questions from students of the class!

The Definition Refutation: Christians, You Don't Get To Define The Word "Faith" For Us

Victor Reppert, David Marshall and Randal Rauser have repeatedly said atheists must abide by their definitions of the word "Faith"--then they have all defined that word differently. *cough* Not so. Not at all. Not even close. Here is the definition refutation of such tomfoolery:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: This Is Embedded In Islam!


The Kalam Cosmological Argument? What Argument? This Book Utterly Destroys the Kalam! Let's Hear No More About it Then

This book destroys the Kalam argument, by math expert James Lindsay, Ph.D., Dot, Dot, Dot: Infinity Plus God Equals Folly.

Richard C. Miller's New Book On the Resurrection Threatens to Undermine the Whole Christian Apologetic

Given Justin Martyr's Apology (seen left),
This book offers an original interpretation of the origin and early reception of the most fundamental claim of Christianity: Jesus’ resurrection. Richard Miller contends that the earliest Christians would not have considered the New Testament accounts of Jesus’ resurrection to be literal or historical, but instead would have recognized this narrative as an instance of the trope of divine translation, common within the Hellenistic and Roman mythic traditions. Given this framework, Miller argues, early Christians would have understood the resurrection story as fictitious rather than historical in nature. By drawing connections between the Gospels and ancient Greek and Roman literature, Miller makes the case that the narratives of the resurrection and ascension of Christ applied extensive and unmistakable structural and symbolic language common to Mediterranean "translation fables," stock story patterns derived particularly from the archetypal myths of Heracles and Romulus. In the course of his argument, the author applies a critical lens to the referential and mimetic nature of the Gospel stories, and suggests that adapting the "translation fable" trope to accounts of Jesus’ resurrection functioned to exalt him to the level of the heroes, demigods, and emperors of the Hellenistic and Roman world. Miller’s contentions have significant implications for New Testament scholarship and will provoke discussion among scholars of early Christianity and Classical studies.
Richard C. Miller, Resurrection and Reception in Early Christianity, 2015.

Lee Strobel and Other Evangelicals Admit They're In Trouble, Big Trouble

In an email that went out to supporters (along with Ed Babinski who also subscribed) Strobel said:
We are facing a crisis in America. Skepticism is rising. Too many young people are leaving the faith. Few Christians are able to effectively share Jesus with others. At many churches, reaching spiritually lost people falls to the bottom of their priorities.

This is a crisis we need to confront — urgently!
Strobel joins Josh McDowell in being alarmed at the rise of skepticism in our day. So also are John S. Dickerson and others. Dickenson wrote: "In the next decades we will see a massive decrease in evangelical influence politically, economically, culturally, and financially" in The Great Evangelical Recession (p. 26). "260,000 evangelical young people walk away from Christianity each year. Of that number 35% will find their way back, and 65% do not find their way back. Why are they leaving? They don't believe anymore." [Dickerson, pp. 98-102]. "This is not a blip. This is a trend. And the trend is one of decline," said Ed Stetzer [as quoted in Dickerson, p. 32].

Then there is the rise of the "dones" who are done with church, not just the "nones" who have no church affiliation. At a recent Future of the Church conference, sociologist Josh Packard shared some of his groundbreaking research on the Dones:
He explained these de-churched were among the most dedicated and active people in their congregations. To an increasing degree, the church is losing its best.

For the church, this phenomenon sets up a growing danger. The very people on whom a church relies for lay leadership, service and financial support are going away. And the problem is compounded by the fact that younger people in the next generation, the Millennials, are not lining up to refill the emptying pews.

Why are the Dones done? Packard describes several factors in his upcoming book Church Refugees: Sociologists Reveal Why the Dechurched Left and What They're Hoping to Find.Among the reasons: After sitting through countless sermons and Bible studies, they feel they’ve heard it all. One of Packard’s interviewees said, “I’m tired of being lectured to. I’m just done with having some guy tell me what to do.”

The Dones are fatigued with the Sunday routine of plop, pray and pay. They want to play. They want to participate. But they feel spurned at every turn.

Will the Dones return? Not likely, according to the research. They’re done. LINK.

This is all good news! We're winning. They are losing.

Why The Terror Attack On Charlie Hebdo Newspaper in Paris That Killed 12 People Is Religious Violence

The NY Times has an updated story about this senseless terrorist attack to "avenge" the Prophet Muhammad for cartoons ridiculing him. In that piece we read:
In a letter addressed to French President Fran├žois Hollande, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany offered condolences. “This horrible act is not only an attack on the lives of French citizens and the domestic security of France, it also stands as an attack on the freedom of expression and the press, a core element of our free, democratic culture that can in no way be justified.”
Notice the last part? Such an act against freedom, and a free press, cannot be justified since freedom is a core value of democratic societies.

So how do we know this was an act of religiously motivated violence, and not explained away as a cultural by-product of oppressive colonialism, or poverty or anything else? Easy. It can ONLY be justified religiously. That's how we can tell with crystal clarity that religion had invaded the secular square. Without the religion that justifies murderous acts like this one, there would be no reasonable justification for them. Because of this there is every reason to condemn these murderous acts and the religion that endorses them.

Murdered Charlie Hebdo Editor: 'I Prefer to Die Standing Up Than Live on My Knees'


New Book Titles. Decisions. Decisions:

In this new book I'm going to teach budding apologists what to avoid, using examples from the best of the best Christian apologists today. In the process they'll be challenged to do it better than others have done so far. However, I'll argue that defending the Christian faith cannot be done well at all. It's a tongue in cheek thingy.

How to Be a Good Christian Apologist
A Manual for Christian Apologists
A Manual for Christian Apologetics
A Manual for Being a Good Christian Apologist
A Christian Apologist’s Manual
A Christian Apologetics Manual
A Handbook for Christian Apologists
A Handbook for Christian Apologetics
A Handbook for Being a Good Christian Apologist
A Christian Apologist’s Handbook
A Christian Apologetics Handbook

How to Defend the Christian Faith
Advice from an Atheist
A Former Apologist Turned Atheist Tells All
An Atheist Tells All
A Friendly Atheist Tells All
How to Do it Right

Professor Candida Moss: Oops! Pilgrims On the The Via Dolorosa Have Been Walking the Wrong Path

LINK. Now that archaeologists have found the exact place where Pilate condemned prisoners to die, and with them presumably Jesus as well, we know that pilgrims have walked the wrong path for centuries. Think they'll change? ;-) Dr. Moss is the author of the book, The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom, which reveals that the early Christians were the first liars for Jesus. Why then should we trust anything else they said?