Eddie Tabash Recommends My Book!

Today I went to the Grand Opening of the new Center for Inquiry Indiana, where Paul Kurtz, Toni Van Pelt, Joe Nicholl and Eddie Tabash were the main speakers. Tabash spoke on the topic, “The Threat of the Religious Right to Our Modern Freedoms,” and it was very motivating for me.

Eddie was talking to some people before he spoke and I went up to listen in and to introduce myself. He read my name tag before I could do so. Then he asked me, "did you write the book against Christianity," and I nodded. Then he turned to the people he was talking to and said, “John’s book is the finest refutation of Christianity I have read. I use it in my debates.” Then turning back to me he said, “I bought twelve copies to give away.” As the author of the book I think what I wrote is good too (of course), but hearing it from someone like him, whom I admire so much, felt really good. I saw a video of the debate he had with William Lane Craig before he had read my book (shown below). He did such an excellent job it’s hard to see how my book helps him in his debates. But he said it does, and for that I’m very grateful.

He joins the ranks of others who recommend it…

…like skeptics Daniel Dennett, Paul Kurtz, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Carrier, Edward Babinski (who wrote the Foreword to it), Dan Barker, Valerie Tarico, David Van Allen, Matthew Green, Joe Holman, Chris Hallquist, and others. Kurtz said my book "has the makings of being a great book,” and that he’s “eager to see it in print." On the back cover and inside pages of the Prometheus Books edition there will probably be recommendations by Michael Shermer, John Beversluis, Robert M. Price, Andrea Weisberger, and if the time frame permits him, from Jeffery Jay Lowder (at least, they all have expressed an interest in seeing it for a blurb).

On the Christian side of the fence, Norman L. Geisler and James F. Sennett both recommend it too. Other Christian thinkers who have expressed an interest in seeing it are Paul Copan, Michael Murray, Richard Swinburne, Mark Linville (who is potentially planning on using it in an apologetics seminar), and William Baker (the editor of the Stone-Campell Journal--my former denominational journal). Bill Craig knows about it and will surely take a look at it when it comes out. Scot McKnight is writing a chapter describing the reasons why Christians lose their faith and is highlighting my story.

I don’t tell my readers these things to bore them, or to pat myself on the back (even though it’s nice to be patted by others), or to make money off the sales (of course, if it can help pay a few bills that would really help me out), or to make a name for myself (although, as a middle child we learn that negative attention is still attention). No. My number one goal is to produce the best damn counter-apologetics book on the market today that does not just preach to the skeptical choir, so to speak, if possible (and if not, it’s still a worthy goal). The reason I want to do this is because the better I can make my book, the more it will be read, and I want people to read it! If I hadn’t written the book I would still want people to read a book like this one. If Eddie's recommendation and the others are even somewhat on the mark, my book has the potential of changing the thinking of Christians in America, and the reason why I want to do this was expressed very eloquently by Eddie today in his talk!

The debate between Tabash and Craig:

22 comments:

John W. Loftus said...

One reader misread what I wrote here so let me be clear what I'm saying. The only thing I said about my book is that I think it's a good book, if you read what I said properly, and that my aim is to make it the best one on the market today. A counter-apologetics book does not parallel many of the fine single issue books like Mackie's or Oppy's or Drange's or Schellenberg's books, which deal expertly with separate issues like the existence or hiddenness of God and evil--books which are far superior to mine. It parallels those general Christian apologetics books dealing with the whole range of issues supportive of Christianity, and those general books against it. There very well may be skeptical general treatment books that are better than mine. I only said my aim was to make mine the best one, even if I don't succeed.

Cheers.

B H said...

Wow. Who knew anything like that was happening right here in God's country? I'll have to swing up to Indy to check out their events some time.

GordonBlood said...

Hmm... Not a whole lot to say in regards to this. Obviously Tabash would support your book, hes an atheist, so no big surprises there. You may as well pen down Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker and pretty much every other non-Christian on earth as well for people who would at least affirm your book. As for Tabash being amazing against Craig, that all depends what you mean by amazing. If by amazing you mean flooding questions and pointless assertions that Craig obviously has no time to answer to, then yes he did well. If you mean reflective thought and caution (which, frankly, this site has been lacking over the months since i started visiting) then no, he did not do amazing. As for persuasiveness, yes he did better on that score; but then again he is a lawyer and thus that is his career.

John W. Loftus said...

Gordonblood, are you saying that these people would recommend just any atheist book? I don't, why should they? Do you recommend just any Christian book?

And where did I say Tabash did an "amazing" job? I said "he did an excellent job", and that's good enough.

With thinking and reading skills like that you shouldn't have any confidence that you can properly understand the Bible.

GordonBlood said...

Why thank you for your analysis of my mental condition John. I apologize to you full-heartedly for using the word "amazing" instead of "excellent". As for recommendations I suppose I should have made myself somewhat clearer and I accept that criticism. I meant that an atheist (like Tabash) would give any book written by a person who has a decent amount of intelligence in the subject matter a thumbs up, for the most part. Considering however that you consider persons like Robert Price a reliable source for New Testament criticism however I think you should consider your own ability to properly understand the bible, frankly.

John W. Loftus said...

GordonBlood, how old are you? I never analysed your mental condition at all. Sheesh.

Why do you feel the need to downplay Tabash's recommendation of my book? It is what it is. Do you know how many books he's read about this topic for a comparison? Neither do I. But he was already an "excellent" debater before seeing my book, wasn't he?

Besides, what do you say about Geisler and Sennett's recommendations? I don't understand your point here. Would they recommend any atheist book written, in your words, "by a person who has a decent amount of intelligence in the subject?"

Besides, the only evaluation of my book that means anthing is YOURS. Have you read it?

John W. Loftus said...

BTW GordonBlood, Tabash did not just give my book a mere "thumbs up."

GordonBlood said...

My primary concern was not what he felt of your book, or even the content of the book. I was simply saying that it should not amaze anyone that an atheist like Tabash recommeded it. Indeed it wasnt even my primary point. I havent read the book, namely on account of the fact that I imagine it comprises most of the arguments you make on this website. I did not say the book was good, bad or even moderate, which is why I did not make a statement of quality. Clearly you wish to make this blog an advertising tool, which is purely your express right, just dont be surprised when people downplay the fact that an openly vehement atheist recommends your book and the arguments contained within it. Like I did say however, my main amusement was that a philosophy major did not recognize Tabash's massive amount of red herring and erroneous argumentation. Charismatic persuasiveness is a poor indicator of truth. If I offended you in any way I do apologize John, but if you look at what I actually said in the context in which I said it I think you will agree that I mentioned nothing about the text itself; only the importance of its recommendation.

John W. Loftus said...

I think you will agree that I mentioned nothing about the text itself; only the importance of its recommendation.

And I said "it is what it is." I myself am pleased, wouldn't you be if you were me?

I do put some of what I wrote here (probably about 1/8th of the book can be found here), but in my humble opinion the thrust of reading though all of what I say, in the order I say it, is much different than reading 1/8th of it scattered here and there.

Lee Randolph said...

John is absolutely right.
Religion is a complex argument with many interdependencies. It is an open ended problem with no parameters.
One thing depends on another. You need to buy Johns book to get the big picture.

There is no silver bullet for debunking christianity. If there was, it would be a dead religion.

IrishFarmer said...

Hey, John. It sounds like I'm gonna have to get this book...

I still don't have the money for ANY books right now, but when I do I'll probably check it out first. Sounds like good stuff.

LevBronstein said...

Tabash is not credible, although a Jewish Atheist who trashed the Old Testament, he still is a strong Zionist.

What the hell for?

In his view the jews were genocidal maniacs taking the land, it certainly wasn't promised to them by God.

And yet he goes on and on about Israels's "rights".

What rights does their history give them , except the right of the stronger to kill the weaker?

After all, they have the bomb.

Ever heard of the Sampson Option.

Don't link yourself to Tabash.

GordonBlood said...

I do agree Lee that religion comprises many interdependent arguments which link together. But the same is true, I suggest, for any worldview, including (strong) forms of atheism. Weak forms of atheism i think may not fall into this interdependent category.

John W. Loftus said...

GordonBlood, that's exactly why we cannot evaluate a worldview in a piecemeal fashion, like is done with short essays here at DC. To properly evaluate a worldview we must do so as a whole, and my book does exactly this. It is a whole argument, one argument, evaluating the Christian worldview as a whole.

Shygetz said...

Wow, a vocal anti-Zionist who goes by the handle "Lev Bronstein" and whose account was just activated on Blogger. Suspicious?

For those not paying attention, the foundation of the modern state of Israel had less to do with Jews trying to fulfill Biblical prophecy, and more with Jews trying to establish their own state in the wake of WWII, a refuge where Jews would be safe from governmental persecution. While I have my own opinions regarding the formation of Israel, "Lev Bronstein" should remember that a huge number of Israeli Jews have no problems being both Israeli and non-observant. Similarly, Americans were "genocidal maniacs" in taking the land from the Native Americans; yet, I don't see Americans abandoning their country in droves.

John W. Loftus said...

Lev, you're banned. I know who you are.

Reggie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joseph said...

Well, Reggie, since you called John a liar, the burden is on you to provide some sort of evidence of this. Attacking a man's integrity is a serious thing. Did you read the comments policy?

John W. Loftus said...

Reggie,Emmanuel Goldstein, Singh, der Scheinende, and Frank Walton--they're probably all the same person. And they are all banned.

AG said...

I don't care much for the debate going on here...it is intresting that you ban people from your blog because they have a differing opinion...do you do the same to your students if they disagree with your philosophy? or does it come from your bitterness towards the christian faith? Personally i dont mind if you ban me or not...or even if you care what i say...i am not even christian myself...but i find it fascinating that you don't like being challenged or your 'book' which i havent read nor am interested in (dont care much for God books)being attacked. Oh well we all need to function somehow.
All the best

zilch said...

ag- if you read several posts and their comments here, you will see that John does not ban people for merely disagreeing with him- there are all kinds of opinions expressed here. What he doesn't put up with- and why should he?- is people who are abusive, like Frank Walton.

Having spent some time at Walton's atheist-bashing site, I also can recognize his style. If you try to post something too critical at "AtheismSucks!", no matter how polite and to the point, you will either get called names ("idiot" is the nicest thing Frank says of his critics) or simply not be posted. Try it yourself.

There's always a problem trying to decide where to draw the line with abusive posters, but I think John is pretty tolerant.

Semper Paratus said...

With all the fawning here over Tabash and his performance in his debate with Craig (which I haven't seen yet, but plan to now that Mr. Loftus' site has brought it to my attention), I would recommend that everyone get ahold of Tabash's debate against Greg Bahnsen.

That had to be one of the worst days of Eddie's life.