Do You Want to Be a Christian Apologist?

Since it seems as though Christian wannabe apologists are now a dime a dozen then here's a challenge for them. Publish critiques of my two books, Why I Became an Atheist, and The Christian Delusion. Be the first on your block to do so. If you do well, then you'll get noticed by other recognized apologists. ;-)

Of The Christian Delusion, Dr. Dale C. Allison, Jr., author of Resurrecting Jesus: The Earliest Christian Tradition And Its Interpreters wrote:
Forget Dawkins. If you are looking for a truly substantial, well-informed criticism of the Christian religion, this is your book. Defenders of the faith will do believer and unbeliever alike a disservice if they do not rise to the challenge and wrestle with the thought-provoking arguments of Loftus and company.

29 comments:

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Why defend the indefensible? Honesty is the best policy, isn't it?

Angie Van De Merwe said...

John, I did not read you comment policy. I am sorry.

Since I suggest indefensibility, let me define what I mean, if I may.

I am presently nihlistic/agnostic in my commitments, because I believe that what one believes does play out in their life or behavior. But, my understanding of faith has been challenged such that I am re-vamping my own understanding. Not only just my personal belief system, but also understanding the behaviors of those who believe so vehenmently in a transcdent without reasonableness. Enthusists are dangerous in today's climate.

I do believe that faith can be based on reason, but I also, am not trusting of "Church" authority, as it pertains to human agency.

Human agency must be rational, which needs an informed understanding for there to be a full commitment to a particular position.

I am stuggling, I think with both inductive and deductive quandaries in regard to belief in general.

As my faith was understood theologically, and followed a form that maintained a rationale for my life, I have been skeptical to any type of indoctrination, which does not lend itself easily to being taught (for fear that what I do not know will be the point of dishonest manipulation). Therefore, my human capacity to understand 'life' is limited by a lack of trust.

I believe that trust is the basis of any human endeavor, whether the scientist trusting his reason or his instruments. or the existentialist knowing that he cannot deny his own experience or another's.

The world in which we live is an extremely complex one, that is engaging, and challenging. I am trying to ascertain what I personally want to believe and why. And I do not want to believe in an innocent and utopian "ideal" which has become painful to acknowledge and embrace.

The only value I do adhere to is honesty, as that is the only road to re-build trust. And that means the believing and unbelieving communities in America all have vast amounts of dialogue to do.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Angie,

I wish you luck.

I understand your lack of trust.

Keep pushing.

Marcus McElhaney said...

Loftus, are u just trying to sell books? If you are really trying to issue a challenge why not give your book to a Christian theologian and see what they say? Maybe your teacher William Lane Craig or James White or Gary Habermas.

John W. Loftus said...

No Marcus, I'm trying to change minds. Are you one of those wannabe apologists? Then the challenge is for you. And while you're at it, contact these other apologists and have them send me their books, okay, especially the expensive ones. Or are they in it for the money?

Chuck O'Connor said...

John,

I think you are doing a good job of selling books.

What's wrong with that?

I can't wait to buy this one.

magnumdb said...

Marcus,

Even if he was trying to sell books, what's wrong with killing two birds with one stone? (In the metaphorical sense, I hate the idea of ACTUALLY stoning an animal.)

He spent his time and money writing the book, he's an author, which is a legitimate profession. What's the problem with trying to sell the book he worked so hard on?

Besides, he never specifically said BUY the book to read it. You might very well borrow it from someone else, or try your public library.

The problem with just GIVING your book to an opponent is the that they just may not read it. Especially William Lane Craig who has said he won't even debate Loftus.

magnumdb said...

Marcus,

I'm also not surprised that the comment you decide to leave is a negative one. You're only a pastor (or so your profile says). No need to find the best in everyone. Just bash people for things like promoting their work. I'd hate to have someone like you leading my children.

Marcus McElhaney said...

Who said anything about what Loftus is doing a sin? I got no problem with him selling books. More power and money to him. God bless him...makes it easier to spread the gospel by his making failed arguments. How is pointing out the motivation of the challenge mean or bashing anyone? It wasn't perjorative. It wasn't insulting - at least not intended to be. If it were really about about changing minds then I was merely suggesting a way to do that. As for me being a pastor, I never said that. A lot of wrong assumptions being made in the comments section.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Marcus,

Do you think your endorsement of astrology in your blogger profile is a contradiction to God's commandment not to have other gods before Him?

Marcus McElhaney said...

Hello, Chuck...I'm amazed that you would assume I endorse astrology because I never gave that part of the profile any thought. When I set up blog I didn't even realize that it was checked. Astrology is fiction. I neither worship, nor recognize any god other than the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You know.... the one who spoke to Moses from the burning bush.

John W. Loftus said...

Tell ya what Marcus. I cannot afford to buy up copies of my book to hand out for free. You do realize I must buy them, don't you, or are you oblivious to the fact that the publisher must charge for their books in order to stay in business? But if my book "makes it easier to spread the gospel by [my] making failed arguments" then maybe YOU can do this for me.

Cheers.

Marcus McElhaney said...

Mr. Loftus...Of course I know you have to buy your own book to hand out free ones...so? If you are so confident and truly trying to open minds than why not open yourself to scrutiny from people just as qualified as you with comparable academic training, giving 2 or three of them away...and inviting debate. I'm sure William Lane Craig, Gary Habermas, and James White would give you a hearing. White surely would read your books if you debated him.

John W. Loftus said...

One other thing Marcus. My friend Gary Habermas has a copy of my book WIBA (he also has the galley's from TCD). So does my friend Paul Copan, the President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, and so many other Christian apologists I can't name them all here. It's being used in seminary classes on apologetics and atheism. What I don't know is if Bill Craig has a copy. But he knows how to get a free copy if he wants to do so. All he has to do is ask for one from the publisher and state that he's planning on considering it for a class or write a review article about it. Professors get free copies of books all of the time.

So there's no problem.

I make 50 cents per book and I would gladly reimburse you that 50 cents if you show proof you bought it. The problem is that I would have to subtract the cost of a stamp when I write you that pittance of a check to you.

Marcus McElhaney said...

Thanks, for that information, Mr. Loftus. If so many apologist have your books then that mean there are plenty of responses to them. Funny how you are taking a defensive posture...like i just don't want to buy your books...nothing could be further from the truth. I'm making a mere suggestion that now that you have been clear my concern is voided. So I'd like to see more debates like the one you had against D'Souza. When i your next one?

John W. Loftus said...

Marcus, I was writing my last reply while you posted your last comment.

Most Christian apologists know me and my books, Marcus. James White does too. I know this. Just ask most any of them and they'll tell you they have heard of me, okay? And I think most of them probably have a copy of WIBA.

My original post was directed not to them, but to wannabe apologists, perhaps like yourself.

You might want to become better informed before you comment next time, okay?

In any case, if your claim is that my book "makes it easier to spread the gospel by [my] making failed arguments," then perhaps YOU should buy up copies of it to hand out. Or, you write things you do not really mean. Which is it?

If you comment tell me whether or not you have a copy of WIBA. I doubt you would say such things if you did.

John W. Loftus said...

Oops, we did it again,

Cheers.

John W. Loftus said...

Marcus, my next debate is in two days!

Marcus McElhaney said...

Mr. Loftus, I admit that I only really recently found your work. I started digging into your work because I saw the recording of your debate against D'Souza on YouTube. I have not read your book but i will. Again I have nothing against you selling your books...just your arguments. I'm not going to buy multiple copies to hand out just pointing out the responses to your arguments seems to be enough to me. You can't really do anything against the truth...just under line it. Thanks for further clarifications that well-known apologists already know about you. I didn't. And I know that the original post was not directed at them. You are saying that you don't need to direct such a challenge to them because they already know in response to my question about why not challenge them also. Fair enough. I did respond to your debate with D'Souza
http://mmcelhaney.blogspot.com/2010/03/apologetics-315-dinesh-dsouza-vs-john.html

Chuck O'Connor said...

And here we have Marcus, a defender of absolute truth who knows John's arguments fail but admits he hasn't ever read John's books. And Christians wonder why atheists doubt their sincerity or honesty.

Marcus McElhaney said...

Hey, Chuck, the failed arguments I was referring to were the arguments Loftus used against D'Souza which I'm sure are the same arguments Loftus uses in his books.If he has better arguments in his books then fine you have a point. And I hope he uses the better arguments tomorrow when he debates David Wood.

diglot said...

I ask Prometheus books for a review copy of "The Christian Delusion." If I receive one, I will make sure to let you know when I post my review.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Marcus, the post was about John's book, not about his debate with D'Souza.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Chuck...a book that is not out yet. So I thought that commenting on the totality of work from Mr Loftus was legal. Sorry for the confusion.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Marcus

Why I Became An Atheist is out.

Why don't you buy it and make your case.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Chuck
Do you make any different arguments than Dan Barker,John Loftus, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and other prominant atheists. It's been 2000 years...are you presenting anything that no one has seen or argued before now? If so, I will read your book! I'll even be generous...and read it if the anecdotes or examples are new and the arguements aren't. Where is the link?

Chuck O'Connor said...

It isn't my book. It's John's. Read it, you might learn something.

Gandolf said...

Chuck O'Connor said..."And here we have Marcus, a defender of absolute truth who knows John's arguments fail but admits he hasn't ever read John's books. And Christians wonder why atheists doubt their sincerity or honesty."

Chuck,but dont forget it was by way of "devine prophecy" or holy ESP

Keep thinking "mysterious ways"

Philip R Kreyche said...

With his "2000 years" reference, Marcus seems to be laboring under the same misunderstanding that I've seen other Christians have, that Christianity has somehow been under intense, institutionalised scrutiny since its inception until now, beating back all comers. The truth is, between roughly 325 and 1600 AD, there was practically no substantial criticim of Christianity. It was an offence punishable by prison or death.