This post is an index to my partial review of The End of Christianity edited by John W. Loftus. I’ll include links to other reviews, as I come across them, at the end of this post.
Introduction by John W. Loftus
I. Why Two Thousand Years Are Enough
- Christianity Evolving: On the Origin of Christian Species by Dr. David Eller
The overall importance of chapter 1 in debates about atheism and Christianity is quite minimal, in my opinion. Thus, I do not believe it is worth the time or effort to write a review of the chapter.
- Christianity’s Success Was Not Incredible by Dr. Richard Carrier
Christianity is Wildly Improbable by John W. Loftus
II. Putting an Ancient Myth to Rest
- Why Biblical Studies Must End by Dr. Hector Avalos
Can God Exist if Yahweh Doesn’t by Dr. Jaco Gericke
God’s Emotions: Why the Biblical God Is Hopelessly Human by Dr. Valerie Tarico
In chapter 6, Tarico assumes that God’s emotions are like human emotions. She briefly rebuffs those who think that the emotional language applied to God in the Bible is metaphorical, but she does not argue her point in any depth. I hold to the position that the emotional language is meant to show that God acts in a way somewhat analogous to humans but not in a way identical to humans. Since I begin at a different starting point than Tarico, the rest of her argument falls on deaf ears. Since she does not argue for her starting point I am not able to comment on even that part of the chapter. Therefore, I will not write a review of this chapter.
III. Living on Borrowed Time
- The Absurdity of the Atonement by Dr. Ken Pulliam
In chapter 7, Pulliam critiques the doctrine of penal substitutionary theory (PST). This theory is one of many interpretations of Christ’s death on the cross. I have no firm opinion on PST and thus leave a review of this chapter up to those more interested in the matter.
- The Salem Witch Trials and the Evidence for the Resurrection by Dr. Matt McCormick
Explaining the Resurrection Without Recourse to Miracle by Dr. Robert M. Price
Hell: Christianity’s Most Damnable Doctrine by Dr. Keith Parsons
IV. Science Puts an End to Christianity
- Is Religion Compatible with Science? by Dr. David Eller
Neither Life nor the Universe Appear Intelligently Designed by Dr. Richard Carrier
In chapter 12, Carrier argues that it is improbable that (1) life was designed by an intelligent designer, (2) life originated by the work of an intelligent designer, and (3) that the universe was fine-tuned by an intelligent designer. I will not review this chapter because I am not particularly knowledgeable on the subject. I am also skeptical of the probabilities that both ID proponents and opponents come up with in making their arguments. I am not convinced that either side in the debate can truly justify the numbers they plug into the equations.
- Life After Death: Examining the Evidence by Dr. Victor J. Stenger
Moral Facts Naturally Exist (and Science Could Find Them) by Dr. Richard Carrier
This is a strange chapter in some respects. Carrier begins by attacking an admittedly “naive” Christian moral system. He then goes on to describe a moral system based in science that, in fact, shares some similarities with “sophisticated” Christian moral systems such as natural law theory. He then finishes the chapter by criticizing Christianity for being irrelevant and even harmful to morality. Since I don’t hold the “naive” moral system he speaks against, there’s not much to respond to here. At least from an atheist’s perspective, his moral theory seems okay. It should also be noted that, if Carrier is correct, then the moral relativism contained in the previous Loftus-edited book, The Christian Delusion, is false.
Reviews by Others:
- Christ the Tao
- Part I: Response to Jaco Gericke: “Can God Exist if Yahweh Doesn’t?”
- Part II: Response to Hector Avalos: “The End of Biblical Studies”
- Part III: Response to Richard Carrier: “Christianity’s Success was not Incredible”
- Part IV: Response to Robert Price: “Explaining the Resurrection Without Recourse to Miracle”
- Randal Rauser
- Part 1
- Johh Loftus responds: “It is a believing review of my book!”
- Part 2
- Part 3
- Part 4
- The Devil and the Atheist
- John W. Loftus and a Swede named Mario
- Is John W. Loftus “dumber than a box of rocks”?
- Is this the most John Loftus has to say?
- Part 5
- Part 6
- What Gericke failed to do: A footnote to my review of Jaco Gericke
- Yahweh and Yahweh: A second and final footnote to my Jaco Gericke review
- Part 7
- The Edsel of Christianity?
- Part 8
- Part 9
- From Jerusalem to Salem: A Conversation with Matt McCormick
- Retractions in My Dialogue with Matt McCormick
- On putting Matt McCormick’s argument to rest
- My conversation with Matt McCormick: A Disappointing Conclusion
- Part 10
- Part 11
- Part 12
- The Warfare is Mental
- William M. Briggs