Book Report: “Why Faith Fails – The Christian Delusion” by John W. Loftus

It’s possible to read, study, and diagnose the bible yourself. You can learn the original, ancient language it was written in. You can analyze the perspective of the writers and how they saw the world back then. And you can compare the bible to other writings from that time period to find inconsistencies.

It’s also possible to read what other people have written about it, thus saving you time & effort. The catch is finding smart people who have done their research and can convert this into reliable, logical, information.

This book relies on, not just one person’s writing & viewpoints, but several people; all of which are experts in their fields of study. Each chapter is written by a different author and has almost as many footnotes as it does actual sentences. This level of research & documenting shows exactly how extensive the authors go with their writings. The only drawback of having several authors is that each one has a different writing style & vocabulary, which makes some chapters easier to read than others.

This book has many interesting discussions and I found 2 chapters to be spot-on:

  • Chapter 9 – The Darwinian Problem of Evil
  • Chapter 12 – At Best Jesus Was a Failed Apocalyptic Prophet

Chapter 9 discusses how animal suffering cannot be reconciled with the Christian faith and is one of the strongest reasons to reject it. Why would an “all-loving creator” make animals only so they can suffer and die, either by way of other animals or by the hand of man?

Chapter 12 discusses Jesus, his claim to be the son of God and how he did not establish himself as such. At best, he was just another failed apocalyptic prophet.

This book wraps up with a subject that I (and many others) have thought to be extremely important for the advancement of all of mankind:

“Had Christianity not interrupted the intellectual advance of mankind and put the progress of science on hold for a thousand years, the Scientific Revolution might have occurred a thousand years ago, and our science and technology today would be a thousand years more advanced. This is a painful truth that some Christians simply don’t want to hear or accept. Hence they flee into the delusion that it isn’t true, that Christianity was instead so wonderful it not only caused modern science, but was essential to it. But, as the facts prove, that simply isn’t true.”

Why Faith Fails – The Christian Delusion. page 414

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