Maura Book Review: Godless by Dan Barker In particular, that even most inerrantist scholars accept that the age of Ahaziah as he began his reign is discrepant between II Kings 8: It is intellectual bankruptcy. I will read this book again, if only to undo the years of indoctrination. You are full of pride and are putting yourself above God. Guys like Barker are a dime a dozen. He also devotes several chapters to a close examination of the Bible and Christian theology, partly to catalog the contradictions and inconsistency in them.
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Out of all of them, this is the only one so far offering an inside look at the evolutionary process of a fundamentalist evangelical Christian into a hardened atheist who eats children and celebrates Halloween twice a year. Dan Barker narrates this very well. You know the story is honest because it lacks a climax, a rooftop shootout, a falling bridge, a last stand. The process of losing faith in faith is known to be a long one, or a journey of a thousand small steps.
Full disclosure: I skipped or skimmed some of the middle part of the book. I also skipped the rants against biblical genocide. Perhaps the strongest part of the book were the lists of biblical contradictions. The attempts to put together a coherent resurrection account was particularly concise and effective. Barker did a fine job demonstrating the evidence or rather lack of it for a historical Jesus, and painted a nice picture of the primary sources available from the time period.
He wisely employed a number of apt metaphors to give a modern reader an understanding of the situation. Ideally a number of sections could have been shortened. But pages was a bit steep. All told, four stars.
The deconversion story is a different species of the same genus, yet the overall effect is different than reading, say, Christopher Hitchens, who was born with a bottle of whisky in one hand and the other hoisting a finger at religion.
Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists