Category Book Reviews

Morality Without God?

Is it possible to be a moral person and not believe in god? Are there such things as objective moral values if god does not exist? In the eyes of many, such questions may seem rather silly. ‘Of course, you don’t need to believe in god to be good, nor does there need to be a god for some things to be really wrong or really right...

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The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism

Religion has established for itself quite a confident degree of job security. At the mere suggestion of shedding the shackles of religious faith, one is often confronted with a barrage of questions about where our world would be in terms of morality, art, and hope, in the absence of dogmas and deities. Somehow, even in the 21st century, religion is still seen by many as a necessary component of a life well lived. This is not entirely the fault of pro-religious propaganda, however...

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The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave

It should go without saying that the resurrection is the most important element of the Christian religion. “If Christ has not been raised,” says the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” In the nearly two thousand years since, apologists have wasted little time assembling a case for the raising of Jesus. The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave is a 2005 anthology of essays by historians, philosophers, and New Testament scholars, challenging the case for resurrection presented by such stalwart defenders as William Lane Craig and Gary Hab...

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Jesus and the Eyewitnesses

For much of the history of Judaism and Christianity, the scriptures of the Bible have been studied in a largely devotional manner. Even though differing views were certainly held on the interpretation of many passages, these differences were often defended by appeals to faith and philosophical teachings, rather than the sciences. However, by the 18th century – and more so by the 19th century – a new approach to biblical study began to emerge, thanks in part to refinements and developments in the fields of history and archaeology...

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From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible

Contrary to what some fanatics may say, the Bible does not have all the answers. In fact, a number of questions arise from its pages, particularly when we compare the biblical portrait to our world of today. Many Bible stories end with a bit of mystery. We are told that Noah’s Ark came to rest on a mountain after the flood, and then we never read of its whereabouts again in scripture. The Ark of the Covenant is said to have been kept in the temple, but did it survive the temple’s destruction in the 6th century? From Eden to Exile goes in search of some of the Bible’s great mysteries, giving u...

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The Essence of Christianity

Homo homini deus est. Man is a god to man. According to Feuerbach, this is the underlying principle at the heart of the Christian faith. Rather than the supernatural manifestation that it claims to be, Christianity is an anthropocentrism – it is humankind having elevated and transformed itself into the divine through the vehicle of religion. The idea that Christianity is a projection of the unconscious mind is not a new one today, but in The Essence of Christianity it received perhaps its first and foremost compelling argument...

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The Christian Delusion

Since Richard Dawkins’ landmark book, The God Delusion, was published in 2006, one frequent criticism that has been levied against it is that the treatment of Christianity is insufficient and too naive. Professor Dawkins has very little of a religious background, and I would agree that it shows in his book. The same may be said for Christopher Hitchens and god is not Great or Sam Harris and Letter to a Christian Nation. While there is still plenty to appreciate about each of those books, they have not offered a thorough refutation of Christianity...

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The Case for Christ

When I was a young Christian seeking answers to questions of faith and struggling with challenges to my beliefs, The Case for Christ was the first recommendation I received that seemed like it might fit the bill. Back cover promises of taking on big issues like the reliability of the New Testament, the historical evidence for Jesus, and the reasons for believing in the resurrection appealed to my sense of curiosity about the confidence one could have in the Christian religion...

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Forged: Writing in the Name of God

In the last two to three centuries, the traditional origin stories behind Christianity’s sacred texts have begun to dissolve more and more as biblical scholars have abandoned dogma in favor of objective analysis and critical thinking. It is now widely accepted among New Testament scholars that only seven of the thirteen documents attributed to Paul in the Bible were actually written by Paul. With all four gospels being anonymous, never specifying their author, it is also contested that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John did not really write the gospels named for them.

With Forged, we are given a g...

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Eternal Life: A New Vision

The fear of death has been a major struggle for human beings all throughout history, and we have found a variety of ways in which to cope with this uncomfortable fact. Religion is perhaps one of the most intricate and potent of these ways. Our world religions are man-made institutions designed to give comfort from this fear in the form of purpose, meaning, and life that transcend death. Embracing these realizations, Eternal Life: A New Vision argues for the necessity of abandoning traditional theistic religion for the adoption of a more humanist, life-centered perspective...

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