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Good Books For Christian Family Members


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Can anyone recommend some good books that I can recommend to my family (specifically my wife) regarding disbelief in Christianity?

 

The reason I ask is because most of my conversations with my family regarding religion quickly run into factual inconsistencies. I might hint at there being no evidence for anything supernatural, and that the Bible was written by superstitious humans, and they're quick to steamroll me with fulfilled prophecies, archaeological support, and historical confirmation.

 

 

There are a ton of books out there discussing religion, belief in God (or gods), and Christianity. There are also tons of websites. But I have (or, rather, my family has) a few mild criteria, explained below:

  • Gentle/personable tone. Some of Dawkins (and most of Hitchens) reads harshly. Even Sam Harris, at times, can seem condescending. I need something that doesn't sound like an attack.
  • Focused on Christianity. This is optional, but many of the counterarguments I hear in my family are focused on Christianity (e.g. "Prophecies in the Bible are true over and over, therefore it must be true," "Archaeological evidences supports the Bible").
  • Evidence-based. Thankfully, my family is pretty rational, but they believe that the evidence (prophecy, archaeology, etc) support Christianity. The "feelings" and philosophy are only support. In other words, they're not likely to come back from a book that totally debunks the factual accuracy of the Bible by saying, "Oh, but it makes me feel good."
  • Deep. We're not talking Christmas and Easter Christians here. They've all read the Bible through at least once, and they've found a way to rationalize pretty much all of it.

Thank you! And even if you have some ideas that don't meet the above criteria at all, please, post them anyway!

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Guest Valk0010

http://www.amazon.com/UFOs-Ghosts-Rising-God-Resurrection/dp/0981631312

 

http://www.amazon.com/Holy-Writ-Oral-Lit-Folklore/dp/0847691985

 

http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Dead-Robert-M-Price/dp/1578840007/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296526671&sr=8-1 the title is deceiving on this one its not as vitriolic as the title portrays it from what I am told (since i have never had a chance to read it, due to the title.)

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Very easy, quick and to the point: Still one of my favorites to refer to:

 

Charles Templeton: Farewell To God - My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith

Charles Templeton was at one time the Billy Graham of Canada. In fact, he was and still is a friend of Graham's. But the evangelist Templeton began to question some of the essential teachings of Christianity. He undertook a critical study of his faith, and discovered "I could stay in the ministry and live a lie or I could make the break." Templeton made the break. In the 45 chapters of Farewell to God, Templeton catalogues numerous problems with the Christian story that brought about his break with Christianity.

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I happen to think that Trusting Doubt by Valerie Tarico is very good. She is a nice person and yet she presents the facts very well.

 

Dan Barker in Godless presents some of the contradictions within the Bible, shows why Bible characters are poor role models and writes clearly.

 

Farewell to God by Charles Templeton was a good read. He covers quite a few aspects of the problems with Christianity including how the Bible birth narratives have to be false and much more.

 

None of these are really science oriented books but rather look at the evidence from an "Let's look at the evidence, the real evidence not the apologists take on the Christian faith." None of these 3 people in anyway hate Christians.

 

Of course the Loftus books are good but Erhman doesn't really make it for me. Not that he isn't correct.

 

The End of Biblical Studies by Hector Avalos talks specifically about the Bible and the lack of archeological evidence and discusses the actual textual evidence [or lack there of] and points out where apologists are just plain lying. s. He really cuts through apologetic double talk, knows several languages and speaks plainly. A brilliant man who can write something the rest of us can actually follow. I really like this book.

 

Hope that helps.

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"Godless" is an excellent book. Unfortunately for the OP, if they read Dawkins' foreword first, they may be too put off to even bother reading Barker's text. I really wish they'd reissue the book either without the foreword or with the foreword edited to remove some seemingly condescending comments.

 

In addition to what has been mentioned, here's another really good book (written by a deist, so it shouldn't be as off-putting as an atheist's book):

http://www.amazon.com/God-vs-Bible-John-Armstrong/dp/B004J2WDQO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296529510&sr=8-1

 

Link to the publisher's listing:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/god-vs-the-bible/4206249

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Not a book, but an excellent website that I found that dealt with the prophesy issue, which was helpful to me while I was searching.

 

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/farrell_till/prophecy.html

 

 

Another by the same author deals with the archeology and logistical absurdities of the Exodus story.

 

http://www.theskepticalreview.com/JFTHebrewCampsPopulation.html

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"Godless" is an excellent book. Unfortunately for the OP, if they read Dawkins' foreword first, they may be too put off to even bother reading Barker's text. I really wish they'd reissue the book either without the foreword or with the foreword edited to remove some seemingly condescending comments.

 

In addition to what has been mentioned, here's another really good book (written by a deist, so it shouldn't be as off-putting as an atheist's book):

http://www.amazon.com/God-vs-Bible-John-Armstrong/dp/B004J2WDQO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296529510&sr=8-1

 

Link to the publisher's listing:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/god-vs-the-bible/4206249

 

Good Call Citsonga! The author also has a Youtube channel with videos debunking not only the bible,but the Koran as well.Deist Paladin

 

Another really good one is by that good man Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason. Paine also was a deist, and soundly debunks the god of the bible.

The Age of Reason

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"Godless" is an excellent book. Unfortunately for the OP, if they read Dawkins' foreword first, they may be too put off to even bother reading Barker's text. I really wish they'd reissue the book either without the foreword or with the foreword edited to remove some seemingly condescending comments.

 

That's a really good point! I didn't think of the foreword, I don't even remember reading it to be honest, I usually skip those...Either way Godless is a good book, but definitely the Dawkins bit may turn off some Christians, good call!

 

I agree with Tab, Paine's book is another good one. I would even say basic science books like The Grand Design or Atom simply because it provides a view outside of the usual Christian dogma.

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For the archaeology side of things: http://www.amazon.com/Bible-Unearthed-Archaeologys-Vision-Ancient/dp/0684869136/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296600925&sr=8-1

 

 

In addition to what has been mentioned, here's another really good book (written by a deist, so it shouldn't be as off-putting as an atheist's book):

http://www.amazon.com/God-vs-Bible-John-Armstrong/dp/B004J2WDQO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296529510&sr=8-1

 

Link to the publisher's listing:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/god-vs-the-bible/4206249

 

Good Call Citsonga! The author also has a Youtube channel with videos debunking not only the bible,but the Koran as well.Deist Paladin

 

He used to have a website with the entire text available for reading online, but that site has disappeared.

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Very easy, quick and to the point: Still one of my favorites to refer to:

 

Charles Templeton: Farewell To God - My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith

Charles Templeton was at one time the Billy Graham of Canada. In fact, he was and still is a friend of Graham's. But the evangelist Templeton began to question some of the essential teachings of Christianity. He undertook a critical study of his faith, and discovered "I could stay in the ministry and live a lie or I could make the break." Templeton made the break. In the 45 chapters of Farewell to God, Templeton catalogues numerous problems with the Christian story that brought about his break with Christianity.

I believe Templeton's book is one of the least 'threatening' book to current Christians to read, in comparison to one of Richard Dawkins' books (of which I really like a lot!) Templeton's book is easy to read and he puts forth very good arguments as to why there is not enough evidence to convince him of god's existence. He was also at one time the second half of the Billy Graham Crusades and quite the evangelist. It was tough to find someone more dedicated to his belief in God than Templeton. It is very much worth the read.

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