Book Review — Disproving Christianity. Refuting the World’s Most followed Religion
For some time now, I’ve wanted to start a book review section of BABS. Science and skeptical based books have been quite important in my life and have opened me to new ideas, so I feel a strong need to share with you the best of these books. Believe it or not, the difficult part has been deciding what book to review first. Maybe it was only my inherent procrastination but I wanted something very recent and close to the BABS subject line to start it out, so I’ve been scanning through Amazon and the Barnes and Noble shelves looking for the perfect book for a starter review. Months passed and I found nothing. Then lo and behold, I get an email regarding a soon to be published refutation of Christian beliefs using their own Bible against them, “Disproving Christianity, Refuting the World’s Most Followed Religion” by David G. McAfee. Well, hey! Sometimes good shit just drops right into your lap. Do you know what they call this? Chance! Pure random chance!
To begin, this is not a book to disprove the existence of God, rather this is, capturing my own heart, a book that wades right in and proves the inconsistency of the Christian religion by using the Bible as the primary weapon against Faith. David McAfee makes no bones about it. He is out to battle that popularly rising Christian tide, Biblical literalism, that is a view that the entire Bible must be taken literally and is completely infallible. As any regular reader of this site is aware, I firmly believe that Biblical literalism is a joke, but Mr. McAfee is out to prove it concisely and systematically. Since believers swear it’s infallible, all you should have to do is prove just a single section false and it shatters the whole concept. If they insist on putting all their eggs in a single tattered and duct taped basket, it should only take a small tear to bring them crashing to the ground. McAfee goes further and by the end of the book, he has gnawed holes large and small throughout the basket. In fact, by the end of the last argument there isn’t a basket left, only a few believers left juggling the rotten eggs of their beliefs.
This is a book that really should come in a pocket edition, because you may want to carry it with you. It is, however, available on the Kindle and therefore can be carried on any ipod touch or iphone, though it’s none too big even in its print edition. Disproving Christianity lays out a variety of arguments where a literal interpretation of the Bible is either not what today’s Christians follow or where the Biblical writings are contradictory with themselves. McAfee hammers these arguments home with the technique of a master debater, laying out the Christian view and then laying out Biblical passages that prove it incorrect or giving multiple examples of where the Bible says one thing then later says, if not the direct opposite, often something in another direction entirely. Many different points are driven home, calmly and rationally. Although, most arguments are not new and shiny (how many arguments ever are), there are several that I was not familiar with, and all points are cited chapter and verse. Disproving Christianity is a book based on reason not emotion. There are no jokes or puns, nothing funny at all. I do believe that Mr. McAfee should consider embracing the concept of humor as a tool of instruction, but even with its lack the writing is interesting and far easier to read than Stenger. (I like Stenger, but trying to read his books is like trying to swallow horse pills without water.)
If I have a complaint about Disproving Christianity, it’d be the very conciseness I talked about earlier. Opinions will vary, and anyone familiar with this site knows I have difficulty shutting the hell up, but even so, sometimes arguments can be made too brief. There are a few sections that could use a bit more illustration, a few more examples or even just a bit more rambling on. Often, clarity comes with repetition, and this book in its clean and mean form has little of that. In lieu of that, I suggest doing what I did and read it twice. Make your own repetition and think about what this book is pointing out. There is little doubt that it would be worthwhile.
Overall, this book would be a valuable addition to any skeptical library, particularly for an atheist new to his or her skepticism. These short little arguments will give you the strength and tools you will need to fight battles internal and external. It will not be the only tool you need, but will add to your arsenal. This plus selected books by Hitchens, Dawkins and Stenger can make a new skeptic understand that the doubts he or she has had for so long are quite legitimate. This book can help recovering theists on their road to recovery from that largest of all cults, Christianity.
I give it four out of five capital A’s It’s available for purchase at Amazon here