The 2012 Debunking Christianity Challenge

Four years ago I challenged Christians to take the Debunking Christianity Challenge. Just like last year I'm proposing twelve reasonably priced college level books, one per month.

My challenge is for Christians to read our books and test their faith to see if it can withstand our arguments. As I argued recently most believers do not seriously question their faith. Do you want to be different than other believers? Do you want to do what most of them don't do? Then take the DC Challenge. I challenge you! Hey, what do you have to lose? If the books cause you to become stronger in your faith that's good, right? But if your faith cannot survive our assault then we've done you a favor. No more soundbites. No more reading one blog post at a time. Sit down for yourselves and read through whole books written by the skeptics. Here then are the twelve books for this year's DC challenge:

You can read them in any order you like but read them!

January: If you want to know why human beings have a propensity to be believers then Michael Shermer tells us in his book The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths.

February: If you have never considered the evidence for evolution, probably the best book is Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution Is True. You must read what science shows us which has convinced nearly all thinking people. The implications of evolution are enormous for religious faith.

March: For an overview of the debates that separate us read John Shook's book The God Debates: A 21st Century Guide for Atheists and Believers (and Everyone in Between). This book more than adequately will sum up and argue for what you need to consider. It's very good.

April: Read the second edition of my magnum opus, Why I Became An Atheist. It will be available by this month. It is a massive revision including new chapters and better arguments with an additional 110 pages.

May: For a devastating critique of the Christian faith read the first anthology I edited called The Christian Delusion.

June: Then read my second anthology, The End of Christianity, Of course, I think it's a tour de force.

July: Read Thom Stark's book The Human Faces of God. While it appears as if he's arguing just against the Christian doctrine of inerrancy (and does a superb job of it), he's doing far more than that. He argues there are not only "scientific and historical problems" in the Bible, but also that there are "moral, ethical, theological, and ideological problems" with it (p. 208). He goes into some detail on a few of the issues found in my books, mostly in the Old Testament.

August: To see how much of the New Testament cannot be reliable read Bart D. Ehrman's book Jesus Interrupted. This is probably my favorite Ehrman book where he argues that the New Testament is a human, not divine book.

September: Do you still think the resurrection of Jesus can be defended even if the New Testament isn't reliable? Then read Robert M. Price and Jeffery Jay Lowder’s book, The Empty Tomb.

October: If by this time you find yourself no longer an evangelical and need to unlearn what you were taught to believe from your upbringing and education, do not miss Paul Tobin's magnum opus, The Rejection of Pascal's Wager: A Skeptic's Guide to the Bible and the Historical Jesus. This is a massive book. This book will help deprogram you out of some things about the Bible and Jesus you previously believed.

November: If by this time you end up a liberal then the kicker book this year is Hector Avalos’s The End of Biblical Studies. If you think liberalism is the answer read Hector's book.

December: The problem though is faith itself. It's an irrational leap over the probabilities. Since I don't think arguments to the existence of God get us anywhere and because believers don't understand how science works and why faith doesn't, read Victor Stenger's book, God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion It'll probably be a classic.


Each of these twelve books cites additional works for you to study out in greater and greater detail. There are many books I would've liked to list, but I just limited it to twelve. If you have already read one or more of these books simply replace them with one or more of the following ones:

Probably the best atheist book published last year is by biblical scholar Hector Avalos, Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Ethics of Biblical Scholarship. As of yet it's not reasonably priced. Try to get it at your university library though. Christianity dies on the rock of this one issue and Hector does a masterful job of showing us why.

I also highly recommend The Fallacy of Fine Tuning, by Victor Stenger, G.A. Wells, Cutting Jesus Down to Size: What Higher Criticism Has Achieved and Where It Leaves Christianity, and Michael Martin’s book, The Case Against Christianity.

Or choose from of a list I made at of forty books (but have not updated it in a long time).

Again, what do you have to lose?


Anonymous said...

Your amazon link appears dead.

Anonymous said...

You should add Joseph atwill's "Caesar's Messiah"....excellent read