The 2017 Debunking Christianity Challenge

In the past few years I've proposed twelve reasonably priced college level books for Christians to read, one per month for the year. My challenge is for Christians to read our books and test their faith. As I've argued, most believers do not seriously question their faith. Christian, do you want to be different than almost all other believers? Do you want to do what only a rare number of them will do? Then take the 2017 DC Challenge. Hey, what do you have to lose? If our books cause you to become stronger in your faith that's good, right? But if your faith cannot survive we've done you a favor, that is, if you're really interested in the truth.

The fact that Christians won't do so is because their culturally indoctrinated and/or brainwashed brain has convinced them that their search for truth ended sometime before they ever became adults. So they won't read our books because they don't want to know if their faith is false. That's right, they don't want to know the truth. That's the number one indicator one's faith is false, or perhaps rather, that deep inside them believers fear it's false. Mormons, Muslims, Orthodox Jews and others would react exactly the same way. They don't want to know if their childhood faiths are false either. In any case, no more soundbites. No more reading one blog post at a time. Sit down for yourselves and read through whole books written by atheists who were former believers.

I've had 9 books published in 8 years (effectively 10 books with the revision of my magnum opus WIBA). You'll have to forgive me if I cannot resist the supposition that my books are among the best. Wouldn't you? Especially when they receive such high praise as my magnum opus has. Every one of my books is unique, doing what few other atheist books have done, if any of them. To understand what I mean consider this. While all my books were listed in previous DC Challenges I'll not list them this time. I'll list others instead. I'll start my list with this month (since I'm late this year). Keep in mind my recommendations are only as good as my knowledge of the available books goes.

Here then without adieu are the 12 books for the 2017 DC Challenge:

1) February: The problem with Christianity, like almost all religions, 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. I wrote a blurb for it seen on the back cover.

2) March: Faith should be rejected in favor of objective evidence, especially when the overwhelming consensus of scientists around the world are in agreement, which is the case with evolution. If you've never considered the scientific evidence for evolution then read Abby Hafer's book, The Not-So-Intelligent Designer: Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and Intelligent Design Does Not. While there are other great books that cover more territory, this one has the best chance to change minds. You must read why the science convinces all thinking people. I wrote a blurb for it seen on the back cover.

3) April: To see the implications of evolution read Robert M. Price and Edwin Suominen's book, Evolving out of Eden: Christian Responses to Evolution. I wrote a blurb for it:
This book is an exceptionally well-written, informed and witty smack down of Christian attempts to deny the fact of evolution or incorporate it into their faith. The authors show us in this masterful book, the likes of which I have never seen before, that the implications of evolution are devastating for the Bible and the doctrines based on it. Absolutely brilliant!
4) May: The faith of Christians is based on the Bible as a revelation from God (in some sense) and/or the theologies built on it. Hector Avalos’s book The End of Biblical Studies shows such a faith is an utterly misplaced one. Dr. Avalos effectively shows the Bible should not be treated with any more respect than other ancient near-eastern literature.

5) June: To understand why the New Testament is not authoritative or reliable read Bart D. Ehrman's book Jesus Interrupted. This is my favorite Ehrman book where he argues the New Testament is a human, not divine book.

6) July: To see a over-all cumulative case against Christianity read Dr. David Madison's book, Ten Tough Problems in Christian Thought and Belief: A Minister-Turned-Atheist Shows Why You Should Ditch the Faith. I wrote this blurb for it:
If it looks and sounds like a fairy tale, it's a fairy tale." So says David Madison, a biblically trained scholar, in an unequaled, educational, and entertaining counter-apologetics book that exposes ten of the toughest problems for the Christian faith as unworthy of thinking adults. Madison expertly presents a cumulative case against Christianity, which is the best way to compel childlike believers to abandon their make-believe fantasies. While it's written for pastors and their fleeced flock in the pew stalls, Christian philosophers should definitely pay heed since most of them are biblically illiterate, mindlessly defending the wacky doctrines derived from unevidenced ancient pre-scientific fairy tales.
7) August: Don't Christians claim there is historical evidence for their faith in the resurrection of Jesus? Yes, but under closer examination this evidence fails miserably. Read Matt McCormick's book Atheism and the Case against Christ. I consider it the best atheist book against the resurrection of Jesus. I wrote a blurb for it seen on the back cover.

8) September: Don't Christians claim there is testimonial evidence from answered prayers? They do, but they fail to understand that extremely rare events happen to people all of the time, such that no divine explanation is necessary to understand why they took place based on the statistics. Statistician David J. Hand shows this conclusively in his book The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day. I have yet to see a Christian apologist to argue against this book.

9) October: So much for science faith and evidence. What about the ethics of the God of the Bible and Christianity as a basis for a good society then? First read Dan Barker's book, God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction. Learn for yourselves about the barbaric nature of the God of the Bible you worship. Most Christians have never read the Bible to see what's in it. Here's your chance if you really want to know the truth. Do you? I wrote a blurb for it:
Dan Barker accurately and masterfully shows us that the bible is the believer’s worst enemy. I don’t see how believers can read his book and fail to conclude that the God of the bible is a fictional character invented by ancient barbaric blood-thirsty men, as Dawkins wrote. If they continue believing despite the overwhelming biblical evidence that Barker presents, then their cognitive faculties are just not functioning properly.
10) November: Hector Avalos, in his book Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Ethics of Biblical Scholarship shows the Bible isn't a good source for ethics if it failed on this most crucial and obvious issue. I've reviewed his book right here. Christianity dies on the rock of this issue and Hector does a masterful job of showing us why.

11) December: Read Hector Avalos, The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics, to see Jesus was not "sinless" after all. You'll be confronted with his views "on hate, violence, imperialism, animal rights, environmental ethics, Judaism, women, disabled persons and biblical hermeneutics." I reviewed this book right here. If Jesus was a "sinner" then gone is the notion of him being incarnate God and the perfect sacrifice for our sins, and gone is the notion he is some kind of standard for morality.

12) January 2018: [This book will be the first one listed in the 2018 DC Challenge next year]. Along these same lines Robert M. Price shows that we cannot separate the ethics of Jesus from Jehovah (or Yahweh). If the God of the OT is barbaric then because Jesus is part of the Godhead he is barbaric as well. Read his book, Blaming Jesus for Jehovah: Rethinking the Righteousness of Christianity. I wrote a blurb for it seen on the back cover.

Christians typically reply to these yearly challenges with their own list of Christian books. So let me state for the record that I have probably read more Christian apologetics books and articles in 40 years then most of them will read their entire lives. So for comparison purposes, if Christian apologists respond with such a list then let them tell us how many atheist books they have read? I'd like to know. I've probably sold or thrown away more of them than they have read.


You will notice there aren't any philosophy of religion books on this list. That's because I think the philosophy of religion abdicates its responsibility by failing to evaluate all religious faith-based claims equally, privileging none. Furthermore, I can only have respect for a scientifically based philosophy, and philosophy of religion is ipso facto not scientifically based since religion is not based on sufficient objective evidence.


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. Consider the books in my sidebar as honorable mentions. If you have already read one or more of them simply replace them with one or more recognized works they refer to.

Again, what do you have to lose?