Blurbs for My Book "The Outsider Test for Faith"

Here are the blurbs for my book The Outsider Test for Faith: How to Know Which Religion Is True,in no particular order:


I am a big fan of John Loftus’s “Outsider Test for Faith”-the view that because one’s religious faith is almost completely an accident of birth, believers should be highly skeptical about whether their own faith is correct. This eminently sensible principle, outlined in Loftus’s admirable book, is rarely followed in practice; but if it were then the dominance of religion in our world, with all its bad effects, would be severely eroded.

– Dr. Jerry A. Coyne, Professor of Ecology and Evolution at The University of Chicago and author of Why Evolution is True.


The Outsider Test for Faith is an ingenious way of helping the religious take a step back so that they can fairly and impartially examine what they believe, which can only be a good thing.

-- Dr. Stephen Law, senior lecturer in philosophy, University of London, and author of Believing Bullshit.


Over the past ten thousand years there have been tens of thousands of religions and thousands of gods. Which one is the right one? To believers in each one they all appear unique. To an anthropologist from Mars they all look the same. . . . John W. Loftus’s clever Outsider Test for Faith gives you the intellectual firepower you need when engaging believers, pointing out, for example, that they are religious skeptics, too—of all those other faiths. Some of us go one faith further in our skepticism. You will, too, after reading this testament to the power of reason.

-- Dr. Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, and author of The Believing Brain.


Without doubt one of the best books I've ever read on faith. A masterpiece.

-- Dr. Peter Boghossian, Portland State University Philosophy Department.


Loftus makes a convincing case that believers who are willing to honestly apply the outsider test cannot but fail to see the irrationality of their faith.

-- Victor J. Stenger, author of God and the Atom among other important books.


John Loftus has done it again! He has produced a lucid and exhaustive explanation of the simple proposition that individuals should examine their own faith with the same skepticism they show toward the claims of other faiths. No significant objection is left unexamined, and no major objector escapes unscathed. This is a potent antidote to those who elevate faith above reason, and superstition above science. It is a bravura performance.

-- Dr. Hector Avalos, Professor of Religious Studies Iowa State University, and author of Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Ethics of Biblical Scholarship.


This is the greatest book Loftus has ever produced. It's without question a must-read for believers, and any atheist who wants to debate them. Superbly argued, air tight, and endlessly useful, this should be everyone's first stop in the god debate. Loftus meets every objection and proves the Outsider Test for Faith is really the core of every case against religious belief, and the one argument you can't honestly get around. It takes religion on at its most basic presuppositions, forcing the believer into a dilemma from which there is no escape: either abandon your faith or admit you don't believe in being logically consistent. After reading it, and sincerely applying its principles, anyone who really wants to be rational will be on the road to atheism in no time.

-- Dr. Richard Carrier, author of Proving History and Sense and Goodness without God.


John Loftus has written a bold book based on a simple premise: The unexamined faith is not worth believing. Of course, every Christian apologist gives lip service to this premise and claims to have given the tenets of faith a full and fair hearing. Loftus shows just how cheap and hollow such talk usually is. He demands that believers examine their own faith with all of the rigor and skepticism that they direct towards other faiths. To those who condemn the beliefs of others while elevating their own dogmas, Loftus’ message could come straight from the Gospel: Remove the beam from your own eye before you seek to remove the speck from another’s.

-- Dr. Keith Parsons, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, University of Houston-Clear Lake; author of books in the philosophy of science, history of science, and philosophy of religion.


Perhaps the most intractable argument against Loftus’s outsider test of faith is some version of “I can’t do it. I can’t get far enough outside of my emotions and beliefs to examine my own religion like I would any other.” As a psychologist I find that credible. We all have a very imperfect and fragmentary ability to see ourselves as others see us. But this in no way undermines Loftus’s foundational argument that the outsider test should be the gold standard.

-- Dr. Valerie Tarico, psychologist and author of Trusting Doubt.


John Loftus will be remembered a century from now for his Outsider Test for Faith.

-- Dr. Frank Zindler, former president of America Atheists and editor of American Atheist Magazine.


When an evangelical minister can ask tough questions about religion and leave the faith, then so can you. John Loftus is the religious believer’s genuine friend, respecting your intelligence enough to show you how religions really work. His new book questions every religion with the same challenge: what reasons could it really have for claiming to possesses the unique truth? When the fa├žades of familiarity and unquestionability are ripped away, exposing faith’s weaknesses to both insiders and outsiders, can any religion pass this test?

-- Dr. John Shook, PhD, Center for Inquiry and American Humanist Association and author of The God Debates.


To say I'm excited is an understatement of gargantuan propositions.