Day Seven of Thirteen Days of Solistice

We're celebrating the 13 days of Solstice rather than the 12 days of Christmas. I'm done writing and editing books, so I'm highlighting each of them in reverse chronological order, leading up to the 25th of the month.[See Tag Below] Stick with me to the end of this series when I write about my experiences in book publishing, the need for self-promotion and how to do it right (if it can be done right), plus what royalties authors can expect.

You should know that this book, How to Defend the Christian Faith: Advice from an Atheist, is one I thought about doing before any of my books were published. You can read what I said back in 2006, the year I began blogging. Almost ten years later I did a series of fifteen posts titled, "Do You Want to Be A Christian Apologist? Part 1...15". From them I wrote Part 2 of this book. That same year I did a series of posts on every chapter in God and Evil: The Case for God in a World Filled with Pain,edited by Chad Meister. They became the basis of Part 3 of this book. [Sorry, all deleted now].

Here's an outline: Part 1:

1. The Most Important Question Of All

Part 1 You Must Prepare for the Task

2. Realize in Advance the Monumental Challenges

3. Become an Honest Life-Long Seeker of the Truth  

4. Get a Good Education in a Good Field of Study

5. Nothing Less Than Sufficient Evidence Will Do 

6. How to Know Which Religion to Defend

Part 2 How to Defend the Christian Faith

7. You Must Specialize in Special Pleading

8. You Must Punt to Possibilities

9. You Must Gerrymander for God

10. You Must Master the Art of Mischaracterization

11. When All Else Fails Lie

Part 3 How to Defend God in a World of Pain

12. Skirt the Strength of these Challenges

13. Admit There Are No Solutions

14. Blame Anything But the Creator

15. Make Illegitimate Excuses for God

16. Ignore This Empirical Refutation of Christianity

In chapter 1 challenge apologists with the most important question of all when it comes to defending the Christian faith. It’s the obvious elephant in the room that very few Christians even notice. Why is it necessary to defend the Christian faith at all? I mean, really, if people want to pursue a goal they should know why they are doing so. I argue there shouldn’t be any reason to defend Christianity. I challenge readers interested in pursuing that goal to ponder this question. Answer it before proceeding any further. I argue that God, if he exists, should do all the work himself—without needing any apologists—thereby attaining much better results than apologists could ever possibly get.

I am particularly happy with chapter 5.
The only apologetics method that has any merit at all is the evidentialist approach. It’s the one method that proponents of four subsequent methods reject or degrade to second class status at best. Christians should find this troublesome. After all, we’re talking about apologetics, defending the truth of Christianity. And it cannot be done without sufficient evidence, according to apologists themselves!

Since you're reading this let me provide some important links about Christian Apologetics: 1) "Follow the Money" Michael Alter and Matthew Ferguson On Apologetics; 2) The Meta-Apologetic Problem of Sophistication; 3) "Don't Read Apologetics!"; 4) Five Deceptive Apologetic Strategies; 5) Recent Trends in Christian Apologetics, Part 1 [Click on the Tag "Apologetic Books" for Parts 2 & 3).

As to the blurbs they can be found on Amazon. Six in particular I consider important:

"In this book John Loftus provides some insightful criticisms of arguments by Christian thinkers, including those having to do with the problem of evil." —Dr. Chad Meister, Professor, Philosophy, Bethel College; author, Evil: A Guide for the Perplexed.

“I don’t know anyone who can match the high definition clarity of John Loftus when it comes to navigating the labyrinthine world of Christian evangelical apologetics for the general public. This is a relentless and incisive critique of the pseudo-scholarship that passes for genuine intellectual inquiry under the name of Christian apologetics.” —Dr. Hector Avalos, Professor of Religious Studies, Iowa State University; author, The End of Biblical Studies, Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Ethics of Biblical Scholarship, and The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics

William Albr√ęcht wrote of it: "As a Catholic apologist, I cannot recommend this book enough. The arguments therein are elite level arguments that ANY believer MUST answer if they are to defend their faith against the very best that atheism has to offer. I own this book and give copies out frequently."

“Loftus is one of the few atheists who actually understands religion. This book displays the knowledge of a Christian theologian as well as rationality of an atheist. Both sides can learn a lot from it.”—Dr. David Eller, author, Natural Atheism, Atheism Advanced: Further Thoughts of a Freethinker, and Introducing Anthropology of Religion: Culture to the Ultimate.

“For years I have despaired about the sorry state of Christian apologetics, and even sorrier state of Christian apologists. If there be Christian truth, it lies beyond the reach of rational inquiry, and perhaps that is OK. In How to Defend the Christian Faith, John Loftus lays waste to a colosseum full of bad arguments, including my own tentative efforts at the problem of evil. (Loftus says I am 'ignorant' but less ignorant than Ken Ham, which was a relief.) Believers should read Loftus’s engaging assault on their intellectual champions. They will be dismayed at how often they agree. I know I was.” —Karl Gilberson, Scholar-in-Residence, Science & Religion, Stonehill College; author, Saving the Original Sinner: How Christians Have Used the Bible’s First Man to Oppress, Inspire, and Make Sense of the World.

“The world has just become a richer place. Who can calculate the added value to our planet when bright, young aspiring apologists decide to redirect their talents and energies to evidence-based careers? Many of them—the ones who sincerely care about truth—will certainly do that after reading the wise counsel in John Loftus’ caring and sobering book. How to Defend the Christian Faith is a welcome mutual aid for Apologists Anonymous.” —Dan Barker, author, Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning;Co-President, Freedom From Religion Foundation.

You see the fine reviews of the book at Amazon. Unfortunately, it got unjustifiably blasted in a few reviews from readers who clearly have an axe to grind. It would be nice if I could get some "Likes" on reviews that are fair-minded, or even some new positive reviews.

After the book was published Christian apologist Gary Habermas told me he has "highly recommended" my book to his Ph.D. students at Liberty University in the School of Divinity. He teaches the PhD class APOL 910—Apologetic Methodology in which he requires his students to read 1000 pages for this class, and my book is on the list of recommended books. Habermas also had me join that class for a discussion on apologetics.

I was honored to have Dr. Peter Boghossian write the Foreword with some glowing remarks about my book. To say he liked it is a big understatement. He closes it with these words:

How to Defend the Christian Faith is the Omega of literally thousands of years of intellectual history devoted to the defense of Christianity. There will never need to be another apologia of the Christian faith. It is the ultimate corrective mechanism for the Christian faith, and the definitive guide to Christian apologetics and for Christian apologists. You will never have to read another book about how to defend your faith—and, after reading this book, you may never want to.

John W. Loftus is a philosopher and counter-apologist credited with 13 critically acclaimed books, which are not very popular judging from the meager sales. At this season I'm retired with a fixed income and would appreciate a one-time solstice gift to help me get by. If my work has benefited you at all, it would encourage me to keep doing what I'm doing for as long as I can. My marriage has suffered because my wife often complains I spend way too much time online. But if I could make a little money doing what I do she probably wouldn't complain any more, and you would see me writing more.

Please support my work this season by sharing my posts, or by subscribing, donating, or buying my books at Amazon then telling others about them! As an Amazon Associate John earns a small amount of money from purchases made from Amazon. Buying anything through them helps fund my work here, and is greatly appreciated! The ads here don't bring in much money at all. Since most people use an adblocker I'm thinking of doing away with them altogether. I hope this season of the year brings you cheer, peace, good health, and healthy relationships! Thanks for your support!