Teachings of Jesus that Christians Dislike and Ignore, Number 3


They just say NO to their lord and savior

Most of the Old Testament is ignored today by churchgoers: trying to plough through the books of Numbers or Leviticus, Jeremiah or Ezekiel is too much of a struggle. When they turn to the New Testament, the gospels probably get most of their attention—though that is limited too—while the letters of the apostle Paul are also too much of a struggle. Of course, there are famous texts from these letters that are favorites, e.g., “love is patient, love is kind” (I Cor.13:4)—which is Paul in a good mood. So much of the time he is a bully, lashing out, scolding, savoring the wrath of his god.

Free Book!!

Tomorrow I'm going to announce that one of my books in Kindle format can be gotten for free!! Which one would you guess?

Does God Exist? A Definitive Non-Philosophical Case, by John W. Loftus


  This essay began as an opening statement in a debate with Scott Tomlinson, who is on the board of Reasonable Faith, an organization whose founder and owner is the premier apologist of our era, William Lane Craig. The debate took place on March 13, 2023, at the Reston Bible Church, in Dulles, Virginia. Let it be said I didn’t do all that well. But I did good enough. Since Craig has refused to debate me as a former student of his, I consider debating Scott a second best choice.

What follows is an extended and updated essay based on my opening statement, which I’m publishing after some further thought. [You can see the original PowerPoint (with a few errors) at https://www.debunking-christianity.com/2023/03/my-debate-power-point.html

 The thing I like most about debates is they force me to put into words my strongest arguments on a given subject at a given time. See what you think, especially since I wrote the 2016 book, Unapologetic: Why Philosophy Must End, severely downplaying the role of philosophy of religion as it’s practiced. This is better than fruitlessly debating the five ways of Aquinas.

Need Some Help on Your Way Out of Faith?


Wise counsel from a former evangelical preacher

It’s a possibility I’ve suggested quite often: Christians exist on a scale. There are the 10’s, those whose commitment to Christ appears utterly unshakable: evangelicals, fundamentalists, determined professional apologists. At the other end, there are those who deserve a rating of 1, the very occasional churchgoers, who are perhaps already at the take-it-or-leave stage. Those who merit a 5 rating are beset by doubts, and can identify with the man conversing with Jesus in Mark 9: “I believe, help my unbelief!” They want to stay on board, but curiosity drives doubts, or they’ve been hit hard by life—so it isn’t easy.

The Clear Connection Between the Enuma Elish (1600 BCE) and Genesis 1.


My Debate Power Point


The thing I like most about debates is they force me to put into words my strongest thoughts on a given subject. This debate was "Does God Exist?" See what you think, especially since I have written the book "Unapologetic", downplaying the role of philosophy of religion. Sometime soon I'll write it out. Enjoy, and please, please, share it for others to see why this is better than fruitlessly debating the five ways of Aquinas. 



I have known the author of the piece below for many years. Both he and I are most interested in what you think of its strongest and weakest parts, so please comment. The content in this essay deserves the utmost serious consideration.

 --John W. Loftus.  






By Stanley W. Ayre -- March 2023

Pop-Quiz for Christians, Number 7


Dealing with some of the curiosities in Matthew’s gospel

I have often pointed
out that the gospels are a minefield. Randel Helms has said it even better: “The Bible is a self-destructing artifact.” We are far removed from the thought world of those who wrote the New Testament, so it’s hardly a surprise that we find some very strange things in the gospels. One of my purposes in these Pop Quizzes for Christians is to encourage them to look beneath the rituals, ceremonies, and sermons—all of which are designed to present a magnificent case for Christianity. But is that what we actually find in the gospels? If the brain is fully in gear, if folks were in the habit of questioning everything, they could see that far too much just doesn’t make sense. When we open the New Testament, the gospel of Matthew is the first thing we see—although Mark was actually the first to be written. There is a lot in Matthew that should make Christians wonder how/why it should be taken seriously.

The Massive Damage Done by Sunday School and Catechism


Indoctrination is not education

A careful reading of the New Testament reveals how much early Christians disagreed with each other, but even so it’s possible to create a profile of its weird cult beliefs. 


The early Christians expected to meet Jesus in the sky—along with dead friends and family who had accepted Jesus—and to live with him forever (I Thessalonians 4). Those who qualified for this status said out loud that Jesus was lord, and believed in their hearts that god had raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9). He had died as a human sacrifice to a god, to enable this god to forgive sins—Jesus was the ransom (Mark 10:45). Belonging to Jesus meant that prayer requests were guaranteed (Mark 11:24), that sexual desires had been cancelled (Galatians 5:24, I Corinthians 7:1). Even if that were not entirely true, since the arrival of Jesus on the clouds would happen any day now, it is best to remain pure. The unmarried state is preferred (I Corinthians 7:32-34). In fact, families were a distraction, cult loyalty was the primary value—to the point of cutting off family relations (Luke 14:26, Matthew 8:21-22). In addition to believing that Jesus had been raised from the dead, ritually eating his flesh and drinking his blood were additional ways to guarantee eternal life (John 6:53-57).

Mind Games to Protect Almighty (?) God


The vulnerability of god is the biggest mystery

In a few of my article here I have mentioned one of the worst mind games ever used to defend god. A few days after the 2012 murder of 20 children at the Sandy Hook School in Connecticut, a devout woman was sure it had happened because “God must have wanted more angels.” Clergy and theologians know better than to say anything so blatantly grotesque, yet they feel the same obligation to get god off the hook. Why is there is so much suffering, cruelty, agony on a planet supposedly under the care of an omni-god: all good, all wise, all powerful? “This is my father’s world”—so they say. Our awareness of the everyday reality disconfirms this suggestion—at least it disconfirms the idea that a caring father-god is paying attention.

Why Do Many Atheists Hate The New Atheists?

[Published on 4/10/16] Jerry Coyne wrote a post answering this question: Why do many atheists hate the new atheists? The money quote is here:
I can think of a couple of answers. The first is simple jealousy: some atheists haven't achieved the fame or public profile of people like Hitchens, and so attack their character rather than their arguments. It's also a way to get attention for yourself if you feel unappreciated.

The second is the feeling by the Quiet Atheists that "New Atheists don't represent me," and so they must be called out. But since when have prominent New Atheists ever said they represent all atheists? They are representing their own views, and I doubt that any of them have said that they speak for all nonbelievers. LINK
Earlier I had highlighted jealously as a motive of these haters.

I think Coyne's comments also explain why some small-minded atheists don't like me as well. This is something that has only recently dawned on me, since I have not thought of myself as having much fame or being that important. These misinformed and jealous atheists "perceive" me to have achieved a certain amount of fame they can only dream of having. So they attack. This should encourage me, or something. ;-) [My name is John Loftus and I approve this message!]

Christianity’s Biggest Sins


Fueled by scripture’s biggest mistakes

In the second chapter of Acts we find the story of Peter preaching about Jesus, with dramatic results: “So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added” (v. 41). Most New Testament scholars grant that the Book of Acts was written decades after events depicted, all but conceding that authentic history is hard to find here; sources are not mentioned, and the case for Jesus is made primarily by quoting from the Old Testament. Moreover, the fantasy factor is pretty high, e.g., an angel helps Peter escape from prison: “Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared. A light shone in the prison cell. The angel struck Peter on his side. Peter woke up. ‘Quick!’ the angel said. ‘Get up!’ The chains fell off Peter’s wrists” (Acts 12:7).  

The early Christians were a small breakaway Jewish sect, but there’s an attempt here to exaggerate its success: three thousand were baptized when they heard Peter speak.  How would an author writing decades after the “event” have been able to verify that figure? And are modern readers supposed to be impressed that three thousand people signed up because they heard the words of a preacher? Throughout the ages many cults have gathered the gullible in exactly this way.

What Comes After Atheism? Liberatheism, Freedom from God(s)


I am honored to write the Foreword to David Eller's soon to be published book, Liberatheism: On Freedom from God(s). Here is a draft I've submitted:


David Eller’s luminous works contain important perspectives you won’t find from anyone else in today’s world. We are all in his debt. You aren’t a fully informed person if you’re not reading them, and this new book is no exception.[1]

Let me highlight just a few of his perspectives, those I found to be brilliant, important, and persuasive. First, as a professor of cultural anthropology Eller has challenged me to think outside my cultural box. Rather than thinking exclusively in terms of westernized notions of faith, religion, and culture, he has forced me to adopt a global perspective. This global perspective has been a game changer for me. I used to think in exclusively in  terms of the westernized theistic gods of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. And while I don’t have a very deep knowledge of the other religious cultures and their gods, my consciousness has been raised to consider these other religious cultures more than ever. When that happens you will see the problem of religious diversity for what it really is.

From Eller I was forced to acknowledge it is not the case that westernized notions of religion have any superiority to them. That was a shocker to me, but then at that time I was still in my ignorance. Again, when we adopt a truly global perspective on religion none of them have anything more going for them than the others. This means for me as an atheist that when I choose to argue exclusively against one deity over the others, by that very choice I’m acting as if one particular deity has more going for it than the others. That assumption is false. The reason it’s false is because all religions are subjective, cultural, tribal, and relative. Our inherited religion is just a different cultural expression of the same kinds of hopes and fears over the problems we face with life and death, morals and society itself.

Teachings of Jesus that Christians Dislike and Ignore, Number 2


They just say NO to their Lord and Savior

Weird scripture has given rise to weird versions of Christianity. In Mark 16 the resurrected Jesus assures those who believe that they will be able to “pick up snakes”—as well as drink poison, heal people by touch, speak in tongues, and cast out demons (Mark 16:17-18). So there are indeed Christian sects today that make a big deal of handling snakes, and on occasion we read that a   snake-handling preacher has died. These folks didn’t get the word that this text is found in the fake ending of Mark—that is, verses 16:9-20 are not found in the oldest manuscripts of the gospel; these were added later by an unknown crank. Most Christians today, we can assume, do not rank these among their favorite Bible verses. 


Indeed there are many verses that the devout pretend aren’t there, because these verses have a strong cult flavor.  I’m sure that the community of the faithful today are shocked to hear their religion called a cult—they wince at this designation. But they don’t pick up on this fact because they are unaware of so many embarrassing verses, especially in Jesus-script in the gospels. Unaware is one way to put it, obtuse is also appropriate. Or they’re just careless, in the sense of not taking care to read the gospels. If they took seriously the claim that the gospels are the word of their god, why don’t they binge-read these basic four documents, to discover as much detail as possible about their lord and savior?

Upcoming Debate on the Existence of God


Puncturing the God Fallacy, Repeatedly and Thoroughly


Religion’s greatest harm: “…the subversion of clear thinking…”

“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.” This famous line from the 1976 film, Network, reflects the approach of so many secular/atheist writers of our time. Outrage is reignited, continually. 

This headline caught my attention a few days ago: Thousands of children abused by members of Portugal’s Catholic Church over 70 years. At the top of the article:

“At least 4,815 children were sexually abused by members of the Portuguese Catholic Church – mostly priests – over the past 70 years, a report by the commission investigating the issue said on Monday, adding the findings are the tip of the iceberg.” Child psychiatrist Pedro Strecht said “the 4,815 cases were the ‘absolute minimum’ number of victims of sexual abuse by clergy members in Portugal since 1950…Most perpetrators (77%) were priests and most of the victims were male…they were abused in Catholic schools, churches, priests’ homes, confessionals, among other locations.”

Here's What's Wrong with Three Favorite Bible Texts


Psalm 23, the Lord's Prayer & John 3:16

Sunday School and Catechism exist because the clergy know that certain articles of faith must be established as early as possible: capture young minds and hold them forever—at least that’s the hope. One of these articles of faith is that the clergy are custodians of truth about the god/gods they proclaim, so just accept what they tell you. A second article is that if certain scripture texts are recited frequently, endlessly, from the earliest years, they become part of life, fundamental truths not to be questioned. Remembering them, reciting them, are sources of comfort. Hence it would never cross the minds of many adult churchgoers to question—to critically examine—the Bible texts they’ve known and loved from an early age. They are disinclined to ask: Do these texts make sense? Do they fit with what we know about our world after a few hundred years of science and discovery?

Teachings of Jesus that Christians Dislike and Ignore, Number 1


They just say NO to their Lord and Savior 

Nothing undermines Christianity more than taking a close look at the teaching attributed to Jesus in the gospels—and, well, taking a close look at Christian history. Even some of the Jesus-script that deserves a high-rating reveals how far short this religion falls in real life. Moreover, there are many sayings of Jesus that would make many laypeople uneasy—they would even find them appalling—if they took the time to think about them carefully. My own list of questionable Jesus sayings comes to 292, which I’ve broken down into four categories: (1) Preaching about the end times; (2) Scary extremism; (3) Bad advice and bad theology; (4) The unreal Jesus of John’s gospel. 


This article begins a new series in which we’ll take a close look at some of the Jesus-script that many Christians themselves resist and reject—but would be reluctant to say so out loud.

Dennis R. MacDonald Rejects Jesus Mythicism!

Facebook LINK.

Dr. Dennis R. MacDonald was interviewed by Edouard Tahmizian, Vice President of Internet Infidels. It's an interesting interview that needs a wide hearing. You can even click below the video for a transcript.

Edouard Tahmizian comments below.

Quote of the Day On Bayes Theorem by josephpalazzo

josephpalazzo replied in Debunking Christianity: Here's Bayes Theorem:
In the denominator P(B) must refer to actual data, not some possibility. This also goes for all the other variables P(AlB), P(BlA) and P(A). As example, what is the probability of turning head on tossing a fair coin, which is 1/2. That number, 1/2, can be verified by tossing a fair coin 1000 times, 10,000 times and so on. It's not a guess, nor some divine revelation of some desirable event. If there is no verifiable data, Bayes Theorem is totally useless..

“Oh, You Know, God. Everyone Knows Who God Is”


Misled by supposed certainties about god  

The title of this article comes from one of my favorite Carl Sagan quotes. He was often asked, when he was giving lectures, if he believed in god: 


“I frequently reply by asking what the questioner means by ‘God.’ To my surprise, this response is often considered puzzling or unexpected: ‘Oh, you now, God. Everyone knows who God is.’ Or, ‘Well, kind of a force that is stronger than we are and that exists everywhere in the universe.’ There are a number of such forces. One of them is called gravity, but it is not often identified with God. And not everyone does know what is meant by ‘God.’ The concept covers a wide range of ideas.” (pp. 281-282, Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science


In fact, we are surrounded by, indeed assaulted by, god concepts continually, every day—and have been since we were toddlers. Even small towns commonly have a few Christian churches, and big cities have many. We know pretty well the god-ideas these churches promote. Not too far from my apartment there is a Catholic church at a street corner, with a statue of the virgin Mary overlooking the intersection; she usually holds a bouquet of flowers, placed there by devout parishioners. She represents a benevolent god.

My Article on Horrendous Suffering Was Accepted by a Christian Philosophical Journal

I submitted a paper to a Christian philosophical journal (to be announced later) on the problem of horrendous suffering. It was accepted. Here was the initial response I received:

Humanity’s Urgent Need to Outgrow Religion


The scams and deceptions continue

Here’s a headline that caught my attention this week: “Jesus baptism site makeover aims to draw a million Christians in 2030.” (BBC News, 15 January 2023) The article includes this text

“Samir Murad, who chairs the non-profit foundation set up by the Jordanian government to oversee the project, insists the integrity of the area will be maintained. ‘It would be foolish and unwise to try and create a touristic destination that's based on commercialisation and theme park-type issues in a site so holy,’ he says. ‘Let's remember this is the third-holiest site in Christianity. This is the site where Jesus got his calling and so it would be highly inappropriate, if you will, to corrupt it or violate in any way.’”

It will be a “340-acre baptism zone.” They want to attract a million Christian visitors by 2030—but it’s not a theme-park tourist destination? There’s also this line: “Plans for the new development include so-called glamping-style lodging and eateries, serving locally grown organic food.” Glamping? That’s a merger of glamourous and camping. But it would be “foolish” to go for something resembling a theme-park?

"God and Horrendous Suffering" Now $9.99

Kindle edition of "God and Horrendous Suffering" is now $9.99 at Amazon! LINK

A Pop Quiz for Christians, Number 6


What devout scholars know vs. what devout churchgoers believe

A long time ago, devout scholars thought they could strengthen the faith by studying every chapter and verse of the gospels. Thus an industry was born: Christian academia. Many, many thousands of books, commentaries, articles, doctoral dissertations have been written. Not a single word of the gospels has missed their careful attention. But the unintended, lamentable result was that certainties about Jesus were damaged and diminished. It turns out that the gospels fail to meet minimal standards to qualify as history. Most of the devout scholars have been able to finesse this problem: they invent theologies to be able to hold on to Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Chapter 13: "Christianity Can be Hazardous to Your Health, by Harriet Hall


Dr. Skepdoc Harriet Hall died peacefully in her sleep last night. In her honor I present a sample of her work from my anthology Christianity is not Great. If there is any occasion to see the truth of her chapter look no further that how Covid-19 and it's variants have killed, and are still killing, ignorant Christian vaccine deniers. She was one of the greats in our lifetime! If you haven't read that anthology yet, there are a number of really good chapters in it! 


Christianity Can be Hazardous to Your Health,  

by Harriet Hall, MD

Religion will always be a controversial subject, but its impact on health is one area that lends itself to objective investigation.

David Wood vs John Loftus Debate: Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? (May 2015)

A friend who goes by the name Ozzy Ozone just posted this debate with commentary. He sped up the video of my talk without telling people that he did so, until well into it. He just wanted to get through it fast. But it makes me look spastic. If you're interested in the normal speed of the debate, here it is:

Who Was Jesus? Lunatic, Liar, Failed Prophet, Cynic, Sage, Celestrial Being...

Over at The Secular Frontier John MacDonald singled me out for my journey from someone who previously believed Jesus was the Son of God, to thinking he was a failed apocalyptic prophet, to taking an agnostic stance on the question, ending up as a Jesus mythicist. At the international conference on the historical Jesus, put on by GCRR, I had summed up my recent journey, saying:
I have resisted taking a stand on Jesus Mythicism, arguing instead that, “At best Jesus was a failed apocalyptic prophet.” Halfway position. Not so sanguine now. I have since changed my mind. For a few years I embraced agnosticism. I have now established myself enough to take a stand on this issue. At what point can we say all traces of any real Jesus are gone, and that they’re gone because he never existed as a real person in the first place? We have to work with what we have, not what we hope will be discovered. What we can conclude is that whatever traces of a human being we might find behind the ancient tales of Jesus, at best they are indistinguishable from him not existing at all. Any real Jesus is therefore an unnecessary figure we can do without. That’s good enough when it comes to god and science. It’s good enough here. See: SOURCE.
Many atheists are changing their minds on the historical nature of Jesus, but MacDonald singled me out even though I have never argued for the mythicist viewpoint. I guess he wanted my attention. Okay, hi John! I hope 2023 is a good year for you! That being said, since I've never argued on behalf of my current viewpoint, I'm not going to argue with MacDonald either. Nonetheless, I want to refer everyone to the influence of the authors in my co-edited book with Robert M. Price, Varieties of Jesus Mythicism.

In addition to those authors there's the influence of Richard Carrier. In the first place he convincingly shows the book of Acts is fiction. In the New Testament that book is supposed to connect readers of Paul and the gospels to the 1st century historical church, and it fails, miserably. His talk in 2015 was significant for me. Carrier also wrote a significant recent essay, How We Can Know 1 Clement Was Actually Written in the 60s AD, which leads readers to question what we know about early church history itself, apart from the book of Acts. That essay puts all traditional timelines up for questioning and debate. So readers can understand my current view, especially if you read Bart Willruth's 2 Part essay, Reassessing Paul's Timeline. If Willruth's essay was available before we published our Jesus Mythicism anthology, I would've included it. Willruth says:
Robert Price, in his book "The Amazing Colossal Apostle" suggests that Paul's letters date from the late first century CE to the second century CE. While we differ on where to assign a re-dating of Paul, we both recognize that there is no reason to hold to traditional dating. In his post, "How do we know the Apostle Paul Wrote His Epistles in the 50's AD", Richard Carrier acknowledges that "I don’t consider this matter as settled as mainstream scholars do. Paul’s Epistles do fit remarkably well in the 50s B.C."
Willruth argues "we have enough reason to point to Paul's probable timeline of letters in the 40's -30's BCE." Then says, "If this chronology is correct, Paul would never have heard of Jesus of Nazareth and couldn’t have been writing to Christians as we would recognize them." He concludes:

The Colossal Embarrassment of Mark 16


A Bible chapter that damages Christian credibility 

The case can be made that most Christians don’t take all that seriously the god described in their Bible. This god knows amazing things about every human:


“…even the hairs of your head are all counted.” (Jesus-script, Matthew 10:30)


It is aware of everything that every person says: 


“I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter.”  (Jesus-script, Matthew 12:36)


And it knows everything we think: 


“…on the day when, according to my gospel, God through Christ Jesus judges the secret thoughts of all.” (the apostle Paul, Romans 2:16)


This attentive, intrusive god is also massively impressive on a cosmic scale: “Oh Lord, my God when I, in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds thy hands have made, I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, thy power throughout the universe displayed…” (from the hymn, How Great Thou Art)

Upcoming Debate: "Does God Exist?"

Earlier in April I announced I'm done writing and editing books. I'm not done writing, blogging, speaking, debating, or doing interviews though. Far from it! I have been invited to debate in person whether God exists. How would you go about such a broad topic?

Good News for the New Year!


I am pleased to announce that my 2021 book, Ten Things Christians Wish Jesus Hadn’t Taught, and Other Reasons to Question His Words… 

is now available in Spanish translation

The Kindle version will be priced at $.99 through January 3rd: LINK

The paperbound version costs $10.95. LINK

Please help spread the word about this Spanish translation!

I want to thank especially: 

David Cáceres González in Chile for doing the translation. A few months before beginning work on the project, he interviewed me about the book—and added Spanish subtitles. 

Tim Sledge, my publisher/editor at Insighting Growth Publications. Tim does a superb job critiquing and reviewing the manuscripts he’s preparing for publication. Tim’s own books include:

Goodbye Jesus: An Evangelical Preacher’s Journey Beyond Faith

Four Disturbing Questions with One Simple Answer: Breaking the Spell of Christian Belief

How to Live a Meaningful Life: Focusing on Things That Matter.

Cheers and Happy New Year,   David Madison  

David Madison was a pastor in the Methodist Church for nine years, and has a PhD in Biblical Studies from Boston University. He is the author of two books, Ten Tough Problems in Christian Thought and Belief: a Minister-Turned-Atheist Shows Why You Should Ditch the Faith (2016; 2018 Foreword by John Loftus) and Ten Things Christians Wish Jesus Hadn’t Taught: And Other Reasons to Question His Words (2021). His YouTube channel is here. He has written for the Debunking Christianity Blog since 2016.


The Cure-for-Christianity Library©, now with more than 500 titles, is here. A brief video explanation of the Library is here


Please support us at DC by commenting on and by sharing our posts, or subscribing, donating, or buying our books at Amazon.

All Is Calm, All Is Bright: Not According to Jesus


The coming of his kingdom will be horrific

“Silent night, holy night! All is calm, all is bright. Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child. Holy infant so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.” The sentiment-saturated Christmas season is gradually receding, with its images of baby Jesus in the manger and Handel’s magnificent music: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” 


This text is from Isaiah 9:6, which the New Testament itself never applies to Jesus. This an example of inventing a Jesus that measures up to your ideal. During the runup to Christmas, I saw memes on social media that reflect this concept: “Instead of putting Christ back into Christmas, try putting Christ back into Christians.” Along with this we hear that Jesus was about love, compassion, helping the poor, caring for refugees: Jesus the good guy, Jesus the best guy.

On Self-Promotion

          This ad was placed as an insert in a local paper.

For about 15 years I owned a carpet cleaning business. My father installed and cleaned carpet so it was natural I did the same when I was no longer a minister. I bought a small established company for $35k, called Brock's Carpet Cleaning Inc. I got the money from a divorce settlement. I had to compete with other established businesses. The way to do that is to promote your business. So I did, with flyers, radio commercials with celebrities praising our company--like a former Mayor--and in coupon books. Notice the section "Don't Just Take our Word For It!" If you have a product to promote then you must promote it, and testimonials help.

I followed the same model when it came to books, since I was an unknown, having no recognition from the four horseman, or WLCraig. My book publishers spent next to nothing on promotion. Prometheus Books just sent out complimentary copies to people, as did others. Darren at GCRR held conferences on my books which helped!

I shared what others were saying about my books just as I shared what people had said about my carpet cleaning. BTW: I prided myself on being The Spot Geek, saying that "If I can't get a spot out then no one can." I educated customers by saying there is a difference between a spot and a stain. A stain is a chemical reaction that changes the color of the fibers. No one can get that out, although there are a few kits and techniques to colorize them back to the original color.

Anyway, people told me not to promote my books, that doing so is unprofessional. I promote them, yes, but you'll never (or almost never) find me saying my books are the shit, which they are! ;-) I let others do the talking for me. When they say so, I in turn say so. So say I!

On Book Publishing and Royalties

On Book Publishing
Craig is on the left. Strauss is on the right.
I didn’t get an agent for any of my books. I contacted the publishers directly myself. If you do a search for agents, finding one may help get your book picked up by a mainstream publisher. Just write an outline, 1-2 chapters, and a query letter to get them interested in selling your work. My big problem is that I never sought a mainstream publisher. I didn't figure it would be worth the wait to get a rejection letter in the end of the process, due to the polemical adversarial tone in most of my books.

I self-published my first book with Trafford Books in 2004. It was titled, From Minister to Honest Doubter: Why I Changed My Mind. I had to do most all the work in formatting it. In it I had a photo of my two professors, James Strauss, who taught at Lincoln Christian Seminary, and Bill Craig, who taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS). Strauss attended my graduation from TEDS in 1985, where I earned my third master's degree, a ThM. Half of my hours were taken under them both at these two schools. They were my advisors and mentors.

Now as unbelievable as this is, I didn't know at the time, when I self-published this book in 2004, how influential Bill Craig had become since I left TEDS in 1985. I thought it was worth mentioning, but nothing more than that. But when Edward Babinski saw it in print he told everyone about it. People think I'm trying to hitch a ride on the coattails of Craig's acclaim, but I assure you I'm not. My work stands on its own. But people want to know. They want to know if Craig had a wayward former student, and if so, what does that student know that Craig doesn't know? So I mention it. It's mention-worthy, that's all.

Here's the Scoop On the Virgin Birth of a Boy God

See what YOU think! First read Part 1 then read Part 2. For the best book-length analysis of the virgin birth see Robert Miller, Born Divine: The Birth of Jesus and Other Sons of God. Miller wrote the chapter on Jesus fulfilling prophecy for my anthology, The Case against Miracles. See also Jonathan Pearce's book The Nativity: A Critical Examination.

Margaret Downey's Tree of Knowledge 2021

Margaret Downey is an important person among secularists, humanists and atheists.
Downey has had a prolific career in secular activism. She is the founder of the Freethought Society, and the Thomas Paine Memorial Committee. She is a past board member of the American Humanist Association, and the Thomas Paine National Historical Association. She is a current board member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Downey also serves as an advisor for the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum and the Openly Secular campaign.
Year after year I watched as she decorated her yearly "Tree of Knowledge" with books she thought were important, as I was publishing mine. Then she finally decorated her 2021 tree with all 12 of mine. Finally! How many books of mine can you spot?

Merry Mythmas To One And All!

Here are a few pics for you! 
Here I am in front of historic lights in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity


I'm done writing and editing books, so I'm highlighting each one of them in thirteen separate posts.

My first published book, Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity, is my magnum opus! If you don't have it you're missing out on what I consider to be my most important work. Pictured is the 2nd edition published in 2012. The 1st edition was published in 2008. Very rare is an atheist book that gets a second edition!

I'm described as a "Former Preacher" in the title. I'm not just a preacher though. I'm a philosopher with several advanced degrees and plenty of classroom time as an instructor of philosophy, ethics, critical thinking, western literature, apologetics, hermeneutics, and a few Bible classes. I taught for the Trine University, Kellogg Community College, Lincoln Christian College, and Great Lakes Christian College. So the words "Former Preacher" don't fully describe me, even though I was in the ministry for about 15 years, mostly while I was also teaching. I had wanted my publisher to call me a "Former Apologist" but they thought few people understood what that means.

I started teaching philosophy and ethics classes in 1985, first for the College of Lake County, in Grayslake, Illinois. In my first class I lost about half my students. As I think back, it was probably due, in part, because I was a flaming evangelical. A larger factor was because the students could not understand me. Yep, that's right. Being in a Ph.D. program at Marquette University, after earning three masters degrees, I didn't know how to bring the information down to college students. So I thought my teaching career was over before it began. Luckily the chair of the philosophy department told me this happens more often than not for first time philosophy instructors. *Whew*

Over time I became an expert teacher, bringing highly complex ideas down to first year students. I eventually learned how to communicate to the average educated person in the pew. My goal was, and is now, to keep it as simple as possible without being simplistic. The problem with this goal is that there are some elitist readers who think I'm ignorant, for if I was smarter and better educated it would reflect in my vocabulary. Smart, highly educated people, it's assumed, use the nomenclature requisite with their educational achievements.

You can see this same "dumbing down", as the elitists call it, reflected in my writings. While I could use technical philosophical language, and quote from the original Hebrew and Greek languages in the Bible, I found that so long as I was accurate I didn’t need to impress people by writing for the scholars.

This is reflected in a few blurbs for my books.