Book Review: godless by Dan Barker
Dan Barker’s Losing Faith in Faith has been for a very long time not only the best selling book on atheism, but practically the only book on atheism. Even though independently published, it was the number one book about atheism until the God Delusion was released and set the world of atheists books on it’s ear.
Not one to miss out on the post God Delusion wave of free thinking, Dan updated his experiences in godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists. The book narrates Dan’s personal experiences as a preacher that found himself losing his religion, and also examinations the philosophical arguments and Biblical criticisms that lead him to leave the fold.
The book is divided into four sections; Rejecting God, in which Dan recalls his early life as an evangelical preacher and Christian music composer and his subsequent “fall” from grace; in Why I Am An Atheist he examines the logical arguments against holding a belief in a god or gods; in What’s Wrong With Christianity he examines Biblical contradictions, the reasons why Christianity is not a moral belief system, and the Jesus Myth hypothesis; and in In Life is Good he fills us in on the rich life he has been leading as an atheist activist.
godless is a very comfortable and casual read, especially for an atheist book, that are very often stuffy – full of logical arguments and science. Each chapter reads like a one hour speech, and they seem like they would be best delivered orally. Not that there is anything wrong with that, if you’ve had the pleasure of hearing Dan speak in person you can attest to what a good speaker he is and you will probably hear his voice and see his mannerisms as you read along.
Dan Barker communicates with both reason and emotion, and he does both very well. If I would ask for anything more from this book it would be a deeper insight into his time preaching and his psychological state of mind as he was changing his mind about Christianity. The section on his de-conversion is very short and left me wanting more details. What Dan does tell, though, is told very well, strongly and intelligently.