Atheism and the Case Against Christ

Atheism and the Case Against Christ

Book - 2012
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A novel critique that undermines Christianity and theism at their foundations. A decidedly unpopular view in this cogent, forcefully argued book-namely, that the central tenet of Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus, is false.
Publisher: Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2012.
ISBN: 9781616145811
1616145811
Branch Call Number: 211.8/MCCORMICK
Characteristics: 332 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.

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roaddogg09 Apr 17, 2013

In “Atheism and the Case against Christ,” McCormick argues, quite convincingly, that the core claim of Christianity, the resurrection, cannot thoughtfully or reasonably be held with intellectual integrity given what we know about human cognitive systems and the fallible process that gave us the Bible we have today. Most of the book is dedicated to looking at the historical claims of the resurrection. McCormick doesn’t focus on textual exegesis for his thesis, but merely explores and analyzes the methods and all-too-human contingencies that led to the Bible. McCormick cites many examples where even Christians would admit that a claim should be rejected given insufficient evidence, even though the Christian is in the same boat when it comes to resurrection. Given the quality and quantity of the available evidence on the resurrection, McCormick concludes it should not be accepted. After making the case the resurrection should not be believed, McCormick details why he believes God would make his existence more apparent, why God would not perform miracles, and even if God did, we couldn’t conclude anything about God from these events, and the Problem of Other Religions. McCormick offers a novel dilemma for the believer: What grounds, beside special pleading, can the believer offer to show their religion is true while all others are natural, false religions? This believer must admit that humans generate a lot of religions without real gods. The believer also must acknowledge that when we look at natural religions and the allegedly real, they share many similarities: many arise from ancient peoples, miracle stories abound, God is the creator, he has a plan, there's a path to salvation, they offer moral guidance, personal fulfillment, etc. So, why is your religion the one, true religion, while all the rest are false? Finally, McCormick turns to the F-word: faith. He does a wonderful job of explaining why faith should not be used to justify anything, especially such big questions as whether God exists. I recommend McCormick’s book to anyone, especially to believers who want to critically evaluate their belief in Christianity. Even though the book is about the resurrection, the arguments could easily be extended to other religious traditions, as McCormick details in the closing chapter. McCormick has dealt the core claim of Christianity a huge blow and I wonder if Christianity can recover. Without recourse to faith, it looks as though Christianity should not be believed.

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