"As a firm believer, I began having doubts. Doubts about faith, and doubts about believers not asking questions. I embarked on a journey to get closer to God. Perhaps I became too close. What I saw changed my life forever."
This new audio version comes with a few extras and the author's rants.
©2010 David C. Smalley (P)2012 David C. Smalley
If a reader is familiar and comfortable with Ehrman, Dawkins, Onfray, Harris, Shermer, etc., "Baptized Atheist' would be a step backward.
It seems most appropriate for the reader for whom the validity of religion is a new, and still somewhat threatening, question. The author examines the truth of religion in general (and Christianity specifically) through the lens of his personal experience of becoming atheist. That his experience seems very similar to what most people endure makes this a potentially useful book for someone ready to explore the idea that his or her church is not a perfect source of truth and morality. There are a few inconsistencies, mispronunciations, and just a little hubris (at 19, the author claims to have stumped a veteran theology professor with his insights).
Overall, it's a good first exposure to the manufactured nature of Christianity.
I have read a lot of books like this, as I have been on the same journey as the author, and gone through the same difficulties and challenges, and found the same light at the end of the tunnel, so reviewing it is somewhat biased as I found myself nodding and agreeing all the way.
It's an easy read, and delivered in a less aggressive and less frmal way that many others, and I enjoyed that. Sometimes these books are too apologetic (e.g. Why I believed) and sometimes to critical to put people off (e.g. God is Not Great or The God Delusion) and I found this had a good balance between both sides.
Thanks for writing this and getting it off your chest in a compelling and real way.
This book is giving you a chance to view a journey of research and thought provoking questions on religion. This is great, because you won't have to take those years out of your life to get the same answers whether you agree or not with the outcomes. I liked it so much, I bought the paperback as well.
My favorite part was during a debate in a church and asked a the room full of people what can a god see? He then tells a story that will effect you in ways each person may experience differently. It has changed how I see the world.
Plus, there is one other part I have to mention. He discusses an analogy of religion that I have not heard of before, but is amazingly accurate. It is about a "Coin in the Field." That really hit home for me. Even my friends were impressed with this idea when we discussed it at a lunch today.
He is a sincere and caring person. You want to befriend him wether you agree with what he is saying or not. He speaks to everyone with great courteousness and respect. I found that it makes me want to treat people better if I am ever in these situations again.
This is one journey, you won't have to take alone.
I don't usually get moved by a book in a way that makes me want to evaluate who I really am and make changes for the better right now. This one did that for me. I am grateful and I plan on living everyday of my life with more urgency and respect for others.
I appreciate David sharing his story about how he lost his faith through curiosity, questioning and reason. The lack of answers provided by the church were enough to send him on a journey for truth. That journey led him to a place where he could no longer honestly say he was a believer. Thanks for sharing David.
"If the entire world felt like there was no heaven and promised themselves to create a heaven on earth, and promised themselves to become a guardian angel now, the world would be a much better place."
I picked up this book after I became a fan of David Smalley's Dogma Debate podcast. It's brief, skims over some issues that could have been discussed in more depth and at times lacks organization. However, it's still a worthwhile read, especially for someone just beginning to question religion, or someone raised in a Biblical-literalist brand of Christianity.
Smalley shares his discoveries of unsettling truths about the Bible, religious holidays and creationist beliefs - facts which are never brought up in Sunday School.
He's at his best when he talks about the harm religion does to people and how it impedes rational thinking. After leaving Christianity, he started debating in churches and on religious radio programs. His recollections of these experiences were the best parts of the book.
This book is something that any new atheist or people questioning their God must read and just a enjoyable book for people who have been a atheist for a long time. This book was extremely easy to relate to and you can tell David is a real person who actually believes in what he is doing.
David Smalley's story is wonderfully told, by the author himself, in such a honest and genuine manner. The research that he conducted and shares in this book is quite telling and very interesting. It definitely exceeded my expectations and (for me) truly over delivered...What a great book!
When commuting to and from work about 2 hours daily, and while doing the more basic functions of my job, a good audiobook provides the pace.
I always enjoy when an author reads they're own book, you feel like the words are getting the proper emphasis, that may be missed by another. The beginning of this story reminds me much of my own, though I do not publicly debate, and have yet to find or create an organization that may benefit from my specific skill set to benefit skepticism and disillusionment with religions.
Drummer to Debater - Finding reality through submersion in woo.
The way the author gave his story in the order that he lived it was greatly appreciated. It allowed me to feel as if I was a part of the journey.
The fact that Smalley gave his religion every chance a reasonable person could to provide demonstrable proof to the existance of the god of the bible conveys a true search for the truth that many people take for granted. He did not blindly accept nor deny the biblical god, he searched with an open and earnest mind.
I enjoyed the change in inflection given while showing a dialect was happening or when he wasn't speaking to the audience directly.
This was a book I did listen to in one sitting. David Smalley's voice is welcoming and allows the listener to enjoy the story without requiring a break like one would need in a lecture type environment.
I recommend any books read by the people at Dogma Debate, LLC.
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