Not the Impossible Faith is a tour de force in that genre, dissecting and refuting the oft-repeated claim that Christianity could not have succeeded in the ancient world unless it was true. Though framed as a detailed rebuttal to Christian apologist J.P. Holding (author of The Impossible Faith), Carrier takes a general approach that educates the listener on the history and sociology of the ancient world, answering many questions like: How did Christians approach evidence? Was there a widespread prejudice against the testimony of women? Was resurrection such a radical idea? Who would worship a crucified criminal? And much more.
Written with occasional humor and an easy style, and thoroughly referenced, with many entertaining "gotcha!" moments, Not the Impossible Faith is a must-listen for anyone interested in the origins of Christianity. Richard Carrier, PhD, is an expert in the history of the ancient world and a critic of Christian attempts to distort history in defense of their faith.
©2009 Richard Carrier (P)2013 Pitchstone Publishing
The only thing I didn't like was the fact that he did a lot of arguing from authority; however, I realize that a good deal of it was him just citing ideas that others had before him (so he wouldn't seem like he was stealing other people's ideas). I realize that this is pretty necessary in a book about history, and the book would've been twice as long without saying "this guy said this, and I'm not going to go into why." Still, if he spent more time explaining his strongest arguments (after citing the source) than beating the dead horse that is "The Impossible Faith" by citing argument after argument and example after example, it would've been much more enjoyable I think.
Still, it was an excellent book, and an excellent critique, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. 100% worth the cost, and then some.
Although I personally concur with much if not all of what the author says, I have to tell you that, as an audiobook this is like having a sheet of cardboard in place of a steak. It's dry, and the fact that it's a response to another argument that we are not a party to makes it seem 'whiney'. The description is accurate but you won't find much of interest here.
What would have made a much better book is to give the same information without acknowledging that other author and his faults. Trying to tell some sort of coherent story rather than a point by point refutation of some other guy's weak argument would at least make the book worth reading by people other than those involved in these sorts of pissing contests.
I respect that the author is a phd etc and that his information seems good and well researched. His logic seems equally well done. But as a book, as a writer, this is pretty bad listening. Give it a pass.
This appears to gave been written by a person in a rage and almost makes one think he doth protest too much. As a person who is not into any particular religion, and as I am not a citizen of the US am happy to describe myself as atheist or agnostic, and yes I do know they are different, I believed this would be a thoughtful work which I could learn about the historical basis for the rise of Christianity and why it was adopted by so many different societies. Instead I got a polemic which really should have been delivered as a personal diatribe - the author just had to get it out of his system. I did not have to listen, and gave up about Chapter 5. The worst book I have ever purchased
Self indulgent, should not have been for public consumption
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