Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Book Snap: David McAfee's "Disproving Christianity"

I was asked to look into David McAfee's Disproving Christianity (DC), and a pretentious title is about all it has going for it. In sum, DC is little more than 70-page pastiche of slogans and summary statements (it says 140 pages, but they're double-spaced) in which McAfee mostly quotes Bible passages, offers a sentence or two saying how nasty, ridiculous, or absurd what is in the passage is, and then moves on. Thus for example 2 Kings 2:23-4 (Elisha and the bears) has but 3/4 of a page devoted to it, over half of that being a quotation of the passage; and then a mere two sentences, thus:

This passage is very well know in the study of biblical violence; it is a story which is often (understandably) skipped over in Sunday school, so many Christians are unaware that it exists. The narrative seems to suggest a violent God willing to justify the deaths of forty two small children for simply mocking Elisha.

Yes. That's it. Never mind looking for Christians who are aware of the story, and provide intelligible explanations for it, including showing that there were not "small children" and what they did far exceeded "simply mocking".  In the same way, Ezekiel 37:1-14 receives two pages of treatment; all but one paragraph of that is a quoting of it, and all but one sentence of that paragraph is explaining what the passage describes (bones rising from the dead), and that one sentence is: "This is considered to be an extremely absurd and radical idea, to say the least."

That's it? Yes, it is, and yet McAfee has the temerity to say things like, "it is impossible to argue" that the Bible "is without faults once you are well informed in regard to it contents." McAfee barely spits on the sidewalk in response to the passages he quotes, produces a 70 (er, 140) page book that collects the spittle in a cup, and calls this "well informed,"  while also saying his  book was "inspired by the ignorance that faith and religion often breed in humanity"?

Not hardly. DC is clearly little more than yet another inevitable product of an age afflicted by the Dunning Effect, in which people think that their opinion is worth attention merely by virtue of them having it.

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