Need some advice

From Jackie:

I have been an ex-Christian for about a year now. I work with a guy who desperately wishes I would "come back to the fold".

Too bad... I won't.

I overheard him and another gentleman talking about the evidence for Christianity and authors like Tim LaHaye and CS Lewis, who used to be atheists. They mentioned the book by Josh McDowell, "Evidence that Demands a Verdict". I have not read this book yet. I was wondering if anyone here has and if you could tell me how ridiculous it is. I'm still learning to be tactful. Sometimes, just coming back with the "no evidence" argument isn't enough when they think they have all they need.


Anonymous said...

As far as these people hassling you at work about reading that tripe, what I usually do in these situations is to give them an enthusiastic 'yes' when it comes to reading their book recommendation but with the provision that they have to read a book of MY choosing--such as The God Delusion. I've never had any takers yet.


A. J. D'Adamo said...

Try reading some of the evidence against Christianity. I have a short book you can download for free. "Jesus to an Unbeliever"

Go to
Click on "download free - Add to Cart"
Click "save and continue"

Lulu then asks for your email address.
If that bothers you enter a bogus email address.
Then it takes you to the download page.
Click the red/orange download button on the far right and your download should begin.
You should get a PDF file named 1396086.pdf. It's 6,400,621 bytes.

Unknown said...

I've been an ex-"believer" of any type of "revealed" religion for just about 1 year to this date. I have a couple of friends that I occasionally engage in discussing my new beliefs (deism) with them and we go back and forth with them trying to get me to read something and me doing the same to them. In the end we try not to get upset with each other and I personally (when their nonsense starts getting out of hand) will ask them to lets drop the subject for now and tell them we'll talk about it later.

My advice to you is similar to what Sophia just posted. Get them to read your articles (or books) and ask them to give you their opinion of what they think about it. (I prefer short articles or website that won't take more that 10 or 20 minutes to read). Most Christian's won't take you up on it cause they may believe they're being "tempted by satan", but for the ones who will read it, with luck, you can still keep them as friends and have a civil conversation with them and eventually learn to let them believe what they want to belive.

Here's one of my favorite website where I get my "amunition" from to debate my opponents.

Anonymous said...

If anyone wants a great audio download that says it all. I want to burn this and give it to a Christian friend.

Go to

On the home page to the right is a download called Ahteism 101. It covers just about every argument one could think of.

Anonymous said...

"Evidence that demands a verdict" is the usual "I thought I was a skeptic lawyer but now I believe!" stuff. i imagine you would find the ideas outdated and easily refuted - it was written about 20 yrs ago and a google search could counter all that!
Have fun!

vjack said...

I don't know if I'd want to get bogged down in this sort of argument at work. I think I might be tempted just to explain how much happier I am after having discarded the superstitious nonsense of religious delusion and opened my eyes to reality.

The true believer sort of Christians are not going to be swayed by reason, logic, or evidence. They are blatantly delusional, and arguing with them generally won't accomplish much other than your own demonization.

If I were in your shoes, the other thing I would start doing now is documenting these conversations in case you need them for wrongful termination or hostile workplace claims later on. I know such considerations aren't pleasant, but they are unfortunately more necessary than we sometimes realize.

Anonymous said...

I recomend you pick up the book, if you do not want to spend the money go to the library and see if they have it, read it and get to know the basic arguement that it is conveying. after that don't argue the point, that would debase you're point, instead say that you have read the book and the arguement did not convince you. If he wishes to dabate the suject with you any further respectfully decline. Keep in mind that anyone that would push the arguement past that point has no respect for you and should not be reguarded as a friend, and sometime those people need to be "let go of" don't hang around him or talk with him, but show no hostillity either, as to not draw any undo attention to yourself.

Anonymous said...

I agree with vjack. Arguments will not sway someone whose beliefs are based on 'faith.' Their bible gears them to see such things as attacks on them for Jesus's sake and racking up rewards for them in heaven. Religion is NOT a workplace issue. If they are hassling you, by all means keep a record of it and use it against them if you need to. You have a right on any workplace to not be beat over the head by someone's else's religion. That is workplace harrassment and illegal. Most work places have that in writing.

gimmeadrinkawater said...

I agree with anonymous (why no name, anon?) just above. Get the book and skim through it at the least. You'll probably find it so laughable and unbelievable that you'll return to work with a different attitude that radiates, don't even try, I really don't care, you guys are deluded, something to that effect. It will make future conversations easier because you'll have this quiet transformation within. Anyway, you're bound to see your work associates in just that more of a groundless light.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate all the responses. It seems everything that I have read always points to faith... but faith doesn't equal truth in my book. I'm not concerned with a workplace debate... I know better than that and so do they. I have just heard of books of the such brought up more than once and it seems to be the only thing that they think brings proof and logic to their argument. I just don't see it.

Edwardtbabinski said...

The Jury Is In: The Ruling on Josh McDowell's "Evidence"

A comprehensive rebuttal to Josh McDowell's Evidence That Demands a Verdict:

See the final chapter of the above rebuttal:

"The Uniqueness of the Christian Experience"

It's a response to the final chapter in Josh McDowell's Evidence that Demands a Verdict. It discusses each conversion testimony McDowell cited including C. S. Lewis's and including ways in which "Lewisianity" differs from "McDowellianity." Did you also know that the person who ghost wrote the young-earth creationist portions of McDowell's book, "Reasons," later turned away from young-earth creationism? That's in a footnote in the above article.

There's online responses to each chapter of McDowell's book, "Evidence that Demands a Verdict," the responses were collected on "The Secular Web" and titled, "The Jury Is In."

Edwardtbabinski said...

You might simply consider keeping a few books handy at your desk so your co-workers can see their titles:

Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists

Leaving Fundamentalism (a collection of testimonies similar to the above work)

Leaving Church (by a famous Evangelical inspirational writer)

Or direct them here...on the internet:

"Criticisms of Christian Apologetics & Apologists" (lots of links, even by name of the apologists and their works)

"Debunking Christianity" "Women Speak Out!" (Books by female ministers and female theologians who grew more moderate/liberal or who left the fold entirely)

"Debunking Christianity" "Women Speak Out! #2"

"Debunking Christianity" blog

Micah Cowan said...

Actually, Evidence That Demands a Verdict is not terribly ridiculous. It is probably the only apologetics text that I've read so far that isn't, in fact.

The book is rather dense (so I wouldn't really expect to just "read through it"); MacDowell lays out his arguments in a matter-of-fact, fairly formal style, without the useless familiarity and textual padding that you can frequently find in, say, Lee Strobel's works. The unusual outline style takes some getting used to, but once you understand it (probably after having read the preface), it's fine.

The book really is very straightforward, and while of course it's trying to make points, it doesn't feel like it's shoving them down your throat. It's a well-written book, it's just that the evidence presented is not as convincing as he might believe it to be (and of course, in some cases, is erroneous).

I believe the book includes a disclaimer along the lines of, “this book is intended to provide an evidential foundation for faith, and not to prove the validity of these beliefs.”

boomSLANG said...

From the "God vs. the Bible" website:

"The natural universe, God's Creation, speaks out loudly and clearly against the Bible and other vaunted books of so-called revelation."

How does one make the leap from the natural universe, to a supernatural "Creator"? Was not the word "God"/was not the concept of "God", revealed to us? I believe so.

Anonymous said...

I would ask them to close their eyes and REALLY try as hard as they can to believe in the tooth fairy. There's just as much evidence for that as there is god.
Best of luck, I have one just like him at my job!

Anonymous said...

Jackie, short responses that directly respond to the logic being used, is the most efficient way to communicate.

As well, those who throw out one-liners are marketing. They are fishing; the worst thing that can happen is that they don't catch any fish.

However, some have opined that, the fact that they are fishing, means they know there are fish to be caught - at least you. Stay out of the entire discussion at work. I make statements like; I'm a professional, I'd like to keep personal business out of our relationship.

The manner, in which these gentlemen were operating, is more like trolling. They are marketing, to see if anyone will take a flyer and ask questions.

Don't take the flyer, don't engage, or you have entered into personal matters, and untangling any fallout will come back to you; as the one who approached them at work.

However, for your benefit, if they directly made such a statement to you, while off work-site; you might keep it business oriented.

Statement: Tim LaHaye and CS Lewis were atheists and are now Christian. Did you know that?

Response1 (Said with a Business overtone): I don't choose stock brokers, based on the number of times they change their investment strategy?

Response2 (Said with humor): If you take enough rights, you end up where you started.

If I were to respond, I'd likely go with humor, first, because it's as close as one can come to a cordial no-thank-you response, while staying away from religious verbiage.

If you go with sincerity, you'll challenge their basis for faith based belief, and it will trigger a mental defense mechanism, which will only result in;

-An endless supply of follow on statements while you are within earshot
-Direct attempts to explain their position or to explain why yours is wrong or inappropriate
-Possible attempt to alienate you from others at work, such that you don't prevent their on-the-job religious crusade.

I rarely read books from cover to cover. Typically, a thesis forms early in a book, and I determine the purpose of the book by seeking to categorize by (PIE); persuade, inform or express/entertain.

If one is going to persuade me; I am going to want to read a scholarly journal publication, not a fantasy novel.

If one is going to inform me; then I'll want to see a demonstration to validate what I am being told.

If one is just expressing themselves, then, really, they are informing others about their "personal" standing.

I don't read to be mindlessly entertained; I read to derive understanding/meaning.

Almost all, if not all, religious rhetoric, falls under "expression", but when a person is asked to support/defend their expressionistic stance, they inevitably have to fit the round peg of personal experience/expression, into another persons' standards of evaluation, empirical, etc., which inevitable to a science minded person is a square hole.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

"Get the book and skim through it at the least. "

Absolutely. Five minutes is all you need. Just read one of his long-winded, complex explanations. Then you will know first hand what an awful book that is. Then tell your friends that "the holy spirit" told you that if the bible were the word of a god, it couldn't possibly so complicated and impossible to follow.

Anonymous said...

I've read the book, and it is as bad as you suspect. The logic is terrible. The book does indeed demand a verdict, and that verdict is that the book provides no good support at all for its fairy tales.

Jim Arvo said...

I've always found McDowell's courtroom metaphor to be amusing. Since when is a verdict demanded after presenting only one side of a case? A more honest title would have been "Evidence that Demands a Rebuttal". Such a book could then be sold as a boxed set with a book written by a skeptic (such as Earl Doherty's "Challenging the Verdict", which could be re-titled "The Evidence Rebutted").

Cousin Ricky said...

A boxed set is available—on the Secular Web. I’ve found it illuminating that skeptical and atheistic Web sites quite often post links to rebuttals, but Xian Web sites almost never return the favor. Are they afraid?

大黃傻貓GARFIELD said...

Josh McDowell.... well to some die-hard Fundamentalist, his book is a definitive set. Yet to people with a mind of clear thinking, those arguments can't hold water (many "begging the question", "strawman", "circular reasoning" stuff)..... I browse a bit and just cannot read on.

Anonymous said...

Hello. I am a disilusioned Christian. I am dissapointed with the current state of Christianity in America today. However, in my opinion, the Christian worldview has and does consistently conform to reality. My concern for you is that according to what you wrote one can infer that you are not being objectional. It's one thing to review all of the data that exists on all sides of an arguement and then make a rational, informed decision. But it is highly irrational and potentially dangerous to make up your mind (possibly because of some narrow minded, impossibly rude Christian encounter)and then seek information to corroborate your conclusion. This my friend is dishonest.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I am a naive christian. I am someone who believes in an ancient artifact known as the bible, and I believe that we should seek God in all areas of our lives, which includes our bank account, buying a new car/house, romance, what color of shirt to wear, and all other areas of our lives. I may not had been present back when the bible was written, and I may not have any solid proof that it is the word of God, however my parents believe it, their parents believed it, so since my family plus many people I know believes it, so it must be right.

I believe just having faith in Jesus alone is good enough. Evidence doesn't matter, it's what the bible says that matters. I can't prove it matters, I just know that it matters.

Jim Arvo said...


Who on earth are you addressing, and what makes you think we/they/I have not thoroughly investigated both sides? I'm very curious to hear your source of information on that. Please do tell.

Norma Thornton said...

I just have one question. How many "unbelievers" ie.. non-chrisitians do you think call out to a God they didn't believe in when they are on their death bed? How many Christians do you think will decide to be non-Christians on their death bed? Think about it.......

Astreja said...

A far better question, Norma... How many believers lie about the deathbed experiences of deceased non-theist relatives? A classic example is the Lady Hope story whereby someone who wasn't even there lied about Charles Darwin, falsely claiming that he had had a deathbed conversion.

That's really low and creepy, lying about someone who isn't there to defend himself.

But, regardless of who says what in their final moments... This does not prove the existence of any god.

It is reasonable to assume, however, that at least some of the deathbed conversions are motivated by fear.

Which is yet one more excellent reason to debunk Christianity and banish it to the trashcan of useless mythology, before it fucks over yet another generation.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Norma wrote:
I just have one question. How many "unbelievers" ie.. non-chrisitians do you think call out to a God they didn't believe in when they are on their death bed? How many Christians do you think will decide to be non-Christians on their death bed? Think about it.......

So what's to think about?

I'm pretty certain though that if you spent your life believing in a god (of any kind) that you wouldn't stop believing in that god, when faced with severe illness or being near death.
Being close to death wouldn't be a time that someone would start doing intelligent research into whether their personal god existed or not, right. Thus, it's would be expected that a xtian would not lose their faith at such a time.

You sound here like the typical xtian, who uses that old-saw, "There are no atheist in foxholes' fallacy.
I sure never called out to your god when I've been very sick and/or close to death.
In fact, I can honestly say that I turned down any and all prayers at such times, knowing they would do NOTHING for me.

Now I'll give you something to think about.
How many Muslims would call out to Jesus/Yahweh instead of Allah, when faced with death?
How many Buddist would beg your jesus for forgiveness at such a moment?

If you think all atheist and non-xtian folks will summon your precious jesus when death is staring them down, then you have much to learn about human nature that exists outside your jesus bubble.

ATF (Who can't wait for Norma's next enlightening god lesson to us)

p.s. Hi to Astreja

boomSLANG said...

Norma...How many "unbelievers" ie.. non-chrisitians do you think call out to a God they didn't believe in when they are on their death bed?

How many?..oh, probably about the same amount of "unbelievers" i.e...non-Muslims, who call out to "Allah" on their death-bed.

Do you see the absurdity of your question now?

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