Over the past few years, I’ve been reading spiritual memoirs, specifically de-conversion stories about how and why people left their faith behind and stories about people who changed faiths. One of these books wasÂ Christian No More: A Personal Journey of Leaving Christianity and How You Can Leave TooÂ by Jeffrey Mark. This book is more than a memoir; while it does contain Mark’s story, it is also much, much more. You can read the table of contents and some of the content of the book on Jeff’s Amazon blog.
Here’s the book description:
This book is for everyone: Atheists will find excellent arguments to help them defend their positions; Agnostics will appreciate the clarification it brings; Christians who are struggling will find this book a great help in breaking free from their shackles as they learn exactly why there’s no possible way Christianity is true and why they don’t have to worry ever again.
The Bible says that the world’s languages began with the Tower of Babel. Today we know better. But how could the Bible contain stories that aren’t true? Author Jeffrey Mark was a devout Christian throughout his life until, during his early 30s, he began studying the Bible more seriously than he ever had. And that’s when he made the disturbing realization that so many stories were simply untrue. For him, this realization started with the Tower of Babel. That in turn launched a series of events that eventually led him to abandon his long-held beliefs. Letting go of his beliefs resulted in pain, anger, and distrust towards everyone around him. But slowly he was able to rebuild his life and come to terms with the realities of the world and ultimately find happiness. If you’ve ever questioned your beliefs, Jeff’s story will inspire you. Travel with him through his journey as he explores the deeper truths behind the Bible while discovering science, logic and reason, and ultimately revealing Christianity for what it really is. This is a book that every Christian must read!Â
Below the fold is a guest post by author Jeffrey Mark.
My name is Jeffrey Mark, and Iâ€™m the author of a book called Christian No More. I wanted to share with all of you a bit about my book and why I wrote it.
I grew up a devout Christian. Although we werenâ€™t a hardcore, hellfire & brimstone type family, we went to church every week, which was enough for me to grow up believing without a doubt that God and Jesus are real. My faith was so strong that when I heard people say things like, â€œItâ€™s okay to sometimes doubt,â€ I knew that never applied to me, because I had no doubt whatsoever. And that was my feeling right up into my 20s.
But in my late 20s, there were things that started bothering me. The Bible had many stories in the Old Testament that I knew couldnâ€™t be real. For instance, we knew languages didnâ€™t all originate with the Tower of Babel. And we knew that the world was far, far older than the Bible tells us. This prompted me to start reading the Bible in more detail, to seek out the full truth. With these heavy-duty studies, I found many things that didnâ€™t sit right; and so I did what made sense: I knew the stories and verses had to be true, but at the same I knew they couldnâ€™t be real; so in my mind, I adjusted them until they made sense and worked. I called this adjustment â€œinterpretationâ€. But over the course of about three years, these interpretations became weaker and weaker. They werenâ€™t holding up to scrutiny. And over time I finally realized the stories simply werenâ€™t true.
That, of course, created a major problem in my mind. How could there be stories in the Bible that werenâ€™t real?
Determine, I continued my studies, but this time I included studies outside of the Bible. I explored as much science as I could. And over time I found I believed less and less of what Christianity teaches us, until that fateful day when I realized I was forced to decide whether I even believed Jesus existed. And that was the defining moment: After about five years of struggling, I realized he wasnâ€™t real. And that, by definition, was the moment I was no longer a Christian.
But the journey was incredibly painful and difficult. I felt a huge amount of anger at the church for terrorizing me with threats of Hell. And I had an enormous feeling of emptiness. And thatâ€™s when I resolved to write a book. As a professional writer, I decided to cover many topics: Why the Bible simply cannot be real; what the Church is doing to people (especially children) with threats of Hell; what the Bible really says about things like Hell (very little, in fact). And I also decided to spend a good amount of time explaining how science really works, and why itâ€™s not about faith but rather solid data, tests, and the scientific method. And I spent a lengthy chapter dismantling the Bible itself, going deep into the verses, and exploring what is and isnâ€™t in the Bible and why whatâ€™s there is based totally in myth, having been heavily influenced by other myths of ancient times–myths that Christians today reject.
It all came together well, and the book has been very well received. David Mills, author of Atheist Universe found the book fascinating and said itâ€™s sure to become â€œiconicâ€ in the freethought community. Guy P. Harrison, author of 50 Reasons People Give For Believing in a God, called the book an â€œintellectual broadsideâ€ to Christianity. Iâ€™m constantly getting emails from people of all different faiths saying how much they like the book. It has helped some people walk away from Christianity, and atheists are especially enjoying it, because it lets them go into the mind of a (former) Christian and see what makes such a mind tick — and, more importantly, how to help people walk away from the faith.
For me personally, writing this book has been a major re-awakening. I now call myself a Skeptic, a word that in the past I considered a negative term. When I was a Christian, I felt â€œskepticâ€ meant somebody who continuously doubts everything, no matter how clear, and argues to no end, and refuses to see whatâ€™s obvious. But now I realize itâ€™s a positive thing: I donâ€™t just eat everything up without proof. And for many things, the proof is there. Other times, itâ€™s not. And now skepticism has become a guiding principle in my life; itâ€™s actually a useful skill, or talent, if you will. For example, when coworkers get an idea into their heads about the way a project should go, I approach ideas with healthy skepticism. Is this reworking of a project really going to work, or is it simply something that somebody dreamed up with no real evidence that it will work? Since becoming a skeptic, itâ€™s as if my life is finally complete. I donâ€™t latch onto ideas mindlessly; instead, Iâ€™m open-minded and I listen, but reject ideas that make no sense, and only embrace ideas that are clearly real. And now, after Christianity, my life is complete.