Ten Tough Problems in Christian Thought and Belief By David Madison

This book is written by a liberal ex minister atheist This is unusual for books that debunk Christianity Most if not all the books that I have heard of or read in this genre were written by ex ministers of the evangelical or fundamentalist stripe That said one might expect that coming from a liberal ex minister it would be mildly written This is definitely not the case with this book His uestioning of the Christian faith began while in college even before he became a minister albeit a liberal oneDavid Madison divides his book into ten problems with Christianity he thinks are a challenge to a Christian’s faith The ten things he finds problematic or chooses to discuss in the book are the problem of evil how is one to determine what god is like the problem with the biblical text the illogicalness of belief in god the plethora of different Christianities the problem of the gospels as history issue with the concept of resurrection the barbarity of Christianity moral issues with the biblical Jesus and issues with Paul’s theologyI had a good many comments on particular pieces of the text but like a previous book the notes are no longer accessible so I cannot review the book as I would like David Madison Overall pretty good A little snarky in places but otherwise solid Some redundancy and a little wordy However the problems themselves that were raised were all valid I wouldn't give it the same heft as The God Delusion or God Is Not Great but I would still recommend adding it to your skeptic's book shelf David Madison


An all powerful God who permits unspeakable horrors and sent a Son who threatened to come forever to those who don’t believe in him An inspired holy book that turns out to be full of archaic nonsense moral failures and contradictions A world of disagreement not just between Christians and other religions but within Christianity itself Blood sacrifice and a tale of the walking dead as the very foundation of faith These are just a few aspects of Ten very Tough Problems that David Madison describes in this wonderfully deep yet humorous dismantling of his former faith Combining rigorous scholarship with engaging personal reflections and refreshing wit he offers understanding and even some laughs while walking with readers past the gravestones of Christian thought and belief Ten Tough Problems in Christian Thought and Belief

A well written discussion of why christianity just does not work as a meaningful or rational philosophy life guiding plan or belief system Most I rejected Jesus and you can too books are written from a born againer style evangelicalfundamentalist to pentecostalcharismatic and everything in between religious background Or they are written from the perspective of someone who had never really been that religious eg HitchensDawkinsDennett While there are many great reads from both sources Madison comes from neither of these backgrounds He instead is from a relatively liberal church background and was an academically trained liberal leaning again liberal is always a relative term when describing christianity pastor This allows him to write about and criticize christianity from a perspective that is meaningful to those christians who don't spend half their life praisin' the lord but just see church and things connected with it as part of life not something to impose upon others Well written very readable and with a sense of humor 10 Tough Problems is worth a read even for those who don't normally think much about gods or the lack thereof thanks Jeff for the recommendation David Madison Lengthy but worth the readFor such a well thought out book I expected better editing The subject matter however left me with aha and yes moments David Madison Not recommended The author doesn't seem to understand Christians in his anecdotal evidence he parodies Christians so that they are always either stupid or evil he doesn't seem to understand the Bible his exegesis of texts betrays either ignorance or he is intentionally misleading he caricatures every Christian belief so that it is almost unrecognizable and he doesn't seem to understand theology he can't make a distinction between process theology Roman Catholic tradition fundamentalism and evangelicalism He says that his book contains ten tough problems for Christian thought and belief however most of what he presents are straw man arguments supported by blustering assertion sarcasm and ridicule He chooses not to engage with the exegesis and arguments of those who are knowledgeable on the topic and instead describes Christianity on the basis of things like comments someone left on FacebookThis is not a good book for anyone regardless of your worldview David Madison I liked that much of Madison's discourse on the ten tough problems derive from the Bible In fact six of Madison's tough problems III VI VII VIII IX and X focus exclusively on failings of the Christian Bible particularly the New Testament How can it not if you're writing about ditching Christianity Since he has a PhD in Biblical Studies was a pastor and has studied the Bible most of his life he knows the material very wellMadison draws from several versions of the bible KJV NASB CEV NIV to name a few and I found it helpful to have a Bible handy to understand fully the material he inexorably shoots down It always helps to refresh your memory on the Gospels and Epistles While Dawkins and others certainly give examples from the Bible this is the first book on atheism I've seen where it's saturated with the Bible If you're a Christian this book can't help but make you think what an awful intellectual mess Christianity is And remind you that based solely on what he said Jesus is not some cosmic comforting lap to sit in But of course few Christians like demanding challenges to their beliefs and so few will ever read this bookThere are some marks against this book At times he comes across as condescending and harshly glib There are a noticeable number of typos which I always find annoying And Madison makes weird references to things in pop culture that I could have done without Despite this Ten Tough Problems is one of the better books on atheism I've read Recommended David Madison If it can be said that Paul had mental health issues then I'd like to add one Jesus' actions temperament and words make me think he was bipolarReview I ran out out of highlighters Remove your Jesus goggles and think about what has been written I found it helpful to read for awhile and put the book down to think about what I just read Then I'd pick the book up again and read and think some I really do believe that Jesus suffered from some form of bipolar disorder Glad to read that someone else also thought Paul had serious mental issues David Madison