Why People Stop Believing
Langley, BC: Trinity Western University leader Dr. Paul Chamberlain’s latest book Why People Stop Believing (Cascade Books 2018) addresses a contemporary issue facing the Christian faith today. This book examines the current wave of Christians, particularly Christian leaders, rejecting Christianity and becoming some of the faith’s most ardent critics.
“This is a different challenge from a new breed of critics who are using their instant credibility and their insider's knowledge to ‘debunk Christianity,’ in the words of one individual who is particularly active,” says Chamberlain.
It opens with the story of a mature, but unprepared Christian who experienced a virtual faith crisis from a bruising encounter with a leaver of the faith. It goes on to take a critical examination of these critics’ primary arguments. Chamberlain makes the case that, despite how convincing the critics' arguments appear to be at first glance, further analysis shows them to be flawed and sometimes entirely unpersuasive.
The book looks at the magnitude of the current wave of defections and discusses the arguments used by these critics. These critics differ from most others Christians are likely to encounter because they have a greater knowledge of the Bible, theology, and church history. They are also well aware of the kinds of responses most Christians are likely to give.
“There are a number of complex reasons and motivators that cause a person to turn away from their faith. A number of individuals have written about their journey and articulated a series of hard-hitting challenges to Christianity and their reasons for leaving,” says Paul Chamberlain. “These arguments are often framed differently from what Christians are prepared to answer and defend.”
Chamberlain points out that leavers of the faith are often encouraged to make the move away from their faith by a plethora of new organizations which have arisen in response to the exodus of Christian professionals. “They have names like The Clergy Project, Christians Anonymous, The Freedom from Religion Foundation, and Internet Infidels. In other words, we’re seeing something of a movement here” says Chamberlain.
He says his passion for writing this book was sparked in three ways. “First, discussions with a number of Christians who have had challenging conversations with such critics, together with my personal interactions with a number of these critics myself, either in formal debate or some other context, greatly influenced this book. Additionally, there were pastors and Christian leaders who urged me to write about this issue, which solidified my decision to examine this topic. Through my research, I could clearly see a broad cultural trend taking place.”
The book is being well-received by Christian leaders, and Apologetics and Philosophy Professors. In addition, Apologetics Canada is highlighting the book at its annual conference in March 2018, where Dr. Chamberlain will be a keynote speaker. Additional guest opportunities to hear Dr. Chamberlain speak on this topic are coming up later in 2018.
Author Paul Chamberlain is the Director of TWU’s Institute for Christian Apologetics, and a Professor of Apologetics, Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion at TWU. Previously, he also served as Executive Director for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Dr. Chamberlain regularly participates in public and university campus debates, makes guest appearances on radio and television talk shows, and serves as a guest speaker at public functions, public events and academic conferences.
This is Chamberlain’s fifth book following Why People Don’t Believe: Confronting Seven Challenges to Christian Faith (Baker Books 2011), How To Talk About Good and Bad Without Getting Ugly: The Art of Moral Persuasion (Intervarsity Press 2005), Final Wishes: A Cautionary Tale About Death, Dignity, and Physician-Assisted Suicide (Intervarsity Press 2000) and Can We Be Good Without God?: A Conversation about Truth, Morality, Culture and Other Things that Matter (Intervarsity Press 1996).
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