The Rise and Fall of Faith
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More About This Title The Rise and Fall of Faith
The story of religion in the twenty-first-century West has been defined, in part, by the stories of once-zealous pastors moving beyond their faith to embrace a life of reason. But too often and too quickly ardent believers dismiss such accounts as aberrations and fail to consider the real-life implications for those who make this transition. Atheists and other skeptics, meanwhile, struggle to understand what took these individuals so long to make such a journey—and why others aren’t lining up more quickly to do the same. As a result, the questions posed by one side inevitably mirror those asked by the other. Why do believers trust in God the way they do? But what factors lead atheists to dismiss religious beliefs so easily? How can believers have faith in the face of known science and history? But what allows anyone to be so sure their beliefs are based in reality? What would it take for believers to stop believing in God? But what would it take for nonbelievers to start to believe? Drawing on the author’s own story as a former evangelical pastor powerless to stop his turn to atheism, The Rise and Fall of Faith touches on these and other questions, inviting readers into a long-overdue conversation between Christians and atheists. While the aim of the book is to initiate this much-needed discussion, the author encourages all who care about the future of humanity to carry the dialogue forward—whether in the evaluation of our own inner thoughts, in the assumptions we make about the other side, or in how we work together in the pursuit of understanding and common ground as we navigate the world’s ever-changing and increasingly challenging religious and cultural landscape.
Drew Bekius is creator of HumanistCoach.com and board president at The Clergy Project, whose mission is to provide community, support, and hope to current and former religious professionals who no longer hold supernatural beliefs. Dan Barker is co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
"An extraordinary offering . . . a cinematic drama . . . an alternative to rancor and a path toward understanding." —Gretta Vosper, Minister, West Hill United Church of Toronto; author, With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important Than What We Believe“A deep, satisfying, and ultimately hopeful read." —Katherine Ozment, author, Grace Without God: The Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging in the Secular Age“A gratifying and memorable read.” —Dale McGowan, founder, Foundation Beyond Belief; author, In Faith and In Doubt: How Religious Believers and Non-Believers Can Create Strong Marriages and Loving Families"A wonderful journey of thought through a path strewn with valuable insights." —Roy Speckhardt, executive director, American Humanist Association; author, Creating Change Through Humanism“This is a joy to read. It's written . . . with humor, sincerity, and openness.” —Linda LaScola, co-author, Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind; co-founder, The Clergy Project“This book is for anyone looking to understand the evangelical mind.” —Robyn Blumner, president and CEO, Center for Inquiry; CEO, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science“I could not put it down.” —Darrel Ray, founder, Recovering from Religion; author, God & Sex: How Religion Distorts Sexuality“This polarized country of ours needs more leaders like Drew Bekius.” —Bart Campolo, Humanist Chaplain, University of Southern California"Drew’s personal story of losing his life as he lost his faith and yet surviving is a compelling read that will resonate for others doubting their faith." —Jeff T. Haley, author, Sharing Reality: How to Bring Secularism and Science to an Evolving Religious World