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All Bark and No Bite: A Book Critique of Dan Barkers, "godless"

As I read through Dan Barker’s book, “godless,” I became more and more heartbroken as the pages turned. Barker explains that he was, at the early age of fifteen, on fire for God. In chapter one, he recalls that he came from a Pentecostal background and admits that at a revival meeting he attended was “spirit-filled… intense, bursting with rousing music and emotional sermons.”[1] It seems that right off the bat, that his experience was only based on emotion. This is the opposite of what the Bible teaches. Jesus said, 

Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.[2]


The question here is why did an “evangelical pastor” become an atheist? It seems that because his foundation was, as discussed, based on emotion. Emotion might set the hook, so to speak, but there needs to be more than just a setting of the hook. The foundation that Jesus speaks about is a solid foundation. One that is not built on something that is unstable like sand… and emotions. This seems to be the main problem when one wades through the pages of godless.

As one reads through the first chapter of the book, the feeling of sadness is overwhelming for one who is deeply familiar with the Bible because he knows the parable of the sower. Jesus tells a story about a farmer who went out to sow. He explains that some seed that the farmer broadcasted…

Fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.[3]


It is a similar situation when someone bases his or her Christian faith on a feeling or an emotion. Jesus continues, explaining the seed that falls on the rocky ground: “the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.[4] Dan Barker received the word with joy, but then questions came[5] and eventually Barker states that “At the far end of my theological migration, I was forced to admit that there is no basis for believing that a god exists, except faith, and faith was not satisfactory to me.”[6]

From here, Barker explains that after his parents were shocked about his “migration,” that they too became atheists, that he eventually got a divorce, and he is happier now. 


All Bark and No Bite

Barker and other popular atheists have arguments as to why atheism is true, just like Christian apologists have arguments as to why Christianity is true. We will look at several arguments for God’s existence, and then we will look at what atheists have to say about them. It is the goal of this article to show why these arguments and such might at first glance only appear threatening, but are not actually threatening to the existence of God, the problem of evil, and to the attributes of God. All bark, and no bite. 

Before we get to this however, I would like to point out that in Barker’s book, at the beginning of his fourth chapter, he says the statement, “What matters is whether it is true.”[7] The question Christians have for Barker and his fellow atheists, is why does the truth matter? This all seems to be an invention of purpose for the person who believe that he ultimately becomes worm dirt in the graveyard. What I mean is that what purpose is there if in the end we only face the grave. For an atheist, it seems that they would have to existentially invent a purpose for life in order to feel some sense of fulfillment or hope. The importance of truth is one of these inventions as seen above. The question is, if everyone will ultimately be cold, lifeless dust at the heat-death of our own sun, then why does anything matter at all? The answer is that nothing would matter if all life ultimately ceases to exist.

Another topic that needs to be addressed is that of faith, since it is so discussed in the many books by atheists. It seems across the board, that many atheists, including Barker, have a definition of faith to which no Christian worth his salt would ever hold. Barker describes faith as “what you need when you do not have certainty… Faith is the evidence of non-evidence… Faith is the acceptance of the truth of a statement in spite of insufficient or contradictory evidence, and has never been consistent with reason.”[8] The problem is that this might seem correct at first, but this is not how the Bible teaches what faith is. For instance, when King David went before Saul and told him that he would kill the giant, and Saul saw before him this scrawny boy, what was he supposed to think? Saul had little faith. But David had faith… evidence based faith. He logically (and courageously) defended his claim by telling Saul that when he was watching over the sheep and a lion and a bear came, he killed both of them. The giant was no different. David had evidence-based faith. In fact, all faith is evidence-based. When Pharaoh had the plagues coming, he definitely had evidence to believe that God would do what Moses said He would do. God never asked Pharaoh to believe without evidence. It all began with a staff being thrown on the ground and turning into a snake.[9] When the New Testament Disciples of Christ saw the works of Jesus, specifically at the wedding in Cana, they then put their faith in Him.[10]They were never asked to believe without evidence. Neither are atheists, or anyone else. This brings us to an excellent question: “Why is there something rather than nothing at all?”[11] In other words, why does anything at all exist? Why do the trees, the rocks, the ants, the trout, the octopus, the turnips, the particles, the stars, and human beings exist? We are never asked to believe in God without evidence. The evidence is the witness of creation.[12] Because we have this evidence, we can have faith through natural theology that God indeed exists. 

Again, Richard Dawkins, in his book, “The God Delusion,” complains about what he believes about faith and says, “If children were taught to question and think through their beliefs, instead of being taught the superior virtue of faith without question, it is a good bet that there would be no suicide bombers.”[13] Dawkins regards faith here as something that is mindless; that people believe in something just because. He treats faith as if it is an enemy of thought, which is false. The Bible commands us to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind[14] As we have discussed already, Dawkins, Barker, and other atheists simply have it wrong about faith.


Critiques of Theistic Arguments

A popular way for atheists to argue against the cosmological argument is by starting with a strawman. A strawman is a logical fallacy that changes the argument into something easier to refute for the person arguing against such. It is easier to joust a fake (straw) man than a real man, in other words. To illustrate the typical strawman, let’s look at the Kalam Cosmological Argument, which is typically presented as something along the lines of the following: 

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause for its existence. 

2. The universe began to exist. 

3. Therefore, the universe had a cause for its existence.[15]

The strawman comes into play with atheists here, by changing the first premise. It is much easier to destroy the argument as stated above if the first premise is changed to, “Everything has a cause for its existence.” If everything has a cause for its existence, then this would also include God. This is why it is so easy for atheists to destroy the cosmological argument, simply because they make a strawman fallacy out of the argument and change what is actually being said. What is interesting is that atheists continue using this extremely poor argument despite it being destroyed over and over.

For instance, Dan Barker says in his book, “The major premise of this argument, ‘everything had a cause,’ is contradicted by the conclusion that ‘God did not have a cause.’ You can’t have it both ways. If everything had to have a cause, then there could not be a first cause.”[16] The thing is, this is not what Christians were ever saying. There is no bite to how Barker and other atheists use this argument against the cosmological argument. The first premise, “Everything that begins to exist has a cause” does not include God, because God never began to exist. 

Further along in godless (chapter 8), Barker accuses the Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA) of begging the question. He is essentially saying that the first premise, (“everything that begins to exist has a cause for its existence”) is begging the question in that it already concludes that God exists. As Jason McCracken explains in “Answering the Music Man,” Barker is making a categorical mistake in saying that the theist uses “things that do not have a beginning” as just a synonym for the word “God.”[17] McCracken is correct, this is not what the KCA is saying. The KCA is an argument that seeks to move a person from a belief in the beginning of the universe to a belief in something before the beginning of the universe. It softens the defenses of people who have barriers intellectually against the existence of God. When one can see that there is a beginning to the universe, then because there is a beginning, there must be a cause for such a beginning (the principle of causality). It is common sense that something that does not have a beginning does not have a cause, for there could be no cause. So, the conclusion of the KCA is that there is a cause for the beginning of the universe because we can see that premise (1) is simply the principle of causality, and premise (2) is what is scientifically and philosophically known, and therefore because these are true, the conclusion (3) must also be true. 

Second, Barker himself begs the question in assuming that only the physical universe exists: 

“The universe,” to philosophers (or “the cosmos,” to cosmologists), is the set of all things. A set is a collection of items. A set can be a member or subset of another set, and it can be considered a subset of itself, but a set cannot meaningfully be a member of itself. Yet the cosmological argument treats the universe as if it were an item in its own set. The first premise refers to every “thing,” and the second premise treats the “universe” as if it were a member of the set of “things.” But since a set should not be considered a member off itself, the cosmological argument is comparing apples to oranges.[18]


The first sentence in the citation above is a clear indicator of the breadth of understanding Barker has concerning physical things. He commits the same fallacy as David Hume with miracles. Hume presupposes that miracles do not exist, and Barker presupposes that nothing that is non-physical exists. This should cause us to wonder if Barker believes in numbers, since they too are non-physical (or any other abstract object). 

Regarding the conclusion of the KCA, whatever we choose to call this being that is the cause of the universe (The Maximally Great Being), we can know naturally that He must be timeless (in order to create time; He could not be in time and create it, this notion is absurd), He must be spaceless (in order to create space), He must be immaterial (in order to create material), because otherwise, it would be absurd that God could create Himself. On top of these, He must be personal, because He created personal beings, and He must be unimaginatively powerful (because He created the universe ex nihilo). 


In The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, the author argues against the argument from design. This argument moves from complex design to an intelligent designer. The argument frequently looks something like this: 

1. All complex design implies a designer.

2. The universe has complex design.

3. Therefore, the universe must have had a designer.[19]

Dawkins boasts about this “central argument” in his book and says that there must be an explanation of who or what designed the designer.[20] What he is saying is that he basically admits that the universe and the life within the universe, whether it is trees, bugs, or human beings, looks designed, but he ultimately credits evolution to such things, and because of such, it is my opinion that this is the direction of worship from Richard Dawkins. In any event, Dawkins seeks to use another misused and abused rebuttal against the teleological (design) argument in order to make the argument look weak. The problem is that not only does he also presuppose that only the physical exists, but when Dawkins implies that that the Designer needs an explanation of His design, this pattern will simply go on for infinite regress, which would be absurd. 

For instance, God—the designer—created and designed all things in the universe, yet Dawkins is implying the idea that God is also created and designed. He says, 

The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of design to actual design itself. In the case of a man-made artefact such as a watch, the designer really was an intelligent engineer. It is tempting to apply the same logic to an eye or a wing, a spider or a person. The temptation is a false one, because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer…[21]


The problem is that Dawkins seems to not be able to look beyond the universe, much like his fellow atheists. He believes that if God designed everything in the universe (and out of the universe), then someone (or thing) must have made God. Both Barker and Dawkins must believe that God is in the sphere of the universe, which would create even more absurdities as already discussed.[22] But as mentioned, Dawkins believes that if God did exist, then he would have to have a creator/designer Himself, and in the eyes of Dawkins, God is so complex, which is why God Himself would need a designer. But where would this end? If God is so complex that He needed a designer, then who designed the designer of God? …Who designed his designer? …Who designed his designer? Ad infinitum. In Dawkins mind, this being that created God would even have to be more complex than what we know as God. So, this pattern of going backwards in designers being designed would go back for infinity, and would ultimately explain nothing because there would have to be an explanation of all of the beings that created such complex being and simply because the notion is absurd. This seems like in a bizarre  sense, that it could be worked out to strengthen the case for a Maximally Great Being. In any case, I digress.


In chapter nine of Barker’s godless, the author is writing as if he were God writing to a “theologian.” This is an embarrassment to him on several levels, but we will discuss only one. The moral argument for the existence of God is brought up. Barker treats morals as if they are randomly selected by God. He writes in his mocking character, 

Suppose I decide that I would like you to honor me with a day of my own. I like the number seven, I don’t know why, maybe because it is the first useless number. Let’s divide the calendar into groups of seven days and call them weeks… The last day of the week—or maybe the first day, I don’t care—I’ll set aside for myself. Let’s call it the Sabbath, and if you do it then I will pronounce you good people. In fact, I’ll make it one of my Ten Commandments[23] and I’ll order your execution if you disobey it. This all makes perfect sense, though I don’t know why.[24]


Barker moves immediately from here, to the idea of God choosing what is moral. He says in the following paragraph (remember, still speaking as God), “How am I supposed to choose what is moral? Since I can’t consult any authority, the thing to do, it appears, is to pick randomly. Actions will become right or wrong simply because I declare them to be so.”[25] He continues on discussing that if God says that murder is wrong and something else is right, then we will just have to accept it.[26]

One thing to note here is that Barker does not realize that this is an argument from thousands of years ago. According to Plato, Socrates asked a man named Euthyphro the following: “Just consider this question:—is that which is holy loved by the gods because it is holy, or is it holy because it is loved by the gods?”[27] What Socrates is asking here is basically the same thing that Barker is asking. Only, Barker seems to assume a specific position where there is no dilemma (Which is what this seems to be pointing toward—the Euthyphro Dilemma). Socrates is essentially asking here (to modernize it a bit) if God is good because goodness is over Him and He is obedient to that which is good? In other words, the problem here would be that there is something that God is following, and thus be greater than God. Or… is God randomly inventing what is good because He can do what He wants because he is God? Barker seems to be clinging to the latter idea. The issue here is that this is a false dilemma. Historically, many apologists argue here that there is a third horn to the bull, so to speak. This third horn is that God Himself is good. He is the standard of what is good. The good is not above Him or below Him. This is why the Bible tells us to, “be holy for I am holy.”[28]

Other apologists would object to this argument and ask the question of what good is. For instance, if we say that God is morally perfect, what exactly does this mean? If we say that God’s nature is good, we are not giving the meaning of what good is, but actually it is circular in reasoning since God’s nature is goodness, but that still doesn’t answer the question. Instead, some believe that the word good means the same thing as being. As in, considering evil, “No being is said to be evil, considered as being, but only as far as it lacks being. Thus, a man is said to be evil, because he lacks the being of virtue; and an eye is said to be evil, because it lacks the power to see well.”[29] So then good is the same thing as beingAll beings are good in this sense, because it is better to exist than to not exist. So, it is good that they are being. This is called actuality. God alone is what is called pure actuality. This means that He is the only act which never had potential. He is pure act. For instance, an acorn is a potential tree, but it is not yet a tree. When it is a tree, it will be actualized. God never had potential. When your parents conceived, you became actualized. Although you could also say that when you hit puberty, you became an actualized adult (at least in some sense) with the potential power of creating. In any event, good is the same thing as being. God is pure being. Again, Barker is simply missing or misunderstanding a lot of information, both theologically (which ironically, is his boast), and philosophically.[30]


The Problem of Evil

Dawkins quotes the Oxford Companion to Philosophy on the problem of evil saying that it is “the most powerful objection to traditional theism.”[31] Barker says, “If God knows in advance that there will be evil as a direct or indirect result of His actions, then he is not all good. He is at least partly responsible for the harm. Since God has the desire and the power to eliminate evil, why doesn’t He?”[32] It seems that the issue here is a lack of understanding. First, what is interesting is that most atheists will admit that evil exists, which actually goes against what atheism teaches. If atheism were true, then there would be no such thing as good or evil, or right or wrong, simply because there would be nothing to judge either evil or good at the end of our lives or at the end of all existence. The mere fact that many atheists point to evil as an argument against the existence of God shows that they want their cake and eat it too. Atheists will blame God for evil, but will not acknowledge that God exists. If evil exists, then goodness must exist, and if goodness exists, there must be a standard of goodness, which we discussed above. Otherwise, if God did not exist, then how would we know what is evil? (At this point possibly go into the idea here that evil is not a thing, much like rust on a car. Without the car, there would be no rust; similarly with blindness; privation/negation; see also Romans 14:14).

Secondly, God (the Maximally Great Being), from His love, created free creatures, the most loving thing to do would be to create creatures (humans) who are free to choose, rather than for God to create robots who are determined to do whatever they are told. So, God created free creatures because it is more loving to do so, and in so doing, there must be the choice for these creatures to do evil or good. If there was no choice, then they would not be truly free. If they were not truly free, then this would not be the most loving way we could be created. But God is love.[33] Think of it like this, if I could force my wife to love me, would that be true love? Definitely not. Similarly, if God forced us to love Him, it would not be true love, nor would true worship exist. So, God created us to have free will, and because of such, evil exists. 

Speaking of evil, this is why Hell exists. First, because God created free creatures with intrinsic, moral value, He will not destroy them. Secondly, God cannot be near sin (at least with any type of permanence), and this is also where Hell comes in. God will not destroy a person who is of such high intrinsic value, and at the same time, God cannot be near sin. Therefore, Hell must exist.[34]


Atheist’s Critique of Divine Attributes

Barker believes that “The Christian God cannot be both omniscient (all-knowing) and omnibenevolent (all-good). If God were omniscient, then He knew when He created Adam that Adam would sin. He knew human beings would suffer.”[35] This also correlates with the discussion above. If God were to eliminate evil, then He would eliminate free will, and also, humanity as we know it. Think about it, when an atheist is accusing God of not ridding the world of evil, he is basically asking why he himself is alive. The Bible says that all fall short of God’s glory,[36] and this means that no one reaches the standard of holiness (as discussed above) that God is by nature. Therefore, when an atheist whines about God not getting rid of evil, he is essentially asking why God does not get rid of the atheist (as well as everyone else) because he is evil, and falls short of the glory of God.

B. Kyle Keltz has an excellent argument for the above citation: He writes, “This is a strange argument coming from Barker, who has children. Parents all over the world choose to have children, knowing their kids will at one point suffer in some way. Having children in this world is celebrated more often than not, and usually people do not think that it is cruel or mean-spirited to have children.”[37] This argument again makes Barker look like he is barking up the wrong tree (if even a tree at all). It is ridiculous to blame and accuse God for something we call evil and then in principle do the same thing for which He is being accused. Again, Barker and his fellow atheists are found to be all bark and no bite. 

Barker does not believe in freewill, and because of such, his presuppositions get in the way of his own reasoning. Barker writes, “At the moment of creation, an omniscient deity would have been picturing the suffering and damnation of most of His creation. This is mean-spirited.”[38] What Barker does not understand is that as discussed briefly above, there might be ways in which damnation of some might influence others to come to Jesus. If the untimely death of a grandfather brings one to the foot of the cross, then this “evil” as Barker would describe it, would ultimately be for good. Also, Barker is arguing the idea that suffering exists, and that there is no reason for it (if there is an all-powerful and good Being), but the problem is that there is a reason for it. 

For instance, we often times suffer when we go to the dentist. The reason we suffer is because the suffering brings out a greater good! Just like my own recent stay in the hospital (ouch). Without pain and suffering, we would have nothing that warns us that something is wrong and would simply end up dead. Pain and suffering tell us that something is wrong. Therefore, suffering can be very good.

Barker says about God’s omnipotence, “An omnipotent God must be able to counteract the greatest possible force that could exist in the universe. Imagine a black hole created by all the mass of the universe collapsing in one place. God must possess a physical energy at least as great as this…”[39] Barker is basically saying that the above idea is absurd. But one problem is that Barker sees God living in time, in the universe, as if God is a physical object. Secondly, If God created the universe out of nothing, what obstacle could there possibly be in manipulating any of the contents of this universe? The answer is clearly nothing. God’s power, goodness, presence, and existence is grossly underestimated by Barker and his fellow atheists.


Things for you to memorize:

What are some good arguments against atheism?


Kalam Cosmological Argument

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause for its existence.

2. The universe began to exist.

3. Therefore the universe had a cause for its existence. 


Design Argument

1. All complex design implies a designer.

2. The universe has complex design.

3. Therefore, the universe must have had a designer.


Moral Argument

1. If moral values and duties do not exist, then God does not exist.

2. Moral values and duties do exist.

3. Therefore, God exists.


The 3 Fundamental 

Laws of Logic


The Law of IdentityA = A. This simply just says that whatever something is, it cannot be something else. It is itself.


The Law of Non-contradictionA ≠ ¬A. This means that a claim cannot be both true and false in the same sense at the same time. For example, a woman cannot be both pregnant and not pregnant at the same time. 


The Law of Excluded MiddleA v ¬A. This law means that any truth claim is either true or false. There is no other option.

From these Three Fundamental Laws of Logic, one can discover which claims are true and which claims are false.


Excellent Questions to Ask Atheists


Why is there something rather than nothing?


Why is the universe so finely-tuned?


Where does consciousness come from?


Are you willing to follow the evidence, even if it leads to a different understanding of how the universe works?


If Christianity were true, would you become a Christian? If Jesus rose from the dead, would you become a Christian?


Why did his disciples die saying that he rose from the dead?


Archaeology is constantly confirming the details of the accounts in the Bible. Why do you think that is, if the Bible isn’t true?


Why would we believe the biblical accounts where they can be proven archaeologically, but not where they can’t?


Is everything in the universe really just matter and energy?


Where do you think the laws of logic come from?


Are the laws of logic made of matter and energy?


Why do Atheists keep insisting faith is blind trust, when that’s not what Christians or the Bible say?


Is there a purpose to life?


How do you determine what is right and what is wrong?


Popular Atheist fallacies


Strawman—this is the fallacy where the person seeks to change the argument into something that is not the actual argument in order that he might be able to destroy such and argument. For instance, in the medieval times, it was much easier for a knight to joust a fake, straw dummy on a horse than it was to joust a real man on a horse charging toward him.


Red Herring—this is a fallacy that seeks to change the direction of the argument in order to avoid the argument itself. Centuries ago, when Englishmen went fox hunting on horseback, they would use dogs to track down a fox. In order to test the dogs, the hunters would drag a dead fish (a red herring) across the tracks in order to see if the dog would get distracted by the scent and follow the fish. If the dog followed the fish, the hunters would regard the dog as useless for fox hunting. 


Ad Hominem—this is simply an attack against the person’s character, in order to distract from the argument itself.

Written by Nace Howell through the grace of the Lord Jesus



  © Nace Howell, 2023 

[1] Dan Barker, godless: How an Evangelical preacher became one of America’s leading atheists (Berkeley: Ulysses Press. 2008), 3.

[2] NIV, Matthew 7:24-27. 

[3] ESV, Mark 4:4-8.

[4] ESV, Mark 4:16-17; emphasis mine.

[5] See page 35 in “godless.”

[6] Barker, godless, 40.

[7] Barker, godless, 67.

[8] Barker, godless, 69; 101; 117.

[9] See Exodus 7:9.

[10] See John 2:11.

[11] Leibnitz, Aquinas, et. al.

[12] See Romans 1:20.

[13] Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2008), 348; emphasismine.

[14] See Matthew 22:36-40.

[15] William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian truth and Apologetics (Wheaton: Crossway, 2008), 96.

[16] Barker, godless, 114.

[17] Jason McCracken, Answering the Music Man: Dan Barker’s Arguments against Christianity (Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers. 2020), 50.

[18] Barker, Godless, 140.

[19] Norman Geisler and Ronald Brooks, When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook on Christian Evidences (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2013), 14.

[20] Dawkins, The God Delusion, 187.

[21] Dawkins, The God Delusion, 188.

[22] See the last paragraph in the discussion on the cosmological argument above.

[23] Barker does not realize that he is discussing the one commandment in the Ten Commandments that is not reiterated in the New Testament. The reason why it is not is because the Sabbath is essentially every day, not just one day a week. See Colossians 2:16-17; also see footnote 27.

[24] Barker, godless, 153.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Barker speaks of the perfect nature of God (Barker, godless, 154), but it seems that he is overstepping his own understanding in this regard. He discusses God’s nature, but it appears that he does not know exactly what that means. See more in footnote 27.

[27] Plato, Plato in Twelve Volumes Translated by Harold North Fowler; Introduction by W.R.M. Lamb., vol. 1 (Medford, MA: Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd., 1966).

[28] See 1 Peter 1:16.

[29] Anton Pegis, Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas (New York: Random House. 1945), 46.

[30] There are several instances throughout the book that many Evangelical theologians would consider heretical or just plain wrong, which Barker just assumes is correct and accurate theology. For instance, Barker says, “Jesus spent only about 36 hours of an eternal life sentence in hell…” (Barker, godless, 152). Why did Jesus go to hell? This is historically a heretical teaching since, on the cross, Jesus said τετέλεσται, meaning “It is finished!” There is absolutely no reason that Jesus went to hell. Jesus also told the thief on the cross that “today you will be with me in Paradise.” It would unfortunately take a short book to discuss all of the theological discrepancies implied or directly discussed in Barker’s “godless.” 

[31] Dawkins, The God Delusion, 135.

[32] Barker, godless, 126.

[33] See 1 John 4:8.

[34] J. P Moreland, The Soul (Chicago: Moody Publishers. 2014), 167. 

[35] Barker, godless, 124.

[36] Romans 3:23.

[37] B. Kyle Keltz, Answering the Music Man: Dan Barker’s Arguments against Christianity (Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers. 2020), 104.

[38] Ibid; emphasis mine.

[39] Barker, godless, 124.


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The Bible, in comparison to other religious texts specifically, is the absolute truth. People sometimes assume that the Bible cannot be true because there are so many other options of biblical interpretation as well as so many other options of religions that claim to have sacred texts. With such availability, one often assumes that we cannot possibly know which religion is true, if any at all. The arguments in this article will discuss some of the issues directly concerning the veracity of the Bible in comparison to other supposed, sacred or holy writings, and will establish the idea that the qualities of one sacred text does not necessarily mean that the next sacred text in line has those same qualities. Finally, there will be a discussion on truth, discerning the idea of relevance, and a brief ethical discussion of whether or not it is morally correct to explore the truth claims of other religions. Ultimately, this article as a whole will seek to answer the question, “How can the Bib

“I don’t have a religion, I have a relationship.”

Many people make this claim, but why do so many run from the label of religion? To define religious and religion is not an easy task, because there isn’t really a consensus on what precisely, a religion is. Why is there something rather than nothing? Because something transcends us. A practical understanding of when one is called “religious,” is that it means that this person is devoted to their beliefs about that which transcends them . [1] So also, a religion is a system of practices that reflect belief and understanding of one’s worldview; specifically, this system focuses on the relationship between the human element and the spiritual element. It seems that the word religion is being understood as an insult in today’s language. This probably comes from newer generations coming up through the works and seeing the problems that religions of the world create and do not want to have any association with something that places their relationship with Jesus in the sa

What is a Cult?

There are many ways to answer this question, because there are many facets to the question itself. Often when we hear the word,  cult , we think of something bad, or downright evil, based on our own experiences which possibly came about through watching the Children of the Corn [1]  or something to that nature.  Sociologically speaking, a cult is “a religious or semi-religious sect or group whose members are often controlled or dominated almost entirely by a single individual or organization.” [2]  This lens of understanding is different than a theological perspective, or even an anthropological perspective.  Anthropologically speaking, a cult is any religious belief system that has its origins in another established religious belief system. If you picture an upside-down tree, for instance, the trunk of the tree is the lineage of a religion through time, and the branches that stem off of that trunk are the cults of such a religion. From this perspective,  Mormonism  is a  Christian cul

An Addition to the Revelation from the Mormon Doctrine and Covenants

In Doctrine and Covenants (D&C), The LDS (Mormon) church says about the D&C that,   Though there may be those who consider the Doctrine and Covenants prophecies pertaining to this last day (D&C 45:42; D&C 64:24) before Christ’s coming to the world as mere hyperbole, such is not the case. There is an undeniable literalness to the Doctrine and Covenants. Hence, the admonition to “search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled. [1]   So then, we are to take the D&C undeniably literally , according to the above citation. This is not only devastating to the Mormon faith, but also to Joseph Smith himself. In D&C section 45, we find several things that not only take away from the Revelation of Jesus, but that also add to the Revelation of Jesus in the Bible. For instance, in verses 64-66 in D&C, it says,   Wherefore I, the Lord, have said, gather ye out from the east

Identifying Self-Refuting Statements

Aside from sin, post-modernity is likely the most prominent disease in the human mind today ( Some   might even argue that Post-modernism is sin). Post-modernism is, in a nutshell, the idea that everyone has his or her own truth. It is found in many   cultures and worldviews , including tribal, new age, atheist, eastern religions,   Baha’i , and such, but is also found in   individuals’ thinking   in discussions regarding subjects like abortion (e. g. Roe v. Wade), Homosexuality, religion, politics and just about every other area of life. Learning how to detect them in conversations will help you and your conversation partner get to the truth.     A Self-Refuting Statement is a truth-claim that does not sustain its own weight; It fails to meet its own standard.    A Few Simple Examples to Start :   “ I cannot speak a single word in English .” This is simply a test for you to see the error in such a statement. How does this statement fail under its own weight? For one thing, If someone

Tibetan Buddhism and the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas

In the Flathead Indian Reservation located in the Rocky Mountains in Montana, in the middle of a considerable amount of farm land, lies a Buddhist sanctuary, known as  The Garden of a Thousand Buddhas . The Buddha Garden represents the three vehicles of Buddhism: Hinayana , Mahayana , and Vajrayana . The Garden is Tibetan in culture, and is owned by  Ewam International:   Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism , which is basically a  franchise  of Buddhist Dharma centers scattered throughout the world, but are primarily found in the United States and Asia. The Garden takes around either twenty minutes or forty minutes to walk around the entire Garden, depending on which path through the Garden one desires to take.  Buddhism, across the board, holds to what is known as the four noble truths, which are: first, the idea that suffering exists; second, that we suffer because we are attached; third, the way to stop suffering is to release the attachment to things; and finally, we release the att

The Erastus Inscription... What does it mean?

When I rented a motorcycle and drove to Corinth from Athens, I had no idea how easy it was to get lost in the city of Athens. The fact that driving in Athens is a complete nightmare aside, the people I rented the motorcycle from told me the day before I was going to rent the motorcycle that I would definitely have a GPS unit on the bike. When I arrived to pick it up, they said they didn’t have any more GPS units available. Lucky me. So, having burned the image of the country of Greece into my mind before traveling there, I figured my graciously enduring wife and I could make it to Corinth with moderate ease. Here is the tiny rented motorcycle with 88,000 miles on it. Corinth is located west of the great city of Athens exactly 86.8 kilometers (53.9 miles). Knowing this from the map in my head, I figured I would use the sun to get there. If I found a main highway I would keep the sun in the left of my scope of vision (because it was close to noon), and I would be driving

Does God Hate Certain Persons? Is there Any Truth to “Love the Sinner, but Hate the Sin?”

In an article from July 30, 2013 (I know, it’s old… ), John Piper teaches that God hates certain people. The problem with this is that there are  inconsistencies  in the mind of the person (usually a Calvinist) who believes this, and even Piper in the article recognizes the inconsistency but tries to pass it off as a paradox. “He hates — now here is the paradox — and he loves at the same time.” [1]  The problem is that it is not a paradox, but simply a contradiction.   Let’s look at some different texts from where the belief that God hates certain persons likely came…    Psalm 5  Give ear to my words, O Lord;     consider my groaning. 2 Give attention to the sound of my cry,     my King and my God,     for to you do I pray. 3 O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;     in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you[a] and watch. 4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;     evil may not dwell with

What is Classical Apologetics?

You may have heard of the phrase,   Classical Apologetics , from studying under people such as, William Lane Craig, Frank Turek, Norman Geisler, Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, B.B. Warfield, and others, and perhaps you wondered what it means.   Classical Apologetics is one method of doing apologetics… I personally like to think that it is classical for a reason. Some other methods of doing apologetics are first,  Presuppositionalism , which is that a person presupposes that God exists, and that the reason that a person does not believe in God is because he does not believe the Bible is the word of God. The issue is that from an unbeliever’s perspective, this is circular reasoning. It emphasizes revelation as opposed to reason.  Another method of apologetics is  Evidentialism , which is essentially to follow the evidence where it leads and using this evidence to support Christian claims. Sometimes people refer to it as being a subtype as Classical Apologetics, essentially being the second s