About the Book

The Christian faith has been vigorously defended with a variety of philosophical, historical, and theological arguments, but many of the arguments used in an earlier age no longer resonate in today’s educated West. Where has apologetics gone wrong? What is the best response to the growing challenge presented by scientific discovery and naturalistic thought? Unlike every work on Christian apologetics that has come before, How to Defend the Christian Faith is the first one written by an atheist for Christians. As a former Christian defender who is now a leading atheist thinker, John Loftus answers these questions and more. He tells would-be apologists how to train properly, where to study, what to study, what issues they should concern themselves with, and how poorly the professors who currently train them practice their craft. In the process, he shows readers why Christian apologists have failed to reach the intelligent nonbeliever. For those Christian apologists who think this book will provide a secret formula to convert the nonbelieving masses, be warned: as an exposé of the present state of Christian apologetics, it can just as easily be used by atheists to refute apologetic arguments. Thus, this book presents both an opportunity and a challenge to Christians: they must either change how apologetics is done, or quit doing apologetics altogether.

About the Author


ISBN: 978-1634310567 (paperback)

SRP: $16.95

Page count: 280 pages

Trim size: 6 x 9

Pub date: November 2015

Ebook availability: Yes

Audiobook availability: Yes

Foreword by Peter Boghossian. Introduction. The Most Important Question of All. Part 1: You Must Prepare for the Task. Realize in Advance the Monumental Challenges. Become an Honest Life-Long Seeker of the Truth. Get a Good Education in a Good Field of Study. Accept Nothing Less Than Sufficient Objective Evidence. How to Know Which Religion to Defend. Part 2: How to Defend the Christian Faith. You Must Specialize in Special Pleading. You Must Punt to Possibilities. You Must Gerrymander for God. You Must Master the Art of Mischaracterization. When All Else Fails Lie. Part 3: How to Defend God in a World of Pain. Skirt the Strength of Three Challenges. Honestly Admit There Are No Solutions. Blame Anything but the Creator. Make Illegitimate Excuses for God. Ignore This Empirical Refutation of Christianity. Notes. About the Author.


“I don’t know anyone who can match the high definition clarity of John Loftus when it comes to navigating the labyrinthine world of Christian evangelical apologetics for the general public. This is a relentless and incisive critique of the pseudo-scholarship that passes for genuine intellectual inquiry under the name of Christian apologetics.”

—Dr. Hector Avalos, Professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University


John W. Loftus is a leading atheist writer and thinker. A former evangelical minister and Christian apologist, he had ministries in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana, and taught at several Christian and secular colleges. He is the author of Why I Became an Atheist and The Outsider Test for Faith and editor of The Christian Delusion and Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith Fails. His popular blog can be found at debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com. He lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

“Loftus is one of the few atheists who actually understands religion. This book displays the knowledge of a Christian theologian as well as rationality of an atheist. Both sides can learn a lot from it.” 

—Dr. David Eller, author, Natural Atheism, Atheism Advanced: Further Thoughts of a Freethinker, and Introducing Anthropology of Religion: Culture to the Ultimate

“Once again, Loftus raises the bar in the enduring conversation between atheists and Christian apologists with How to Defend the Christian Faith. This book will sharpen and hone the argument for either side, and woe to the unread debater going against someone who has absorbed this book’s relentless reasoning. I highly recommend this book for anyone who debates religion—on either side.” 

—David Silverman, President, American Atheists, Inc

“For years I have despaired about the sorry state of Christian apologetics, and even sorrier state of Christian apologists. If there be Christian truth, it lies beyond the reach of rational inquiry, and perhaps that is OK. In How to Defend the Christian Faith, John Loftus lays waste to a colosseum full of bad arguments, including my own tentative efforts at the problem of evil. (Loftus says I am 'ignorant' but less ignorant than Ken Ham, which was a relief.) Believers should read Loftus’s engaging assault on their intellectual champions. They will be dismayed at how often they agree. I know I was.” 

—Karl Gilberson, Scholar-in-Residence, Science & Religion, Stonehill College; author, Saving the Original Sinner: How Christians Have Used the Bible’s First Man to Oppress, Inspire, and Make Sense of the World

“The world has just become a richer place. Who can calculate the added value to our planet when bright, young aspiring apologists decide to redirect their talents and energies to evidence-based careers? Many of them—the ones who sincerely care about truth—will certainly do that after reading the wise counsel in John Loftus’ caring and sobering book. How to Defend the Christian Faith is a welcome mutual aid for Apologists Anonymous.” 

—Dan Barker, author, Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning; Co-President, Freedom From Religion Foundation

“Kudos to Loftus for another amazing text that will stand the test of time. My advice to readers? Buy it! Read it! Tell others about it, especially those who need it the most—evangelicals and believers who need a dose of objective reality and science-based reasoning.” 

—Sharon Nichols, retired Associate Professor, Geography, College of DuPage; former President, Illinois Geographical Society

“With wit and insight, Loftus offers the believer the tricks necessary to remain in the faith and to persuade others to do likewise. Self-delusion and deception are necessary attributes and Loftus humorously explains how it is done from someone who has been there. This is a great book for the believer who is ready to take an honest look at the moral and intellectual cost of his or her faith.” 

—Carolyn Hyppolite, author, Still Small Voices: The Testimony of a Born Again Atheist

Advance Praise