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Publisher's Summary

What words come to mind when we think of God? Merciful? Just? Compassionate? In fact the Bible lays out God's primary qualities clearly: He's jealous, petty, unforgiving, bloodthirsty, vindictive - and worse!

Originally conceived as a joint presentation between influential thinker and best-selling author Richard Dawkins and former evangelical preacher Dan Barker, this unique book provides an investigation into what may be the most unpleasant character in all fiction.

Barker combs through both the Old and New Testaments (as well as 13 different editions of the "Good Book"), presenting powerful evidence for why Scripture shouldn't govern our everyday lives. This witty, well-researched book suggests that we should move past the Bible and clear a path to a kinder and more thoughtful world.

©2016 Dan Barker (P)2016 Pitchstone Publishing

What listeners say about God

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Very Good but.....

This book may be better as a physical copy for its reference qualities. Although Dan Barker adds some of his commentary, the book primarily follows the following formula : list a characteristic of god then quote bible verses to prove. This isn't a bad thing and the quotes aren't "quote mined", Dan even invites the reader to check the context, it's just not the best format for an audio book, unless you really like listening to bible scripture.

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Interesting and (oddly) Tolerance Promoting

it was an interesting listen, though it did drag on in parts (i.e., where a long series of questions is presented that, I think, are meant to simply be skimmed in the print edition).

Perhaps the best part of the book is the tolerance it promotes in other religions by reminding those of us raised in Judeo Christian backgrounds of all the skeletons in our closets.

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  • Phillip
  • 2018-08-06

Helpful for Overcoming Childhood Indoctrination

If you were raised as a Christian like me, you will find this book very helpful in moving past the false beliefs that were implanted in you as a child. Much of the book is simply quotes from the Bible, scriptures that are not usually covered in church.

The book covers many of the negative aspects of God one-by-one, chapter-by-chapter. Many scriptures that paint God in a negative light are arranged into those chapters by topic, such as genocidal, infanticidal, etc. This makes it a very helpful reference.

As I listened to it, I kept thinking about the character of God as stated in these scriptures. My thought that kept occurring was, “What an (insert expletive here)!”

Christians try to portray their God as the ultimate moral being. As this book demonstrates, that is truly not the case if you just read the Bible. It becomes obvious that the character described would be the ultimate moral monster. Obviously, God, as portrayed in the Bible, reflects the tribal morality of the time it was written.

Since the Israelites came to see everything as coming from God, they felt evil that befell them was punishment from God. Also, they longed for the day when their enemies would pay for what they had done.

Churches oftentimes read the same nice verses over and over again. It is good to consider the bad verses to balance one’s view of the Bible. Yes the Bible has some nice thoughts in it, but it has a lot of bad stuff in it too. If it was really the product of a perfect moral being, that should not be the case. The standard for a book written by a perfect moral being would be set very high. However, the Bible can’t even get off the ground. Also, the morality should be perfectly consistent, but again the Bible fails miserably.

I highly recommend this book. I think it is very important to read when leaving Christianity. Even if the God of the Bible exists, he certainly isn’t good and I am justified in not worshipping him. Even if I am wrong (about his existence), I am still right (about his character).

12 people found this helpful

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  • Abraham R.
  • 2016-09-13

Finally, we hear what is not cherry-picked.

Fantastic and enlightening book. Kept to the bible with minimal outside input and whatever input was added was mostly helpful and insightful. Only thing I can say bad about this is that Dan Barkers reading speed was a tad slow and a bit monotone at times.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Kristin
  • 2016-08-02

Amazing.

Extremely well written and put together. Both educational and entertaining at the same time. I have no doubts in recomending this book to anyone who wishes to be educated about what is really in the bible, both old and new testament.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Me, myself and I
  • 2016-09-08

Amazing..

.. how some people in this world still see it as a "good book", what a horror... Scary and amazing at the same time.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Jared
  • 2016-10-15

good, but not recommended for bible-aware atheists

This book consists largely of bible verse quotes interrupted by a sentence or two of commentary. It is encyclopedic, literally, and about as interesting a read. It's a fantastic reference, and I would recommend any questioning regionists read this as opposed to just reading "The Scriptures" everyday.... I suspect the bible lulls believing readers into selective perception, mixing enough seemingly-good content that it is possible to forget or overlook the clearly bad content. This book is a dictionary account of all that bad stuff, but if you are already a fervent atheist, reading this book will feel a lot like reading a dictionary - mostly mundane, with a few exciting new items you'd forgotten about or never knew were in the lexicon.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Benjamin Barnett
  • 2018-05-26

Mind blowing

I have always had doubt about religion but I had hope in God. After listening to this wonderful book, I believe religion and God is a great big hoax that has destroyed the world as we know it.

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  • Alan Ebbinga
  • 2019-01-10

Desk reference material, not for audiobook format.

Terribly mundane and boring. I get the concept, he can reference a Bible verse...

I can see this would be a good desk reference manual, but it does not lend well to listening in audio format. Couldn't even finish it, kept putting me to sleep (and I like to listen to books while I drive!)

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  • Shayna
  • 2016-05-19

God worse than I already knew.

I liked the book, but it was a little tedious at times. But I should have expected as much to a point, as it is basically scripture study. But there is SO MUCH that was not taught to me and/or I glossed over in my early days of devout religion. Awesome.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Archie R. Whitehill
  • 2017-12-03

Christian's Dilemma

Dan Barker presents words directly from the Bible. He also asks questions and makes comments about God that Christians need to answer. I would like to read what those Christians have to say.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ray
  • 2017-09-02

A laundry list

Barely more interesting than a laundry list of how bad God is. It got monotonous.

1 person found this helpful