Not the Impossible Faith is a tour de force in that genre, dissecting and refuting the oft-repeated claim that Christianity could not have succeeded in the ancient world unless it was true. Though framed as a detailed rebuttal to Christian apologist J.P. Holding (author of The Impossible Faith), Carrier takes a general approach that educates the listener on the history and sociology of the ancient world, answering many questions like: How did Christians approach evidence? Was there a widespread prejudice against the testimony of women? Was resurrection such a radical idea? Who would worship a crucified criminal? And much more.
Written with occasional humor and an easy style, and thoroughly referenced, with many entertaining "gotcha!" moments, Not the Impossible Faith is a must-listen for anyone interested in the origins of Christianity. Richard Carrier, PhD, is an expert in the history of the ancient world and a critic of Christian attempts to distort history in defense of their faith.
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Bloody awful audiobook...
Although I personally concur with much if not all of what the author says, I have to tell you that, as an audiobook this is like having a sheet of cardboard in place of a steak. It's dry, and the fact that it's a response to another argument that we are not a party to makes it seem 'whiney'. The description is accurate but you won't find much of interest here.
What would have made a much better book is to give the same information without acknowledging that other author and his faults. Trying to tell some sort of coherent story rather than a point by point refutation of some other guy's weak argument would at least make the book worth reading by people other than those involved in these sorts of pissing contests.
I respect that the author is a phd etc and that his information seems good and well researched. His logic seems equally well done. But as a book, as a writer, this is pretty bad listening. Give it a pass.
- Amazon Customer
A polemic, pure and simple
This appears to gave been written by a person in a rage and almost makes one think he doth protest too much. As a person who is not into any particular religion, and as I am not a citizen of the US am happy to describe myself as atheist or agnostic, and yes I do know they are different, I believed this would be a thoughtful work which I could learn about the historical basis for the rise of Christianity and why it was adopted by so many different societies. Instead I got a polemic which really should have been delivered as a personal diatribe - the author just had to get it out of his system. I did not have to listen, and gave up about Chapter 5. The worst book I have ever purchased
Self indulgent, should not have been for public consumption