John W. Loftus
John W. Loftus
Loftus in 2016
|Born||September 18, 1954|
John W. Loftus (born 1954) is an American atheist author. He has written seven books and co-authored three others.
Early life and education
Loftus was born on September 18, 1954. He earned a bachelor's degree from Great Lakes Christian College in 1977, Master of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees from Lincoln Christian Seminary in 1982, and a Master of Theology degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1985. He dropped out of a Doctor of Philosophy program in theology and ethics at Marquette University in 1987.
Loftus was a minister and taught apologetics, philosophy, critical thinking, and ethics at several colleges, including The College of Lake County, Grayslake, IL, Lincoln Christian University, Lincoln, IL, and Trine University, Angola, IN. In the late 1990s Loftus had a crisis of faith and rejected Christianity.
He has authored eight books: The Christian Delusion (2010) The End of Christianity (2011), Why I Became an Atheist (2012), The Outsider Test of Faith: How to Know Which Religion Is True (2013), Christianity Is Not Great (2014), How to Defend the Christian Faith: Advice from an Atheist (2015), Christianity in the Light of Science (2016), and UnApologetic: Why Philosophy of Religion Must End (2016).
The Outsider Test for Faith
His key contribution is in his book The Outsider Test For Faith. It asks believers to test their religious faith as an outsider: "The best way to test one’s adopted religious faith is from the perspective of an outsider with no double standards, using the same level of skepticism one uses to evaluate other religious faiths." "It is no different than the prince in the Cinderella story who must question forty-five thousand people to see which girl lost the glass slipper at the ball the previous night. They all claim to have done so. Therefore, skepticism is definitely warranted when approaching any woman who claims to have the right foot fit."
This test has been disputed by Norman Geisler in "From Apologist to Atheist: A Critical Review", Thomas Talbot in "The Outsider Test for Faith: How Serious a Challenge Is It?", Mark Hanna, Biblical Christianity: Truth or Delusion? Matthew Flannagan, "Review of The Christian Delusion" and David Marshall, How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test: The Inside Story 
- "John Loftus". Secular Web. Internet Infidels Inc. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- Scot McKnight; Hauna Ondrey (July 14, 2008). Finding faith, losing faith: stories of conversion and apostasy. Baylor University Press. pp. 13–14. ISBN 978-1-60258-162-3.
- "John W. Loftus". Penguin Random House Canada. Peguin Random House Canada. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- The Christian Delusion
- Spring 2007 issue of Christian Apologetics Journal (pp. 93-110)
- in Philosphia Christi, Vol. 13, no. 1 – Summer 2011