Smackdowns of Christian Apologists (bibliography)

by Luke Muehlhauser on December 18, 2009 in Christian Theology,Resources,Reviews


Below is a list of book-length1 rebuttals to the works of Christian apologists. Please suggest the ones I missed.

  1. Well, I’m being a bit loose on this. If it’s more than 40 pages long when printed on 8.5″ by 11″ paper, I’m calling it “book-length.” []

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

cole December 18, 2009 at 12:14 pm

The Anonymous and Pseudographic Authors Guild’s The Holy Bible is a smackdown of Random Believer’s Christianity


Chris Hallquist December 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Is there any particular reason this list is restricted to critiques of single books? There’s a lot of stuff out there of the “deal with a small set of apologists” variety. Stuff like John Loftus’ book, the anthology on the resurrection Prometheus put out a few years back, books by people like Michael Martin, and the anti-ID books out there. Though a list of those things would be a lot more work!


John D December 18, 2009 at 4:01 pm

An obvious one is the Internet Infidels takedown of Josh McDowell’s Evidence that Demands a Verdict:

Also, maybe, Richard Carrier’s review of In Defense of Miracles:


lukeprog December 18, 2009 at 8:04 pm


Yeah, that’s just a limit for this particular list.


Edward Brock December 18, 2009 at 9:57 pm

How about 2 books by Robert M. Price (who has written several wonderful books on Christianity) as he takes on–

Rick Warren in The Reason Driven Life


The Rapture/Tribulation/Apocalypse beliefs of several apologists (such as Tim LaHaye) in Paperback Apocalypse.


rhys December 18, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Does God? A Debate Between A Christian and An Atheist fit on here?

Mind you Walter didn’t really smack Craig down.


Jeffrey December 19, 2009 at 8:02 am

C. S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion by John Beversluis is a beautiful smackdown of Lewis.


Victor Reppert December 19, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Jeffrey: C. S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion by John Beversluis is a beautiful smackdown of Lewis.  

Beversluis’s newest edition is a serious piece of work, surely. On the argument from reason, however, I don’t think he quite gets the structure of the argument. For example, he points out that Lewis’s argument against naturalism is an argument against a deterministic form of naturalism, but he doesn’t deal with my argument that going to an indeterministic form of naturalism doesn’t really help the naturalist escape from the problem Lewis is posing. Further, he argues that it is essential to Lewis’s argument against naturalism that our knowledge of physical objects is inferential, again ignoring my argument to the effect that even if knowledge of physical objects is non-inferential, our knowledge of mathematics is most certainly inferential, and if naturalism has the implication that we cannot perform rational inferences, then our knowledge of the natural science (the only reason anybody would ever be a naturalist) is undermined.

As usual, there is an ongoing debate on these matters. I’ve replied to Carrier in a few places, for example. I don’t like the phrase “smackdown” because I hardly think these critiques are slam dunks. (I don’t like talk like that from my side of the aisle, either). Carrier repeatedly analyzes intentionality in intentional terms and then attributes things to “the brain,” thinking that he now has a naturalistic analysis. But attributing something to the brain doesn’t mean that you have actually analyzed out the “mental” characteristics that the antinaturalist critic is saying are a problem for naturalism. I’ve actually called this the Richard Carrier fallacy.

A little concerned about the use of the term “smackdown,” here, however, because there is a lot of ongoing debate on these issues.


cartesian December 19, 2009 at 11:55 pm

I thought it was funny that you chose that particular picture for this post, since, SPOILER ALERT, the superficially-vigorous-but-inwardly-feeble, kinda-crazy, dim-witted deadbeat Randy the Ram DIES after delivering that flying Ram-Jam. Not the most encouraging visual metaphor for atheist philosophy, but perhaps surprisingly apt! ;-)


rhys December 21, 2009 at 3:04 am
Ryan January 13, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Here’s a series that smacksdown on Eddy and Boyd’s “The Jesus Legend”



lukeprog January 14, 2010 at 7:39 am


Yup, that series is great. It’s not long enough yet to qualify, but I sure hope he keeps going!


Dan August 25, 2010 at 5:29 am

If, by smackdown, you really mean, cry-baby whinings that do not even come close to refuting, then yeah, you them just fine. :)


IHaveAShoeTryItOn August 10, 2011 at 1:58 am

Wow this is hardly a smack down of christian apologists especially when the prominent name featured is Lee Strobel. Essentially what you have here is a knock down of dollar store, bumbling idiot pseudo christianity. Try these on for size:
Francis Schaeffer
R.C. Sproul
Perhaps some Theologians as well:
John Calvin
Martin Luther
Thomas Aquinas
Why don’t you try knocking down some of the respected names in theology. Or is knocking down the weakest arguments you can find the best you can do? If Strobel is the one you read to try to regain your faith I am not surprised that you failed. It is amusing to see previous poorly educated and mostly uniformed former christians come back and attempt to bash the lousy attempt at christian faith they made and conflate this with the actual views of intelligent christian thinkers.


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