Saturday, July 2, 2016

*Review* God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction by Dan Barker

Genre: Non-Fiction/Religion
Published: February 2, 2016
Pages: 320


What words come to mind when we think of God? Merciful? Just? Compassionate? In fact, the Bible lays out God’s primary qualities clearly: jealous, petty, unforgiving, bloodthirsty, vindictive—and worse! Originally conceived as a joint presentation between influential thinker and bestselling 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 Testament (as well as thirteen different editions of the “Good Book”), presenting powerful evidence for why the 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.


I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program in the hopes that I would leave an honest review. 

This book served to reinforce my preconceived notion that religion is merely a means to explain things that society doesn't understand. But it also showed me that it was used as a way to control a group of people (and has continued to do so for thousands of years to an extent). And it confirmed for me that a theocracy based on a literal interpretation of the Bible would be just as violent and wrong as some of the theocracies that employ Sharia law today. 

I would honestly recommend this book to everyone. I think it would help to show Christians why there is an increasing number of people who are skeptical of Christianity and why it is difficult for those same people to accept moral outrage based on the Bible. And non-religious people will likely enjoy it because it reinforces their pre-conceived notions (like me). 

My one complaint is that I wish the book included more commentary from the author. It would have broken up the monotony of the lists of Bible verses that demonstrate each negative characteristic a little bit. 

4 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Dan Barker, a former evangelical minister, is co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, cohost of Freethought Radio, and cofounder and board member of the Clergy Project. A widely sought-after lecturer, debater, and performer, he regularly discusses atheism and life's meaning and purpose in the national media, with appearances on Oprah WinfreyThe Daily ShowThe O'Reilly FactorGood Morning America, and many others.
Richard Dawkins was the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society, and the Royal Society of Literature, and has Honorary Doctorates in both science and literature. His many bestselling books include The Selfish Gene (Oxford University Press), The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design (W.W. Norton & Co.), and The God Delusion (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

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