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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Von lavvyan Am hilfreichsten 24.07.2013
Probably not for non-scholars
Since the description claimed that this would be "a must-listen for anyone interested in the origins of Christianity," I was hoping to learn something about, you know, the origins of Christianity, its struggles, the first few hundred years, etc. Plus, ancient societies: always interesting, right?
Not quite. While the author does a wonderful job of narrating his own book and it's clear that many, many hours of research went into the whole thing, it's far from a comprehensive history of Christianity. In fact, anything you want to learn about the spread of early Christianity, you'll have to pick out from between self-satisfied, repetitive knock-downs of Holding's The Impossible Faith, making for a very dry subject matter indeed. Except for those instances when it's implied or outright stated that Holding is either lying or too stupid to scholar properly. Academia really is as cut-throat as rumors claim, apparently.
Something that really irked me was the author's continuing habit of brushing up against a potentially fascinating subject matter and then shoving it aside again with the information that, "I'll talk about this later in chapter thirteen." This isn't very helpful when you're currently listening to chapter two. By the time you reach chapter thirteen, you'll probably have forgotten that you were looking forward to it because of this one thing that sounded fascinating but eh, let's rather talk some more about how Holding apparently didn't read the Bible.
(As someone who didn't read it either, I eventually gave up on googling things like what the connection between Paulus and Agrippa might have been or which part of the Bible the author was citing now, and stopped listening. Laypeople are not the target audience.)
In sum, this book is so focused on refuting details that it fails to achieve a coherent, engaging narrative. Which is sad; the author clearly knows what he's talking about. This could have been fantastic. Instead, it's a let-down.
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Von Andreas Muhs Am hilfreichsten 14.09.2017
Great work! Puts early Christianity in kontext!
An eyeopener to the spiritual antique world which really was a simmering melting-pot for all kinds of cults and religions! Puts christianity into the right kontext! To understand christianity you have to learn about the spiritual state of the graeco-roman world and this book takes a good look!