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Download Preacher Boy: Liberty University Graduate bids Farewell to Falwell and Hello to Atheism epub

by Timothy Michael Short

Meet Tim. A homeschooler from rural Virginia, Tim dreams of attending Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and becoming a pastor of his very own Church. Indoctrinated in fundamentalist Baptist theology from toddlerhood, Tim is uniquely gifted to succeed in his pastoral training. After some close encounters with gay activists, Jerry Falwell, napalm explosives, the FBI, ATF, Police, nudist missionaries, alcoholic alums, sword wielding Muslim roommates and death threats from a Kenyan Muslim...Tim got quite the Liberty Experience. Tim, the preacher boy, took those things in stride but when he was challenged to read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins his life and faith would never be the same.
Download Preacher Boy: Liberty University Graduate bids Farewell to Falwell and Hello to Atheism epub
ISBN: 0956427693
ISBN13: 978-0956427694
Category: Bibles
Subcategory: Protestantism
Author: Timothy Michael Short
Language: English
Publisher: Dangerous Little Books (May 11, 2011)
Pages: 304 pages
ePUB size: 1334 kb
FB2 size: 1189 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 984
Other Formats: docx mbr mobi txt

The book is well put-together and knows exactly how to talk to its target audience. To be honest, I wouldn't call the author necessarily a great writer; he's certainly not bad, but there's no particularly evocative imagery or great use of ethos, or any other academic way of breaking down great writing. However, he knows exactly what keywords to use or situations to describe to evoke images, memories, and entire settings for those who grew up in most versions of hardcore Christian culture. One sentence about AWANA can send you flying back to childhood memories you didn't know you still had. It's very much a book written by and (to an extent) aimed at those who grew up in (generally American) heavily conservative Christian environments, so those outside that demographic may have a harder time understanding exactly what the author is describing. For those of us who grew up that way though, it does an excellent job of portraying precisely the context needed to tell his story without having to spend too much of the book explaining the background of the setting. Captivating story. Absolutely worth the read.
Preacher Boy is a personal story of a young man leaving behind his life-long Christian interpretation of reality and turning entirely away from God, Jesus, the Bible, and Liberty University's Christian mission. It is very readable and an emotionally real account of his inner struggles to find a worldview he can live with. I was drawn to the book because the title suggested there'd be some insight into Jerry Falwell and Liberty University, and what I consider to be their very harmful bigotry and their insufferable insistence that all the world needs is just more Jesus. Tim Short knows his stuff and carefully explains how he grew to embrace rational thinking, while deepening his love for his family, his wife, child, and even many things about Liberty University. I was thoroughly impressed by his command of Christian thought and the efforts he made to make informed and durable decisions about his life.
Preacher Boy: A Liberty University Graduate bids Farewell to Falwell and Hello to Atheism by Timothy Michael Short

"Preacher Boy" is the interesting character study of one Timothy Michael Short an indoctrinated, homeschooled boy who had dreams of becoming a pastor just like his dad and who ultimately became an atheist. This book is about a preacher boy who ultimately discovers that his beliefs were a myth and how he came to that realization while graduating from Liberty University. This entertaining 219-page book is broken out into two main parts: Part One. To Raise Up a Child: The Origin of Preacher Boy and Part Two. In Which Preacher Boy has Arrived at Liberty University...and All God's People said, "Amen".

1. Generally well written, conversational tone with a touch of irreverent humor.
2. The fascinating topic of self-discovery: from homeschooled indoctrination to the realization that it was all a myth, welcome to atheism.
3. Fair and respectful characterization of the players involved in his life.
4. Good format, each chapter begins with a topical quote, like this one from Christopher Hitchens: "All religions take care to silence or to execute those who question them and I choose to regard this recurrent tendency as a sign of their weakness rather than their strength."
5. The author does a wonderful job of bringing the reader into his world. A fundamentalist upbringing and all that it entails. The world of a preacher boy. Homeschooling and indoctrination.
6. The culture of Liberty University. Fascinating accounts of what college students face at this campus. Kids from diverse backgrounds who are confronted with strict rules and guidelines and how they compare to other religious schools.
7. Insight into the hateful rabble rousing.
8. Many interesting religious topics. Thought-provoking topics that give one cause, "There is some comfort that Hell is not a real place and there is no evidence to support Hell exists but what about the people who believe in it?"
9. I learned some good things from this book. As an example, why sharing Christ with someone to a fundie "is like running into a burning house to save an innocent child." I get it now.
10. Interesting look at how religious indoctrination works at a practical level. That is from a parenting and a scholastic viewpoint. Many great examples.
11. A healthy dad and son relationship.
12. Touches on different worldviews.
13. The religious obsession with sex. "I was stunned at how the most sexless community on the face of the earth was so obsessed by sex. Liberty University is probably the most sexually repressed and horniest school at the same time." Interesting accounts. The school's stance on interracial dating. Dating. Homosexuality.
14. The author's collegiate influences. The professors, the educators who left their marks and why. His best friendships and of course his girlfriend.
15. The concept of spiritual abortions. Proselytizing.
16. A look at biblical inerrancy. Interesting takes.
17. The book takes off when the author ponders evidence in support of Christianity. Dawkins, Harris...oh it gets really good. Defending faith, doubt.
18. A look at morality. Is it absolute? Relative? Good stuff.
19. A look at Jerry Falwell. Liberty University after Falwell.
20. A look at what atheism has provided the author.
21. One of the best values at $2.99!

1. Some cliff hangers leaves readers wanting more. As an example, what happened to his wife? Are they still together? Is everything alright? How did his mother take his loss of faith?
2. A few misspells.
3. This is not in any way a technical or philosophical book that goes through the main arguments in support or against theism/atheism. It's about self-discovery in the context that the life was lived.
4. A table in an appendix that displays the most common religious Christian sects and their beliefs would have added value. It would provide the reader with a worthy reference.
5. When introducing acronyms it is best to define them when they are introduced. As an example, I had to read quite a few pages before AWANA was defined. AWANA definition.

In summary, I enjoyed this book. Stories of conversions have always been of interest to me and this one gave me a different and interesting take. The process of indoctrination at all levels is fascinating and the book really takes off when he starts to doubt. The author didn't close out all the loose ends but this book is a welcomed addition to the human conversion experience. I recommend it!

Further suggestions: "Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity" and "The End of Christianity" by John Loftus, "God Hates You Hate Him Back" by CJ Werleman, "Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith" by Richard Carrier, "Natural Atheism" and "Cruel Creeds, Virtuous Violence: Religious Violence Across Culture and History" by Dr. David Eller, "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, "Man Made God: A Collection of Essays" by Barbara G. Walker, "The Invention of the Jewish People" by Shlomo Sand, "The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever" by Christopher Hitchens, "Bible Thumper to Athiest" by Tom Crawford, "The End of Biblical Studies" by Hector Avalos, "Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are" by Bart Ehrman, "God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist" by Victor J. Stenger, "Godless" by Dan Barker, "Christian No More" by Jeffrey Mark, and "The Invention of God" by Bill Lauritzen.
Since becoming an atheist, I have always looked for stories of others that came from religious homes and converted to atheism. This is one of the best books I've ever read during my search. I related to it so well and all throughout the book. It doesn't hurt that the author grew up not far from me in rural Virginia, but Tim's story reached me on many levels. It's a very well-written story about his journey to secularism that was a lot more tough and had a lot more struggles than I ever faced. Religion can have a great hold on anyone, so these testaments of escape tug at my heart in so many ways.

I would suggest this book to everybody from the religious, the questioning agnostic to the hard atheist. I think Christians in particular can learn a lot about what religion does to a young person and the internal war and damage it causes. They would learn a lot about how detrimental their religion is, especially when forced on those from youth on. A book like this would have helped quite a bit when I was going through my agnostic journey. It's so comforting to know that there are others(and there are millions upon millions) that question their faith and struggle with it daily. Some make it out, others give into the pressure and fear instilled into them by others. Atheists, particularly though who grew up in a secular home, should read this to understand where us survivors of religions come from and many wouldn't be so quick to mock religious people(that hurts the secular movement). Many, I think, would gain a new respect from those who came from religious backgrounds and broke the shackles.

Again, this was an excellent book and I encourage all to read!