Rob J Hyndman is a Professor of Statistics at Monash University, Australia. He was a Christadelphian for nearly 30 years, and was well-known as a writer and Bible teacher within the Christadelphian community. Until recently, he was regularly speaking at Christadelphian conferences internationally, and his books are still used in Bible classes and Sunday Schools around the world. He gave up the religion when he no longer thought that there was sufficient evidence to support belief in the Bible. This is a personal memoir describing Rob's journey of deconversion.
In this book, he reflects on how he was fooled, and why he changed his mind. Whether you agree with his conclusions or not, you will be led to reflect on the nature of faith and evidence, and how they interact.
From the book
"It suddenly struck me that there just wasn't enough evidence to justify belief."
"It is now more than two years since I stopped believing, and I am more convinced than ever that I made the right choice. I am only sorry that I did not realise my mistake earlier."
"I could not continue to attend religious services that are based on mythology and archaic, cultural conventions."
"I always held the position that (my) faith was underpinned by evidence. I certainly had faith, and I believed that it was supported by some evidence. I now feel like the evidence I imagined was there was nowhere near as strong as I thought it was. Through a heavy dose of confirmation bias, and by deliberately ignoring the problems that I knew were there, I was able to convince myself for a long time. Then for some reason I tried to re-evaluate the evidence as dispassionately as possible and for the first time faced up to the difficulties and acknowledged the lack of any convincing evidence. Without evidence, I have no faith."
"Frankly I think the Christadelphian community cannot survive, except in its most extreme form. There are now too many educated members and too much available information for the mythology to continue to have any power. Even now it is apparent that many members remain part of the community for cultural and social reasons, rather than because of a deep seated conviction of the truth of the core doctrines ......... Extreme Christadelphianism is likely to survive longer, simply because the cultural entrapment is so much stronger."
From the author
"After more than two years, here is the long-awaited “further explanation”. It is a personal memoir describing my journey of deconversion from Christianity."
Editor's review by John Bedson
'Unbelievable' by Rob Hyndman is the Christadelphian equivalent of 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins. It explains in detail why all of the different brands of Christianity are mistaken, but with especial emphasis on the Christadelphian version of this man-made religion.
Unlike the militant 'New Atheists', Rob's approach to the subject is measured, diplomatic and at times almost understated. He is careful not to offend religious sensitivities as he sifts through the miriad of reasons why Christianity cannot be true. His background as a university professor of statistics gives him an expert's viewpoint as he weighs the statistical likelihood that Biblical passages may or may not be telling the truth.
The book explains the psychological reasons why humans believe in extraordinary things that have no credible supporting evidence, and why they find it almost impossible to challenge their own misconceptions and beliefs. Rob discovered how to think objectively about his own faith and as a result he came to abandon it as ill founded.
The reader is left to decide for themselves if they want to continue to believe that the Bible is the work of a divine creator, or that it is a collection of books intended to fool people into belief in a complex myth invented by humans.
The book is not intended to deconvert Christians or Christadelphians. It's primary purpose is to help the reader to think rationally and objectively about faith based religion. It does not seek to dictate what people should think about these issues, but rather it explains a better way to consider the probabilities.
People have to deconvert, or choose to believe, themselves. No one could or should make up their minds for them. But after reading this book they will be better equipped to make an informed decision.