Recommended Authors, and Other Influences on Rex and Owen

During conversations with believers and atheists alike we are sometimes asked how we have such an in depth knowledge of so many subjects, and the answer is that we read a lot…and then we think about what we’ve read….and then we read some more. This page contains a list of authors, including a sampling of their works, who have been influential on us. We hope you find these to be as interesting and meaningful as we have.

Bart Ehrman

Dr. Ehrman is a professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chappell Hill. Just about every book he has ever written is exceptional in its depth,  research, and scholarship. These are several of our favorites:

Misquoting Jesus

Jesus Interrupted

Lost Christianities

Click here for a link to Dr. Ehrman’s website.

Burton Mack

Professor Mack is an Emeritus faculty member at the Claremont School of Theology.

Who Wrote the New Testament

The Lost Gospel

John S. Spong

A former Bishop of the Episcopal Church, now retired, Spong continues to be an active voice in the progressive Christian movement in America. We find Bishop Spong’s writing to be thought provoking and worth your time and effort. Two of his most popular titles are:

Rescuing The Bible from Fundamentalism

Liberating the Gospels

Click here for a link to Bishop Spong’s website.

Sam Harris

Dr. Harris completed his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at UCLA, and is an outspoken atheist advocate and voice for freethought and reason both in his books and through his blog and podcasts. He has written on a number of subjects, and these are some of his most influential works (in our opinion):

Letter to a Christian Nation

The End of Faith

Click here for a link to his website.

Richard Dawkins

Professor Dawkins is a world renowned professor of biology at Oxford University (yes, THAT Oxford), and one of the most well known public atheists on the planet. He has been particularly influential on us. He has written a number of very compelling books about science and evolution and we encourage you to read all of them, but these two are an excellent place to begin:

The God Delusion

The Blind Watchmaker

Click here for a link to the Richard Dawkins Foundation.

Victor Stenger

Dr. Stenger was a professor of physics and vocal religious skeptic until his death in 2014.

God: The Failed Hypothesis

The Fallacy of Fine Tuning

God and the Folly of Faith

Christopher Hitchens

If we could dedicate our work to a single individual we might dedicate it to Hitch. The world is a diminished place without him, and we miss him. Never before or since has there been a better and more capable advocate for skepticism and reason that Hitch. No reading list could ever be complete without him.

God is Not Great

Thomas Paine

If you’re a skeptic like we are then you may occasionally grow tired of the continued insistence on the part of the religious right to insist that the United States is a Christian nation and that our founding fathers were all fundamentalists. It isn’t true and don’t believe it for a minute. The Thomas Paine we refer to here is THE Thomas Paine of the American Revolution. In 1794 Paine wrote The Age of Reason, and we feel duty bound to list it here.

The Age of Reason (amazon)

Age of Reason (free – public domain PDF)

Richard Carrier

Dr. Carrier is one of the leading (if not the leading) mythicist scholars in the world. Rex and Owen are not mythicists, but in our discussions with Dr. Carrier we have found his arguments to be very well made and worthy of review by any serious student of this subject matter. He has championed the use of Bayesian Statistical Theory as a fundamental tool in the analysis of historical events, and he concludes that the Jesus of the New Testament is more likely entirely mythical than historical. Several of our conversations with Dr. Carrier can be found on the media page of our website here. This is a very short list of his very well researched work on the historicity of the New Testament narratives and on the history of the early Christian church.

Not the Impossible Faith

Proving History

Sense and Goodness Without God

Click here for a link to his blog.