Saturday, September 3, 2011

Why I Believed - Book Review

I was browsing for ebooks on Amazon for my Kindle and came upon this book: 'Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary' by Kenneth W. Daniels. It had favourable reviews and only cost $0.99US so I bought it and read it over the next two days. It was a good read, and brings an interesting perspective to the table. Ken Daniels was a missionary/Bible Translator working for Wycliffe Bible Translators in Africa and during his time went through several crises of faith, which are documented in the book. Though the book doesn't focus on intellectual arguments against Christianity they are present. I didn't pay a huge amount of attention to that section though, because I have read a lot of that material before.

What interested me most about the book is the criticisms that Ken levels at the religion on a practical level. There is a whole chapter dedicated to examining the idea of having a "personal relationship" with God/Jesus, breaking it down on a theological level and on a practical, realistic level. In this respect my departure from the religion is similar to his, though that can wait till another post.

Ken talks from his own experience, about what caused him to doubt his beliefs, and what made him carry on with them for so many years. He includes excerpts from his journals that he kept continuously throughout his years as a Christian, which give the reader a window into his mind at pivotal points in his gradual deconversion. If you are someone who comes from a Christian (particularly evangelical) background, you will probably relate to what the author writes about his story. If you don't though, it will give you a better understanding of where we come from and what it is like to live in that kind of environment, and the consequences socially of leaving it.

I would recommend reading this book, and if possible giving a copy (preferably on Kindle) to anyone that doesn't understand why you left the faith, as that is one of the reasons Ken wrote it. He addresses the people in his life at the start of the book and seeks to explain to them why he "left the fold".

Why I Believed is available on:
Amazon (Paperback or Kindle)
Book Depository

EDIT: The book is available online in its entirety on the secular web (


  1. Wow, buddy. your lack of review makes me want to get this book right now. That is soooooawesome. Buddy, as you know, there are many ways to debunk Christianity and religion is general and some of the ways for those "in the 'know'" are tried and true (which also means old and repetitive and over and over again etc...). Sometimes for me, the super intellectual thingies are , err, too intellectual. For me when I hear emotional stories, that are also effective, that means so much to me. awesome buddy. Maybe i'll check out the book.

    Hope all is well,


  2. Haha, perhaps I should have called it a book recommendation. I'll write another paragraph into it just for you =P