God: The Evidence.
The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World

By Patrick Glynn

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Abstract: the evidence that converted an atheist philosopher: an excellent mind-opener and evangelistic tool for those who do not believe in God or do not care.

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Bibliographic Data

 

Patrick Glynn. God: The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World. Rocklin, CA: Prima, 1997.
ISBN: 0761509410
Pages: 216.
Index.

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Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Making and Unmaking of an Atheist
1. A Not-So-Random Universe
2. Psyche and Soul: Postsecularism in Psychology
3. Faith and Physicians
4. Intimations of Immortality
5. Reason and Spirit
Notes
Index


Review by Gigi Farricella

 

Copyright © 1999 Luigi Farricella, Voorburg, The Netherlands

I was interested in reading this book because I knew that it was written by an ex-atheist. Somebody who did not believe in the existence of any trascendental being and that, after a deep thought period, becomes a christian. It appealed to me because you normally hear stories of atheists or agnostics who become christians after something tragic happens in their lives. The process undertaken by Glynn was, on the other hand, totally intellectual.

He started, as a philosoper, considering ethics. His atheism and his correct reasoning compelled him to accept that atheism implied moral nihilism. He grasped the fact that if there is no absolute base for ethics then there is no reason for ethics whatsoever. This implies, and the implication is necessary, nihilism. Glynn, as a thinking man, could not accept this implication so he started thinking about the basis of his atheism. In his process of reviewing his position he encountered three basic indications for the existence of a trascendental, all powerful being:
1. the anthropic principle
2. modern positions in psychological analysis of the christian faith
3. near death experiences

A thorough analysis of this three fields convinced him that the evidence points in a very clear direction, and this direction is that of the existence of God, God as meant in the Bible, not the idea of a fuzzy "supreme being" with no definite characteristic.

As an engineer I find the discussion about the anthtropic principle the most interesting of the three. Yes, the question "why does this unverse has the physical laws it has?" is a very interesting one. It is, in essence, a metaphysical question but natural science can be used to show that if the physical laws and constants were just a little bit different from what they are then we would not be here to notice!

The mechanistic objection is, of course, well known: if the laws had been different we would not be here, we are here only because the laws are like that, and that's all! But it is a very weak answer. It's a "non-answer" in reality. Glynn deals very well with the multiple universe hypothesis and with other pseudo-scientific (in reality metaphysical) explanations. Every believer who is or will be engaged in discussion with non believers with a scientific background should read this chapter because it gives much good material for the discussion.

The other chapters were not so important for me, but they were interesting all the same. Psychology shows that christians, far from being a group of alienated people living in an illusion that makes their lives a collection of lies and frustrations, enjoy much more psychological stability and happiness than those who are secularized. Interesting!

I consider the chapter on the relationship between illness and christianity as being only a statement of statistical data on believing and non believing populations. I do not see anything deeper in it.

About Near Death Experiences, I had made deeper readings than what is reported here, so I did not learn much. The unexperienced reader can find here some good starting material.

In the last chapter, rather weak, I have to admit, the author finds the conclusions of the whole book.


In conclusion, I find this book Interesting, appealing, advisable to all christians (as evangelists) and non christians (as possible converts).



Copyright © 1999 Luigi Farricella, Voorburg, The Netherlands


Review by Bruno D. Gedressac

 

Copyright ©  1998, Bruno D. Gedressac, The Hague, The Netherlands

Note: this review is due for publication in Perspective on Science and Christian Faith.

 

Glynn is a philosopher who has been active as a politician, journalist and TV commentator. He is currently associate director and scholar at a political institute in Washington. Like many other young Christians, Glynn lost his faith during his university studies, and even became a staunch atheist and postmodern thinker. However, after many years of atheism and nihilism, Glynn found some scientific evidence that brought him back to the Faith. Glynn’s evolution is strikingly similar to C. S. Lewis’s, who was raised a Christian, became atheist at the university and uncovered at a later stage in his life some evidence that lead to his conversion. In this breath-taking book, Glynn recount his spiritual journey. With philosophical, scientific and historical insights, he shares the evidence that convinced him. He covers different fields: the design of the universe, the correlation between traditional religion and psychic and physical health, the near-death experiences and the moral bankruptcy of atheism.

His book has received praise of Sir John M. Templeton, and also of personalities such as Michael Novak, Hans KŁng and George Weigel. I highly recommend it to those interested in apologetics, or in matters of faith and reason. This book may also be a formidable weapon for those interested in spiritual warfare: I cannot think of a better initial evangelistic gift for agnostics, atheists, nihilists or for those who are indifferent to religious questions. This book is not however a systematic presentation of arguments and counter-arguments, but is rather an excellent "mind-opener" that should be followed by the systematic apologetics works of Norman Geisler, Richard Swinburne, J. P. Moreland and William Craig.

 

Copyright © 1998, Bruno D. Gedressac, The Hague, The Netherlands


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