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God: The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World [Kindle Edition]

Patrick Glynn
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In the modern age science has been winning its centuries—old battle with religion for the mind of man. The evidence has long seemed incontrovertible: Life was merely a product of blind chance—a cosmic roll of an infinite number of dice across an eternity of time. Slowly, methodically, scientists supplied answers to mysteries insufficiently explained by theologians. Reason pushed faith off into the shadows of mythology and superstition, while atheism became a badge of wisdom. Our culture, freed from moral obligation, explored the frontiers of secularism. God was dead.

"Glynn's arguments for the existence of God put the burden of disproof on those intellectuals who think that the question has long since been settled." — Andrew M. Greeley

But now, in the twilight of the twentieth century, a startling transformation is taking place in Western scientific and intellectual thought. At its heart is the dawning realization that the universe, far from being a sea of chaos, appears instead to be an intricately tuned mechanism whose every molecule, whose every physical law, seems to have been design from the very first nanosecond of the big bang toward a single end—the creation of life. This intellectually and spiritually riveting book asks a provocative question: Is science, the long-time nemesis of the Deity, uncovering the face of God?

Patrick Glynn lays out the astonishing new evidence that caused him to turn away from the atheism he acquired as a student at Harvard and Cambridge. The facts are fascinating: Physicists are discovering an unexplainable order to the cosmos; medical researchers are reporting the extraordinary healing powers of prayer and are documenting credible accounts of near-death experiences; psychologists, who once considered belief in God to be a sign of neurosis, are finding instead that religious faith is a powerful elixir for mental health; and sociologists are now acknowledging the destructive consequences of a value-free society.

God: The Evidence argues that faith today is not grounded in ignorance. It is where reason has been leading us all along.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Glynn (Inst. for Communitarian Policy Studies, George Washington Univ.; Closing Pandora's Box, LJ 5/15/92) considers the recent trend away from the atheism that tends to characterize most scientists (as revealed by surveys) to what he calls a post-secularist perspective, an openness to the role of the divine. In clear, crisp prose, he examines the work of physicists who again see purpose in the design of the universe (the anthropic principle), the role of religion in the work of some contemporary psychologists (most notably M. Scott Peck), the relation between religious faith and bodily health, and out-of-body or near-death experiences (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and Raymond Moody), and the disastrous effects of value-free sociology. Writing from a Christian perspective, Glynn provides an excellent summary of the current status of the relationship between religion and science that will appeal to a variety of readers. Recommended for all collections. [For more on the relation between religion and science, see Connie Barlow's Green Space, Green Time, reviewed on p. 110, and Marcelo Gleiser's The Dancing Universe, reviewed on p. 111.?Ed.]?Augustine J. Curley, O.S.B., Newark Abbey, N.J.
-?Augustine J. Curley, O.S.B., Newark Abbey, N.J.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

An unconvincing attempt to prove the existence of God in a postmodern culture. It's always refreshing when intellectuals admit their mistakes, and to hear this Harvard-educated philosopher gracefully concede that his atheism was ``so dead wrong'' is nearly enough to melt a reader's heart. But only nearly, because the journey that brought him to faith is almost impossible to translate as ``evidence'' to prove God's existence to others. Glynn's own watershed moments were based in science and psychology, and he examines recent developments in these fields that he sees as unmistakable proof of a higher being. Contemporary physics, for example, has moved toward a ``triumph of mechanism over teleology'' and shows that the chance of life's appearance in our universe is so slight that if any one of the many factors involved had been a tad different, we wouldn't be here arguing the point today. Fair enough, but it is still a long jump from this apparent randomness to Glynn's conclusion--that life evolved in this manner to make way for God's ultimate creation, humankind. The second part of this book is even more problematic; Glynn employs psychological findings and near-death experiences as evidence for God. He rightly criticizes Freudian psychology for its hostility to religion and then goes on to argue that religious people are more likely to report happier, less traumatic lives than the nonreligious. That may be so, but how does this functionalist exploration of religious faith prove the existence of God? And finally, his insufficiently skeptical chapter on near-death experiences damages the credibility of the whole book. Although there are some intriguing arguments here, Glynn's is an entirely one-sided approach, and the connections between the ``evidence'' and his conclusion require too far a leap of faith. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 296 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (June 9, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003F3PLHG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #757,115 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Proves no barrier between science and religion June 9, 2002
This is the story of Patrick Glynn's journey from a believer to an agnostic and then back to a believer. From the time of Copernicus to Galileo to Darwin and beyond, science has continuously raised questions about ideas of belief and then answered the questions in a manner that does not require religious belief. Religion has taken a beating more and more at the anvil of science. The problem is that science and religion have always treated each other as being mutually exclusive. You believe in one or the other.
While this book does not prove God exists, it does a very good job of showing that science and religion do not have to be at opposite ends. Science has advanced over the last 25 years to the point where the best explanations for some things are that a guiding hand has been at work. The position that if you believe in science then you cannot believe in God is shown to be untenable. This does not prove that God exists, only that there is no real obstacle standing between science and belief in God. Not an argument for a particular religion or a particular God, it points out that belief in a guiding intellect that pervades the universe is a tenable position and also the position most consistent with the current state of science.
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but you will want to read more April 6, 2000
By A Customer
Patrick Glynn's "God: The Evidence" is a well-written and balanced book overall. It should not bore the reader and its style quite readable and well-tempered (not too academic, lest less technical readers get lost, not too simplified, lest scientists and philosophers lose patience). It really has something for anyone interested in God, science, philosophy, etc.
Ultimately, I think his analysis is correct that unlike the 1970s, where it seemed to many that scientific discoveries precluded the existence of God, today (late 1990s and now early 2000), scientific discoveries tend to be more congenial to God's existence. As a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy, I affirm his view that the materialism/mechanism of the 19th century is failing to account for many phenomena. He also had some good points about the prejudice of some scientists, in just simply dismissing Aristotle's notion of final cause, page 54, (its like saying, "I just don't like it"). When one considers much of the evidence regarding the "anthropic principle" in cosmology, it does seem as if the universe is hot-wired for life (no accident). But of course you have to decide for yourself, and Glynn does give many opposing arguments, which is nice.
So should you buy this book to prove something to yourself?
As a teacher of philosophy, I have learned that in order to prove or disprove anything to anyone at least two criteria are necessary:
(1) He/she has an open mind about the issue (no predetermined conclusions, such as some atheists and believers have) (2) There must be a starting point for the knowledge to flow from (if someone is a pure skeptic and the two of you cannot agree on a single thing like "we both know trees exist, right?
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God The Evidence: A Nice View From 10,000 ft November 25, 1999
Glynn's easy to read book will allow individuals to gain a sense of openness about questioning the existence of god. While he clearly does not reconcile "Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World" (as purposed by the kicker on the cover), he does provide an excellent overview of five areas that deserve the every man's consideration.
For those of us that have grown up in a world where science proved that god is no longer necessary and therefore dead, Glynn offers words of doubt. However, these words of doubt are now attacking the hypothesis that science could ever hope to prove that there is no creator.
Glynn starts the book with the most compelling of the five areas: A Not So Random Universe. While some will fault his casual handling of the anthropic principle, with no clear background on strong or weak anthropic rationales, he does do an adequate job of describing the difficult underpinnings of physics in today's world. Particularly powerful is his crisp description of Hawkings, et al, who tries to hang onto a godless universe by creating theorems that might continue to lock out the concept of an intelligent creator. Unfortunately, these desperate theorists place faith in concepts that can not be proven.
The other areas of the book start to probe on softer areas, but these areas are still worth examining. However, most of these areas are soft not because of Glynn's poor treatment of these areas, but because much of science behind near death experience and/or psychology has been weak.
While Glynn does close with an appeal to live a life with deistic driven principles, he does leave a void. If there is a god, why can't you call him on a telephone? Why is the act of faith necessary? Why can't you prove god?
And the problem of evil remains.
So Glynn should have concluded his book, not with a pat encouragemenet to believe in god, but an encouragement to try and find out the answers to these questions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dubious Disciple Book Review March 29, 2011
This is a book by a believer-turned-atheist-turned-believer. Glynn explains, "After many years of being a philosophical atheist or agnostic, I finally realized that there was in fact a God." He then leads us on a journey through various lines of thought that eventually coalesced into what he found to be overwhelming evidence for God's existence. Some quotes and conclusions:

· The non-random universe: "How does one explain that the laws of physics fit so perfectly within the fifteen-billion-year project of creating life?"
· The psychological benefits: "It is difficult to find a more consistent correlative of mental health, or a better insurance against self-destructive behaviors, than a strong religious faith."
· The medical benefits: "Contemporary medical research is showing that the human mind and body are `wired for God.'"

Glynn next dives into near-death experiences, which are conclusive enough for him to now believe that life continues after death. He touches on healing power of prayer and the unconquerable spirit of man. He reaches the conclusion that faith is not grounded in ignorance; it is where reason has been leading us all along.

Glynn is not a scientist, nor a physician, and none of these topics are presented in detail; instead, what he presents is enough frosting to make you think, to make you want to dig deeper into the evidence. I admit, I found nothing in the book directly addressing whether the God of the Bible exists, but the book struck a chord with me because I've also spent a number of years researching many of the same topics. I've shelves of books about cosmology, near-death experiences, and religious philosophy. Unfortunately, I remain a Dubious Disciple, but this book was a well-written and thought-provoking read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good book
Published 3 months ago by Angelo Muñoz
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Am I and Why Am I Here?
Patrick Glynn has written a book for seekers after truth. The advances of science and reason have taken us only so far. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Kathleen
1.0 out of 5 stars God.....where's the evidence?
For a book titled "God: The Evidence" you would expect to find some evidence supporting the existence of God. Spoiler alert: THERE IS NONE! Read more
Published 16 months ago by D. Christensen
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for those who need the science
My son is a Christian, although he has had problems in the area. It helps him to read things like this and he's the type to get a lot out of the scientific part. Read more
Published 18 months ago by D. Poole
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Its is a great book for those who have an inquring mind and want to know more about God and science and how they go together. Very well written. I recommend it greatly.
Published on March 1, 2013 by AK
5.0 out of 5 stars I can see why it is a best-seller
A lot of people who gave this book a bad review are your typical Dawkin's sheep. They pick one part of the argument and say they don't think that it proves God. Read more
Published on April 25, 2012 by John McAdam
1.0 out of 5 stars Story of a reluctant agnostic who reasons his way into a paper sack
This was recommended by a friend who hoped it would help me see the light and find my way back to God. Read more
Published on January 24, 2012 by M. Potter
1.0 out of 5 stars Full of contradiction and inaccuracy
If you're looking for a feel-good book full of some guy's rambling statements about god and spirituality, this is the book for you. Read more
Published on January 12, 2012 by luckymanluke
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!
I LOVE this book! God: The Evidence. The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World by Patrick Glynn is exactly the kind of book I can devour in a few days. Read more
Published on September 30, 2011 by Michelle D. Lasch
1.0 out of 5 stars It was a good try
Overall, it was interesting to read about this perspective on religion, one that I am not certain gives "evidence" for God's existence, but certainly some points to think about. Read more
Published on February 13, 2011 by JCork
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