An attempt to prove the existence of God with both experiential and scientific evidence.
Debut author Kearns writes that he started finding evidence for the existence of God in 1980, at the age of 25. One night, while living in Florida, he says he woke to a feeling of a “very heavy weight” on top of him that he interpreted as a demon’s attempt to possess him. After two more similar experiences, Kearns says, he woke and saw the image of Jesus Christ on the cross reflected in a mirror. He interpreted this vision as a divine miracle and proof that Jesus was his savior; he says he later heard the voice of God asking him, “Whom will you follow, and / whom will you serve?” The author also provides what he considers to be “irrefutable” scientific proof of God’s existence. First, he endorses a version of the teleological argument, which avers that the world’s complexity can only be explained as the intentional creation of an intelligent being; to this end, he provides a cursory overview of contemporary science, including the Big Bang theory and thermodynamics. He also critiques evolutionary theory, concluding that it’s either poorly evidenced or essentially a hoax. These arguments emerge against the backdrop of a spiritual memoir of sorts, though Kearns insists that he didn’t want to include too much personal information. The prose is clear and accessible and communicates even complex arguments in a breezy, familiar style. However, the book lacks a tight, coherent structure, eclectically comprising poems, prayers, impassioned exhortations to trust in God, and a chart representing 61 biblical prophecies related to Jesus. While the author’s conclusions will fall short of persuasive for most, he raises neglected questions about the probative value of subjective experience as a basis for religious belief. The principal problem, though, with his endeavor to rationally defend his religious worldview is its undemanding view of verification. For example, he says that his claim of hearing God’s voice is proven, in part, by the fact that his then-roommate can verify that he told him about it. Kearns also seems convinced, in this book, that no rational person could possibly draw inferences other than his own. There’s a rich tradition in Christian philosophy of finding common ground between reason and faith, but this work furnishes a series of tendentious declarations of unearned certitude.
A rambling, disappointingly undisciplined religious argument.