A Review of “Why I Believe God Exists: Discourse on the scientific evidence“
Zambia Daily Mail, p.9, 25th September Edition
With a strong call on Christians to be more open-minded, Andrew Phiri does not mince his words when he challenges Christians to stop burying their heads in a narrow world-view but instead read the Bible, in which all answers lie as well as other books divergent from Christian beliefs.
In the book Why I Believe God Exists, the author offers a cumulative case discussion in which he shows that there are good reasons for believing in the existence of God and goes even further to share scientific evidence of His reality. He warns that it is important to be aware that atheism and secularism are on the rise, more so because many people are increasingly getting convinced that faith is a vice and not a virtue.
When a Zambian atheist medical doctor featured on a television interview in February to share some of his atheistic views, controversy was stirred so much that Mr Phiri was inspired to write this book. “This was too controversial for a deeply religious Zambian audience, unaccustomed to courage that questions the existence of God”, he writes of the television interview. Mr Phiri stresses that much needed now are Christians who are well-versed in Bible truth, who can also engage in intellectual discourse to answer unbelievers’ questions. He adds that thus far, he has found the theistic world view to be more logically coherent and convincing and agrees with theologian Paul Copan, who noted that most atheists do have certain expertise in certain fields like Biology, but turn out to be fairly disappointing when arguing against God’s existence.
The author cites the reasons atheists often present against the case of the existence of God:
- Faith is evil, it has brought more harm to society
- Questions of who created the creator
- There is no scientific evidence for the existence of God
- How can a perfect God create an imperfect world.
Covering topics such as religion and violence and proof of evidence, one is drawn to read further and pay particular attention to the usually emotive topic of the origin of the universe. In this chapter, there is no overlooking the theory of the Big Bang, where the author states that scientists have been able to model events that occurred just at the time of the Big Bang. The author writes that when he thinks of all the failed attempts to challenge the cosmic beginning, a verse comes to his mind:
Romans 1-19-20: Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
More to dwell on are chapters on pain and suffering and the search for God.
Often asked when it comes to pain and suffering in relation to the existence of God is: Just where is the creator? The author writes that when moments of despair arrive, some sob in prayer and comfort one another in spiritual hope, while others have been led to either question whether God exists or if He exists, what would be the purpose of letting such suffering occur. He delves deeper by saying that in dealing with the problem of pain and suffering, it is important to be aware of the two kinds of evil, which are, the evil caused by the cruelty, arrogance and just plain foolishness of man and the one caused by nature such as diseases or earthquakes. “The existence of moral evil being possible in the presence of an almighty God can easily be explained using the concept of free will. However, the problem of natural evil poses a challenge”, he explains. More in this chapter is on natural evil and how it affects us and those around us as well as how to channel our free will for good over evil.
In the concluding chapter titled ‘In search for God’, the reader is challenged with the question: Have you the right attitude? In his call for all to have the right attitude in searching for God, Mr Phiri encourages that, among other things, listening to the small still voice is of essence. He says that it is in the silence of meditation that one feels small and the large earth shrinks to pettiness. The author adds that the inner voice is still but when a person hears it, it can change everything about himself and ignite a sense of hope and ultimate purpose for life.
An easy-to-read and well written book, Why I Believe God Exists will not only take the reader on a reflective journey but will also challenge the intellect to probe the scientific aspects shared. The author is pastor of Believers’ Assembly, a non-denominational church in Zambia. He has spoken and taught at various meetings and conferences across Africa and overseas. He takes keen interest in missionary work and helping the poor in rural villages of Africa. In noticing the lack of knowledge about the interface between faith and science, he has for the past two years concentrated on teaching this subject.
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“THERE IS REASON FOR THE HOPE OF A BELIEVER!”