Thank you, Mark, for speaking to us. The title of you new book seems a little cheeky. So What is this book about?
Well, the title is in two parts because the book is in two parts. The first part seeks to show that belief in God is a very natural thing, both now and always. The challenge ‘So What?’, which you describe as cheeky, is put there to catch the reader’s attention because a person often needs a jolt or a shock to move them on to address the consequences of God’s existence.
Why did you write God Exists?
Well, for me, I have always been surprised how quick people are to cast doubts on God’s existence. Often someone would say ‘I’m just not sure’. Yet in so many other aspects of life where there is much less certainty, people act as if they are sure. Belief is a free act, so God does force belief on us. The arguments I make show how natural and obvious God’s existence is and how we unconsciously do take it for granted in many areas of life. Equally important is understanding how we should follow through on belief. God’s existence has enormous consequences.
Who is the book aimed at? Have you any particular audience in mind?
The book is pitched at younger adults who want to be challenged with ideas. I think it is readable by people of all ages. Senior school students with a little bit of dedication will also find it accessible.
Are there any main themes or ideas running through the book?
One important thread that unites the book is that God give us our capacity to reason so that we can find Him. Our reason is a big part of what distinguishes us from the rest of creation. We have been given it to use it and when we use it well we see that it clearly points towards God.
Another thread is that our reason is not everything and is only a part of who we are. So when we act it should not only be our reason which acts but the whole person. This integration of our reason, our will, our memory, our emotions and our senses makes us into person that we are. When we act it should be the whole person who acts. One consequence of this is that we shouldn’t reduce persons simply to one aspect of themselves. These two ideas, if fully grasped, would help very many to avoid life’s pitfalls.
How is this book different from other books on the existence of God?
Some books approach God’s existence by drawing primarily on Revelation, that is, on what God has made known about himself, especially as written in the Bible. Obviously the Bible is a very rich source for all believers. However, I wanted to show that we could know God, however imperfectly, if he had not given us that source. I wanted to show that as God’s creatures it is natural for us to believe in Him.
But I didn’t want to stop there. I also wanted to show people the consequences of belief in the Christian God. God has made himself known to us because he has something in mind for us. Many people have no real idea of the richness of what is on offer in this life, not to speak of the life to come. It is sad to see so many intelligent people accepting a caricature of religion, not taking on the challenge of belief, and missing out on one of the great wonders of this world.
What would you say to someone who is doubtful about God’s existence?
Read the book!
Have you any other publications in the pipeline?
In recent years God has been pushed out of public life. This has led to many unhealthy developments in our democratic systems. In my view, modern secularism is like the emperor who had no clothes. So, I will soon publish ‘Democracy needs Christianity – So What?’ After that, we will see.
Why have you developed the So What website? What are you hoping to achieve?
I would like to develop a forum for discussion around some of the ideas in the So What? books. If that can be achieved it can only be enriching as God can be hard to encounter in today’s public square. In my view our modern society is the big loser.
How can one get hold of God Exists – So What?
Due to Covid we decided that it would be sold mainly through the website sowhat.ie. There is currently a special pre-publication offer available there.