A Case for the Existence of God by Dean Overman  
 

Order "A Case for the Existence of God"
order via:
Order at Barnes & Noble Order "A Case for the Existence of God" by Dean Overman
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
 

In A Case for the Existence of God, Dean Overman explores some of the most fundamental questions about why our world exists and how it functions, using principles of logic, physics, and theology in a search for ultimate meaning. He argues that both theism and atheism require leaps of faith to understand the world, but that theism ultimately explains more about how our world works. Well-researched and well-reasoned, Overman presents a compelling case for the existence of God and his role in our world.

Table of Contents

Synopsis

Reviews for "a Case for the Existence of God":

Booklist Starred Review

A Case for the Existence of God.
Overman, Dean L. (Author)
Feb 2009. 250 p. Rowman & Littlefield, hardcover, $24.95. (9780742563124). 212.pages

"What would St. Anselm think? Centuries after the medieval saint framed his famous proof for the existence of a deity, a philosophically minded attorney offers a far more compelling and scientifically sophisticated argument for belief in God. Drawing on modern cosmology and information theory, Overman exposes fallacies that have infested skeptics’ thinking since Hume and Kant. Clearer reasoning establishes an astonishing harmony between quantum physics and religious orthodoxy, so providing a credible defense for free will and moral judgment. Still, readers looking for certainty will not find it here: Overman acknowledges that the believer must make a leap of faith. But consistent analysis demonstrates that atheists likewise must embrace unprovable premises, albeit premises barren of hope and meaning. Willing to challenge the logic of unbelievers such as Dawkins and Dennett, Overman goes far beyond such logic, insisting that those searching for religious truth must remain open to non-rational modes of knowledge. After all, God beckons the perplexed as a loving person, not a merely intellectual precept. The intensely personal character of spiritual conversion emerges in the lives of the nine remarkable believers—including St. Augustine and Pascal, Dostoevsky and Weil—whose testimonies resonate with passionate conviction. A book for readers willing to wrestle with the largest questions."

January issue of Booklist
Booklist is the 100 year old journal that reviews books for public libraries and schools and recommends books for librarians to buy with a “starred review,”

"Why is there something rather than nothing? Why is the universe deeply and beautifully transparent to scientific enquiry? Dean L. Overman argues with clarity and care that theism offers the most illuminating response to such profound questions. His book will be found helpful by many thoughtful seekers after truthful understanding."

Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne, Quantum Physicist and Anglican Theologian, Cambridge University, author of Belief in God in an Age of Science, Templeton Prize recipient

Like a rare wine, Dean Overman is to be savored, not gulped. Crystal clear in his thinking and wide-ranging in his reading and discussion, he is a shining example of those who believe in thinking and think in believing.

Os Guinness, author of Long Journey Home

"In A Case for the Existence of God, Dean L. Overman clearly explains the importance of understanding our worldview and the presuppositions that form the basis of that worldview .Readers will find the book to be a window into their lives and thus, difficult to put down."

Armand Nicholi, Harvard Medical School, author of The Question of God

"A lucid and wide-ranging positive argument for the existence of God, based on a wide range of data from modern science and also on the cumulative testimony of many reported spiritual experiences. It is an excellent antidote for those who may think that science cannot make a rational case for God."

Keith Ward, Oxford University, author of The Big Questions in Science and Religion

"Brilliantly Dean L. Overman, as a wise and skilled lawyer, puts the reader in the dock to test the validity of his or her atheism, deism, or unreflective secular mind-set. This is a challenging book that will not only stretch the mind but deepen the heart, to experience both the mind and heart of God."

James M. Houston, former fellow, Hertford College, Oxford; founder of Regent College

"Modern science has been immensely successful describing nature, but as Albert Einstein put it, 'the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.' Dean L. Overman offers an explanation that is at once simple and profound. As befits an experienced lawyer and deep thinker, his book presents a lucid and convincing case for a God who has revealed His existence through His creation."

Dr. Robert Kaita, Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University

Preface

This book is intended for persons who have open minds concerning the question of God's existence. I am specifically addressing those individuals who are interested in the question from a personal perspective and willing to think through the possibility of God's existence and the potential of humankind to engage in a transformational relationship with such a being.

For a variety of reasons, some persons may not be willing to participate in such an open minded initiative. Perhaps their presuppositions may form a worldview which precludes the recognition of any indication of a transcendent reality. I respect their freedom and their integrity of thought in interpreting evidence in a manner adverse to my perspective. I am not attempting to force my perspective on them. If one closes one's mind to the possibility of God, there is little that can be written to reverse that choice. As discussed in several sections throughout this book, the reasons for faith or non-faith have to do with highly personal factors that either predispose people to have a theistic or naturalistic worldview. Even though we can all attempt to be purely objective, no one approaches the question of God from an impartial, neutral perspective.

Reflection about the existence of God may be the most important inquiry one can make in his or her lifetime. More consequences for thought and action flow from this reflection than from answering any other basic question. The answer one gives to the question of God's existence influences one's perception of the world, the concept of one's place in the world, and the life one leads. Every aspect of human life is affected by whether one regards human beings as the supreme beings in the universe or as beings subject to a superior being. The perception of one's own nature varies dramatically depending upon the answer one gives to the question of God's existence. The question is fundamental to an adequate contemplation of human existence and the relationships among humans.

Alvin Plantinga, a widely respected professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, has become the leading proponent of a theory of knowledge which holds that a belief in the existence of God does not need supporting evidence. He argues that the existence of God is a warranted, "properly basic belief." In his argument, the term "warrant" means a proper functioning, as when one's heart beats within a normal pulse range given one's activity level. He holds that a belief is properly basic when one's cognitive faculties properly function to arrive reliably at a truth in a certain environment. Plantinga maintains that a belief in God's existence can be properly basic where this proper cognitive functioning exists. Persons can hold a warranted belief in God without arguments justifying their position with evidence.

Plantinga presents a thoughtful, sophisticated argument for his theory concerning a basic belief in God. In considering Sigmund Freud's complaint about religion to be a claim that belief results from wish fulfillment, he argues that Freud offers no reasons for his claim. He notes that Freud did not (and indeed could not) establish that the cognitive functioning by which one develops belief in God is not aimed at truth. Instead, Freud simply assumes the truth of his belief that there is no God and then attempts to explain that a belief in God is wish fulfillment. But his explanation rests upon his unproven assumption of God's nonexistence. Like Richard Dawkins's principal argument, which I will discuss in chapter 7, Freud commits the logical fallacy of circular reasoning. Freud also failed to distinguish between mature and immature religious sentiments. Because he worked with neurotic patients, his predominant experience was with an immature religious sentiment that disintegrates one's personality. As discussed in further detail later, Gordon Allport, Harvard's famous psychologist of personality, determined that a mature religious sentiment actually integrates one's personality.

Read more...

Listen to Dean Overman's radio interview about "A Case for the Existence of God" on AM 980 KKMS - More information at their blog here.

Listen to Dean's interview with Glenn Mertz of WHKW am 1220 'The Word'

Dean Overman's interview on Michigan Public Radio: Part 1 and Part 2.