Thought in the Absence of Certainty–A Review

We have here a book that purports to “lay the groundwork for perspectives…that raise important questions concerning religion, Scripture and even our Creator.” The book no doubt raises several questions, though I am not satisfied with all the answers. It seems the author, Mr. Gordon Dye, felt he could help make God plausible from a philosophic point of view. Perhaps he did that much, but the human heart needs more.

On the plus side, he explained many terms of philosophy and rhetoric well as he tried to stick to principles of logic. On that level he succeeded. It had a textbook feel to it, but it could serve as either an introduction or as a refresher.

On the negative side, the writing was dull. Mr. Dye is obviously a brilliant man, but his style of writing did not match that of his understanding of complex issues. He lacked passion as he worked so hard to explain. He too often filled pages with meta discourse as he spent too much time telling us what he was going to write about instead of just writing about it. He also tried to harmonize God and science where believers like some of us need no harmonization. In fact, for a sincere believer he would seem to be raising doubts. Perhaps he would be help to an agnostic, but his conclusions are too weak to really draw someone to God.

His case never gets beyond a theistic conclusion. He can only get us to god, whomever He or She may be. The book, then, would be of no more value to a Christian than, say, a Muslim. He says he was raised by ordained Evangelical Christians and that he got beyond their thought system without “rejecting his faith.” I will not propose to speak for him, but his faith made no mention of Christ. He did not preclude Christ necessarily, but He was at best lumped with all the options for God in this world. The Christian faith says you cannot reach God other than through Jesus Christ! So the book has, in my, perhaps, biased opinion, a fatal flaw.

You could argue that this is a work of philosophy, not Christian apologetics. In truth philosophy has often been an esoteric pursuit that could only raise brilliant questions that it could never quite answer. It found its readers among those with enough leisure to think long and slow. I mean slow because we could never get where we were going. The common people found little time for it because their lives throbbed with emptiness that needed filling and their hearts craved real answers. That is why apologetic works are so superior to philosophic ones, and Christ so superior to all those other gods Mr. Dye gave credence to. For example, if his logic proves the verbal inspiration for other religious books as much as the Bible (chapter 6), then it proves nothing at all.

Again, Mr. Dye is intelligent, but I can’t really recommend this book.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.


2 thoughts on “Thought in the Absence of Certainty–A Review

  1. Could it be that pastors and successful workers for the Lord let their lives get too complicated? or take too much on them?
    By the way I am glad to have “found ” you all.

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