Verdict: SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY, AND JESUS CHRIST brings up ideas that are unique and compelling, although the author’s arguments are difficult to follow unless the reader already believes in God and Jesus.
James Frederick Ivey attempts to prove the existence of God, along with the idea that Jesus is the Truth, to nonbelievers. He uses a mixture of science, including the notion of space-time and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and philosophy, such as Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, which compares “the effect of education and the lack of it on our nature”.
SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY, AND JESUS CHRIST comes from Ivey’s genuine concern with the immortal soul: in his lengthy introduction and “about the author,” Ivey makes clear his devotion to Christianity and his firm belief that Jesus is the Truth and the only way to Paradise. There is nothing wrong with this, except for the fact that he is so entrenched in the paradigm of Christianity that his conclusions follow the beliefs he already has. For example, he makes several well-thought-out arguments about what happens to a person after they die. These arguments stem from the foundation that life has meaning, but if the reader is not Christian–and since he’s writing to convince readers of God, it can be assumed that they’re not Christian–there’s no guarantee that they believe life has meaning at all. The argument crumbles.
Much of Ivey’s logic also relies on the fact that Jesus is the Truth, although he never gets around to explaining why. Assumptions like this might make the reader question who the author’s intended audience really is. Ivey’s arguments will probably make sense to other Christians, and the concepts he introduces in the book could strengthen the belief they already share. But when it comes to convincing others that God exists–people who do not inherently believe that life has meaning and that Jesus is the Truth (whatever “the Truth” is)–those arguments work against him.
Throughout the book Ivey makes declarations about the workings of God: comparing him to frustrated parents, explaining how, “He imagined what He wanted to come into existence, and His desired creations simply were, and are.” This leads the reader, at least this reader, to indignantly ask, “Well, how do you know?” There is no way to assert the intentions or workings of God, yet Ivey does regularly.
There are interesting ideas about the timelessness of the mind and what happens to it after death, the importance of the mind over senses, what really constitutes the present, and more. These ideas are unique and optimistic, and make SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY, AND JESUS CHRIST worth perusing. If you are not ready for Ivey’s preaching, he gives ample opportunity to turn back at the start, clearly telling the reader what his background and intentions are. But though he claims to only want to preach to those willing to convert, it seems as if this book would be most appealing to those who already believe.
~Jess Costello for IndieReader