3 Stars Out Of 5
Brilliant author, some very good points, but . . .
June 18, 2012
North Syracuse, NY
Swinburne is brilliant. I enjoyed his methodical way of thinking. In this book, he provides a number of very good points for the theist to ponder and add to his or her arsenal of thinking on the topic. However, it seems he tried to develop some points that weren't that strong (in my mind).
Some of it could be that he's brilliant, and I'm not. Some of it could be that he is trying to cover too much ground in so short of a book. At the end he says he's frustrated that the length prohibited him from addressing all the objections to his lines of reasoning.
Some of the most powerful arguments (in my estimation) for the existence of God, he only touches upon briefly. These include the old cosmological and teleological arguments that were somewhat "neutralized" or in a stalemate until the advances in modern science and the Big Bang revitalized them (I still think the old versions are pretty good, too!). He covers these briefly and refers the reader elsewhere on this, but it would have been good if he covered more of this type of material here. He does make a good case against the "Multiverse," workaround to these arguments.
This would not be something I'd give a skeptical friend. It just doesn't seem to be a consistently convincing enough book. Skeptics latch on to the weaker arguments for critique and mentally skim over the stronger ones.
Swinburne has a larger book called "The Existence of God," which is a classic, recently revised. I have heard great things about that volume am I am eager to read that one--he's such a careful, methodical thinker.