The Trace of God promises to arm the chruch with a whole new apologetic against which skeptic's have no scientific data that really applies.
Joseph Hinman develops the notion that belief in God, while not absolutely provable, is rationally warranted and that the experience is life-transforming and vital.
He utilizes a body of empirical scientific studies that go back fifty years and draws upon sociological experts including Abraham Maslow, Robert Wuthnow, and Andrew Greeley. The huge body of work includes many important advances in this scientific work (such as the M scale) this allow for carefully study of mystical experience and offers a range of evidence that warrants belief.
Arguments for God based upon personal religious experience have always been considered weak by both apologists and skeptics. This has been the case due to prejudices and misconceptions about the nature of religious experiences… A vast body of data demonstrates that religious experiences, what some call “mystical” and others refer to as “peak,” have positive, long term effects so dramatic it can only be described as “transformative”…Religious experience is the effect of God has upon the human heart, thus, the Trace of God. Hinman establishes that the Trace of God and religious experience —far from being caused by or related to mental or emotional instability— has an impact that is not just positive and life-transforming but vital: that belief in God is rationally warranted.
The Trace of God is a fine introduction and exploration of the meaningfulness of arguments from human experience to the reality of God.
Ralph Hood, Jr.
The Psychology of Religion and Handbook of Religious Experience
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Joe Hinman has injected some much-needed scientific rigour into the subject of mysticism and religious experience. From a seemingly subjective body of evidence, he has shown how to build a solid argument that theism is philosophically warranted. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the debate over the existence of God.
God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science
(shortlisted for the Royal Society Prize for Science Books 2010)
Hinman presents an important argument in a strong and forceful way. That
is the great contribution he makes to discussions of the rationality of belief in God.
William S. Babcock
Professor Emeritus of Church History, Southern Methodist University
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