Relevance to atheist, agnostic and believer
If you are an 'atheist', the first thing to consider is this. Why don't you believe in God? After asking yourself this question, ask yourself another. What if you've got it wrong? If you did believe in God, the Christian religion would assure you that belief in Jesus leads you on the path to eternal life; your soul and consciousness would live on after death. Fail to accept this possibility and there's little chance of anything for you beyond the physical life. That is what you expect, after all. That's a bit like walking blindfolded down the road and saying you don't really care what happens to you and that you're not prepared to even take a discrete peek to see if there is a safer route to walk.
Consider this fact. Over half the population of the world believes in a single God. So you would hardly be alone if you changed your disbelief! Can well over half the world's population be so wrong? Why have many Christians been prepared to die for their belief for two thousands years? Is it because they know there is something wonderful after death? Are you the one out of step?
Even if there was only a 1% chance of an afterlife, wouldn't you want to investigate being a part of it? Wouldn't it be safer to take your blindfold off? Disbelief is unlikely to lead you to eternal life. There is no saviour on that route. What have you to lose by 'upgrading' to be an 'agnostic' and therefore willing to consider the evidence for belief in God? It might be beneficial to your eternal health! Surely that's worth the time taken to read this book? Please consider taking a positive step and becoming an agnostic. Read on to see how that would benefit you.
As an 'agnostic' you are open to looking at evidence which might convince you there is a God. Is it that you would like to have the reassurance of a God and an afterlife, but feel there is insufficient evidence to prove he exists? Or that he cares? Do you suspect modern science has obviated the need for a God? Are you seeking a logical argument that will convince you? Then perhaps Flying a Kite can do just that.
According to one dictionary definition, science 'refers, in its broadest sense, to any systematic knowledge-base or prescriptive practice that is capable of resulting in a prediction or predictable type of outcome'. In short, science predicts, it does not explain why anything happens. So there is no way science can explain why there is not a God!
Occam's Razor wisely states the simplest explanation for anything is most likely to be right. The conclusions of this novel's quest into God and 'the meaning of life' is simple: and it does offer an explanation scheme that is not at odds with science yet does demand a creator. So if you would like to advance from the uncertain state of an agnostic, please read Flying a Kite (or its non-fiction companion book, Reality Check: Science Meets Religion). Either might just offer you the assurance you were looking for. This particular route might also help stabilize your belief, as explained in what follows, aimed at Christian believers.
Jesus said that the simple faith of little children was an ideal condition for a believer. That is because little children tend to accept rather than question. That's wonderfully uncomplicated! There is nothing wrong with adults accepting their faith without question, but in this modern age, many find that increasingly difficult—especially given a polarization which suggests that belief in creation is diametrically opposed to a belief in the findings of science. This notion mainly comes about because strong voices against God, like that of Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, tend to present a comparison of extremist views: Creationists (who reject evolution and only accept a strictly literal interpretation of Genesis), versus scientists and evolution. Yet Flying a Kite will reveal that science and Genesis are not really in opposition at all.
God gave us a mind, in the image of his mind. It was a gift he obviously intended us to use. When Jesus talked in parables he also intended us to use our minds to figure them out. The New Testament even advises us to test things against our religious knowledge for truth. So we should use logic and our minds to advance our understanding of creation through science. We have more experience and discernment than those who lived in biblical times, so that gives us a huge advantage. The Bible might be God-breathed, but remember its authors sometimes had limited understanding of what they were actually writing about.
I think the biggest hurdle for a believer is that the Bible tells us God created everything, and science tells us everything came about by chance and evolution. Yes, there is evidence of evolution. But is it not possible God's process involved evolution? Flying a Kite shows you evidence within the Bible that confirms this and points to the fact that Popes and Catholic Church doctrine now also accepts evolution and 'Big Bang' theory. Science tells us our universe began at the moment of the Big Bang: when space-time came into being. What science cannot tell us is how the Big Bang came about. But what if space and time was God's first idea for us—and that is how it came about? The initial energy was his! So is thesustaining energy!
It can be problematic for the mind to reconcile all the Bible has to tell us with the findings of modern science: if there seem to be contradictory aspects. That condition is not helpful to the mind of a Christian. Flying a Kite can help remove such contradictions so you can gain a new perspective which allows you to appreciate both are correct. The Bible was written to suit the limited understanding of people 2,000 years ago. Thanks to the enlightenment we have achieved in the intervening ages we can look more closely at what it says and potentially comprehend what before were not so much 'hidden' as 'indiscernible' truths. In fact, viewed with the hindsight modern science can give us, some of what was is said in Genesis can now be shown to confirm it must have been spiritually inspired by one with knowledge far exceeding any human being of the time: namely God. In this way science is shown to actually endorse the Bible's spiritual place in our lives.
Flying a Kite might be a novel, but its characters consider deep questions such as these—when they are not living normal, complicated lives. And the protagonist has good reason to find convincing and logical answers to such enigmas as the books overview shows. This is an easy read although it considers some very deep ideas. Or, if you prefer, Reality Check: Science Meets Religion, removes all fiction and just concentrates on the facts. Unusually, End Notes to this novel provide links to supporting evidence: and that is where the fiction of this novel meets fact. This is a novel with a sound foundation.
Once you can accept there is nothing within science to exclude a creative consciousness that lies beyond space and time, then you can accept there is a God. Understand the difference between brain and mind. After real belief you can concentrate on faith. Then you reach a position where your faith can be as free as that of little children. Thanks be to God!
"I love the characters. Ada is superbly done." (Anne Lyken-Garner, author of Sunday's Child)
"Up there with some of the best published work around." (Walter Robson, author of Access to History: Medieval Britain)
"Very good, and addresses a universal question in a much better way than Dan Brown in Angels and Demons, where the God vs science debate is just another sub-plot in yet another ciphering book. In Flying a Kite it's the main plot thread, convincingly dealt with and riveting." (Richard Pierce, author of Dead Men)
"Fluid, smooth and flows at a lovely pace. Really engaging from the start. Like The Shack, there is a niche for this kind of book." (Gillian McDade, author of The Standing Man)
"Tight writing… using dialogue to give just enough detail to hook us into the story, leaving the snippets of backstory until the reader is well and truly engrossed. Great stuff!" (Jo Carroll, author of Over The Hill And Far Away)
"Characters are direct and effective. I enjoyed the pace which allows the reader to think about the important concepts by himself." (Heikki Hietala, author of Tulagi Hotel)
"Fluent, graphic writing and excellent use of description... Characters alive with captivating dialogue." (Elijah Iwuji, author of Praying in the Will of God)
"I love the characters. Ada is superbly done." (Anne Lyken-Garner, author of Sunday's Child)
The following non-fiction book partners Flying
"The survey of arguments both for and against the existence of God provides the reader with a way to better compare and contrast different viewpoints… Presenting the strengths and weaknesses of all of these different viewpoints was one of the things I liked most. I was really interested to read these chapters because, as a mathematician and a Christian, while there may be perceived conflicts between science and religion, I believe there are no conflicts between the structures and systems of the universe and God. This book also explains things very well… [and is] accessible without sacrificing scientific integrity… I think the book will be enjoyed by many and will encourage lively discussion." (David Bortress - Authonomy)
"Extremely well written, researched and set out. Every point is very clear. The analogies are extremely imaginative and very effective. The passion in this work is powerful and every paragraph is thought provoking. The arguments are well thought through and persuasive... I would suggest that everyone reads it and think very carefully about what you say." (Gareth Naylor - Authonomy)