One truth is evident upon reading A 21st Century Christian’s Quest for Truth: Lowell JK Davis has made a herculean effort in researching the great questions of all times. Davis has written a concise primer on modern scientific findings, while, not unexpectedly, failing to offer definitive answers to issues that have puzzled philosophers, scientists, and mere mortals since time began. The journey is admirable, however, and reasonably well documented.
Davis says he was raised in the “Bible Belt” of Protestant Christianity. He is now retired and has the time and resources “to gain a better understanding of human values and awareness by considering possibilities other than the Christian faith.” Unfortunately, the author doesn’t offer a clear description of the events or thought processes that propelled him down this path of self education and enlightenment. Readers could better evaluate the author’s observations and conclusions if they were able to put them in context.
The author’s observation that he has special experience, resources, and intellect–qualifying him to conduct this quest for truth–is troublesome. To blithely dismiss younger working people as unable or unwilling to “evaluate their faith based ‘old time religion’ against the ever increasing knowledge of mankind” ignores the thoughtful religious, spiritual, and philosophical ferment taking place not only in the United States but throughout the Middle East and elsewhere.
Following the brief introduction, Davis provides an organized examination and deconstruction of many of the pillars of fundamentalist Bible based Christianity and culturally based historical truths. He takes on stories from the Bible (such as the flood of Noah) and claims of philosophers and scientists (such as the world is flat) and argues that, according to modern science, these stories are indefensible. Davis concludes: “In any case, it is extremely difficult to reconcile Biblical sources of truth about the origin, history and fate of the universe, the Earth and mankind with the evidence based truth available to mankind in the 21st Century.” For those, Christians or not, who never looked to the Bible as the sole source of truth about the origin and fate of the physical world, this revelation will not come as a news flash.
Davis includes a bibliography at the end of A 21st Christian’s Quest for Truth. His sources and the research he conducted are impressive and could serve as a guide to further research. However, end notes supporting the text or a short essay discussing his sources would have been helpful.