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G.S. Payne
So Who is God, Anyway?
G.S. Payne, author

Adult; Self-Help, Sex & Relationships, Psychology, Philosophy, Fashion; (Market)

Does God exist? Do we live in a natural world or a supernatural world? Author and researcher G.S. Payne outlines conclusions drawn from over thirty years of investigation into the existence and nature of God, and presents a bold theory backed by the thinking of some of the biggest brains in the history of Eastern and Western philosophical thought. In a humorous, provocative, thought-provoking, and always entertaining discourse, Payne makes a convincing case that there is another way to consider God besides either 1) the robed, bearded “sky God,” or 2) the atheist position that there’s no God at all. Under the weight of Payne’s persuasive presentation, this false choice hardly stands a chance. "So Who is God, Anyway?" delivers splendidly—for doubters, skeptics, recovering fundamentalists, or anyone looking for a fun book to read about some damn big questions.
This clever exploration from Payne takes on one of the biggest questions facing philosophers: the question of if God exists and, if so, what God is like. Payne, a self-described “philosopher-hobbyist and researcher,” lays out philosophical arguments for and against God before making an impassioned case for panentheism, a theology which argues that all creation is, in a way, a part of God. After considering several various perspectives, predominantly that of the British philosopher and mathematician A.N. Whitehead, Payne turns to seeing how it relates to several religious traditions, from Buddhism to Christianity. He closes by making a 90 day wager with the reader, asking us to live for a month as if there were a God and then evaluate if doing so adds anything to life.

With wit, humanity, and inviting prose, So Who is God Anyway? explains complex philosophical concepts clearly and accurately, with a helpful glossary and extensive notes for further research. Payne insists he does not boast an extensive philosophical background, but he still demystifies these big concepts, showing his research but not overloading references on the reader. His humor will prove a matter of taste— “fundamentalists believe that we’re all headed to the lake of fire,” he notes, adding “You, me, Heinrich Himmler, Pol Pot, Osama Bin laden, and Joan who works down the street at the flower shop”—though it keeps the tone light, and the best wisecracks prove illuminating

Payne targets an audience of skeptics, but open-minded people of any religious tradition can find value in his musings. He doesn’t weigh the evidence to make God sound more appealing, but argues cogently that there is a preponderance of evidence that God exists, in spite of the “Big Ugly Six” arguments against God. Readers exploring the idea of God and wanting a survey of arguments for and against God through the ages, as well as a creative description of one perspective on God, will enjoy this clever guide.

Takeaway: Incisive, witty survey of philosophical arguments for God’s existence.

Comparable Titles: Philip Clayton and Arthur Peacocke’s In Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being, John W. Cooper’s Panentheism.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A-