The Possibility of Belief: The Way Back to Hope

Book Review

News May 10, 2024

10 May 2024| Scotland UK [John Walton]

The Possibility of Belief: The Way Back to Hope
by Duncan Bayliss, Pikeawassa Press,
2022. Paperback: 387 pages

The book gently and engagingly invites readers to look beyond present-day secular presuppositions and recognize that there is more to reality than they were previously aware of.

Duncan Bayliss’s The Possibility of Belief: The Way Back to Hope presents an absorbing and original pathway from secularism to Christian belief. Through intriguing stories and appealing metaphors, the author grips the reader’s imagination, piloting them into thinking deeply about long-held beliefs.

Chapters have such intriguing titles as “Do Dogs Dream of Heaven?”, “Cosmic Lego”, and “The DIY Manual From Hell”. The colloquial style of the writing helps make difficult topics like the origin of morality, the shortcomings of molecules-to-man evolution, the remarkable reality of consciousness, and the significance of human self-awareness accessible to all. The terribly shaky basis of presuppositions and unsupported assertions on which secularism rests is exposed.

Evidence that not only demands a verdict – but must be experienced.

The narrative moves on to re-examine the roots of Christianity. The sheer wealth of reliable eyewitness accounts of the life of Christ that have survived contrasts with the paucity of ancient documents of any other personages from the same era. The book expounds remarkable evidence from the scriptural books of Daniel and Isaiah that compel belief in the authenticity of the mission of Jesus of Nazareth. The essential truth that Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection enabled God to offer heavenly citizenship as a gift to all who desire it is unpacked in a user-friendly style. The author acknowledges, however, that although Christianity is backed by reason and evidence, it must be experienced by an individual through an ongoing relationship with God. Readers are urged to test and experience this for themselves.

From understanding to hope.

The book gently and engagingly invites readers to look beyond present-day secular presuppositions and recognize that there is more to reality than they were previously aware of. However, it reaches well beyond this in that it opens eyes to the reliability of Scripture, thus leading to a new understanding and appreciation of key Christian beliefs.

Swiss Theologian Emil Brunner stated that as the fate of the human organism is dependent on the supply of oxygen, so the fate of humanity is dependent on its supply of hope. Secularism offers little to hope for beyond a grasping for transitory pleasures. This book illuminates the roadmap for the eternal hope of a harmonious life everlasting. It is rounded off with a splendid compilation of books, websites, and relevant resources. This fine book deserves to reach and influence a huge audience.


John C. Walton, PhD, DSc, is professor emeritus of chemistry, University of St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland. This review first appeared in the May 2024 edition of ‘Ministry Magazine’, used with permission. 

Duncan Bayliss is a member of the Shrewsbury church, North England Conference. 

The Possibility of Belief; The Way Back to Hope, is available from Amazon.

Featured image: Shutterstock

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