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God’s Fingerprints - the Evidence is Everywhere

Encouraging to find a book which seeks to find him in every day life

GodsFingerprintsGod’s Fingerprints - The Evidence is Everywhere
By John Samways
Matador, Kibworth Beauchamp
ISBN: 9781784623982
Reviewed by Alec Gilmore

A random collection of personal anecdotes and experiences which Samways unhesitatingly identifies as ‘God’s Fingerprints’.

To the uninitiated a few unintelligible scratches on a bit of paper don’t necessarily make ‘a fingerprint’; they may indeed be just scratches and often are. To a specialist, however, those apparently random scratches may be a genuine fingerprint with considerable consequences, and at a time when God is mostly identified (if at all) by a set of religious rituals and traditions, mostly meaningless to the uninitiated, it is encouraging to find a book which seeks to find him in every day life. God’s ‘dabs’ are everywhere.

The difficulty is that ‘finger fingerprints’ can be scientifically tested whereas God’s fingerprints, like beauty, are in the eye of the beholder, which often tells you more about the reader than the reality. So spare a thought for those many readers who will want to question one example after another. How do we know it is the hand of God?

Even if it is, what difference does it make and what are we supposed to do when we find out?

No doubt Samways deals with such issues in his wider ministry but not here, resulting in a collection which is too one-dimensional for comfort. The most you can hope for is that it will widen the horizons for some and lead others at least to reflect on its validity. Sadly, it leaves me with a image of a detective, fascinated by fingerprints and an avid collector, but who never pauses for a moment to consider their validity, how to evaluate or explore them further, and apparently no interest in following any of them up.

So, good at amassing the potential but weak in how to maximise its usefulness. Perhaps this is to come in the next book.

Alec Gilmore is a Baptist minister

Baptist Times, 22/01/2016
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