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Proof of Divine: Andrew Murtagh

Dec 8th, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page, People

This story is one in a series profiling local residents.

Andrew Murtagh is a resident of Mt. Joy.  He is a clinical sales representative for an international medical device company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. An entrepreneur with a love of technology and innovation, he’s also a lifelong student of science, philosophy, theology, and government. In 2013 he published his first book, Proof of Divine, an autobiography of sorts that addresses some fundamental questions of faith and his journey from doubt to faith.  Andrew will be presenting a public conversation, “THINK of God and Government”, with Adam Lee at Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg on December 14 at 2:00 p.m.  You can view his website at www.proofofdivinebook.com .  A review of the book was recently published in the Elizabethtown Journal (http://elizabethtownjournal.org/?p=6802). 


EJ:       How long have you lived in Mt. Joy?

AM:     My family and I have been in Mt Joy since September 2012.

EJ:       What brought you to the area?

AM:     I relocated to the area with my company. I work in cardiology as a clinical sales representative and my territory is central PA, calling on hospitals from Harrisburg to Lancaster to Reading, so Mt Joy was an ideal location.

EJ:       What was it that sparked your investigation into life’s biggest questions?

AM:     Doubt! I doubted my faith. I still do, though I now have a vibrant faith. But I had to make my faith my own. As Christians, we are raised to believe in the miraculous. I wanted to explore, on a very profound level, the theological, philosophical, and historical tenants of the faith of my youth.

EJ:       How long did this “proof of divine” process take, and how did you go about it?

AM:     It took me about five years to write the book. With my scientific background, the book started out as more of a technical journal in comparing the arguments for naturalism and intelligent design in cosmology, physics, and biology. But throughout the process, I also gravitated to the philosophical and historical inquiry. So I researched these topics and the contemporary arguments for and against belief in God and Christianity in particular.

EJ:       Did you take your personal experiences as seriously as you did the scholarly research when it came to making a decision about believing in God?

AM:     Absolutely. I don’t think it’s possible to have a sincere faith without deeply considering personal experience.  It’s not a simple intellectual decision, at least from my point of view. For me, a faith decision is ultimately about a personal revelation. It has to be – and I believe it goes both ways. It’s interesting to consider the most widely regarded argument against the existence of God is the very real and personal problem of evil and suffering.   We look around, at our own lives, and the lives of others, and wonder how a loving God could allow the evil and suffering so apparent in the world. To look at the problem of evil and suffering, and the other arguments against the existence of God – and yet take a faith position – requires a very personal and uncertain leap of faith. It’s not without evidence, in my opinion, but it is ultimately a personal faith decision.

EJ:       What did you find most surprising about your research?

AM:     There is no proof of Divine. As I wrote it my book, I failed in my journey, but found myself along the way. I realized that it all comes down to one question: will we consider the miraculous? Like an ink blot test – the picture that is revealed rests in the eye of the beholder. For many, the miraculous is ruled out from go. For others, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Still, for others, the universe, life, consciousness, and objective morality are within themselves signatures of the Divine.

EJ:       There is so much press on the “new atheism” movement. In your book, you wrote about “a new theism” and approach to skepticism. What does this “new theism” look like to you?

AM:     It’s actually not so much a “new theism”, but more of a radical renewal of the Christian message – to love God and others above all else and to embrace the debate and discussion in a spirit of humility. If God exists, and I think He does, then He is not threatened by our inquiry. So let’s love our neighbor, let’s have a discussion, a laugh, a smile. Let’s remember what our faith is all about.

EJ:       Where can a reader get a copy of Proof of Divine?

AM:     You can purchase a copy of the book via my website, Amazon, iBooks, or Barnes and Noble. Locally, there are copies of my book available at Aaron’s Book Store in Lititz and the Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg.

EJ:         Thank You.

 

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