By Rubin E. Grant
Richard Simmons couldn’t believe his eyes, or his ears.
During a Democratic presidential debate in October, the Freedom From Religion Foundation aired a 30-second commercial on CNN that featured Ron Reagan, the son of former President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan.
The ad begins: “Hi, I’m Ron Reagan, an unabashed atheist, and I’m alarmed by the intrusion of religion into our secular government.” It ends: “Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.”
Simmons was flabbergasted. “He said that on national TV, the son of President Reagan. I was shocked,” Simmons said.
Later, Simmons read two articles, one in the Wall Street Journal about how faith was decreasing that said 44 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds identified themselves as “Nones,” those with no religious affiliation. The other article was from Fuller Theological Seminary about why young people were leaving the church after they got to college or right after college.
“They had doubts that nobody could answer,” Simmons said.
Easy to Read and Understand
Given what he had seen on television and read, Simmons, best-selling author of “The True Measure of a Man,” figured it was time for the publication of his next book.
“Reflections on the Existence of God: A Series of Essays” was released Dec. 5.
“I have been working on this book for over 25 years,” said Simmons, founder of The Center for Executive Leadership, a non-profit, faith-based ministry focused on advising businessmen and professionals. “What led me to come out with it now is the dramatic rise in atheism in our country.”
The book is a series of short essays seeking to answer the question, “Does God exist?”
“I wanted a book that is well researched and also easy to read and understand,” Simmons said. “A young person can grasp the concepts and be engaged in the arguments about the existence of God and find them compelling as well.
“Atheism is a massive part of the book. I had an attorney read it and he said he really enjoyed the book and it dramatically increased his faith, which is another byproduct of it.”
The book is a collection of 57 short essays, which take approximately five to eight minutes to read. It’s similar in style to Simmons’ book “Wisdom: Life’s Great Treasure.”
“I want readers to reflect on what they read,” Simmons said.
The True Meaning of Life
Simmons’ new book has 10 sections with five or six essays each. It starts with the issue of evil and moves to the moral existence of God.
“I set in motion the questions about what is the true meaning of life, who we are and why are we here,” Simmons said. “Then there’s ethical things about love and beauty, and I write about psychological reasons that lead us to believe. We get into science and space and evolution.
“The final section is about the existence of God. God has a name and that’s when I introduce Jesus.”
“In the end, it is important to know whether God exists or He does not exist. There is no third option. What I am seeking to do in this book is to determine which of these beliefs is true and which one is not.”