A Higher Court
John L. Betcher
CreateSpace (November 3, 2010)
240 pages

Author John L. Betcher boldly places the existence of God on trial in his extraordinary new book A Higher Court: One Man’s Search for the Truth of God’s Existence.

We meet William Kensey shortly after his father was struck and killed in a crosswalk by a distracted soccer mom. At his father’s service, William turns down the reverend’s offer of a private time of prayer believing his time is best served with his wife and children.

A few days later, still troubled by his lack of distress over his father’s death, William receives a summons for jury duty. On arrival at court, he quickly realizes this is no ordinary trial. No juror could be excused, nor could any cell phone, time piece, or electronic device be brought into the courtroom. He, along with thirty-five other jurors, must hear evidence offered by witnesses claiming expertise regarding God’s existence or lack thereof. In the end each must render a verdict…God or No God! Handicapped and mysterious Judge Jonathan Cole presides over the case with two lawyers, Counsel for the Repudiation of God and Counsel for the Existence of God.

And so the trial begins with each lawyer calling witnesses including an anthropologist, philosopher, theologian, cosmologist, minister, and an average Joe, to name a few. Each witness gives testimony that proves or disproves the existence of a higher power. Four individual stories of tragic loss and hardship are also heard, both for and against God. These testimonials add a poignant yet disturbing element to the proceedings. Along the way are seven deliberations where the jury is split up into small groups of 4-6 to discuss the previous evidence. William’s group includes a Muslim, Native American, atheist, and a naïve teen, setting off some lively debates.

At first William believes the trial must be a hoax but before long he begins to understand the importance of what is unfolding in front of him. He is face to face with every human’s trial of a lifetime with no choice but to deliver a verdict that will change his life and perhaps the world as well.

This entertaining and thought provoking read will appeal to readers from all denominations, to those unsure of their faith, and even to those who consider themselves atheists. John L. Betcher doesn’t preach or push his own beliefs on his audience. His research is intensive and he presents the facts and his findings for the reader to decide. A Higher Court will definitely have you considering or reconsidering your thoughts on God. This book is well written in every aspect. It caught my interest early, and kept me hooked with insightful information, crisp dialogue, and then finally, an ending I didn’t see coming.
I can’t imagine anyone reading A Higher Court and not feeling moved to recommend it to a friend or family member. I asked my wife to read it.

Rated a Must Read by William Potter

John L. Betcher.com

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