Three meaty books tackle science, theology, society
Here are three outstanding books, all published by Crossway, that tackle issues related to science, theology, and society. None are lightweights, so pick one and dive into a conversation that stimulates the mind in new areas of thinking.
Science and Grace: God’s Reign in the Natural Sciences by Tim Morris & Don Petcher (Crossway, $15, 352 pages).
Morris and Petcher poured themselves into this book in order to show that the conversation about science and Christianity must travel far beyond the Creation vs. Evolution debate. Their labor of love has produced a remarkable theology of science that stirred my heart to consider the worship-producing qualities of scientific discovery. They write, “We wanted to present science as the multifaceted, wonderful, and wonder-producing enterprise we found it to be in our scientific work,” and that “science provides many opportunities to bring Christian thinking and creativity to bear on its tasks.”
The authors begin by outlining the history of philosophy regarding science and faith. Next, they spend three chapters talking about laws of nature, miracles, and grace, under the theme, “Jesus Christ, the Lord of Creation.” The second half of the book is a Christian manifesto for doxological scientific activity.
Put this book into the hands of a young Christian who is inclined toward science. It will certainly help shape their motivation for a vocational call to science.
Redeeming Science: A God-Centered Approach by Vern S. Poythress (Crossway, $20, 381 pages)
What is the relationship between science and faith? Poythress serves as our capable guide in thinking through this basic question. By the end of the book he also supplies us with full-orbed creational theology. Working outside the box, Poythress finds beauty in science where Christians have grown accustomed to seeing antagonism.
He says, “I would like to kindle our appreciation for science as it ought to be, science that could serve as a path for praising God and serving fellow human beings. …A God-centered worldview restores a
correct response, where we praise the God who created nature and cares for it.”
Poythress holds a doctorate in both New Testament and mathematics. As such, this book is not light fare, but his prophetic words are worth the concerted effort. I particularly loved reading his discussion about the mathematical beauty revealed in the universe.
Take time to work through this book slowly, and you will gain a fuller appreciation for the beauty of God as revealed in the beauty of creation.
Creation & the Courts: Eighty Years of Conflict in the Classroom and the Courtroom by Norman Geisler (Crossway, $22, 400 pages).
This book is different than the first two in that it is a legal history rather than a theology of science. However, the content of the legal history concerns the ongoing court decisions regarding evolutionism and creationism.
Beginning with the Scopes Trial of 1925, Geisler covers five trials that took place because of battles regarding what view of origins should be taught in public schools. I only had a cursory knowledge of most of these cases, so this book gave me a feast of new historical understanding. Geisler summarizes each case and explains errors made, often on both
sides of the issue.
While not difficult to understand, the point and counter-point style of the chapters may get hard to
follow after a while. Geisler closes with some
chapters of application – “Should creation
be taught as science in public schools?” and “Lessons to be learned”.
Plan on using this book as a reference tool when needing expert knowledge of these technical legal cases. With new cases coming around the corner all the time, it is good to have some historical perspective of where the debate has come from. (Scott Lamb pastors Providence Baptist Church in St. Louis, and is a regular book reviewer
for The Pathway. To respond to this review or to read about other books, visit www.wisdomofthepages.com.)