Tuesday, April 28, 2015

True Scientists, True Faith

True Scientists, True Faith



You'd have to be living under a rock in an inaccessible forest to avoid the discussion of "science" and "religion" and whether the twain can meet. 
For some people, this discussion is a civil, rational one, with the goal of reaching understanding. 
For others, it's all foregone conclusions and strident opinions. Too often "science" is pitted mercilessly against "religion" - as if there should be a solid brick wall between the two.
As a lay Christian, I was really delighted when I encountered this book "True Scientists, True Faith" and read about its premise. 

Essays from twenty contributors form this volume. They represent psychiatry, astrophysics, botany, ecology, chemistry, metallurgy, materials science, ornithology, conservation biology, nanotechnology, neonatology, marine geophysics and engineering, just for examples. 

Obviously, these are men and women with advanced degrees who work in specialized fields. Collectively they have studied and taught at prestigious schools, they've pioneered research, they've headed up international programs and they've experienced (and contributed to) the changes brought about by scientific discoveries in their work and in the world. 

This book is not a treatise on why "science" and "religion" are compatible. Instead, this is testimony from men and women whose lives are living proof that you can be a person of faith and of free inquiry. 

Most of the essays followed a basic outline. The author often starts by describing their youth, pointing out the seeds of scientific interest and/or spiritual growth, before going on to their school experience and eventual career choices.

Most of them had a neutral or nonexistent exposure to religion during their "formative years." They certainly weren't indoctrinated by fundamentalist parents! A scant handful were raised in some type of Christianity, and even they didn't absorb it all as truth right away. 

For most of these writers, they came to their faith as they pursued science: with their reasoning powers turned up, following the evidence, and compelled to trust their conclusions by the coherence of what they were seeing and hearing.  

After telling us about their journey to Christ, they meditate on how faith and science complement each other in general and the synergy between Christianity and their work in specific. The personal implications of their Christian convictions are fascinating. As they make clear, being a Christ-follower involved in cutting-edge science brings a weight of responsibility and a horizon of opportunity. 

This is a great resource to have on your bookshelf, and I found it a very interesting read. It reminded me to elevate the debate- can God be known from investigation and revelation both? When we come to a question that pushes the limits of a scientific answer- an ethics or morals or meanings question-can a spiritual answer be intelligent and trustworthy?

A student with a fascination in science or theology or both would benefit from reading "True Scientists, True Faith." 

I thank Monarch Publishing for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest opinion.

No comments:

Post a Comment