Yesterday, I reviewed Fraser Fleming’s new book, The Truth About Science and Religion, which I thought a quite helpful exploration of the interaction of science and faith and the important questions to which each contribute understanding. I thought I might follow this up with a far from exhaustive list of the books reviewed on this topic at Bob on Books, and before that in my Goodreads reviews, which might give the interested reader further resources to explore this topic. It is Fleming’s, as well as my own, view that science and faith need not be at war with each other, but rather may be seen as partners in exploring some of the most important questions of meaning and how we understand our place in the cosmos. What follows is a brief list, in the chronological order the reviews appeared, of books I’ve reviewed over the past several years, with a brief summary of the gist of each book.
What Your Body Knows About God, Rob Moll. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2014. Explores how our neurophysiology enables us to connect to God and others and how spiritual practices, liturgies, and opportunities to serve enable us to physically as well as spiritually thrive. Review.
Private Doubt, Public Dilemma by Keith Thomson. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015. This book, drawn from Thomson’s 2012 Terry Lectures, explores the conflict between religion and science through a look at two men who struggled with this conflict, Thomas Jefferson, and Charles Darwin, considering how they handled scientific findings that conflicted with their beliefs and the public aftermath and expresses hope for a different engagement in the future. Review.
Minds, Brains, Souls and Gods, Malcolm Jeeves. Downers Grove, InterVarsity Press, 2013. A discussion, cast in the form of a conversation, of the latest findings in psychology and neuroscience, and their implications for what it means to be human and for what it means to believe in God. Written for the thoughtful undergraduate, it is helpful for students in these fields and others concerned about the implications of neuroscience research for faith. Review.
God and the Natural World, Walter H. Conser Jr. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1993. This book is a valuable study of a number of nineteenth century American “mediation theologians” who believed it possible to construct a harmonious understanding of the relationship of Christianity and science. Review.
Mapping the Origins Debate, Gerald Rau. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2012. Rau identifies six models of origins in theological and scientific discussion, lays them out considering how each addresses four major aspects of origins, and shows that the differences arise from differing presuppositions. Review.
Minding God, Gregory R. Peterson. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002. This book explores the findings of the cognitive sciences and the significance of these findings for our understanding of God, the world, and the nature of being human, including the nature of consciousness, our understanding of human freedom and human fallenness. Review.
Where the Conflict Really Lies, Alvin Plantinga. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Plantinga contends that conflicts between science and faith are actually superficial and attributable to methodological naturalism and that in reality there is a deep consonance between science and faith. Challenging going, but probably the most important work on this list. Review.
The Language of God, Francis Collins. New York: Free Press, 2007. Sharing both his own spiritual journey and work on the Human Genome Project, Collins argues for an end to the “warfare” between science and faith. Review.
The Wonder of the Universe, Karl W. Giberson. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2012. A good introduction to fine tuning arguments that suggest that the nature of the universe, if not proving God, certainly is consonant with the idea of a purposeful, intelligent Creator. Review.
I would also commend the suggests for further reading and extensive bibliography in Fleming’s book, a most helpful resource for any interested in this topic!