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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions » User review

Easy reading, history faith and science

  • Oct 17, 2011
I’m a committed Christian and a mathematician with a serious interest in science, so this book had to catch my eye. Francis Collins is famous for his work on the Human Genome Project and his book The Language of God. Karl Giberson works with him in the BioLogos foundation which followed that work. And this book explains very clearly why there’s really no reason to deny faith or science in understanding the world. The writing makes an easy read with arguments well laid out, nicely relevant questions, clearly described science, well researched history, and easily understandable examples from everyday life.

The history of Christianity’s response to Darwin is fascinating, as is the story of Christian interpretations of Genesis—nothing like so clear-cut or one-dimensional as some would have us believe. Chapter headings such as Do I have to believe in evolution? And Why is Darwin’s Theory so controversial? make it clear where the text will go. But, in between, readers learn about astronomy, cosmology, physics and chemistry as well as biology, plus a lot of history. Where does the law of entropy fit into evolution?—the answer might surprise even those who think they understand. The science is very clearly explained and the conclusions easily understood.

Near the end, a chapter on Fine-Tuning of the universe treads close to the old God of the gaps theories, but includes a wise reminder that fine-tuning, however it comes about, is “just as necessary to produce cockroaches as humans.” Finally a nicely written Modern creation story gives a pleasing narrative uniting faith and science—a wise gift to a world where all too many of us go round with one eye shut.
Disclosure: I’d been wanting to read this for a while and I’m glad I finally found a copy.

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October 17, 2011
Take a look at what I said about Dr. Benjamin Fain's book on Divine Revelation. The comments are published on Amazon.com

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars Creation Ex Nihilo, September 16, 2007 By Joseph S. Maresca "Dr. Joseph S. Maresca CPA,... (Bronxville, New York USA) - See all my reviews (TOP 500 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)

This review is from: Creation Ex Nihilo: Thoughts on Science, Divine Providence, Free Will, and Faith in the Perspective of My Own Experiences (Hardcover)

Dr. Benjamin Fain is extremely knowledgeable in science, as well as liberals arts areas; such as, philosophy, sociology, logic and theology. This work seeks to integrate the arts and sciences in a multi-disciplinary fashion. The author begins with some theological views. For instance, the Torah describes the plan and design of our world. Matter is our world; whereas, light derives from G-d. The Big Bang theory describes a phenomena ; wherein, something devolves from nothing.

There is no scientific explanation per se so the only other area comes from the spiritual. Later on, the book describes how the source of scientific knowledge or laws of nature come from Divine Revelation. The book concludes that humans have free will. Without free will, the Torah would have little meaning. Maimonides believes that the divine intellect is conjoined with humankind. [ Guide of the Perplexed 1:1 ] The discussion on free will is critical.

G-d provided humankind with free will because there could be no conduct of the process of life without it. Humankind would be like aimless beings bumping into each other because of the lack of direction. G-d provided humans with free will so that humans would not have to go back and forth to Him for permission to do every earthly thing. As such, G-d is the ultimate delegator. With free will, humankind has a whole series of laws to govern the reasonable exercise of it.

There is scriptural law, the halakah, Talmud, host country legal codes and even the contents of the Dead Sea Scrolls. So it is free will and law that act jointly to keep humankind in some sort of societal equilibrium devoid of normlessness and lack of direction or purpose. The course of history is G-d contending with humans who have free choice.

In Judaism, G-d is the G-d of history. His commandments have historical meaning although man has free choice. Law is the spigot which regulates the free choice within a band of acceptability. Einstein accepted religion when he stated: " The scientist's religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law."

There is a sort of harmony in how nature operates. There is a contrast between life and death, heat and cold, dry or wet, the 4 seasons and many other facets of life. This harmony is designed into the universal structure. Even the hereditary material has all the instructions for developing an organism from semen. Therefore, the existence of humankind can be created anywhere in any time or any place.

The book discusses various aspects of the scientific method throughout. It states that we cannot validate any theory logically because we would need infinite experiments including future ones. If you traveled many centuries into the future, the laws of chemistry and thermodynamics might operate differently. Elasticity points might be different in an Ice Age or dramatic shifting of weather at the Poles.

Stresses and strains might have more non-linearity thereby causing phenomena unanticipated in the classic engineering applications. Kant finds that our categories of data organization are not experimentally derived. Instead, these are functions and rules of human intellect allowing us to organize the findings of our own experience.. What happens when the data emulates conditions outside of our normal experience? The contents of this book could be argued in dozens of dissertations. It is not belles lettres reading per se.

The arguments are at a high level of understanding for scientists, engineers, mathematicians, logicians, philosophers, theologists and a considerable constituency educated at the collegiate level or beyond. by
Dr. Joseph S. Maresca

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Sheila Deeth ()
Ranked #41
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
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"For too long, followers of Jesus have been told they have to make a choice--between science and Christianity, reason and belief, their intellectual integrity and their faith.The Language of Science and Faithis a readable and comprehensive resource for the thoughtful Christian who refuses to choose. Giberson and Collins tackle difficult topics with charity, accessibility and integrity, moving the origins conversation forward in a way that honors God and builds up the church. This is a must-read for those who want to love the Lord with their heart, soul, mind and strength." (Rachel Held Evans, author of Evolving in Monkey Town )

"Collins and Giberson add a learned and engaging voice to the continuing struggle between Christian faith and scientific knowledge. The authors are central figures in advancing a true conversation between an ancient faith and modern ways of knowing, and it is hard to match their experience in dealing with the central questions covered in this volume.The Language of Science and Faithis an accessible distillation of their wisdom and I recommend it with great enthusiasm." (Peter Enns, Senior Fellow in Biblical Studies, The BioLogos Foundation )

"The theory of evolution raises important questions for Christians of all sorts, but this book is the best I've found to address the concerns of American evangelicals. It is written in clear enough language to be accessible to students at a variety of levels, yet sophisticated enough to be of interest to ...
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ISBN-10: 0830838295
ISBN-13: 978-0830838295
Author: Karl W. Giberson
Genre: Religion & Spirituality
Publisher: IVP Books
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