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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science and Theology
This is an excellent book, presenting its arguments in a clear and profound fashion.It should be read by anyone with a Christian ministry in this scientific age. Prof Polkinghorn brings together in a concise form discussions and argumennts from his previous books almost as a summary of his life's teaching on this topic.He discusses both separately and jointly the...
Published on 17 April 2012 by Warren

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK addition in a crowded market
There will be two groups of fundementalist evangelicals who would find this book worthless

a) Those of 7 day Young Earth confession. To such, any attempt to show science and Scripture telling the same story in different ways will be unacceptable compromise
b) Those of diehard atheistic "scientific" confession. Such will never accept anything much beyond...
Published 10 months ago by Laymin


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science and Theology, 17 April 2012
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This review is from: Science and Religion in Quest of Truth (Paperback)
This is an excellent book, presenting its arguments in a clear and profound fashion.It should be read by anyone with a Christian ministry in this scientific age. Prof Polkinghorn brings together in a concise form discussions and argumennts from his previous books almost as a summary of his life's teaching on this topic.He discusses both separately and jointly the methodologies of science and theology.In an age where many see these in conflict he shows that they have a profound level of mutual support, with each throwing light on the other.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid culmination of John Polkinghorne`s own "Quest"., 8 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Science and Religion in Quest of Truth (Paperback)
I think this book covers his subject so well that I don`t feel the need, at present, for further reading around the relationship between science and religion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK addition in a crowded market, 21 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Science and Religion in Quest of Truth (Paperback)
There will be two groups of fundementalist evangelicals who would find this book worthless

a) Those of 7 day Young Earth confession. To such, any attempt to show science and Scripture telling the same story in different ways will be unacceptable compromise
b) Those of diehard atheistic "scientific" confession. Such will never accept anything much beyond the material and physical. Nor anything which challenges current scientific wisdom

For those of us not of such persuasions this is a helpful offering in what is a very crowded market for such books. While I found the author's scientific descriptions taxed my own education (science to A level 40 ears ago) to the limit, he was clear enough in demonstrating the limits of science and theology. He makes efforts to "tell the presented Genesis story" in scientific terms - indirectly at least. He demonstrates clearly how a scientist does not compromise his own integrity in holding to a Christian faith. He shows how faith is a reasonable and not unscientific position, even though it cannot be proved in the sense that Ohms, Boyles laws etc can be proved. He shows how even science has to live with, and work around, the unproven, and adapt as further insights are made.

If I have any theological doubts it is that I felt his take on Scripture leant too strongly in emphasising the human dimension over the Spirit's inspiration. Also his explanations of the miraculous seemed needlessly complex, though not, in my view, wrong as such. His views on eternal desitiny would raise some eyebrows though they are not universalistic.

A worthy addition to the market. I found Gilberson and Collins "The Language of Science and Faith" a little more readable and coherent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult read but worth wrestling with it, 24 April 2013
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Not the most accessible read for an ordinary non-scientist/non-theologian/non-philosopher like me. There are few who could handle such complex questions and have the courage and ability to articulate his answers. He wins my admiration.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An earnest approach to reconciling science and theism, 27 May 2014
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This review is from: Science and Religion in Quest of Truth (Paperback)
This is a short book at 134 pages which means some of the descriptions are quite economical in places. Readers with a reasonable grounding in science, particularly quantum mechanics, will find the book more accessible than others. You don't need to know Schroedinger's equation, but it might help to know the back-ground to elements of quantum physics such as superposition and entanglement. Similarly with the chaotic behaviour of classical non-linear systems.

Polkinghorne subscribes to the finely tuned universe view that the constants of the universe are so finely tuned to result in self-conscious life (us) that those constants must have been set (designed even) by a creator. To differentiate this from the Deist non-interventionist God, Polkinghorne focuses on the inherent uncertainties in the universe (quantum mechanics, choatic systems, genetic mutations etc.). These require an immanent God to 'direct' (my word) all the uncertainities to result in the teleological emergence of mankind. Essentially, without God to hold the fabric of the universe together it would fly-off into chaos - classic 'order from chaos' stuff recast using modern science.

I will try and give my own interpretation of Polkinghorne: if God is operating through the uncertainty of the quantum world, then the multiplicity inherent in quantum superposition is illusory. The health of Schroedinger's cat is divinely determined 'a priori'. What is uncertain is our ability to know whether the cat is alive or dead. I can see the attraction to theists: only God can determine outcomes, the science of quantum mechanics means humans can never overcome the inherent uncertainties in the world. This presents the intriguing possibility of designing experiments at the quantum level to demonstate divine bias in the outcomes.

Overall, this a fairly dry book. It is much more logical and deductive in it's approach compared to, say, Denis Alexander's 'Creation or Evolution'. Polkinghorne does not convey the same sense of awe that Alexander does both for the latter's scientific and theistic pursuits. Polkinghorne certainly yields less scientific ground to theism than Alexander. Polkinghone has an interesting section on prayer - why should we be so arrogant as to pray to a God that has already set the course he deems best. Polkinghorne's answer is that prayer is a purely mundane activity that helps us organise our thoughts and come to terms with things around us. On miracles, he veers to miracles being so because of timing rather than violations of the natural order. If you have a reasonable understanding of science then I would thoroughly recommend this book. It is the best attempt I have read, so far, to triy to reconcile science and theism. It did not shake my atheist convictions, but there was a lot of food for thought in this book.
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Science and Religion in Quest of Truth
Science and Religion in Quest of Truth by John Polkinghorne (Paperback - 22 July 2011)
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