Francis Collins, in the brief stretch between stints as head of the Human Genome Project at NIH and, now, Director of NIH, put together an anthology of readings he finds helpful in discussing rational reasons for belief in God. The essays and excerpts in this book will not provide a proof for the existence of God – no such proof is possible. But they do provide arguments and reasons for belief.
Unfortunately out of print now. Sayers deserves a far broader readership than she receives. She was much more than just a writer of detective stories. Her insights (not to mention her incredible power with the pen) still speak today. Many of these essays speak today as powerfully as they did when originally written more than half a century ago. Sayers spoke into a academic and intellectual culture that struggles today as it did then with the depth of Christian faith.
The Spirit in Creation and New Creation: Science and Theology in Western and Orthodox Realms edited by Michael Welker.
This book contains a series of articles by both Western and Orthodox Christian thinkers exploring the role of the Spirit. In the upcoming weeks I will post on a number of the articles in this book.
Science vs Religion: What Scientists Really Think by Elaine Howard Ecklund
This book draws on an extensive survey of nearly 1700 professors at twenty one “elite” universities, in seven core disciplines (chemistry, physics, biology, sociology, economics, political science, and psychology), augmented by detailed interviews with 275 of them. The book uses 10 representative anecdotal stories to flesh out and personalize the findings. This book is well written, easy to read, and (speaking as a lab rat) she hits the target. I find nothing surprising, but much that provokes thought.
For the Common Good: Principles of American Academic Freedom by Matthew W. Finkin and Robert C. Post.
This book provides a historical description of the development of the ideals of academic freedom in the US, including the forces that have push for and against academic freedom.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn.
While Kuhn’s premise – that scientific revolutions represent changes in an accepted conceptual framework more than progress toward an objective truth – is rightly criticized by many, his insight and insistence that the conceptual frameworks of science are always influenced by historical and social factors remains an important, even revolutionary, contribution. Many Christians use Kuhn’s ideas about the nature of scientific revolutions to dismiss modern scientific views and stick with a more traditional view of creation.
Post: (Paradigm) Shift Happens.
Warren Nord (1946-2010) was the founding director of the interdisciplinary Program in the Humanities and Human Values at UNC–Chapel Hill a position he held for 25 years. With a Ph.D. in philosophy his area of interest was in religion, morality, and education. In this book, published in 2010 he addresses the role of religion in a liberal education. He is not looking to indoctrinate students in any religious tradition, rather he thinks it important that we acknowledge the role that religion plays in human society.