Natural Theology

God’s Universe by Owen Gingerich

An excellent small book contesting the idea that science and our understanding of the Universe eliminates purpose or design. Owen Gingerich is Professor of Astronomy and of the History of Science Emeritus at Harvard University.

Posts: No posts directly on the book – but several refer to the book: Knowing, Can Darwin be Saved 3, and The Heavens Declare, revised and updated: The Heavens Declare, Are We Being Fooled?.

A Fine-Tuned Universe: The Quest for God in Science and Theology by Alister McGrath

This book is an enlarged version of his 2009 Gifford Lectures in which McGrath examines the evidence for and interpretation of fine-tuning in the universe.

Posts: A Fine Tuned Universe? Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten.

Quarks, Chaos & Christianity and Belief in God in an Age of Science.

The Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne was a very successful scientist, Professor of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge University, before he resigned to study for the priesthood. He has since been a parish priest, Dean of the Chapel at Trinity Hall Cambridge and President of Queen’s College, Cambridge. After retirement he continues to write, think, and lecture about the interface between science and faith. No posts specifically on his books – but they are referred to in a number of posts.

Posts: Polkinghorne on Natural Theology and Moral Law, An Afternoon With John Polkinghorne, An Interview with John Polkinghorne, Polkinghorne on A Destiny Beyond Death, Your Favorite Joke, The Nature of Miracles.

Quantum Leap: How John Polkinghorne Found God in Science and Religion by Dean Nelson and Karl Giberson.

A biographical interaction with the life of John Polkinghorne, his move from a Professorship to the Anglican priesthood and then to his current place as one who thinks and writes about the intersection between science and the Christian faith.

Posts: Quantum Leap

Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe by Simon Conway Morris.

This book is an exploration of the evidence for evolutionary convergence – the idea that there are islands of stability and that evolution will identify these islands. Conway Morris is  Professor of Evolutionary Paleobiology at Cambridge University. He is also a Christian and puts some effort into integrating his science with a Christian world view.

Posts: Evolution’s Place Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six. (Posts one and four are related to this book – but are not directly on the book.)

Theology in the Context of Science by John C. Polkinghorne.

The question asked in Theology in the Context of Science is straightforward: Can science and the study of science and religion provide a context for theology? We’ve entered an age where greater awareness of the world, understanding of history, and sensitivity to power structures and cultural influences has led to contextual theologies. Dr. Polkinghorne suggests that science is another context for theology that can enhance and inform our Christian faith.

Posts: Science and Theology – Science as Context, What Has Science Taught Us?, A Matter of Time, Are Science and Theology Complementary?, Motivated Belief.

The God of Hope and the End of the World by John Polkinghorne

This book discusses eschatology and the nature of the New Creation from the perspective of a scientist and a theologian. The book contains three sections – I. Scientific and Cultural Prologue, II. Biblical Resources, and III. Theological Approaches. It repeats some of the material Polkinghorne presents in his other books, but with a new focus.

Posts: The End of the World, Human Experience and Our Hope for the Future, Afterlife and Hope in the Old Testament, The Riddle of Jesus, Hope is Our Foundation,

The Wonder of the Universe: Hints of God in Our Fine-Tuned World by Karl Giberson

This book is a description of the wonder of our universe and of the process of discovery that led to our modern understanding of the universe.  It is an excellent book for a general audience – college educated perhaps (although high school students may like it as well), but with little understanding of science required. This book has none of the problem with “tone” found in some of Dr. Giberson’s other books. It is a book that can be recommended to any Christian interested in science and the Christian faith.

Posts: The Wonder of the Universe, Is Science Ever-Changing and Thus Untrustworthy?, Can We Find God Through Nature?

God and the Cosmos: Divine Activity in Space, Time and History by Harry Lee Poe and Jimmy H. Davis

Science and scientists are finding a natural explanation for all manner of phenomena formerly attributed to the work of God. This appears to squeeze God into an increasingly small corner of the universe – and many argue it removes God from the picture all together. As Laplace famously replied to Napoleon … we have “no need of that hypothesis.”  Poe and Davis are addressing these latter kinds of questions in their book. Can a transcendent and personal God really act in the universe? and Can science help us answer this question? The answers are not what one might expect.

Posts: God and the Cosmos … Intelligent Design?, The Death of Poetry?, Beyond the God of the Gaps, Uncertainty, Openness, and the Action of God, Evolution and the Creativity of God, Is it all Imagination?.