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"I do not find that a trinitarian and incarnational theology needs to be abandoned in favour of a toned-down theology of a Cosmic Mind and an inspired teacher, alleged to be more accessible to the modern mind." Many would likely disagree with the idea that a trinitarian and incarnational theology is palatable to the modern mind, for it is thought that science and the modern mind are in conflict with traditional theology. But physicist and theologian John Polkinghorne strongly believes that a trinitarian and incarnational theology is tough, surprising and exciting enough to truly stimulate the modern mind. The Faith of a Physicist comes out of the invitation given to Polkinghorne to give the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh, on the topic of "The Knowledge of God". Polkinghorne chose to build his lectures on phrases from the Nicene Creed. Combining those phrases and his scientific experience, Polkinghorne offers illuminating insights into the nature of humanity, our search for knowledge, the way to speak of God in light of science's understanding of creation, the believability of the accounts of the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the role of the Holy Spirit, and eschatology. Thoroughly versed in science, and equally adept in Scripture, Polkinghorne offers his lucid explanation of why he feels it is reasonable to be both a Christian and a scientist. Fascinating, and well-written, Faith of a Physicist is sure to stimulate your mind, and broaden your knowledge and horizons. Polkinghorne will not compromise his views on the trintarian nature of God or the incarnation, and he proves that modern science does not require this, nor has modern science proved a trinitarian and incarnational theology to be false. An excellent reminder to take all thoughts captive to Christ.
"It has become fashionable to write books with titles such as Religion in an Age of Science (Barbour), Theology for a Scientific Age (Peacocke), or Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning (Murphy). They signify the recognition that the interaction between science and religious reflection is not limited to those topics (such as cosmic history) concerning which the two disciplines offer complementary insights. It involves also an engagement with habits of thought which are natural in a culture greatly influenced by the success of science. To take this stance is not to submit to slavery to the spirit of the age, but simply to acknowledge that we view things from where we stand, with all the opportunities and limitations inherent in that particular perspective. . . . My concern is to explore to what extent we can use the search for motivated understanding, so congenial to the scientific mind, as a route to being able to make the substance of Christian orthodoxy our own. Of course, there are some revisions called for in the process, but I do not find that a trinitarian and incarnational theology needs to be abandoned in favour of a toned-down theology of a Cosmic Mind and an inspired teacher, alleged to be more accessible to the modern mind. A scientist expects a fundamental theory to be tough, surprising and exciting. "Throughout, my aim will be to seek an understanding based on a careful assessment of phenomena as the guide to reality. Just as I cannot regard science as merely an instrumentally successful manner of speaking which serves to get things done, so I cannot regard theology as merely concerned with a collection of stories which motivate an attitude to life. It must have its anchorage in the way things actually are, and the way they happen. . . . A bottom-up thinker is bound to ask, What makes you think this story is a verisimilitudinous account of Reality? The anchorage of Christianity in history is to be welcomed, despite its hazards. For me, the Bible is neither an inerrant account of propositional truth nor a compendium of timeless symbols, but a historically conditioned account of certain significant encounters and experiences. Read in that way, I believe it can provide the basis for a Christian belief with is certainly revised in the light of our twentieth-century insights but which is recognizably contained within an envelope of understanding in continuity with the developing doctrine of the Church throughout the centuries." - from the introduction
Buy Faith of a Physicist (Theology and the Sciences) by J. C. Polkinghorne from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780800629700 & 0800629701
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