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Rebuilding the Matrix: Science and Faith in the 21st Century [Hardcover]

By Denis Alexander (Author)
Our Price $ 25.49  
Retail Value $ 29.99  
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Item Number 67922  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   512
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.52" Width: 6.42" Height: 1.55"
Weight:   1.91 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2003
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310250188  
EAN  9780310250180  
UPC  025986250188  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Fresh thinking and new insights on the nature of science in relation to faith, showing particularly that (1) true science does not need to be and in fact is not hostile to religious faith, and (2) evangelical Christians in general need not be either fearful of nor hostile toward scientific endeavor.

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More About Denis Alexander

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Denis Alexander is chairman of the Molecular Immunology Program at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge. He is the editor of the journal "Science and Christian Belief."

Robert S. White is a Professor of Geophysics at Cambridge University, England; Associate Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion; and a Fellow of The Royal Society, the UK's national academy of science. He is co-author with Denis Alexander of "Beyond Belief: Science, Faith and Ethical Challenges."

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Faith   [4314  similar products]
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3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy   [1924  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom  Jun 26, 2006
This book is by far the best introduction to a Christian scientific worldview. The author weaves together philosophy of science, history, the scientific literature in evolutionary biology and neuroscience, theology and sociology to mount a compelling case for a theistic 'matrix' for science. This is not your usual 'science and religion need not be at odds' homily. Alexander wants to rehabilitate the context within which science first flourished, namely Christian theism. The chapters on history are fascinating, while Alexander's critique of evolutionary naturalism, focusing on morality in an evolutionary context, is one of the most balanced and scientifically rigorous I have ever seen (unlike the politically motivated attacks of the like of Lewontin, Gould, et al.). Far away from the heat and dust generated by the futile Intelligent Design debate, in Darwin's homeland, orthodox Christian scholars work passionately in science for the glory of God. In a way it is the Christian equivalent of E.O. Wilson's "Consilience", and even more convincing. A must read.
intro to how science and religion do/ought to interact  Mar 23, 2004
A 6 star book on a 5 star rating system, truely one of those must read now type of books. Not just for those interested in the immediate topic of how do science and religion interact, but those interested in how scientists can use their training to illuminate topics outside their field with both caution and great value. In many interesting ways it is like another book i greatly appreciated _Modern Physics, Ancient Faith_. One of the striking parallels is the type of person that wrote each, the intensity of their desire to communicate their insights to the general public, the book as a long term work of love, and their use of science as a support for their theological viewpoints while very conscious of science's limitations in the discussion.

Pick up the book, unlike most books you can start reading almost anywhere to get an idea of the writing and topic. It is written to a generally educated audience, avoids jargon, shows evidence that it was written over a long time, i suspect 15-20 years as a passion outside of the author's professional life. It is remarkably evenly written, the only chapter i saw dipping in intensity or interest was 11="Determined to Love?: A Critique of Evolutionary Naturalism'. It is a rebuttal of M.Ruse's _Taking Darwin Seriously_ and its sociobiological/evolutionary psychology viewpoint.

The first part of the book, culminating in an excellent motif in chapter 7="The Warfare Mechants: The Roots of Modern Science (4)- Darwin, Evolution and the Victorian Conflict Thesis", is a historical introduction to the topic of how science and theology/religion have interacted in Western history. IMHO, he has hit all the important peaks in the discussion and dwells on the issues that are really important. These chapters alone are worth the effort to read and understand what he is saying, plus they really illustrate the author's committment to truth, both in its ethical and historical dimensions. Debunking such issues as flat earth and the conflict thesis in the late 1900's.

The chapters 8="Reweaving the Rainbow: Scientific Knowledge and Religious Knowledge", 9=headquarters Nights: Creation and Evolution" and 10="The Fox and the Hedgehog: Does Evolution have any Religious Implications" are the heart of the book. The technic is historical and follows the great discussions as people try to unwind their world and life view and interact with the issues in their culture and society. He has a very good grasp of the literature but what makes the arguments both interesting and significant is that he brings an organizational talent to the discussion that breaks up and prioritizes the pieces in a unique and valuable way. You can see that he has this book point: science and religion share a common world but they do not divide it up either mutually exclusively but with some overlap, nor mutually exhaustively. But to get us to where he is, takes knowledge by adding to our's and unlearning many false things that have become 'common wisdom' although they are both wrong and self-serving. The take home message is that science and religion deal with reality in a different way, with different tools, for different purposes, but both are the effort of people and as such are rooted in our psychology and world views. The last few chapters from 11 to the end are catching up on several topics of importance to the author which he wanted to expand upon but didnt fit into the historical analysis of the earlier chapters. The insightfulness doesn't lag, nor did my interest with these big asides, although i found the last chapter shorter and less intensive than i would expect in a book of this magnitude. The closing was weak because i think he realized he had made the important points earlier and only needed to review the big picture.

I hope you pick up the book and find it as useful as i did, it will occupy a valued space both in my bookshelf and in my arguments to these issues.

A Useful Book  Sep 28, 2003
Why is there order in the universe?
And why is this order comprehensible
or discoverable at all, even if, in part?
What are the implications of a comprehensive
order in the universe?

As noted in this book,
the theistic framework of Christianity
is helpful.

Fighting a losing battle  Aug 25, 2003
This book is at its best when describing the interaction of science and religion over time. However when trying to justify Christianity as a reasonable way to view reality (ultimate or otherwise) the book falls flat. The author like many of his ilk tries to fall back on a line of thinking which is kind of like "because science doesn't know everything about everything you should therefore accord my worldview a certain legitimacy by default".
Sometimes the author is just clearly misinformed such as when on p. 446 he says ""There has only ever been a single occasion when water was allegedly turned into wine......" Sorry Dr. Alexander but a little reading of ancient and mystery religions would refute that point quite nicely. Dr. Alexander of course might respond that in Jesus' case this really happened whereas the other accounts are just "myth and legends".
As someone who works in the field of science, the only concept of God I can even begin to believe in is the Deist one. The God of revealed religions is just "God in the image of man".

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