Faith and science are not always in opposition, as some allege, and faith stands up well to reasonable analysis. A review of Roger Forster and Paul Marston's book "Reason, Science & Faith"
Where faith and science are in opposition, faith is on the losing side. So we are constantly being told, but a close look at the evidence proves a different conclusion. The evidence is examined closely and rigorously in Reason, Science & Faith, a book that needs slow and careful reading but yields substantial rewards to those who take the trouble. Forster and Marston are well qualified to tackle the challenge, being reputed and well qualified both in the science and the Christian faith.
Science & Faith does not peddle worn-out doctrines or disproven religious
arguments but endorses the teachings of mainstream science. On the other hand,
it roundly attacks those who use scientific platforms to promote atheistic ideas,
which have no basis in science. Quoting E Y Mullins, the book reminds us -
"When man turns his doctrine of evolution into materialism, monism or theism, it thereby ceases to be science and becomes philosophy."
This is but one of many quotations and cross-references by which this book leads us through relevant teachings of our own and past ages.
The religious side of these arguments does not escape criticism. The authors campaign strenuously in their attack on 'young earth creationism', demonstrating that it is a modern doctrine that has neither credibility nor historic support. Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas are brought in among many witnesses to demonstrate that a slavishly literal interpretation of Genesis was never on the serious agenda for the Christian church. Even the nineteenth century originators of 'fundamentalism' were supporters of reasonable geological theory and certainly did not believe in a 6,000 year-old earth.
This book does not restrict itself to creation and evolution, but ventures widely in the arenas of science and philosophy. Look here for clear explanations of 'Nature & Theism', 'Divine Acts & Miracles', 'Personal Identity' and the 'Nature of Science & Belief'. Each of these titles heads a chapter in this heavyweight paperback that will set your mind to work on serious study and careful thought. At base, faith is revelation and deals with matters that cannot be subjected to scientific proof. However, we should not abandon the reasoning powers that distinguish us as human beings. Roger Forster and Paul Marston have produced a powerful defence of reasonable faith that deserves to be on the shelf in serious-minded Christian homes as well as those of honest agnostics.
©Derrick Phillips 2000
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