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Stars Beneath Us: Finding God in the Evolving Cosmos Paperback – March 1, 2016

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Paul Wallace is an astrophysicist who writes with magic, seamlessly blending story and theory, biblical texts and scientific concepts. This book will make you think. But also make you laugh. It will not only scratch an intellectual itch in your mind, but will touch your heart, connecting faith and reason in a way you'll actually enjoy—even call fun." --Andrew Root, Professor at Luther Seminary and author of The Relational Pastor

"Just as surely as atheism follows conventional theism for many people who face the realities of science and the agonies of life, a new kind of faith and a new vision of God can arise from the ashes of a lost and discredited belief. Paul Wallace tells his story of such a loss and recovery in a way that encouraged and inspired me and I believe will do the same for you." --Brian D. McLaren, Author, speaker, and activist

"Paul Wallace's Stars Beneath Us appeals to Christians, intellectuals, and those who identify as both. To enter Wallace's book is to be swept up in his quirky, astute, big-hearted way of striving towards mystery, both upon this planet and beyond. This is the only religion-and-science book I have ever devoured in one sitting." --Sharon Stephenson, Professor of Physics, Gettysburg College

"Stars Beneath Us by Paul Wallace will be of great help to many who are eager to reconcile religion and science but who, in C. S. Lewis's words, find their intellect getting in the way. This book is likely to challenge believers who prefer to safeguard their faith from the findings of science and will encourage scientifically minded people who find themselves alienated by conventional religious beliefs." --Julie Pennington-Russell, Pastor, First Baptist Church of the City of Washington, DC

"If you're tired of debates that pit the Bible against science or bored of arguments over the compatibility between Genesis and evolution—and yet remain convinced that we have much yet to learn about the positive relationship between science and faith—Paul Wallace's Stars Beneath Us is the next book for you to read. As a scientist, a theologian, and an educator, he is just the one we need to remind us just how interesting the conversation between science and faith can be." --David Wood, Glencoe Union Church, senior minister

About the Author

Paul Wallace teaches physics and astronomy at Agnes Scott College. He holds a PhD in experimental nuclear physics from Duke University and an MDiv from Candler School of Theology. He also teaches theology at Candler and at Columbia Theological Seminary. He is ordained in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press (March 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1506401414
  • ISBN-13: 978-1506401416
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is strongly recommended for anyone who wants to read about a commitment to both faith and science that doesn't back away from either the faith or the science. Wallace tells us the story of how he came to embrace the modern scientific understanding of the world (geologic time scales, biological evolution, Big Bang cosmology, etc), and how he initially found this scientific view to be at odds with his religion. He goes on to show how the apparent incompatibility between science and Christian faith is not a necessary situation, but is instead a product of a medieval view of God. Medieval theologians understood God in a way that fit with their understanding of the cosmos (a finite sphere in which the nasty chaos of earth was separated from the perfect ethereal realms of the heavens). Our understanding of the cosmos has changed but, as Wallace points out, our view of God has been slow to adjust. Wallace goes on to show that the Bible itself, specifically the Book of Job, points the way toward an understanding of God that is fully compatible with modern science.

Will Wallace's book convert Young Earth Creationists to science, or New Atheists to Christianity? No, it won't, particularly since he does not hesitate to point out his disagreements with both of those groups. But what Wallace accomplishes is to create a space where both faith and science are welcome. His book is not a propaganda piece: he is not trying to convince Christians to embrace science or scientists to embrace Christianity. He is telling his own story, and grounding that story in his understanding of science (which is considerable) and his close reading of Job.
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Strongly recommended for those interested in the tension between religion and science. It’s an explanation of why an accomplished physicist returned to faith after years of skepticism. It’s a challenging read, and many will be disturbed by some of his points. Nevertheless, this thought-provoking account that wrestles with important issues that too often we dismiss with simplistic answers. And you will never look at The Book of Job the same way again!
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Paul Wallace's Stars Beneath Us was fascinating. So fascinating I couldn't put it down and finished it in less than 24 hours. Dr. Wallace takes us on a very personal and readable journey in search of "truth" from his perspective - that of a scientist of deep spiritual faith. He acquaints us with his life's experiences, and sometimes struggles, as he explores and explains his take on the confluence of science and faith.

One of the most enjoyable parts of that continuing expedition was his travels though the Old Testament Book of Job - to my mind perhaps the most interesting conversation in the Bible. This discussion occurs between Job, who has just lost "everything", his several friends/acquaintances who offer advice, and God, who proffers the beauty, complexity and goodness of his creation, the universe.

Like Dr. Wallace, my personal journey led me to a scientific career for most of my life, but eventually back to religion, church and stronger faith than I could have ever imagined (still a very imperfect work in progress). I highly recommend Stars Beneath Us to you not just because I related easily to his narrative, or because I happen to agree with much of his viewpoint, but because his book so encourages everyone's minds and hearts to be open to what is true. Whether that truth comes from the measurements and observations of our science, or from the stories, wisdom, traditions and spirit of our faith, God's universe is wondrous and beautiful, perplexing and messy, but ultimately - inspiring and comforting.
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When I stumbled across this book, I immediately knew that I needed to read it. I'm glad that I did. The author presented some new ways for me to consider God and science without having to exclude either one from the conversation. By using personal accounts from his past and the struggles he has experienced along the way, Mr. Wallace further humanizes the subject in a way that's reflective of how many of us struggle with this cosmic puzzle. I hope this is just the first of many books he plans to write from his much appreciated perspective.
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Dr Wallace writes a compelling story about the juxtaposition of science and faith. His personal journey of faith which led through believing, doubt and back to believing with a new understanding of God is equally compelling. Dr Wallace uses the book of Job in the Old Testement to convey the positive relationship between science and faith in an exciting way that will make you think and want to learn more. It grabbed my attention from the beginning with the explanation for the title, Stars Beneath Us, and held on until the end.
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I am really enjoying this book. Dr. Wallace writes from a personal point of view that is very easy to understand. He uses great illustrations that everyone can relate to. This is a great book for anyone seeking to understand the link between religion and science.
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