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A Fine-Tuned Universe: The Quest for God in Science and Theology (Gifford Lectures) (2009 Gifford Lectures) Paperback – March 2, 2009
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[Alister McGrath's] book will be of great interest to all concerned with the relationship between science and religion. --Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne, KBE, FRS
“[Alister McGrath’s] book will be of great interest to all concerned with the relationship between science and religion.” —Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne, KBE, FRS
Top Customer Reviews
Anyway, although the McGrath's earlier book (The Dawkins Delusion?) did not contain dramatic new insights, it was a pleasure to read and it is useful to have the rebuttals cogently and systematically arranged. I left it out on the coffee table for some time! I also recommend it as primer for anyone who needs to cut the legs out from under the 'new atheists' (whose ideas and arguments are actually quite antiquated), especially college students, who often find themselves in a sea of gullible peers.
I mention McGrath's earlier book here by way of comparison; this new work by McGrath is no mere pamphlet, and it doesn't belong on the coffee table...but most certainly in the college classroom and on the scholar's bookshelf. Its fourteen chapters would provide an excellent outline for a semester course on natural theology, especially if one followed up on all the footnotes and references.
Based upon McGrath's "2009 Gifford Lectures" given at Aberdeen, this work is a rigorous academic treatment of an important new trend in our culture; the growing interest in natural theology.Read more ›
The usual approach to natural theology can disclose a god, but not the God of Christianity. "Deism holds that God created the world; theism holds that God created the world and continues to direct it through divine providence; Trinitarianism holds that God created the world, continues to direct it through divine providence, and guides the interpreters of both the books of nature and Scripture through the illumination of the Holy Spirit. The Trinitarian approach to natural theology does not prove the existence of God, but "offers a high degree of consonance with what is actually observed."
McGrath begins with a brief history of the place of natural theology, from "proving the existence of God" to using it to argue "that Christianity makes better sense of the empirical evidence than any of its alternatives or rivals by interpreting nature on the basis of Christian beliefs.Read more ›
McGrath's writing is a bit dull, but what did you expect from a genius writing on a very technical topic ? It is well worth struggling through. The only other criticism of McGrath's scientific writings is that they always seem a bit teasing, as if they are introductions to something wonderful.
Most importantly, McGrath devotes a chapter to St. Augustine's account of creation, which is remarkably modern. Augustine places "rationes seminales" into matter, which are metaphorically like seeds of God's intentions, essentially like virtual forces. So it is something like Paley's watch which has self-building, evolution and reproduction built
in. McGrath quotes someone as saying that God's creation of the universe is a miracle. but even more miraculous that creation is able
to create itself.
McGrath also uses a trinitarian formalism, which because of his dull writing is there, but is a little hard to pick out. Still, it is a contemporary natural theology (his words).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've been a big fan of McGrath for over 2 decades now, and once again I enjoyed reading his book. It is an interesting endeavour to show that a Trinitarian Natural Theology works... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Glenn Crouch
This book is good enough for anyone wanting to learn more about God's connection to our earth, but the wording and construction of the dialog makes it very tedious reading. Read morePublished on October 21, 2013 by Martha N. Loesch
I have enjoyed other works by Dr McGrath and was intrigued by the title. His thesis on Natural Theology, based on the philosophy of Critical Realism, is atypical of what is... Read morePublished on March 1, 2013 by John Hunter
Alister McGrath is acquanted with both theology and science. Having written other works on the dialogue between science and theology he thoroughly qualified to write this book. Read morePublished on December 28, 2010 by Jfarris
This excellent writer is one of the most important alive. But this is not for me his best book. It becomes very detailed and complex. Read morePublished on April 10, 2010 by jtq
The book is mostly about reconciling theology, or more specifically, Augustine of Hippo, with Neo-Darwinism. Mainly a promotion for Natural Theology. Read morePublished on March 8, 2010 by Urban Cowboy
This book has some good points, but a lot of detail & most of it is over my head.
(I am an engineer, not a theologian.)