Top 10 Books on Science and Christianity
Let me first say that science would not exist unless it where for Christianity. In the history of Western Civilization, one has to ask themselves, ‘the Greeks were really really smart, why didn’t they invent the scientific method?’ The answer is simple, following Platonic and Neo-Platonic thinking, they did not think this world was real or intelligible. It was not until Christianity presented a world created, ordered, and directed by a sovereign and benevolent triune God that the scientific method sprouted. The consensus view in the history/philosophy of science is that science required the fertile soul of Christianity in order to grow. Christianity took this world seriously.
1. Darwin’s Black Box by Michael Behe [l, e, p, s]
In my view, this book destroys the Neo-Darwinian (scientific rationalism) story of how life exists. This book is a must read. See also this previous blog post.
2. Pensees by Blaise Pascal [y, l, e, p, s]
Although not explicitly about science and Christianity, Pascal presents an epistemology that includes science, reason, and faith.
3. Personal Knowledge by Michael Polanyi [e, p, s]
Polanyi rightly challenges the objectivity and impersonality of the scientist. Polanyi is very important in philosophy of science and is a worthwhile read.
4. When Science Meets Religion by Ian Barbour [l, e, p, s]
Barbour presents four possible relationships that science and religion might have. Balanced read.
5. The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy by Nancy Pearcey and Charles Thaxton [l, e, p, s]
Great critique of naturalism. Pearcey is solid as usual.
6. Darwin on Trial by Phillip Johnson [y, l, e, p, s]
Is there enough hard evidence to prove Darwinism correct, were it to be put on a public trial? Creative and damning question.
7. The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism by Michael Behe [l, e, p, s]
More Behe. Good stuff.
8. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton [l, e, p, s]
Most think that this is the book that started the Intelligent Design movement.
9. The Reason for God by Tim Keller [c,y l, e, p, s]
Although not explicitly on the subject of science, like Pascal, Keller presents a third way between pure science/reason and pure faith.
10a. The Language of God by Francis Collins [l, e, p, s]
A look at DNA, from the director of the human genome project, and an evangelical Christian.
10b. Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historian by Jeffrey Russell [l, e, p, s]
Russell confronts the myth that people (esp. Christians) believed in a flat earth. Pretty damning to an annoying and ignorant argument:
On page 1 of Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae (that is, in the first article of the first question of the first part), he casually mentions the round earth on the way to proving something doctrinal: “the astronomer and the physicist both may prove the same conclusion: that the earth, for instance, is round: the astronomer by means of mathematics (i.e., abstracting from matter), but the physicist by means of matter itself.” (via Between Two Worlds)
Honorable Mention: Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells [c, y, l, e, p, s]
I cannot stand behind anything else he has written, but Icons shreds the silly pictures commonly put in the textbooks you had growing up, demonstrating how they do not show Darwinian macroevolution.
(c=children; y=young adult; l=lay leader; e=elder; p=pastor; s=scholar)