The best books about why my Christian faith is confirmed through science

Who am I?

I believe that the most important questions one can possibly ask are, ‘Is there a God?’ and ‘Is Jesus God in human flesh?’ Since becoming a Christian at University in Cambridge the answers I have found to these questions have been the bedrock of my life. They have been confirmed by experience and I have wanted to share them. My academic work has been devoted to them. I am an astrophysicist as well as a priest and find, contrary to popular conceptions, that these vocations fit wonderfully neatly together. I am persuaded that there is a wealth of evidence for the truth of Christian beliefs, including from science itself.

I wrote...

Ramified Natural Theology in Science and Religion: Moving Forward from Natural Theology

By Rodney Holder,

Book cover of Ramified Natural Theology in Science and Religion: Moving Forward from Natural Theology

What is my book about?

Natural theology is about arguments for the existence of God. Certain features of the universe are much more likely to be present if there is a God than if not, and that fact enhances the probability that God exists. Ramified natural theology uses a similar form of argumentation for the specific claims of Christianity, e.g. that Jesus rose from the dead and is God in human flesh. The historical evidence for the life, death and resurrection is extremely powerful and we are much more likely to have it if Jesus is God incarnate than if not, and that enhances the probability that Jesus is indeed God incarnate. With reasonable assumptions, putting the two together makes it overwhelmingly likely that God became flesh in Jesus.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Science and Christian Belief: Theological Reflections of a Bottom-Up Thinker

Why did I love this book?

The late John Polkinghorne was the leading figure in the modern dialogue between science and religion. He was Professor of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge, a position which he gave up to become a priest in the Church of England. In this startling volume, he discusses all the clauses of the Nicene Creed, thinking through this fundamental statement of Christian belief as a scientist. He persistently asks, ‘What is the evidence that makes you think this might be true?’ and shows that the evidence required to justify classically orthodox Christian belief is there to be had.

By John Polkinghorne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Science and Christian Belief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An attempt to apply scientific habits of thought to the core of Christian belief, and to examine in turn the central tenets of the creeds in the light of a thoroughly modern world-view. The result is an intellectual presentation of orthodox Christianity.

The Existence of God

By Richard Swinburne,

Book cover of The Existence of God

Why did I love this book?

Swinburne is a world-leading philosopher of religion and in this book he mounts a powerful case for the existence of God. Each piece of evidence he adduces is more likely to be found if God exists than if he does not so this enhances the probability that God does in fact exist. The evidence includes the cosmological and design arguments, arguments from consciousness and morality, arguments from history and miracles and from religious experience. Making reasonable assumptions and bringing all this evidence together gives us a high probability that God exists.

By Richard Swinburne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Existence of God as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richard Swinburne presents a substantially rewritten and updated edition of his most celebrated book. No other work has made a more powerful case for the probability of the existence of God. Swinburne gives a rigorous and penetrating analysis of the most important arguments for theism: the cosmological argument; arguments from the existence of laws of nature and the 'fine-tuning' of the universe; from the occurrence of consciousness and moral awareness; and from
miracles and religious experience. He claims that while none of these arguments are deductively valid, they do give inductive support to theism and that, even when the argument…

Book cover of Why There Almost Certainly Is a God: Doubting Dawkins

Why did I love this book?

Keith Ward is a major philosopher and theologian. In this book, he presents a devastating critique of the simplistic arguments of Richard Dawkins. With touches of humour he deftly demolishes Dawkins’ materialistic atheism, showing how the priority of the divine mind as necessary being provides the ultimate explanation for anything to exist. Science provides explanations in terms of cause and effect, but does not explain why there is a universe in the first place or why the laws of nature are as they are. Contrary to Dawkins, belief in a divine mind does not close down scientific endeavour but inspires it. If the speculative multiverse idea were to explain the special nature of this universe, this would itself still need explanation, and would in any case be compatible with theism.

By Keith Ward,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Why There Almost Certainly Is a God as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richard Dawkins claimed that 'no theologian has ever produced a satisfactory response to his arguments'. Well-known broadcaster and author Keith Ward is one of Britain's foremost philosopher-theologians. This is his response. Ward welcomes all comers into philosophy's world of clear definitions, sharp arguments, and diverse conclusions. But when Dawkins enters this world, his passion tends to get the better of him, and he descends into stereotyping, pastiche, and mockery. In this stimulating and thought-provoking philosophical challenge, Ward demonstrates not only how Dawkins' arguments are flawed, but that a perfectly rational case can be made that there, almost certainly, is a…

Book cover of The Resurrection of the Son of God

Why did I love this book?

Tom Wright is the leading New Testament scholar of today. This powerful and persuasive magnum opus brings Wright’s skills as the finest historian of the period to bear on his subject matter. He sets Jesus’ resurrection well and truly in its historical context. The idea of a general resurrection at the end of time may have been around but not the resurrection within time of a single individual. Yet all the evidence leads inexorably to the conclusion that this is precisely what happened. This was not a belief that emerged over time and then found its way into the gospels but the very foundation of Christian preaching and writing from the beginning and the basis of the existence and spread of the church from its earliest days.

By N. T. Wright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Resurrection of the Son of God as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book, third in Wright's series Christian Origins and the Question of God, sketches a map of ancient beliefs about life after death, in both the Greco-Roman and Jewish worlds. It then highlights the fact that the early Christians' belief about the afterlife belonged firmly on the Jewish spectrum, while introducing several new mutations and sharper definitions. This, together with other features of early Christianity, forces the historian to read the Easter narratives in the gospels, not simply as late rationalizations of early Christian spirituality, but as accounts of two actual events: the empty tomb of Jesus and his "appearances."

Book cover of Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony

Why did I love this book?

Bauckham is a world-leading Biblical scholar who shows in this ground-breaking book how direct eye-witness testimony underlies what we read about Jesus in the gospels, which should therefore be treated with the utmost seriousness. Particularly significant for Bauckham is the witness of the early second-century writer Papias, who had known and interacted with persons very close to the gospel events in his youth and explains how and by whom the gospels were put together. Eyewitness testimony is fundamental to forming our beliefs and can make the seemingly incredible totally credible. Bauckham draws a startling comparison with the Holocaust. We are convinced it happened only because we have eyewitness reports. Likewise with the resurrection of Jesus.

By Richard Bauckham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jesus and the Eyewitnesses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking work in New Testament studies expanded and updated

Winner of the 2007 Christianity Today Book Award in Biblical Studies, this momentous volume argues that the four Gospels are closely based on the eyewitness testimony of those who personally knew Jesus. Noted New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham challenges the prevailing assumption that the Jesus accounts circulated as "anonymous community traditions," asserting instead that they were transmitted in the names of the original eyewitnesses.

In this expanded second edition Bauckham is adding a new preface, three substantial new chapters that respond to critics and clarify key points of his argument,…

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