SKEPTICS AND TRUE BELIEVERS

THE EXHILARATING CONNECTION BETWEEN SCIENCE AND RELIGION

Another in the recent spate of arguments that scientists and theologians should pay attention to each other, by a latter-day Deist. Boston Globe science columnist Raymo (Virgin and the Mousetrap, 1991; Honey from Stone, 1987) joins fellow authors John Polkinghorne, Ken Wilbur, and Gerald Schroeder, among others, in tackling the subtle and often strained relationship of science and religion. Raymo’s scientific arguments do not approach the likes of Polkinghorne, whom he quotes freely, and his contributions to religion are even more trite. Raymo relies heavily on anecdotes, avoiding the abstract jargon of some science writers. He considers himself a skeptic (his opposing categories of —Skeptic— and —True Believer— are a bit too neatly dichotomous); the God that Raymo feels most comfortable with is one who doesn—t disturb the natural laws of science. Raymo should realize that he has embraced Deism, a fashionable intellectual position of the late 18th century. Discussing the Ebola virus, for example, Raymo credits the abatement of the outbreak to the intervention of medical personnel, not to the prayers of the Belgian nuns standing by. Fair enough, but Raymo wants to argue that God never performs miracles, stating that —God has no role in the micromanagement of viruses and bacteria.— What is even more deistic is the God he offers in the place of the miracle-worker: the distant creator. Like the famous watchmaker, Raymo’s God set the universe in motion, then left it to its own devices. So while Raymo sensibly attacks biblical creationists, UFO enthusiasts, and relic-obsessed Marianists—easy targets all—he fails to offer anything substantive in their stead. It’s too bad Raymo wastes his energetic prose on such hackneyed notions and that for him the two disciplines can only coexist if religion is the handmaiden and science the master.

Pub Date: June 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-8027-1338-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1998

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THE WEIGHT OF GLORY

The name of C.S. Lewis will no doubt attract many readers to this volume, for he has won a splendid reputation by his brilliant writing. These sermons, however, are so abstruse, so involved and so dull that few of those who pick up the volume will finish it. There is none of the satire of the Screw Tape Letters, none of the practicality of some of his later radio addresses, none of the directness of some of his earlier theological books.

Pub Date: June 15, 1949

ISBN: 0060653205

Page Count: 212

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1949

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REFLECTIONS ON THE PSALMS

Internationally renowned because of his earlier books, among them tape Letters, Surprised by Joy, Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis making religion provoking, memorable and delightful is still more latest Reflections on the Psalms. Though he protests that he writes learned about things in which he is unlearned himself, the reader is likely thank God for his wise ignorance. Here especially he throws a clear lightly or not, on many of the difficult psalms, such as those which abound with and cursing, and a self-centeredness which seems to assume' that God must be side of the psalmist. These things, which make some psalm singers pre not there, have a right and proper place, as Mr. Lewis shows us. They of Psalms more precious still. Many readers owe it to themselves to read flections if only to learn this hard but simple lesson. Urge everyone to book.

Pub Date: June 15, 1958

ISBN: 015676248X

Page Count: 166

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1958

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