A faith-based examination that tries to square Genesis with astrophysics, with mixed results.

WHAT IS TIME?

ANSWERS: DID GOD CREATE THE UNIVERSE

An eager inquiry into how time works, invoking Christian theology to braid together diverse strands of theoretical science, including cosmology, evolutionary biology and quantum mechanics.

Predicated on the reasoning that God’s influence is unavoidable, the author’s theory on the origin of time winds back to when God created the universe and, with it, “universal time.” (Humans, on the other hand, define “relative time” with clocks, calendars, histories and timelines.) Driver describes the three states of time (past, present and future) and connects faith to the nature of time, observing that humans rely on the supposition that the future will happen in a certain way. “The expected future is based upon collective information on the aging process of many who have gone before us,” he says. “These are life expectations due to time.” Driver delves into astrophysics and illustrates some working theories with memorable metaphors. To describe how cosmologists have observed the expansion of the universe, he explains that the universe is like a curtain, its unfolding accelerating so that it expands faster than the speed of light; the hand pulling the curtain, according to Driver, is God. Even further, Driver argues that the Big Bang theory, the operating assumption most astrophysicists use for the creation of the universe, relies on a supernatural force that defies the laws of physics, which, in Driver’s mind, makes it as equally plausible an explanation as a divine creator forming the universe. Driver uses this explanation to set up a theory that God uses science to reveal his ways to humans, one discovery at a time. One of his pivotal points describes God as an intelligent creator, setting forth the material for the creation of the universe and the laws that correspond to how it will behave and then letting the universe develop on its own. He points to evidence supporting evolution as the workings of a divine creator rather than a theory drawn from natural observations: “Darwin, in his limited theology, did not understand that nature is another name for God.” To prove God’s presence in creation, Driver delineates biblical evidence for later scientific discoveries. Yet the argument’s reasoning gets murky when taken to its logical extremes. For Driver, at the beginning and end of time, there exist two realms—spiritual and temporal—and God’s omnipotent governing of the universe is greater than time itself. But the conversational tone treats scientific theory with broad sweeps of generalization, as with his explanation for quantum physics: “Subatomic particles that make up the atom are broken down to lower elementary particles….According to the Scripture, the universe is all made of that which is not seen, elementary particles.” Often switching to the collective “we,” Driver attempts to speak for humanity in reasoning that only Christianity provides a comprehensive explanation for the universe’s existence—a notion with which some readers might disagree.

A faith-based examination that tries to square Genesis with astrophysics, with mixed results.

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-1622952571

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Tate Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2014

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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