A book attempts to justify the existence of the Christian God on the basis of modern science.
Contemporary discussions about science and religion routinely pit the two against each other, as if they were mutually exclusive. Ivey (Science, Philosophy and Jesus Christ, 2015), though, argues that both the considerable advances of modern science, as well as ancient philosophy, support the basic tenets of Christian theology. In a wide-ranging study, the author not only argues that monotheistic religion is compatible with the findings of reason, but specifically with a New Testament God. To that end, Ivey acknowledges but defends the historical record of the Roman Catholic Church, embarks on a lengthy comparative study of the major world religions (including Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism, and, surprisingly, Zoroastrianism), and explains Einstein’s theory of relativity. There are several discussions of the pre-Socratic philosopher Parmenides, and an extended examination of the relationship between faith and reason. The philosophical twine that tethers the parts into a whole is the argument that “militant science,” despite its pretensions to completeness, cannot adequately address, let alone decisively solve, the most fundamental questions. In fact, the value of science is ultimately a function of its humble prostration before religion, properly understood: “On the other hand, science can perform great service for the philosopher, the theologian, and for all of us by taking a great part in leading us in the proper direction toward ultimate truth, so long as science turns the baton over to theology and philosophy before we actually get to such depth in our research.” Of course, this is a welcome and thoughtful message in an age of self-indulgently dogmatic atheism, whether right or wrong. But Ivey’s prose is often so turgid and halting and his arguments so obscure that even the most sophisticated reader will likely have difficulty following them. In addition, the author’s interpretation of contemporary science is sometimes shaky, and seems driven by a desire to substantiate his preferred conclusions. For example, it takes some interpretive leaps to state that “quantum physicists have found God on the quantum level.” This is a thematically roaming book that ambitiously, but disjointedly, attempts to accomplish far too much in a single volume. Ivey candidly admits that it is a work of Christian apologetics, and sometimes that devotion to his own religious faith chafes against his commitment to reason.
A panoramic but fractured effort to find a compromise between faith and reason.