Exploring Reality: The intertwining of science and religion, John Polkinghorne
John Polkinghorne is a most remarkable man, a world-class physicist whose faith led him to become an Anglican priest. He is also a very gifted communicator. I was privileged to hear him lecture in Swansea a little while ago, and it was one of the best lectures I have ever attended.
In Exploring Reality, Polkinghorne is at his best when dealing with science. His discussion of the issues for Christians arising from quantum mechanics and evolutionary theory is very helpful and contain much food for thought, particularly if you engage regularly with those who simply dismiss evolution as unchristian. The book is worth having for those reasons alone.
I was less happy with some of the material in the book. The chapters on ‘the historical Jesus’ and theodicy (the ‘problem of suffering’) I didn’t find helpful, and I would have wished for the space that they’d taken to have been given to the scientific material with which he has the greatest expertise. There were times when knowledge was assumed which I thought would have been better explained.
Even so, I’d recommend this book to anyone with an interest in science and religion. Be prepared for a challenging read.