Monday, April 6, 2015

God of the Big Bang by Dr. Leslie Wickman

This is a great book for Christians who have difficulty reconciling their faith with science. It is also a good book for those who trust science but are skeptic of Christian faith. Wickman has written this book to help break down the perceived wall between science and faith. One does not have to reject one to embrace the other.

Wickman grew up knowing God as Creator but had trouble reconciling that with science which seemed to teach something else. Desiring to integrate the two ways of knowing led her to research. She found that, rather than contradicting each other, they were complementary and formed a coherent view of the world. She advocates a cycle of new scientific discovery followed by an adjustment in our interpretation of Scripture to avoid a crisis of faith.

Evidence for God's existence is presented, reviewing classical arguments. She explains the scientific method, being careful to note its limits. It can only disprove theories, not prove them, and it is limited to that which can be tested by empirical means (the natural world). She explores logic and its use to determine what is true and what is not. She includes insights into the possibility of additional dimensions, evidence for the authenticity and historical reliability of the Bible, and the teleological argument.

She also has a long chapter on responsible earth care including climate change. She advocates developing and utilizing more renewable and sustainable energy sources, emphasizing stewardship and environmental care. She also looks at the search for extraterrestrial life.

She calls for a place between the six day creation and a totally naturalistic view of the universe. She writes, “The author of the creation accounts in Genesis … used ancient near Eastern science and ancient poetic prose to describe the world God created.” (77) Her thesis is that there is truth about both God and nature. An appearance of conflict must come from incomplete knowledge or a wrong interpretation of the evidence. (28)

While this is a good book for both believer and skeptic, Wickman does assume in some places that the reader believes biblical accounts, such as Jesus' miracles. In general, it is a good introduction for those who want to reconcile faith and science. It is a thoughtful investigation into these two ways of knowing. It's length keeps it from being too intimidating and adds to its use as an good introduction to the science and faith topic.

Wickman is proof, she says, that science and Christian faith “can be reconciled to provide a fascinating life filled with purpose and meaning.” (170) She includes tips to help each of us come to that place.

Dr. Leslie Wickman was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She received a BA in political science from Willamette University, a master's in aero/astro engineering and a doctorate in human factors and biomechanics from Stanford University. She worked as an engineer for Lockheed and while doing so worked on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and International Space Station Programs. She currently acts as the chair of the engineering and computer science department, as well as the director of the Center for Research in Science, at Azusa Pacific University. She also serves as an engineering specialist on various aerospace projects. She is an ordained minister and lives in the Los Angeles area. Find out more at http://www.leslieannwickman.com/.

Worthy Publishing, 208 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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