Questions of Truth : Fifty-One Responses to Questions about God, Science, and Belief

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-01-16
  • Publisher: Presbyterian Pub Corp

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How did the universe begin? Can God's existence be proven? Do humans matter more than animals? For many years people have sent the scientist-turned-priest John Polkinghorne these and other questions about science and belief. In question-and-answer format, Polkinghorne and his collaborator Nicholas Beale offer their highly informed opinions about some of the most frequently asked of these questions. Readers can follow their own paths through the book, selecting questions that interest them and looking at the additional material if they choose. This unique book will help Christians clarify their beliefs regarding difficult issues and better face challenges--from within and from others--to their faith.

Author Biography

Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne, KBE, FRS is a major figure in todays debates on science and religion, whose 26 books on the subject are read worldwide. Internationally known as both a physicist and a theologian, he was President of Queens College, Cambridge, founding President of the International Society for Science and Religion; and professor of mathematical physics at Cambridge University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (the British National Academy of Science), is ordained in the Church of England, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1997 for distinguished service to science, religion, learning, and medical ethics. He was awarded the Templeton Prize in 2002. Nicholas Beale is a social philosopher and longtime collaborator with Dr. Polkinghorne.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Leading Questionsp. 5
Science and Religionp. 5
Human Naturep. 9
The Existence of Godp. 11
Creation and Evolutionp. 14
Evil and Sufferingp. 16
Divine Actionp. 17
Jesus Christp. 19
Final Destinyp. 22
Atheismp. 24
The Concept and Existence of Godp. 26
Can God's Existence Be Proved?p. 26
Is God a Delusion?p. 27
How Can God Inhabit Eternity?p. 31
Does God Know Everything?p. 32
Is Everything Divinely Predestined?p. 34
Is God the Source of All Morality?p. 34
What about the Trinity?p. 35
The Universep. 39
How Did the Universe Begin?p. 39
How Can Something Come from Nothing?p. 40
Isn't Everything Random?p. 41
What is the Anthropic Principle?p. 43
Have Anthropic Arguments Been Refuted?p. 45
Why Is the Universe So Big?p. 50
Will Everything, Eventually, Be Explained by Science?p. 50
Is a Unified Theory of Everything Possible?p. 51
Evolutionp. 54
Is Evolution Fact or Theory?p. 54
What about Intelligent Design?p. 56
Can the Mind Be Explained by Evolution?p. 58
Isn't Evolution Unethical?p. 60
Why Is Evolution so Wasteful?p. 61
Evilp. 63
Where Does Evil Come From?p. 63
Who or What Is "the Devil"?p. 65
Why Is There Cancer?p. 66
Is Original Sin a Result of Nature or Nurture?p. 67
Why Do People Choose Evil?p. 68
Does Religion Inspire Evil Acts?p. 69
Human Beingp. 71
Who Were Adam and Eve?p. 71
What Does It Mean to Be Created "in the Image of God"?p. 72
When Does an Embryo Become a Person?p. 73
Do We Have Souls?p. 74
What Is Conscience?p. 77
Does Human Life Have a Purpose?p. 78
Do Humans Matter More Than Animals?p. 80
Religionp. 83
Is Atheism a Form of Faith?p. 83
Can We See Truth?p. 84
Which Stories in the Bible Are True?p. 85
How Does the Death of Jesus Save the World?p. 88
Why Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead?p. 88
How Much Do You Need to Believe to Be a Christian?p. 89
What Place Do Non-Christians Have in God's Universe?p. 90
Will Sinners Suffer Eternal Punishment?p. 92
What Is the Point of Praying?p. 94
Conclusionp. 96
Anthropic Fine-Tuningp. 99
The Brain and Mindp. 117
Evolutionp. 138
Notesp. 155
Glossaryp. 169
Selected Bibliographyp. 177
Indexp. 181
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