Monthly Archives: May 2010

mark

Mark’s #17: Church History: A Crash Course for the Curious by Christopher Catherwood (224 pages)

This book is a brief and insightful reminder of 2,000 years of church history.   Whenever I read church history, I’m reminded that, despite what we may think in the evangelical world, our churches are not mirror images of the church in the first century.   Church history provides context for many of the theological debates that have persisted throughout history.

For example, battles that Athanasius fought and won in the 4th century A.D. over the doctrine of the divinity of Christ, as well as Augustine’s battles over the doctrine of Sin in the 4th and 5th century A.D., are helpful resources in combatting modern day heresies (i.e., Jehovah Witnesses, Latter Day Saints, etc.).

This book is a short, readable introduction on church history… If you’ve never read any church history, I would recommend starting here.   If you want a longer and a bit more in-depth survey of church history, I would recommend Church History in Plain Language by Bruce Shelly (my church history prof at Denver Seminary).

mark

Mark’s #16: Who Made God: A Search For A Theory of Everything by Edgar Andrews (303 pages)

Professor Edgar H. Andrews (BSc, PhD, DSc, FInstP, FIMMM, CEng, CPhys) is smarter than you… and me… and everyone who will read this blog combined.  Nonetheless, his book, Who Made God: A Search for a Theory of Everything is written in an accessible and engaging manner.   Though Andrews deals with some very weighty scientific, philosophical, and theological issues, he works hard to clarify and explain his points, while using humor and witty analogies.

This book is an apologetics book, which does a masterful job of countering the claims of the new atheists such as Richard Dawkins, as well as putting forth a robust argument for the reality of the God of the Bible.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book – every chapter of it.   With most books, you can pretty much get the gist of the author’s main point within the first few chapter, while the remainder of the book sometimes feels like the author is just beating a dead horse.  This was not the case with Who Made God.

Let me briefly summarize the most intriguing aspect of Andrews apologetic that made this book one of the best books on apologetics that I’ve read.   As a scientist first and foremost, Andrews is very familiar with the scientific community, various scientific theories (Big bang cosmology, string theory, evolution, quantum physics, and the new atheism).   As a scientist he sees the value (and potential pitfalls) of forming hypothesis and testing those hypothesis with data.

Edgar points out that many classical apologetic arguments such as the cosmological argument and teleological arguments may do something to prove the existence of a transcendent being, but they do nothing to show who or what that being is really like.   Andrews proposes in his book a different solution.   He starts with a hypothesis that there is a God, and He is the God of the Bible…

From there on out he tests his hypothesis in a variety of scientific and philosophic fields showing that, unlike the arguments of the new atheists, his God hypothesis does a much better job of matching the data…

For more insight on the book and the author, check out these links:

1.  whomadegod.org

and an interview Professor Andrews did last year with Tim Challies:

2. http://www.challies.com/interviews/who-made-god-an-interview-with-edgar-andrews

Facebook Like Button for Dummies