Book Review: God, Science, and Reason: Finding the Light of God Amidst the Darkness of Atheism and Dogmatism
God, Science, and Reason is a scientific and philosophical examination of the creation as an apologetic for the existence of God. Michael Bunner wrote the book in response to a growing concern for young people who were leaving the Church after high school. The project initially began as an adult Sunday School class designed to teach parents (and grandparents) how to respond to the messages of the many New Atheist books that had been on the best seller list during the previous 2-3 years. A common lament of those parents was that, after their children went off to college, they were exposed to atheist professors, and read those books, which resulted in them distancing themselves from their faith.
God, Science, and Reason is organized into 4 sub-books, 3 of which are directed at different groups of individuals and the fourth on the meaning of miracles.
Message to Young Adults who are Skeptical about God
The first "book" is an appeal to young adults to integrate science and philosophy as a way to find an intellectually satisfying Christian faith apart from the perceived faults of Christians. Most Christian youth leave the Church because Christians are perceived to be judgmental and Christianity fails to meet their spiritual needs. Many youth see Christians as "old fashioned" and unable to address current issues that affect society, including social and scientific challenges. Dogmatic young earth Christians say that science is an enemy of the faith and that the Bible says the earth is 6,000 years old. So, youth to conclude "that if the adults at your church were so wrong about the basic facts of science, then they may be just as wrong about the other things they were telling you, like Jesus being the human face of God, or Jesus overcoming physical death, or Jesus forgiving your sins and healing your consciousness." Regarding natural evil, Bunner argues that the natural framework that produces a habitable earth can also randomly produces catastrophic natural events, whose negative effects are often intensified by poor human choices. Bunner ends the first book with an apologetic for Jesus as God in human flesh.
Message to the "New Atheists"
The second "book" is a retort to new atheists. Bunner shows the logical inconsistencies of the new atheists and their misuse of science to support their beliefs. The presupposition of materialistic naturalism precludes the existence of the supernatural, hence "confirming" that God does not exist. Bunner tells the new atheists, "You confuse methodological naturalism, which is an awkward way of saying science, with metaphysical naturalism, which is an awkward way of saying atheism." In this "book," Bunner takes on the new God of atheism (nothingness), their inability to explain the origin of information, the origin of life, the origin of consciousness, and the origin of morality.
Message to Dogmatic Christians
In his usual "no holds barred" approach, Bunner takes on the dogmatic (i.e., young earth) Christians who put stumbling blocks in the way of those who long for salvation and spiritual meaning in life. He says, "You have made belief in a 6,500 year old earth a mandatory test for Christian orthodoxy, placing an unnecessary, and often insurmountable, obstacle in the path of those who are looking for and in need of Godís gifts of redemption and restoration." Bunner points out that young earth creationism was pretty much dead until 1961, when John Morris published The Genesis Flood. The revival of young earth creationism brought forth "creation science," which has been used recently to destroy the credibility of Christians.
The Lessons of God through the Miracles of Jesus
We all recognize that the miracles of Jesus were used to establish His claim of deity. However, the miracles of Jesus were also spiritual lessons, much like His numerous parables. The fourth and final "book" of God, Science, and Reason examines the spiritual teachings of Jesus through His healing, feeding, and resurrection miracles. Although these miracles fulfilled Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah, they provide much deeper spiritual lessons for us today.
Michael Bunner has written a no-holds-barred apologetic for science and the Bible, intended for youth, who describe themselves as spiritual, but want nothing to do with contemporary Christianity. The book is a good resource for Christian youth and their parents, but its confrontational approach would probably not be appreciated by either atheists or young earth creationists.
God, Science, and Reason: Finding the Light of God Amidst the Darkness of Atheism and Dogmatism (Paperback)
by Michael Bunner
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Date published: April 30, 2013
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Last Modified April 1, 2013