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How do we react to the claim that physics must now be regarded as one of the liberal arts, for in its description of the universe it sets the stage for the drama of human life? If modern science has now become the dominant culture, how does Christianity look within it? What difference does the Christian idea of the contingence of nature make to science today? What difference does it make for Christian thought and culture to move away from the old idea of the world as a closed mechanical system of cause and effect into the new idea of the world as an open dynamic system configured by the behavior of light, the fastest messenger in the universe? These are some of the questions discussed in the light of James Clerk Maxwell’s discoveries of the mathematical properties of light, and of Albert Einstein’s generalization of the new understanding of light for a radically new and exciting view of nature that has made space travel possible and enabled us to trace the expansion of the universe back to conditions near its beginning.

This is not a defensive book about science and religion in the usual vein. It is concerned rather with the deep mutual relation and respect of Christian and scientific thought for each other, and shows how this relationship throws new light upon basic Christian doctrines. This volume also warns against the dangers of a reactionary retreat from the rigors of scientific thought into fuzzy mythological interpretations of the incarnation, and calls for a deeper appreciation of the Nicene Creed upon which all Christendom rests.

Author Bio

Thomas F. Torrance (August 30,1913–December 2, 2007) was a Protestant Christian theologian and professor of Christian dogmatics for 27 years at the University of Edinburgh. Torrance was influential in the dialogue between science and theology.

He began studying in Edinburgh in 1931, focusing on classics and philosophy. At that time his own realist views of philosophy, theology, and morality started to develop, and they continued to do so as he moved to the study of theology at the Faculty of Divinity in 1934. From 1939 to 1940 Torrance studied at Oriel College, Oxford. He was ordained as minister on March 20, 1940.

He has authored several works, including Divine and Contingent OrderGround and Grammar of Theology, and The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons. Besides writing many books and articles, Torrance also translated several hundred theological writings into English from other languages, including the thirteen-volume, six-million-word Church Dogmatics of the Swiss theologian Karl Barth (co-edited with G.W. Bromiley).