The Edges of His Ways

Not a Chance — God, Science, and the Revolt against Reason by R.C. Sproul and Keith Mathison:  A Book Review

R.C. Sproul has not written a small-minded, fear-mongering diatribe against science.  His purpose in Not a Chance is to point out the precipitous slide into fiction that occurs when the brilliant minds that discover and describe the unseen workings of God’s creation attempt to make a side step into the realm of philosophy.

Typically, the debate about origins revolves around the controversy of how the universe bridged the gap between “nothing” and “something.”  Intelligent design advocates argue from Scripture that God spoke everything into being.  The burden of coming up with matter (or energy) of any kind with no Prime Mover places the atheist in contradiction with the laws of his own scientific method:

(1) ex nihil, nihil fit  — “out of nothing, nothing comes”;

(2) the law of noncontradiction  — for something to, essentially, create itself, it must be and not be at the same time;

(3) the impossibility of the contrary — if A is, non-A cannot also be at the same time and in the same relationship.

Sproul’s argument necessitates the clarification of the complexities of speech, causality, what it means to know, and what it means to be.  He includes in this section a most helpful description of essence and persona as they relate to the doctrines of Trinity and Incarnation.

Since it seemed to R.C. Sproul that chance has been, over time, ascribed the dignity of causality in scientific musings, he invited Keith Mathison to close this updated edition of the book with a final dialectic chapter addressing scientific and philosophical arguments which have come to light in the ten years since the initial publication of Not a Chance.  Even if the reader is, like me, a died-in-the-wool creationist and impatient with all the verbal gymnastics of those who would strain logic in order to strain-out a Creator, there is food for the soul and for the mind in Not a Chance.  Most of the science discussed in the book had not found its way into the average high school physics class thirty years ago, and there is much to be gained from reading Sproul’s history of quantum theory and his descriptions of dark matter, virtual particles, and the working hypothesis of dark energy.  Not a Chance presents strong and compelling arguments which should be of interest to the atheist who wishes to be intellectually  honest and to do his homework.  Of equal value, it is a reminder to the Christian that, in all our arguments and speculations about God and His creative work, we are only approaching the “edges of His ways.”

I received this book free from Baker Publishing Group. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


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Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 30 years, and together they have four sons, two daughters-in-love, two grandchildren, and one lazy St. Bernard. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

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