A Reckless God? Currents and Challenges in the Christian Conversation with Science

Has there been a continuous 'war' between Christianity and science for hundreds of years?  Are the beliefs of Christians and the findings of science irreconcilable? This work answers 'no' to both questions.

The 'war' between science and religion is teased out as a recent invention of the New Atheists, who partially ignore the history of scientific thought and development and its genesis in, and debt to, Christian philosophy. Likewise, the argument about the seeming irreconcilability of science with Christianity is challenged, and shown to be a less-than-rigorous application of scientific principles.

A Reckless God is keen to present Christian faith intersecting with the best of mainstream science.

The work is structured around short chapters from a variety of contributors. It covers a wide array of topics, 65 in all, which allow the reader to examine short snippets of information presented by world-leading Christian scientists and thinkers. These include Oxford mathematician John Lennox, cochlear implant inventor Graeme Clark, and theologian Jurgen Moltmann. 

There are serious challenges in the work for both the New Atheists and fundamentalist Christians, and there is no joy for either extreme. As theologian and scientist Alister McGrath says: ”It’s time to recognise that human beings need both science and religion if they are to flourish, and move on from the simplistic and ignorant approach of some New Atheists and fundamentalist Christians.”

As the title suggests, it asks the fundamental question: is God a reckless God? How can a loving God create a world that comes complete with suffering, evil and ignorance? In teasing out his answer, Stephen Ames uses the parable of the prodigal son. The father acts recklessly in giving his son his inheritance, knowing he will waste it on a life of debauchery. Yet he does it out of love, and gives his son the freedom to fail. The father in the parable gives us a glimpse of God “recklessly” allowing freedom to his creatures. And not just to his creatures, but to the whole universe, to all the development of a system governed by the fundamental laws of science. 

This book provides no easy answers, but it offers much in terms of pointing us in the right direction.  As Chris Mulherin says: “These are important questions for Christians, but the answer is not to bury our heads in the sand. It’s to do the hard work of thinking about them.”

A Reckless God - Roland Ashby, Chris Mulherin, John Pilbrow and Stephen Ames - published by ISCAST – Christians in Science and Technology 2018.


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Paul Robinson

Paul Robinson is a parishioner in the Diocese of Armidale. 

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