I am not a physicist. But like many physicists, I barely understand Einstein and his theories if Special Relativity and General Relativity. And like most physicists, I know/knew even less about Einstein’s ideas about God. Alister McGrath has written a great introduction to Einstein’s contributions to science and his concepts of God. He also explores how Einstein’s thinking about God can help the Christian believer (Einstein was a non-observant Jew) understand the relationship of science and faith.
The first half of the book is a textual summary of Einstein’s contributions to the world of physics. The next 25% of the book introduces the reader to Einstein’s understanding of God. The book ends by asking how Einstein’s methodology - both in science and in his understanding of God - can provide a framework for the believer to understand the relationship between science and religion. The author makes clear that the reader does not need to reach Einstein’s conclusions in order to appreciate and make use of his methodology as he or she seeks to weave together the two seemingly disparate worlds of knowledge.
Well-referenced, using Einstein’s own words and those of his contemporaries, citations are frequent and helpful as they refer the reader to the author’s source material. The author uses no mathematics other than a half-dozen references to Einstein’s most famous equation, E=mc2. The Advanced Readers Copy I received contained no pictures, but throughout the book are notations that “ILLUSTRATIONS TO BE PROVIDED IN THE FINAL BOOK”. The illustrations may help with understanding the author’s points, but the text itself is easily read and understood by the non-scientist.
For the scientist, philosopher, Christian, or seeker, attempting to better understand Einstein or the interconnectedness of science and religion, this book provides essential reading. College libraries and church libraries wanting to meet the needs of a diverse set of patrons will want to add this book to their collections. My geekish and nerdish friends will want to devour this book as well.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.