20 years of dogged pursuit: Can buying academic books about science and faith be an addiction?

I am storing science and faith books 45 minutes away from my urban condominium to get them out of my sight. It is too discouraging at age 50 to look at them. 60-70 pounds worth of books.

Bipolar leads to all types of addictions including shopping for books.
Workaholism is what Woodward and Bernstein were rewarded for during Watergate.
Robert Redford said Woodward’s apartment showed signs of constantly working due to piles of disordered paper. He was incapable of sustainable relationships. Woodward and Bernstein were both married three times.

The dopamine rush of the praise of academic colleagues can be intoxicating when you have a low self-esteem because Indians like my family praise medical school graduates who can make a lot of money.

I got to the highest level in my field, my disssertation was accessed 4,000 times by people, and I am still disconnected from the Body of Christ in Dallas, a city of several million. Where I have driven around for seven years to the tune of 127,000 miles within four.

The opposite of addiction is connection not sobriety, as one TED talk says.

My Millenial pastor says his generation under 40 is not paying much attention at all in the present to things like Discovery Institute or the Institute for Creation Research. Those institutes are really a favorite of white male engineers who are believers and Protestants it seems to me at this point. And people who doubt natural selection due to Adam and biological complexity and worries about abortion/genocide, and who see nature as engineered by God.

That’s basically what 20 years of Woodward-Bernstein like dogged pursuit has revealed.

I got into the history of science business to help students navigate the science-faith waters.

But the court battles in 1981 and 1987 for creation science and 2005 for ID were “won”…if that is the right word…by evolutionists and the scientific community, and now young Christians have minimal interest. Except young white male Protestants who think like engineers. That’s who is on YouTube interviewing John Lennox, and before he was disgraced, Ravi Zacharias, about science and faith

William Dembski told Sean McDowell son of apologist Josh that ID was rejected by Ken Ham who fought against Dembski being at Baptist seminaries and rejected by the science department at Baylor who fought against Dembski being on campus.

Dembski had to pull back from the ID movement to maintain his sanity.

This whole business of science and faith does touch upon the world of sanity and insanity. After 20 years of seeing how endless fighting triggers me, it is time to pray the serenity prayer and stay away from Christian bookstores and all bookstores. To be shopping sober.

ID published 150 books. Thank God I didn’t know that till now. I am going to start a group called Historians of Science and Religion Anonymous


I’m not to your level, not having trained in that, but I have a 4 bookshelves with various texts related to that.

Regardless, your others-oriented study choice speaks well of your altruism and desire to encourage.

I am reminded of a Christianity Today article on singlehood I read recently, saying, “We all can live without sex, but no one can live without intimacy.” I can’t get the firewall down, but I can send some of the text to those who would like it by PM, I believe. It is a very, very common problem, and we are all part of the solution.

Thank you for your hard work.

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Let me echo my thanks for your hard work. No doubt you have helped many navigate difficult waters of whom you are unaware.
I too have many books that I wonder what will happen to. I would donate them to the church library, but have a feeling they would not be welcome, knowing the mindset around here.


I must have ordered close to a hundred books the last 6 months. I feel this post so hard! :partying_face:

I bough maybe a dozen or two science and faith books over the past two decades but I tend to stick with NT historical-criticism and historical Jesus research.

I have a science background and have always understood the nature of science so it never bothered me in my faith. It’s always been a good thing to me.

@jbabraham88 Given your extensive collection, if you had to recommend one or two books only, what would they be?

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I would like to make a suggestion. As a moderator you can ask maybe if Biologos can get them? I suppose we do have at least one building for use in the States at least no? Maybe they can put them there. It would be sad to go to waste,or get dusty in a church withoit anyone reading them.

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I dont have a science background neither a decree. But i have done some research myself and honestly whatever historical stuff there is to the Bible it fascinates me. Im interested in this project and its continuation. Good luck!!

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Summer for the Gods by Edward Larson, a history of the Scopes trial
The Creationists by Ronald Numbers, a history of creationists in the 20th century
Fundamentalism and American Culture, George Marsden. A history of the audience for creationism
The Long War against God, by Henry Morris. Tying the creation-evolution battle to every historical event in sight
The Wedge by authors I don’t know. About the Wedge document that guides ID people I actually don’t own this one
Creationism’s Trojan Horse by Barbara Forrest, used in the Dover trial
The Devil in Dover, about the impact of the trial, by Lauri Lebo

These are all about historical context


That looks like a great list. Thanks. It’s funny that about eight years ago or so, I got a flyer from The Discovery Institute, and thought that they were pro-science, Pro Evolution. I was going to invite them to speak locally. That was before I knew about biologos. So glad it didn’t work out

I think anything can become an obsession. Could definitely be related to low self esteem but often I think it’s just plain old
“Cash burning a whole in the pocket coupled with impulsive buying”. I believe a study on Amazon was done a while back where they impulsive buying. I sometimes feel the urge but I mostly seem to handle it. I now keep no more than 2 nonfiction books snd 2 fiction books not read at a time. One good place to donate books to is the local public library. Tons of teens and adults wrestle with these questions and don’t have the ability to get books on it.


Great idea, Nick! We do have a library at the office, but we mostly use it for our own reference (not for lending). I’m sure Josh has some great titles though!

It has been years since I swore off owning books. There are some I still acquire if the wait list is too long and I’m just more eager than that, but now I prefer to get books from the library and return them there when I’m through. Half the walls in my room are covered with bookshelves to the ceiling and they are full. These art books belong to my wife from her 42 years teaching art. I had less than her, mostly philosophy and psychology, but when I retired I went through and sold off all but a few.


Any non specific to evolution/creation debate? Some about more generic science and religion books like Polkinghorne type?

Twenty-seven books!! In just one shopping trip! I thought I was bad…But I understand. There are so many interesting topics — and so many controversies that you just “feel” you must stay on top of. I presume that some pastor some day somewhere will get himself/herself a nice library from me…

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good idea Skov!

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I would recommend God’s Undertaker, Has Science Buried God by Dr. John Lennox. It is one of very few that I have read twice, and this one I have read at least three times.

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