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It was great to hear from Alister McGrath. He does such a good job of showing how imagination and philosophy work together with more technical ways of knowing, like science. I appreciated what he said about “stories of discovery” (if I’m remembering the phrase correctly). In church we would often have people give a “testimony” which is probably along the same lines, but is about sharing what we’ve seen rather than trying to argue someone into anything.


That sounds good. Will there be a transcript?

I’m not sure… but I notice that YouTube has several videos of him in other interviews. Here’s a short clip of him talking about why he ended up a Christian after being an atheist:

Thanks. I’ll give it a look.

[Edited after watching.]

I agree of course that science doesn’t give the whole picture. But I disagree with how he phrased what he said at the end to the effect that “there is an extra layer of interpretation that science, for its own good reasons doesn’t want to bring into the picture”. It isn’t as if scientists have a choice whether to bring religion into the its interpretation of natural phenomena. They shouldn’t. But I assume what they find out through science is fed into that larger picture which informs how they understand their life. Why wouldn’t they? Everyone should have a WV which is wider than science and no one should consider scientific knowledge as adequate for making sense of their own experience.


Mark, you can pay as little as $15 for the conference online and watch for I think a year. If you’re so inclined.

Signed up late today, so I will have to go back and hear the earlier segments. Feeling a rather undone by Katherine Hayhoe and Sandra Richter’s lectures. Outstanding content, but a lot of conviction.


Well put. There’s no ulterior motive. To add more, “for its own good reasons” seems to acknowledge that he’s agreeing that it’s not an incorporation scientists should do–but I agree that the quote sounds a bit odd.

To take this further, it seems that we have to be concerned if there is any potential religious implication that the intangible, that which can’t be proven, has moral demands on us that are easily quantifiable in human terms. If it’s not provable, God by definition would work with only what we can understand by our own abilities (which He’s aware of; none better).

McGrath doesn’t say that, either, but I am concerned about a potential non sequitur that can arise.


I can’t imagine watching it all but you’re right, that wouldn’t break the bank while also being for a good cause. I guess I will…

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Yeah, I agree that that last part could have been phrased better. Since he has mentioned Richard Dawkins in other places, I think he may have been responding to some of the extreme certainty (some would say fundamentalism) apparent in some of the “new atheist” expressions that can become entirely materialistic.


A sentiment I would share. The idea that the world and we are nothing but atoms and cells and DNA and so on is loony tunes.


It was very similar to his two podcast episodes we have done!

It’s been a busy day. This evening I am really looking forward to going back and listening to Mako Fujimura’s interview with Jim, and to listen to David Brooks.

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