Stars Beneath Us by Paul Wallace is the most unique and faithful book on the intersection of faith and science I’ve ever read. Written from his personal experience as a boy caught between his developing faith and his increasing love for science, Wallace weaves a tale of deep wisdom about what it means for us to embrace a 21st century cosmos as people of devout faith.
He also writes one of the best commentaries on the book of Job I’ve ever read. And, as you probably know, writing anything on Job is like choosing to walk into an absolute theological minefield. I held my breath for much of the book and then at the end realized he navigated all the way through somehow unscathed. Bra-vo. And phew!
Also, I just feel I should mention, Paul Wallace is an astrophysicist-turned-seminary-student which is just mind-bogglingly awesome. He has an MDiv and also a PhD in experimental nuclear physics…from Duke. Oh, and he’s Baptist. WHAT ON EARTH. It makes for an interesting story. And his perspective is a welcome and much-needed one.
As someone who is fascinated by science but who never in one zillion years would ever have a PhD in anything science-related, I have watched the culture wars between the new atheist scientists and the fringe-Christian creationists with not much more than confusion and a general shaking of the head in both directions. Missing the point, I would think, but how to describe what point, and how to talk about science and faith in a way that transcends the well-tread ruts…well I sure don’t know where to start. And now I will start by handing people this book.
Because the one thing worth saying is about hubris, and perspective, and Paul Wallace manages to leave room both for an expanding cosmos and an expansive God. And that is no easy feat.
I should also tell you he does this through a metaphor based on a gum commercial. So, extra points for that. (Also, I really loved this metaphor! I imagine it’ll become part of my lexicon.)
I’m grateful to Paul for his voice and his perspective. Go grab it for you and for your science-minded friends of faith. It’s a solid read.
**Full disclosure: Paul and I share a publisher and I was given a copy of this book to review.