This is my review of the book Gods Undertaker – Has Science buried God by John C Lennox, which I have read recently. John is an author that I came across at the Keswick Convention, when there last year, and I am really pleased that I did.
The cover of the book is covered with quotes from a large variety of people all far more famous than me, so I will quote a couple just to help put the book into context. “There is no more important debate than this-science versus religion. But it needs to begin again, with clear understanding of what science and religion actually are. Lenox has done this wonderfully” Colin Tudge, The Guardian.
“An excoriating demolition of Dawkins overreach from biology to religion” Melanie Phillips, The Spectator.
So these two quotes start to put the book in context. John looks at the different fields of science and understanding and considers how they relate to the truth that we are the result of random events. The idea given by some modern commentators that science has squeezed out God. But when the hype, and misinformation is removed and one starts to look at the facts and not a biased interpretation of these facts then this is shown not to be the case.
As John is a professor of Mathematics he is able to give an insight into the very complex area of probability of certain events occurring. He usefully compares the event that he is considering to the probability of an event occurring using the alphabet, which is comprehensible, he then leads us on to consider the enormity of what actually happens with life at a cellular, level, or even within that.
This is a fascinating and complex subject, which he helps to make understandable. It seems that several of the processes required for life to exist have the chicken and egg syndrome ie which came first the chicken or the egg. To work they need some external input to get them started, which of course when all other scenarios have been discounted then having them activated by a creator God, is not so far fetched, and perfectly logical.
The best part of the book for me was Johns interpretation of the Start of John's Gospel and how it fits into the creation process. A really inspired insight.
I do not think it is wrong to inquire about, or question our world around us but in doing so we need to make sure we consider the facts, and not those who can “shout the loudest”.
In my view this is a really well written thought provoking book and can be passed on to anyone who is curious about how we got here as a human race.
This was book 5 week 2 fiction 4 (audio books 1) non fiction 1
Rage by Simon Conway
This is my review of the book Rage by Simon Conway, which I read recently. Having read two later books by Simon, I thought I would go back and read the first one. Maybe I should have got a clue as to the nature of the book by the title, but this is not a book to read if one is feeling depressed.
The book is set in the few days before the start of the Invasion of Iraq in 2003, and our hero Jonah Said is posted to the un-zone between Iraq and Kuwait, as an observer. This is evidently not a very nice place and within the first few pages Jonah is beaten up, and the person he is with has had their throat cut.
Things then go downhill from there, with the Americans seemingly trying to secretly find a lost supply smallpox so it can then be used as a weapon of mass destruction and as such the excuse for the war. The weapon is hidden in some cars which have been lost in a container. So the hunt is on for the right container. Everyone wants to find the container.
I would not say that I enjoyed the book and certainly if I had not read the others I would have finished it, and as such I would not be reviewing it, as I only bother to comment on books I actually finish.
Yes it did fill in the back story that is prominent in the subsequent books and make them make more sense. Yes it was very realistic in its description. It reminded me of a Mad Max film. I will read something lighter next.
This was book 4 week 2 fiction 4 (audio books 1) non fiction 0
This is the review of Ashton-Kirk Secret Agent by John Thomas McIntyre, which I listened to recently whilst travelling in the car, as a librivox recording. This is a great story to pass away the time as the miles role by, as like the previous Ashton-Kirk story I listened to his resources seem immense.
The plot line is so difficult to solve that only someone like Ashton-Kirk (who is modelled on the lines of Sherlock Holmes) can solve it. Interestingly the Author has provided a summary quoted below. Whilst this summary seems to say a lot it does not in fact give any details of the story away and so spoil the delightfully complex plot line, so nor will I 'Those who have read "Ashton-Kirk, Investigator" will recall references to several affairs in which the United States government found the investigator's unusual powers of inestimable service. In such matters, tremendous interests often stand dangerously balanced, and the most delicate touch is required if they are not to be sent toppling. As Ashton-Kirk has said: "When a crisis arises between two of the giant modern nations, with their vast armies, their swift fleets, their dreadful engines of war, the hands which control their affairs must be steady, secret, and sure. Otherwise an unthinkable horror might be brought about." It frequently happens that such a crisis arises, the issue is joined and fought out to the bitter end, and the watchful public press never gets even a hint of it. Indeed, if the secret archives of the nations were thrown open for inspection, a long series of appalling dangers would be shown to have been passed by each—dangers arising from small and apparently remote things, but capable of swift and deadly growth. Experience, steady courage, and sure talent are required in dealing with such things; and these qualities Ashton-Kirk possesses in abundance. To be sure, the departments of the government have the "Secret Service" at their hand; but the specialist is called in when the general practitioner is at a loss, and he is as much a part of the structure as his regularly employed colleague. The adventure of the present story is only one of many to be told of Ashton-Kirk'.
This is just the right sort of story for a long flight, or car journey whisking one off to a different world. All good fun.
This was book 3 week 1 fiction 3 (audio books 1) non fiction 0
This is my review of the book the Corners of the Globe by Robert Goddard, which I have read recently. Having finished book one of the trilogy The Ways of the World I started this book, book two. Our hero Max, is now acting as a British secret agent, and has been sent to find the mysterious German spy master Fritz Lemmer.
The first task he is given is to go up to the Orkney Isles to retrieve, an encoded secret document, that turns out to have details of all of Lemmers agents. Having obtained the document, Max is then chased across the land by Lemmers agents. They are trying to get hold of the document, before Max can get it decoded.
The chase is very exciting and a great page turner. The pile of bodies that there is at the end is quite impressive. I won't reveal what happened to the document, did it get decoded or not, but Lemmer evidently had agents working in the British Government at the highest levels. So Max really does not know who to trust, especially when he is put on the police wanted lists as a killer.
The chase goes from the North of Scotland to south of France, and reconnects with the peace conference that is going on in Paris. Without revealing too much the Japanese delegation now comes into play. All parties seem to be converging on the cruise ship that is going to Japan, but if the third book is true to form then this may not be the case.
The only frustration with the book is the ending. To say that it is a cliffhanger is an understatement, with Max about to be killed. But I don't think Max will be killed immediately as he is needed for the third book. With Christmas coming soon it is on my Christmas list. I have been told I have to wait till and cannot get it before then.
This is a really enjoyable escapist book, just right for curling up in front of the fire and forgetting what is going on in our world, having been transported back almost a century. This was book 2 week 1 fiction 2 (audio books 0) non fiction 0
Robert Goddard The Ways of the World
This is the start of a new booklist. The observant will have noticed that I have had a few weeks off from recording what I have read. Time and energy are limited resources and recording what I have read was just one task too many, whilst making maximum use of the beautiful sunny weather that we have had in South west Scotland over the last few weeks.
So we will start this new list with a book that I have read before, as I now have the second book in the trilogy to read. This is book one of the “Wide World Trilogy”. When I read this book the first time I was a little disappointed with the ending as I had not fully realised that the book was part of a trilogy and was very rather shocked that the book just ended in a cliff hanger. It was as if the publisher decided that the book would be split into three to maximise income.
Coming back to it for a second time I am aware that I have the next installment waiting to be read, so will just carry on and read that having finished this book. The story is set in 1919 and the conference that is going on in Paris to discuss how the world will be split up following on from World War one. Sir Henery Maxted has been murdered, and his son James 'Max' takes it upon himself to investigate the murder, much to the rest of his families displeasure.
The story then progresses as peeling an onion, as each layer is removed then another one appears. The story is fast paced, complex and exciting. (This was why I was so upset the first time round when I cam to the end). It paints a very realistic detailed portrayal of the characters, and all is not what it seems. Secret agents, double agents and spies are everywhere. About the only thing that one can predict is that if a character seems to be 'A' then in fact they will be 'B'
Gradually Max thinks he knows what might have happened to his father and then starts out on the long progress of trying to avenge his murder. You will have noticed that I have avoided revealing too much of the plot because it is a really good book and I do not want to spoil it in any way. The Times has called it I believe 'An intelligent escapist delight' and I agree.
A really great book to start this new booklist. So this is book 1 week 1 fiction 1 (audio books 0) non fiction 0
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.