A Little Book for New Scientists: Why and How to Study Science, By Josh A. Reeves and Steve Donaldson alt

A Little Book for New Scientists

Why and How to Study Science

Little Books

by Josh A. Reeves and Steve Donaldson

A Little Book for New Scientists
  • Length: 144 pages
  • Published: October 02, 2016
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 9350
  • ISBN: 9780830893508

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Many young Christians interested in the sciences have felt torn between two options: remaining faithful to Christ or studying science. Heated debates over the past century have created the impression that we have to choose between one or the other. The result has been a crisis of faith for many students.

Josh Reeves and Steve Donaldson present a concise introduction to the study of science that explains why scientists in every age have found science congenial to their faith and how Christians in the sciences can bridge the gap between science and Christian belief and practice. If Christians are to have a beneficial dialogue with science, it will be guided by those who understand science from the inside. Consequently, this book provides both advice and encouragement for Christians entering or engaged in scientific careers because their presence in science is a vital component of the church's witness in the world.

"A Little Book for New Scientists is certainly the most concise and helpful book for young persons (and their parents) on a science career that I have ever seen. I would hope that every young person considering a career in the sciences will read this book and then take it down off their shelf about once a year—rereading it regularly as they proceed through graduate school and their post-doc years. If I'd had this book when I was beginning my career, I would have wanted it in a prominent place on my bookshelf—right next to my Bible."

Darrel R. Falk, emeritus professor of biology at Point Loma Nazarene University, author of Coming to Peace with Science

"This book is essential reading for Christians contemplating a vocation in science. It will, in addition, be fascinating for those who are not scientists but are interested in how and why science works the way it does. The authors not only successfully debunk common myths about the history of science and religion, they also provide a very honest and insightful account of scientific practices, including both its temptations and achievements. Too often the science-and-religion debate has resisted engaging with science studies alongside the specific religious quandaries opened up by scientific knowledge. This little book manages to achieve a great deal in just a few pages, which makes it particularly useful for introductory teaching contexts."

Celia Deane-Drummond, professor of theology, director, Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing, University of Notre Dame

"This is a refreshing little book about science and the Christian faith. It is not on the front lines of specific confrontations between Christians and various scientific theories; rather, it steps back and orients us to the kind of thing that science is and how that fits within the outlook of faith. Budding scientists should read it as a way of preparation for what the authors understand to be a holy career—a vocation in which one can truly serve God. Non-scientists should read it in order to understand that the perceived threat of science to Christian faith has been largely due to an imagined bogeyman rather than to accurate views about science. Reeves and Donaldson are to be commended for their service to the church and to the science-and-religion community for this clear and helpful book."

J. B. Stump, senior editor, BioLogos

"This volume is a nice resource for science-oriented students, newly believing Christians in science fields, or anyone seeking integration. The book draws us into a consistent, balanced, and active role as bridge between the realms of science and faith."

Jeffrey Greenberg, Wheaton College

"A Little Book for New Scientists is easily approachable, practically useful, and theologically rooted. This book would be immensely valuable for high school students considering a career in science and for college students transitioning from the study of science to the practice of science. Clergy and parents of new scientists, while not the intended audience, would likewise benefit from lessons the book offers. Josh Reeves and Steve Donaldson have written an important book that has the potential to guide the spiritual and professional development of future Christians in science for years to come."

Clayton D. Carlson, Christian Scholar’s Review XLVI:4



Part I: Why Study Science?
1. God and the Book of Nature
2. Christianity and the History of Science
3. Science and Ethics

Part II: The Characteristics of Faithful Science and Scientists
4. Hope in the Face of Adversity
5. Life Together: Working with Others in a Scientific Community
6. The Known Unknowns: Science and Intellectual Humility

Part III: Science and Christian Faith
7. Science and Scripture
8. Are Scientists Mostly Atheists?
9. Science for the Good of the Church

For Further Reading
Name and Subject Index
Scripture Index


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Josh A. Reeves

Josh A. Reeves (PhD, Boston University) is a project administrator in the Samford University Center for Science and Religion in Birmingham, Alabama. In that role, he manages the New Directions in Science and Religion project, which brings constructive science and religion dialogue into the church. Before coming to Samford, he completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Heyendaal Program on Theology and Science at Radboud University in the Netherlands. Josh and his wife, Courtney, have two daughters.

Steve Donaldson

Steve Donaldson (d. 2018) was the director of the computer science program and codirector of the computational biology program at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He was also one of the cofounders of the Samford University Center for Science and Religion. His research interests in cognition, machine intelligence, evolutionary systems, and the interface of science and religion led him to pursue a number of interdisciplinary teaching and research opportunities. He is the author of A Little Book for New Scientists and Dimensions of Faith: Understanding Faith through the Lens of Science and Religion.