Culture At Large

Francis Collins' faith-and-science reading list

Josh Larsen

National Institutes of Health director Francis S. Collins, a Christian and founder of BioLogos, was recently interviewed in The New York Times’ Sunday Book Review. In addition to discussing his reading habits, he also recommends some books that touch on a favorite topic here at Think Christian: the intersection of religion and science. A few excerpts:

On helpful books in reconciling faith and science: “I’m happy to say that there is a growing list of thoughtful commentaries on the harmony that can be found between these worldviews. For conservative Christians, Coming to Peace With Science, by Darrel Falk, and Origins, by Deborah and Loren Haarsma, are accessible and reassuring reads. Slightly edgier but very well-argued perspectives are provided by Finding Darwin’s God, by Kenneth Miller, and Karl Giberson’s Saving Darwin. For those who are interested in the range of options that can blend science and faith, I found Denis Alexander’s book Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose? to be an exceptionally well-articulated synthesis. And if you are looking for a pastor’s perspective on faith and reason, have a look at The Reason for God, by the Rev. Tim Keller of New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church.”

On the unlikely books he owns: “Considering my own stance on the satisfying harmony of science and faith, you might be surprised to find on my shelves nearly everything written by Richard Dawkins (including The God Delusion) and my late friend Christopher Hitchens (including God Is Not Great). One must dig deeply into opposing points of view in order to know whether your own position remains defensible. Iron sharpens iron.”

On which writer - living or dead - he’d like to meet: “That’s a tough one. But I think I would go with Luke the physician, the author of the third Gospel. I’d want to have a long conversation over coffee (or better yet, over a nice pinot grigio) to learn everything about him - as a doctor, a follower of Jesus and a gifted writer.”

Topics: Culture At Large, Science & Technology, Science, Arts & Leisure, Books