'When we get beyond a superficial understanding of the tangible, material world, we find that the physical and the metaphysical make up a single reality, one world viewed from two vastly different perspectives.' (Gerald Schroeder, God According to God, p.2)
The MIT-trained physicist and applied theology professor's 2009 book may make overly exaggerated claims in its subtitle – A Physicist Proves We Have Been Wrong About God All Along – but, in the words of one reviewer, 'demands the attention of anyone who wonders if God must be exiled from the modern, enlightened mind.'
Though I have not yet read the whole book, it appears that he does a good job of refuting the worldview of scientific atheists such as Stephen Hawking, who maintain that 'somehow, from absolutely nothing came a massive burst of exquisistely hot energy, electromagnetic radiation, or superpowerful light beams' and insist that this burst of energy, 'having no mass whatsoever, can metamorphose and become the solid elements that combined to form all the material world.' In one place, he even suggests that 'physics not only has begun to sound like theology. It is theology.' In place of blind chance, he firmly re-establishes the orchestrating, directing, intervening hand of our Creator God – though, as with his previous books, such as The Science of God and The Hidden Face of God, one may not agree with all his attempts to reconcile the biblical account of creation with current scientific knowledge.
Philosophically, however, I have yet to see how he juggles the conflicting claims of free will with the clear scriptural teaching on God's sovereignty, where even the cast of the lot or a die is determined by the LORD (Proverbs 16:33). This, according to the front flap overview, is the main thesis of the book:
'Schroeder presents a compelling case for the true God, a dynamic God who is still learning how to relate to creation. The key to God's action in the world, says Schroeder, can be found in a well-known verse in Exodus that is typically translated "I am that which I am." Schroeder's correction that it should be translated "I will be that which I will be" reveals a God that changes Its presence to fit the ever-changing world.
'This opens our eyes to other characteristics of God that we have long overlooked despite their being present in some of the most popular stories in the Bible - a God who regrets (the flood of Noah), a God who wants us to argue with Him (Jacob wrestling with God in the desert), and thus a God who changes His mind (Moses convinces God to spare the Israelite people), and a God who allowed nature, and the creation itself, from the very start, to rebel (Adam's and Eve's betrayal in Eden).'
As I say, I'm not sure how he reconciles this with teaching such as Philippians 2:13, 'it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure,' or Nebuchadnezzar's insight in Daniel 4:35 that 'he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?"' No doubt, we shall see!