The Reverend John Polkinghorne has a new book out called 'Questions of Truth'
Many years ago, I read another of his books Serious Talk
The arguments in it were really bad.
I quote from my review of the book :=
Dr. Polkinghorne's official web pages describe him as 'one of the greatest living writers and thinkers on science and religion', so I was naturally curious to know what would persuade a world-class scientist and a Fellow of the Royal Society to believe in God. It turns out that the book consists of rationalisations. Clearly, Polkinghorne is a very nice man and he needs to believe that the Universe is as nice as he is. In his preface he writes ' that it is a coherent hope that all shall in the end be well.' . In the book Polkinghorne creates a God to fulfil this hope. The God Polkinghorne has created is very like himself. Polkinghorne's God does not know the future but prepares himself for whatever it may bring, just as we do. Polkinghorne's God suffers like we do and has human values of beauty and truth , order and morals.
Polkinghorne needs a God to make sense to him of the world we live. I am reminded of the people in Ramachandran's book 'Phantoms in the Brain' who rationalise away any evidence which might disturb their world-view. Some people cannot see or have paralysed limbs , yet maintain that they are not disabled in any way. To protect this world view, they must improvise rationalisations. What is surprising is the facility and ease with which they produce explanations on the spot of why their inability to see or move their arm has nothing to do with their blindness or paralysis - after all, they are not paralysed or blind , are they? For example, they might say that they cannot move their arm, not because it is paralysed, but because the arm at their shoulder actually belongs to their brother, not to themselves. These people are perfectly sane, but are an extreme example of how people can fit facts to their worldview, regardless of evidence.
Polkinghorne does very similar things. Faced with a difficulty , he simply invents a new attribute of God to cover that situation. Just like the patients in Ramachandran's book, he need produce no evidence to back up his rationalisation, but it suffices just to produce an answer. Each rationalisation is consistent with itself, but they are hopelessly inconsistent with each other.
It appears that the arguments in Questions of Truth have not improved in the meantime...