In her latest book, What the Heavens Declare, Lydia Jaeger provides a detailed analysis of the role of the theistic doctrine of creation in the rise of modern science, with a particular focus on the natural order. As the author explains, despite the common use of the expression “laws of nature” by both scientists and laymen, there is a long-standing tradition of philosophical debate about, and even refusal of, the notion that laws of nature might exist independently of a divine or human mind. This work attempts to account for natural order in harmony with the religious worldview that significantly contributed to the original context in which modern science began: the world seen as the creation of the triune God.
Readers of Lydia Jaeger’s arresting book may at first be surprised to find favorable references to ‘creationism’ and ‘creationists,’ terms that so often connote anti-evolutionary rhetoric and religious fundamentalism. But they should not be deceived. Her object is not to defend populist religious movements but to reinstate a sophisticated theology of creation having distinguished precedents within Christian tradition, and a Protestant Reformed tradition in particular. The universe she describes is one in which everything that exists is radically dependent on a Creator God whose wisdom and faithfulness guarantee the order of nature. Despite many competing accounts of nature’s ’laws,’ and despite current critiques of the applicability of the concept, Dr. Jaeger gives a spirited defense of a philosophy of science in which physical laws are still best understood as divine legislation. A bold and challenging essay.
–John Hedley Brooke Emeritus Professor of Science and Religion, Oxford University
What the heavens declare is here unfolded in all its fullness. Anyone who wants to understand what creationism really means should read this work. It restores the recently narrowed doctrine of creation to its historic stature and does so in conversation with contemporary issues in science, philosophy of science, and theology of nature. Discerning and inspiring.
–Jitse M. van der Meer Professor of Biology and History and Philosophy of Science, Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario Coeditor of Nature and Scripture in the Abrahamic Religions (2008)
In What the Heavens Declare, the author provides a scholarly survey of the biblical doctrine of creation, in dialogue with the key ideas that led to the emergence of modern science. The book provides a fine contribution to our understanding of the critical role played by the Christian concept of creation in shaping the history of Western thought. It is warmly recommended.
–Denis Alexander Director of The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge, UK
Lydia Jaeger is Academic Dean at the Institut Biblique de Nogent-sur-Marne, near Paris. She is the author of five books and several articles on the relationship between Christianity and the natural sciences.