The Physics of Christianity

by Frank J. Tipler, Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group, 2007, 320 pages,
$27.50 (hardback), ISBN 978-0-385-51424-8

If you want a book that will challenge you no matter how strong your academic background is, this is the book for you.  Written by a well known physicist who is a professor of mathematical physics at Tulane University, this book comes at quantum mechanics and multiverse theory in a strong apologetic way using these disciplines to support the Christian perspective.

The book begins with a brief historical outline of modern physics briefly explaining quantum mechanics, relativity, and particle physics.  As a physics teacher I found this discussion interesting and current but I sincerely doubt that non-science readers will understand a lot of it.  From that introduction Tipler shows Earth's fate in terms of event horizons and time flow.  The ultimate conclusion is that Earth will end and that it had a beginning in a cosmological singularity, which Tipler contends is God.  If you are familiar with modern views of cosmology and singularities, you will find this section very useful.

Tipler then explores miracles contending that in terms of modern physics, miracles do not contradict physical law.  The Star of Bethlehem, the Resurrection, and the Virgin Birth are all fitted into multiverse explanations.  The book concludes with some discussions about anti-Semitism, evil, and free will.  At the end of the book, Tipler summarizes what he has tried to develop in the book.  Quoting his own statement of the five points he develops may be useful: (1) God is the Cosmological Singularity, (2) Miracles never violate physical law--the laws are just adjusted, (3) The incarnation is true and can be explained, (4) The Virgin Birth is true and can be proven, and (5) The Resurrection can be explained using baryon-annihilation processes.

There are some parts of this book that are very useful and interesting.  There are other parts that are very dubious.  Tipler accepts the Shroud of Turin as valid and as a means of proving some of his points about the Resurrection.  We have pointed out in this journal that the Shroud is most certainly a fraud.  Tipler's science is on the front edge of theory, and in some cases is very debatable as verification has not been done of some of what he uses as fact.  Quantum mechanics and multiverse theory are very young sciences.  We recommend this book for readers who have strong academic backgrounds and are interested in modern physics and quantum mechanics.  For most general readers the book will tend to be confusing and hard to understand.

Back to Contents Does God Exist?, JanFeb08.