Beginning September 30th, join us for a grand conversation on Faith across the Multiverse: Parables from Modern Science with author, Andy Walsh. Yes, that’s the weekly ESN science blogger! Since Andy’s part of our network, I thought I’d ask him a few quick questions:
1. What inspired you to write Faith across the Multiverse?
Inspiration came from many directions, including the story I tell in the book about making a spontaneous connection between math and theology during a group Bible study. But I think the biggest one was spending time chatting with comic book fans and seeing how many of them took for granted that being intelligent or scientific automatically ruled out belief in God. There was a sense that such beliefs were something to grow out of. And it occurred to me that I didn’t know of many books or other resources specifically for comic book fans or other sci-fi nerds that demonstrated how Christian faith can be intellectually satisfying. Instead, there were plenty of comics where scientists were automatically depicted as atheist or agnostic despite personally having been to heaven and hell and meeting various deities. So I thought I’d see if I could address that need for that community.
2. What do you intend readers to gain from Faith across the Multiverse?
Well, I’d love for people to gain a new way of thinking about God that helps deepen their relationship with him. Or to find the idea of such a relationship more plausible for themselves. I’d also be happy if folks learn some science that excites them or intrigues them. And if folks discover a new favorite movie or comic book, that’d be cool too.
3. What is it like to publish your first book?
It is exciting and humbling and nerve-wracking and gratifying and a little exhausting. It’s a very personal book, despite being filled with math and science I didn’t discover and discussion of stories I didn’t write. I probably need to work on my emotional detachment so that critiques don’t feel quite so personal. At the same time, many readers have responded very positively, including scientists and scholars who I didn’t necessarily expect to be interested in a book with so many X-Men references. So that is very uplifting. I’m also still learning about marketing and fun stuff like that, and being asked to sign my book is still a little surreal.
4. What should we expect from your weekly office hours at the Peaceful Science forum?
Primarily I want to make myself available to answer questions. Want to know more about a particular topic? Feel like I didn’t explain a point clearly enough? Wondering how bad the puns were that I cut out if these were the ones that were published? Stop by office hours and I’ll do my best to address these and other issues. I also hope to just be able to geek out about science, theology, and sci-fi with fellow enthusiastic friends, old and new. And I look forward to hearing about what helps you know God better and what excites you, whether it’s science or stories or something altogether different.
A few more details: the Faith Across the Multiverse Book Club Event will be hosted by the Peaceful Science forum. The event will include excerpts, discussion, and weekly office hours with Andy (in the fall: Saturday evenings, October 6 through November 17). Local in person groups are also encouraged. For details visit the book club page and the more detailed flyer. Please prayerfully consider participation and invite others who would have interest to join us. Thank-you to S. Joshua Swamidass for his encouragement and partnership in this endeavor. Yes, I can’t wait for this creative endeavor to launch!
To God be the glory!
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!