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Christ and the Multiverse: Following Jesus in Our Wild, Infinite Creation

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How can we possibly find our purpose if everything that can happen does happen?  See how Jesus is more relevant than ever in the dizzying, infinite multiverse. As cutting edge physics increasingly suggests that we may live in a multiverse filled with alternative realities, what possible relevance can Jesus have for our lives?  Discover how faith is vitally necessary How can we possibly find our purpose if everything that can happen does happen?  See how Jesus is more relevant than ever in the dizzying, infinite multiverse. As cutting edge physics increasingly suggests that we may live in a multiverse filled with alternative realities, what possible relevance can Jesus have for our lives?  Discover how faith is vitally necessary for the integrity of our souls in this new vision of God’s glorious, endless creation. Theologian, pastor, and critically acclaimed science fiction author David Williams leads us on a journey through this complex and mindbending topic with grace and humor. Christ and the Multiverse shows the growth of human knowledge brought us to the realization that there could be countless alternative realities.  In the face of that dizzying possibility, the book lays out how this cosmology connects with the Gospel.  Deeper still, it shows how the moral teachings of Jesus are even more critically relevant. As you read, you’ll discover: A concise, gently funny journey through the history of how we understand creation; The amazing ways multiverse cosmologies make centuries old Christian squabbling about theology irrelevant; Why the multiverse not only doesn’t eliminate the need for God, but makes God necessary; How to make moral, Christ-centered, lifegiving choices in a creation where outcomes are probabilities rather than certainties. Christ and the Multiverse gives all of us a way to engage what physics implies about creation while holding on to the heart of faith.  If you find the interplay between science and faith both hopeful and exciting, and are looking for the path to a reality that manifests your best possible self, then this book is the book for you! Start reading today, and discover how to follow Jesus in our wild, infinite multiverse!


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How can we possibly find our purpose if everything that can happen does happen?  See how Jesus is more relevant than ever in the dizzying, infinite multiverse. As cutting edge physics increasingly suggests that we may live in a multiverse filled with alternative realities, what possible relevance can Jesus have for our lives?  Discover how faith is vitally necessary How can we possibly find our purpose if everything that can happen does happen?  See how Jesus is more relevant than ever in the dizzying, infinite multiverse. As cutting edge physics increasingly suggests that we may live in a multiverse filled with alternative realities, what possible relevance can Jesus have for our lives?  Discover how faith is vitally necessary for the integrity of our souls in this new vision of God’s glorious, endless creation. Theologian, pastor, and critically acclaimed science fiction author David Williams leads us on a journey through this complex and mindbending topic with grace and humor. Christ and the Multiverse shows the growth of human knowledge brought us to the realization that there could be countless alternative realities.  In the face of that dizzying possibility, the book lays out how this cosmology connects with the Gospel.  Deeper still, it shows how the moral teachings of Jesus are even more critically relevant. As you read, you’ll discover: A concise, gently funny journey through the history of how we understand creation; The amazing ways multiverse cosmologies make centuries old Christian squabbling about theology irrelevant; Why the multiverse not only doesn’t eliminate the need for God, but makes God necessary; How to make moral, Christ-centered, lifegiving choices in a creation where outcomes are probabilities rather than certainties. Christ and the Multiverse gives all of us a way to engage what physics implies about creation while holding on to the heart of faith.  If you find the interplay between science and faith both hopeful and exciting, and are looking for the path to a reality that manifests your best possible self, then this book is the book for you! Start reading today, and discover how to follow Jesus in our wild, infinite multiverse!

16 review for Christ and the Multiverse: Following Jesus in Our Wild, Infinite Creation

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I came to this book knowing nada about multiverse theory or quantum physics. Of all the sciences, physics is the most intimidating to me. I’ll happily read science-y books on sea turtles, octopuses, fossils and evolution, the human body, and so forth—and I have. But physics? Oy, it makes my head hurt. I don’t understand the math. The multiverse is the idea of more than one universe, world, story, space-time continuum. An idea that makes your stomach get queasy. And where or where does faith fall I came to this book knowing nada about multiverse theory or quantum physics. Of all the sciences, physics is the most intimidating to me. I’ll happily read science-y books on sea turtles, octopuses, fossils and evolution, the human body, and so forth—and I have. But physics? Oy, it makes my head hurt. I don’t understand the math. The multiverse is the idea of more than one universe, world, story, space-time continuum. An idea that makes your stomach get queasy. And where or where does faith fall into multiverse theory, which modern physics is apparently pointing us to? This is the question David Williams tackles, and in a mercifully succinct, conversational, you-can-understand-this-I-promise sort of way. Most useful, I think, is Williams’s argument for the existence of free---VERY free---will and the importance of every choice. Sort of a reversal of “the ends justify the means” that requires a much more “present,” compassionate way of living. And there are a delightful few pages that skewer justification to elect an abominable, immoral, self-centered, narcissistic leader because he promises to defend your specialness and power. You know. Hypothetically. Williams’s take on the multiverse, his insistence that scientific knowledge is something to embrace and not fear, and the relevance of our particular shared faith tradition is good, heady stuff. It opens possibilities that, for me, address several conundrums I’ve wrestled with over the years. Recommended.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bruce English

    This was an incredible book that came to me at probably the perfect time. Williams seems to hit basically every question, objection, and aesthetic of mine that occurred to me as I traveled from front to back. While certainly engaging enough, it took me several months to read because this year (2020, if you're reading this review in the future) dealt to my attention span and to my ability to focus quite a blow. This turned out to me to be fortuitous, as I finished the book in early October during This was an incredible book that came to me at probably the perfect time. Williams seems to hit basically every question, objection, and aesthetic of mine that occurred to me as I traveled from front to back. While certainly engaging enough, it took me several months to read because this year (2020, if you're reading this review in the future) dealt to my attention span and to my ability to focus quite a blow. This turned out to me to be fortuitous, as I finished the book in early October during a time in this country that caused me to struggle with some things that this book has helped me sort out. More on that in a bit. I read this on Kindle, which is nice because I used the markups and note-taking feature all along and I have them all in front of me as I write this. The first, and one of the last, things that struck me was his nod to the importance of fictional narratives and myths. Every chapter starts with a quote from the C. S. Lewis Chronicles of Narnia series of books, which was (still is) one of my favorites growing up. "Myths are stories that teach." (Kindle says p. 4, although I'm not sure if page numbers are consistent with a printed copy or between e-readers) I wish he would have referenced one of the places in the gospels where the Apostles pester Jesus on why he uses parables to teach. And very near to the end, in the conclusion written for the skeptic, he says, "there is enough weight and interest in this view of the universe that it's time for people of faith to take it seriously, and seriously explore the ramifications of its truth." (p. 112) One thing I would point out to the author is that, at least as I understand it (I'm an engineer with a degree in physics and applied mathematics), the multi-worlds theories (still unproven, perhaps unprovable, because they at least so far do not lend themselves to experiment) stem from the results of mathematics, which are generally predicated upon self-evident postulates that are not subject to outside validation (which is the proper technical definition of self-evident). A more approachable example of this sort of thing is Euclid's 5th postulate, which can be negated without causing a contradiction, and depending on how you negate it you can create an entirely new geometry that has application to real-world physics. In this way, the axioms we use in mathematics can be thought of as a mythos, a fiction, an organon with which we can systematize and even quantify our mathematical intuitions and the physical theories that pop out from these intuitions, and when experimental measurements replicate some of these quantifications we count that as evidence supporting those same theories. By analogy, the intuitions and self-evident axioms Williams comes up with are used in this book to create a sort of moral geometry, if you will, upon which we can evaluate and understand our moral lives and our moral values, and even our relationship (if we have one, which is certainly not a requirement to follow along) with this character Jesus Christ that a lot of people like to talk about. There is so much I like about this book that it would take a book to write it out, but as a review this is already too long. So, I'll skip to the end, which I read today and is fresh on my mind. The ending (spoilers?) is a series of seven (7!) conclusions, each written for a different target audience. Williams introduces these conclusions as a "choose your own story" motif, which is clever, by briefly describing the target audiences and telling the reader to read any of the endings they want, or all of them, or a few of them, in any order that they want. I thought this was clever. I elected to be boring and read them all, in the order they were presented. I'm glad I read them all, as I got something important out of each and every one of them. I identified most with #2 (the agnostic) and least with #1 (the militant/certain/fundamentalist theist or atheist). In the first one I got this gem: "if you enter into a relationship with another being but are unwilling to be changed by that experience, then somehow love has no purchase in that relationship." (p. 104) This was a very practical, and powerful, definition of love. It was also a big takeaway from this book for me -- to value principle, yes, but to be open to, and even enthusiastic about, the possibility that this experience of someone else's point of view can change me in a meaningful way. In the second conclusion I found this: "You could be a person of faith who recognizes that faith and certainty are not identical things. We can 'know' things as facts, but the knowledge that we have from faith is more akin to trust . And if you are utterly certain of a thing in every detail, then you aren't really connected to it in trust, now, are you?" This spoke to me directly, who as an agnostic am always challenged by those who say they believe, that a lack of certainty and struggles with doubt mean that you are backsliding into atheism or immorality or some other long list of failures in religion. They tend to be quite judgmental of these struggles, as if belief and certainty is simply a "fake it until you make it" button one pushes on the inside whenever necessary to get through a church sermon. I found something worthy of my time in all seven conclusions. I think it reading them was, in a way, a good exercise in empathy in the sense of how do others not like me think about these things? (Or perhaps more-accurately, how does Williams think that they think about these things?) In the end, and on the day I wrote this, I am currently struggling with my faith (trust) in some fundamentally moral/ethical propositions, all of which are attributed to Jesus. These ideas stand outside of and can be considered independently of one's belief in Christianity. While I lack some fundamental beliefs that would make me a Christian, I do have an affinity for at least the aesthetics of these notions, and I consider them all things I truly want to believe in: --Turn the other cheek. --Mercy. --Forgiveness. In context, today there is an ongoing discussion regarding how our country should restore law and order because of protests and riots stemming from a heavy-handed, unmerciful, and unforgiving nature of our law enforcement methods -- methods that are used unequally depending on the race and ethnicity of those bearing the brunt of the heavy-hand. I find myself drawn to those three ideas as a central theme of a reform plan, and yet on the same day I'm also drawn to the idea of retributive justice in the sense of consequences for the actions of someone I consider truly evil. I am somehow willing to ignore those three fundamental ideas in this case, and claim that if we don't punish this man then others will certainly follow in his wake. And I catch myself. What would turn the other cheek, mercy, and forgiveness look like for this man, specifically? Why am I suddenly a believer in the efficacy of public suffering of a known criminal as a deterrence of future crimes? Instead of beating myself up as a hypocrite, I go to Williams' excellent book and find this: "We can exist in a way that bears no resemblance to the abundant and infinitely generous grace of our maker, instead striving to manipulate and confine the will of the Other. That is certainly something for which we hunger. It is the yearning of a self that exists in isolation from others, the craving of the Nietzschean will to power. But that is also the source of our brokenness, the heart of our separation from the creator. It is that undigested bite of the fruit at the center of the Garden that sits bitter in our belly." (p. 60) And I wind up back at the beginning -- these fictions, these myths, these stories, be they about Narnia or the Garden of Eden or the parallel-ness of two lines or the multiplicity of universes -- these parables can help me to see me for who I am, and for whom I want to become. The struggle is real, even if someone like "God" is not. As Victor Weisskopf once noted, "God is so great, He doesn't even need to exist!" I don't need to believe in the inerrancy of scripture to have a discussion with someone who does on the nature of the Good, no more than I need to believe that Narnia exists to talk about and judge moral choices made by the characters we encounter in those books. I only need to read the fictions and have an earnest and loving conversation with someone else who read the same fictions, and not only be willing, but look forward to the possibility, of being changed by that conversation. Thank you, David Williams, for a most enjoyable book. I recommend it highly to anyone reading this.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    What if our reality, this universe we inhabit, is but one plane of an infinite "multiverse" of universes, as some physicists are coming to believe? And if so, how can belief in God--the Christian God in particular--square with this impossibly infinite reality? That's the conundrum explored with great wit and insight by David Williams in "Christ and the Multiverse." Williams, a Presbyterian minister and novelist ("When the English Fall") gifted with no small command of the latest cosmological phy What if our reality, this universe we inhabit, is but one plane of an infinite "multiverse" of universes, as some physicists are coming to believe? And if so, how can belief in God--the Christian God in particular--square with this impossibly infinite reality? That's the conundrum explored with great wit and insight by David Williams in "Christ and the Multiverse." Williams, a Presbyterian minister and novelist ("When the English Fall") gifted with no small command of the latest cosmological physics, theological premises, and a witty writing style, asks "Can we reconcile our faith with this astonishing new vision of the nature of existence?" In an often wry, always interesting, and tightly composed (only 130 pages) journey of logic, Williams explains how "the elegance of physics and the striking complexity and beauty of organic systems all proclaim the glory of God, as dear old Psalm 19 goes." God is love, Williams says, and Jesus Christ "definitively establishes what it means to be in right relationship with God and one another." Along the way, Williams explores the problems of good and evil, determinism and free will, morality and ethics, and the "probability of grace." This is not a book just for followers of Jesus, and should not scare off the most scientifically-oriented. Williams' path lies somewhere between the "defiant certainties of the fundamentalist and the atheist," offering a cogent argument that should be compelling to all who approach the question of God's place, even existence, in an ever-expanding and mysterious universe. Oh, and read the end notes.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    You don't have to love Jesus to love this book. I mean, I imagine it helps. As the title suggests, JC references are plentiful. But even as a nonbeliever, I found it to be a good read. The multiverse offers infinite possibilities. Luckily, in this universe, we can easily access this terrific work. You don't have to love Jesus to love this book. I mean, I imagine it helps. As the title suggests, JC references are plentiful. But even as a nonbeliever, I found it to be a good read. The multiverse offers infinite possibilities. Luckily, in this universe, we can easily access this terrific work.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chris Hofmann

    This was an important and needed book. Putting the multiverse aside for a moment, there is a constant challenge to faith and God as scientific understanding increases. I am someone of faith AND with a love of science and knowledge of how things work. This book helps us better understand how these things can not only co-exist but, in fact, necessarily complement each other. Now layering in the complex and mind-bending concept of the multiverse and how God and Christ fit within this is just fun to This was an important and needed book. Putting the multiverse aside for a moment, there is a constant challenge to faith and God as scientific understanding increases. I am someone of faith AND with a love of science and knowledge of how things work. This book helps us better understand how these things can not only co-exist but, in fact, necessarily complement each other. Now layering in the complex and mind-bending concept of the multiverse and how God and Christ fit within this is just fun to wrestle with. More time spent on explaining the multiverse and the science and “how” of it all would’ve been welcome but was probably just right for most folks. A 4.5.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christine Rai

    What a trip— this book takes you on quite a journey: history, ethics, consciousness, and beyond. At first glance you may consider it a daunting subject matter—Christian theology and quantum theory—not exactly what most consider easy, breezy reading material but these heady ideas are presented in friendly, relatable terms and sprinkled with plenty of good humor and pop culture references to boot. It took me an unusually long amount of time to read, even though one of my super powers is speed read What a trip— this book takes you on quite a journey: history, ethics, consciousness, and beyond. At first glance you may consider it a daunting subject matter—Christian theology and quantum theory—not exactly what most consider easy, breezy reading material but these heady ideas are presented in friendly, relatable terms and sprinkled with plenty of good humor and pop culture references to boot. It took me an unusually long amount of time to read, even though one of my super powers is speed reading, but not due to the density or difficulty of the text but my desire to savor its resonant and dynamic ideas.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karen Waymeyer

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kay Wagnon

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

  10. 4 out of 5

    Katie Hanna

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kathi

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Lee

  14. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Bartsch

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cyndi

  16. 4 out of 5

    Donabean

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