Biologist, Professor, Theologian,

 Anglican Priest, Author

    (1953 - )

   O Patrick from this child you got   (A Phádraig ón leanbhsa fuair)
   A sign of grace, the staff of Jesus,   (Bachall Íosa mar bhuaidh grás,)
   Conceived without stain in the womb,   (A ghein gan domblas id chlí,)
   And please stay with us for always, O Brigid.  ('S a Bhrighid, bí linn de ghnáth.)

   O patrons of this sainted isle,   (A phátrúin oileán na naomh,)
   Obtain graces for us from God;   (Faghaidh grása ó Dhia dhúinn;)
   Like a worm in God’s cave this very night   (Mar chruimh in uamhaidh Dé a-nocht)
   Let a poor little friar from Down be tolerated.   (Glacthar bráithrín bocht ó Dhún.)
    ---Franciscan Archbishop Aodh Mac Cathmhaoil, a.k.a. Mac Aingil {Son of an angel}  translated by Barry Tobin, excerpted from "O Holy Child; A Christmas Poem"
There is no empirical evidence that people regard God, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy as being in the same category. I stopped believing in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy when I was six, and after being an atheist for some years discovered God when I was 18. Many people come to believe in God when they're older, but I've yet to meet somebody who 'God was a baleful relic of the past, revealed as a delusion by scientific advance' has started to believe in Santa Claus later on in life.
--Alister McGrath in an interview with Judith Cole

Guiness Genesis

When we are born we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.   --William Shakespeare

Alister Edgar McGrath, was providentially born January 23, 1953, where his mother worked: in the Victoria Royal Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland (Tuaisceart Éireann).  But he was raised 22 miles south, in the County Down in Downpatrick (Dún Phádraig),  named for the final resting place of Saint Patrick in 461, and where notable Archbishop, expounder of Scotism, (based on another from Down, John Duns Scotus) and poet, Aodh Mac Cathmhaoil (or Mac Caghwell) was born in 1571. This ancient site, Dún, meaning a fortified place, was named Dunum as early as AD 130, but had Bronze Age inhabitants much earlier who had left landscaped rings at the nearby Ballynoe Stone Circle, as permanent calling cards. John Wesley preached here, and later they established a Methodist College in Belfast, which will eventually intersect with Alister.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.   --1 Corinthians 13:11

As a lad of 10 he began his interest in nature and science, building his own telescope to search the skies deeper, and for the cellular level, he was aided by his Royal Victoria Hospital head of pathology department Great Uncle's hand-me-down German microscope. He would go from schools in Downpatrick to finally graduate from Down High School in 1966, around the same time as The Troubles renewed with violent clashes between the Catholic Irish and the Royalist Protestants. He admitted that the sectarian fighting led him to lose his faith, even to the point of wanting to start an Atheists' Club at his next school, the Methodist College, where he pursued a degree in physics, chemistry and pure and applied mathematics. While devouring astronomy and other science books, he was also reading Bertrand Russell, and concurred at that time what he quoted above that "God was a baleful relic of the past, revealed as a delusion by scientific advance."

Higher learning and a higher Power

♩♪You've gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it...♫
--Bob Dylan

He succeeded so well in chemistry that he obtained an open major scholarship in October 1971 for Wadham College, Oxford University. He recalls his radical change of mind during his first year at the prestigious university:

By the time I arrived in Oxford in October 1971 to start the serious study of chemistry, I had realized that I had a lot of rethinking to do. Up to that point, I had assumed that, when science could not answer a question, there was no answer to be had. I now began to realize that there might be limits to the scientific method and that vast expanses of intellectual, aesthetic, and moral territory might lie beyond its compass.

Christianity was much more intellectually robust. And so I experienced an intellectual conversion. It wasn't shining bright lights or great emotional releases. It was just ‘This is right, that’s for me.’

My own work in the sciences brought home to me that the link between science and atheism was much weaker than I thought, and also being confronted with very articulate Christians in Oxford showed me that my thinking was quite shallow. I realised that Christianity makes much more sense of things, and of life, than anything else. C.S. Lewis wrote: "I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else". I would also argue that in terms of its own place in history the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is extremely well grounded. And above all, it's relevant.

Mentored by Jeremy R. Knowles and R. J. P. Williams, he achieved first class honors and his BA for Natural Sciences (Chemistry) in 1975. His quest for knowledge not satiated, he came under the 'wing' of Professor Sir George K. Radda, FRS resulting in an E.P.A. Cephalosporin Research Studentship at Linacre College, Oxford, for the academic year through 1976. That year too he obtained the Visiting Short-Term Fellowship, European Molecular Biology Organization. The next three years, as he continued scientific research while following a Christian calling, was fulfilled with a Domus Senior Scholarship at Merton College, Oxford ending with a Masters of Arts in 1978.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ  --Colossians 2:8

He also received a Ph.D from Oxford's Faculty of Biological Sciences in 1978, and additionally that year he was awarded his BA with first class honors in Theology along with the Denyer and Johnson Prize. He then procured a Naden Studentship in Divinity at St. John's College, Cambridge and while working there until 1980, he studied for ordination in the Church of England at Westcott House, Cambridge, proceeding in that endeavor by achieving Deacon-ship in September. He would next make his home in the east midlands to be curator at the St. Leonard's Parish Church, Wollaton, Nottingham. At Southwell Minster a year later he was ordained an Anglican Priest. He received his Doctor of Divinity from Oxford in 1983. This Irish-English man of the cloth would not change his name to Latin, however, the same way Aodh Mac Aingil become Hugo Cavellus.

Turning Pro

God has given you one face, and you make yourself another. --William Shakespeare

Obviously Alister, known by friends with the 'nick', Alice, had too many academic and scientific accouterments on his cassock and turned-collar to became a simple parish priest. He was back to those ancient edifices at Oxford to wear two other caps, one being a lecturer in Christian doctrine and ethics at Wycliffe Hall, while, naturally, of course, at the same time he was a member of their theology faculty.

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. --William Shakespeare
Somewhere a-midst all this studying, learning from his elders like Peter Medawar, and lecturing, Alister found time to read quite a lot, from various people and writers, from Michael Polanyi to Benjamin B. Warfield  and William James --and more. He assimilated  "Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil," from another English-Irish Protestant, C.S. Lewis, (McGrath just published the biography, C. S. Lewis - A Life , in Spring 2013, which I will discuss further along). Also he concurred with G.K. Chesterton, that "The riddles of God are more satisfying than the answers of man." Additionally there was Lewis' friend, J.R.R. Tolkien, the latter of which he quipped, "His fussiness threatened to overwhelm his creativity.” McGrath mentions that Chesterton
...pointed out how we can accept "a very good working belief" long before "we can get absolute proof." The "big bang" is accepted today mainly because it is more consistent with our observations of the universe than its "steady state" rival. It can't be proved (after all, it's a singular event). But it does make a lot of sense of things.
Alister also began to publish about this time, emulating the above-mentioned Christian intellectuals. (I bought three of his books around this time, several used as a reference, 1990's Understanding the Trinity), and Understanding Jesus). Interestingly, they are not on McGrath's works' list on his website.  Although his book was given a good review by apologist Robert M. Bowman, Jr., even lauding him with "McGrath's books bear a striking resemblance to C. S. Lewis's popular works on Christian doctrine," thought it not a good idea that McGrath pushed analogies to their limits --like the Trinity is akin to a triangle or two parents and a child-- to explain such important doctrines, as revealed in his reasons here:
As it stands his explanation still seems more monarchian (the third-century heresy which regarded God as a lone person playing three roles) than trinitarian. At best his explanation seems to imply what theologians call an economic Trinity (i.e., the belief that God acts in three distinctly personal ways or roles) grounded in an ontological unitarianism (i.e., the belief that behind God's many roles or ways of acting God is really only one person). There seems to be no room in his explanation for an ontological Trinity (one God existing eternally as three really distinct persons) -- no room for a preexistent Son and Holy Spirit co-existing eternally with the Father.

Besides making that clear to me in my conversation with him, he leaves some indicators in his book of his orthodox view of the Trinity. For one thing, earlier in the same book McGrath strongly affirms that the Father sent the Son and that the Father and Son then sent the Holy Spirit (pp. 126-29). Further, even in offering his monarchian-sounding explanation McGrath warns, "The following is a simplified account of the idea of 'person' which may be helpful, although the reader must appreciate that simplifications are potentially dangerous" (p. 130)

Academic Circuit Rider

Taking advantage of the Denyer and Johnson Travelling Scholarships, in 1990 he took a trip to the United States to Madison, New Jersey, where Drew University offered him a position as a Ezra Squire Tipple Visiting Professor of Historical Theology for the fall semester, but like a jet-setter with robes instead of Hawaiian shirts, he was back in Oxford to give Bampton Lectures on early Christian creeds and doctrinal statements. Not daunted by multitasking, in 1993 he started both to become University Research Lecturer in Theology, Oxford University until 1999, while until 1997 additionally being Research Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada. That must have given him frequent flyer miles. Then, in 1995 assuming the role of Principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford overlapped him not a small bit until the latter responsibility ended in 2004. Still the ever multifarious academic, in 1999 he was, because of  Oxford's “Recognition of Distinction” exercise, he was given the titular, or personal chair professorship of Historical Theology until 2008.  After resigning that Wycliffe Hall role he then became Director of the newly-established Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics.

His first major published work was his three volumes of  theology: A Scientific Theology: Volume 1 – Nature ( 2001), A Scientific Theology: Volume 2 – Reality (2002), and A Scientific Theology: Volume 3 – Theory (2003).  Another interesting job he had in 2005, was as Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (FRSA).  To finalize Doctor McGraths credentials, in 2013 his continuing research into science and religion, and natural theology at Oxford, earned him his DLitt (Doctor of Letters), Division of Humanities.

  No Apologies, but Yes Apologetics

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places  --Ephesians 6:12

His confidence for apologetics grew exponentially coinciding his increasing studies in science, history, philosophy and theology. From his essay "Science and Faith at Odds?", he explains his main driving vision:

Do the natural sciences pose a challenge to the Christian faith? This is a hot question at the moment, given the high profile by works such as Richard DawkinsGod Delusion. 1 Real scientists do not believe in God! This sound byte will be very familiar to Dawkins’ readers. Many in Western culture seem prepared to accept it as the wisdom of our age. So how reliable is this idea? And how should Christians respond to it? This is one of the greatest challenges to faith in the public domain at present, and we need to know what to say.

But it’s more complex than that. It’s not just Richard Dawkins who is asserting that science — especially evolutionary biology — leads to atheism. This same slogan is found in many fundamentalist Christian circles, where it is argued that Darwinism is necessarily atheistic. Why, many wonder, are so many Christians, especially American evangelicals, so wary of science in general, and the theory of evolution in particular? Given evangelicalism’s characteristic emphasis upon the authority of Scripture, it is not surprising to find that one of the major concerns within the movement concerns apparent challenges to biblical authority arising from scientific advance. This is seen most acutely in evangelical concerns about challenges to traditional interpretations of the Genesis creation accounts posed by evolutionary biology. My goal, therefore, is to explore these important issues, beginning with Dawkins, who is now widely regarded as the high priest of the “science disproves God” belief system.

So Professor Richard Dawkins becomes his 'Professor James Moriarty', not so much a thorn in his side, and the 'New Atheism', but a stimulant.  For example, Dawkins quipped,

Alister McGrath has now written two books with my name in the title. The poet W. B. Yeats, when asked to say something about bad poets who made a living by parasitizing him, wrote the splendid line, "...was there ever dog that praised his fleas?"

Ladies and Gentlemen! Get Ready for the Ultimate Smackdown!

McGrath continues to explain the debate of belief and science from that essay:
So why are so many scientists religious? Why is Dawkins so wrong in suggesting that all real scientists are atheists, or demanding that scientists ought to be atheists? The obvious and most intellectually satisfying explanation of this is not difficult to identity. It is well known that the natural world is conceptually malleable. It can be interpreted, without any loss of intellectual integrity, in a number of different ways. Some “read” or “interpret” nature in an atheist way. Others “read” it in a deistic way, seeing it as pointing to a creator divinity, who is no longer involved in its affairs. God winds up the clock, then leaves it to work on its own. Others take a more specifically Christian view, believing in a God who both creates and sustains. Others take a more spiritualized view, speaking more vaguely of some “life force.”

Like some kind of a tag team match, there was also Daniel Dennett, and the late Christopher Hitchens with whom to contend.

O! Let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven; keep me in temper; I would not be mad!   --William Shakespeare
They had one of several debates on October 11, 2007, where one said about the Hitchens event, "Hitchens ripped the lily-livered, 'sophisticated' theologian limb from limb." Even if opponents from the New Atheism sometimes rudely verbally abused McGrath and bragged on their success, he said on this and their methods:
You just think: my goodness if their arguments must be really weak if they have to resort to personal abuse. But I won’t repeat it. If they use abusive language about me, I’m not going to use it back. I’m a Christian, and always try to be gracious in debate.

I’m saying it {New Atheism} has run out of steam. It’s just recycling the same old ideas. And when the ideas have been tried and tested and they don’t work, the only option you have is to turn up the volume and get more abusive. And that’s what we see in the new atheism. They aren't using new arguments. They’re just making the same old points more aggressively and more loudly

It seems true for McGrath that even though he is perched high on Academia's Towers, he still has detractors of various stripes.

Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. --2 Timothy 2:14
One commented about the debates, "I watched about 20 minutes of an hour long discussion McGrath had with Richard Dawkins...when the residing Pope of Atheism thinks you're a reasonable/rational Christian, you've probably abandoned Christian thinking. I couldn't stomach it." For some liberals, he is too Orthodox, but he is examined with scrutiny from those to the right of him. He is not immune to some serious examination, on some of his writing echoed by PCA Reverend David Wegener:
McGrath is indeed a very prolific author and most of his writing is on historical theology (much of it Reformation history), the whole range of systematic theology, and the relationship of science and Christianity. But, don’t be intimidated by the sheer volume of his books. There is a fair bit of cutting and pasting going on...

Yet McGrath continues to maintain a perspective that has been shown to be false and one used to dismiss the relevance of Puritan and Reformed thinking for today.

It is surprisingly difficult to find out what McGrath actually believes. His systematic theology text is really historical theology. There is no Scripture index and very little discussion of the meaning of actual Bible verses and how they speak to the normal loci of systematic theology. Even after a long historical presentation, he rarely if ever says, “these are the range of views presented in the history of the church, but I am persuaded that the Scriptures teach this because …” So, for example, in the chapter on “The Doctrines of Human Nature, Sin and Grace,” McGrath first discusses, “The Place of Humanity within Creation.” Genesis 1:27 is quoted and its meaning is explored by quoting and summarizing from Tertulliian, Origen, Augustine, Lactantius, Athanasius, the Cappadocians, Cyril of Jerusalem, and then back to Augustine. At the end, we’re never told what McGrath believes or even how he evaluates what these theologians have taught.
His defense of Archbishop Rowan Williams, who voted with other bishops against a defense of a conservative view on Homosexuality, caused some stir. (McGrath had written: "He will see his role as raising uncomfortable questions, and keeping them open, catalysing the crystallization of the 'mind of the church.' ) There is also some criticism about how he borrows heavily from his own materials, and in those works, there are lots of other experts that he cites making his case for this or that. For example. one disdaining comment, by Janet MacDougall, on September 20, 2007 stated,
I had the misfortune to use McGrath's Christian Theology Reader together with a book which he calls "systematic theology" The Reader is a mishmash of short excerpts from a collection of writers. McGrath "cuts and pastes" these selections, for instance taking a sentence from Calvin's Institutes, leaving out a considerable part of Calvin's argument and then quoting a second sentence. There are references at the bottom of the selection which give this technique away, but I suspect, that most of the readers do not notice this.

In April of 2008 he was part of the huge “King James and his Bible” lecture given at the Middle Temple to mark the 400 years of its charter. He made the case for the Wycliffe version's superiority over the one that really took hold under King Charles in 1660. His lecture tours have been extensive, and some of the latest have been to promote what he touts as "Natural Theology." "The Open Secret: A New Vision for Natural Theology" was the first promotion of it in 2008 at University of Newcastle-upon Tyne. He followed it in 2009 at the University of Aberdeen with "A Fine Tuned Universe: The Quest for God in Science and Theology." As recently as 2011 the “Darwinism and the Divine: Evolutionary Thought and Natural Theology” Hulsean Lectures were given at Cambridge.

One can find  his debates on the BBC site, or on YouTube, of course, and you can judge for yourself his abilities. He made time in the hectic schedule to wed the psychologist, educator and theologian, Joanna Collicutt.  They have two children, and she co-wrote with her husband, The Dawkins Delusion? Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine out in 2007. (I was not kidding about 'tag team'.) She is an Anglican Priestess whose specialty is spirituality for those in need of special education. (This female being a Reverend ruffled some old-school feathers.) It all depends on how one balances the Apostle Paul's "There is neither male nor female, Jew or Greek in Christ Jesus," and "I do not allow a woman to teach a man."

November 22: A Sad Day for Three

♫For we, we are not long here,
   Our time is but a breath, so we better breathe it.
   And I, I was made to live,
   I was made to love,
   I was made to know you.
   Hope is coming for me.
   Hope, He's coming.
--"C.S. Lewis Song", Brooke Fraser

That above-mentioned date was recently remembered in the States for John F. Kennedy's assassination, but it was also the day Aldous Huxley (Doors to Perception) died, and more importantly, for Evangelicals, Clive Staples Lewis, at age 63. It is a no-brainer that Professor McGrath would provide us with another biography of this author, C.S. Lewis: A Life, who for most contemporary folks know his Narnia tale from the big screen. Of course some might unfortunately remember him from that other cinematic portrayal, Shadowlands, though it is an example how one can be salvaged from low places (the affair with the divorcee and his heavy drinking) by the Holy Spirit led Grace of God through His Son. (They married, and his wife died at 45).

The one advantage McGrath has over all the other books on Lewis, he had special access to his letters, and therefore made an attempt to sort through legend and truth. He, however, was more interested in the theology than the sordid opera of C.S.' earlier life. As McGrath prefaced it as, "... another rehearsal of the vast army of facts and figures concerning his life, but an attempt to identify its deeper themes and concerns, and assess its significance. This is not a work of synopsis, but of analysis.” Most reviewers liked McGrath's book,  Bruce Charlton said:

Aside from a mild but recurrent dash of chronological snobbery resulting from McGrath's centre-Right social liberalism (such that he sometimes simply assumes without argument that Lewis was wrong on those points where he clashes with modern shibboleths in relation to sex, politics, education, scholarship etc.), I have nothing negative to say about this book! ---It was gripping, insightful, informative and thoroughly worthwhile.


The Washington Post wrote, " immense amount has been written about C.S. Lewis, but if you’re looking for a lively, general introduction to this multifaceted thinker and writer, Alister McGrath’s new biography is a good place to start." And the Huffington Post,  gushed it was "a thoroughly readable biography that opens up the man behind the myth." However Sam Leith's in the Guardian was not so kind as witnessed by these (and they are not the worst, i.e., "wretched with cliché") barbs:

McGrath's work on Lewis's theology in this volume is much the best of it. There are good, clear explanations of Lewis's ideas about myth, the distinctions he made between the "imaginary" and the "imaginative", or "allegory" and "supposal"{sic}. McGrath – no objection in itself, but a clue as to the weighting of his book – reads Lewis's fiction primarily through its importance as a work of "imaginative narrative apologetics" (as opposed to rational apologetics – a distinction that he handles well) rather than as literary artefacts.{sic}

The cloth ear returns when it comes to literary history. That matters: Lewis's chair was in literature, not theology. I love The Lord of the Rings, too, but calling it "one of the great works of 20th-century literature" seems a bit much. To say that the Narnia stories "captivated the imagination of a generation", to earnestly affirm that The Waste Land is "still widely acknowledged as one of the finest and most discussed poems of the 20th century" or that Ulysses showed "radical literary innovation" is not exactly high-wattage stuff. A final chapter on Lewis's reputational {sic} afterlife gives more detailed attention to his popularity in the US as a cross-denomination Christian apologist, and to his being taken up by the evangelical movement that once spurned him as a heretic, than it does to his literary or scholarly legacy.

More culpably, even when on home turf McGrath seldom takes Lewis to task. He gives a lucid account of Lewis's line on "chronological snobbery", for instance – the idea that it's arrogant to read the past as an imperfect version of the present, rather than realising that every stage of the past was once the present, and that present orthodoxies will in due course seem just as muddled as those of the past do to us. But he gives the idea a free pass (clearly it's less true of some aspects of intellectual life – such as medicine or mathematics – than others), and he raises no flags in this context over Lewis's blatantly whiggish notion of Christianity: not as one myth among others, but as the encompassing expression of a truth partially and imperfectly grasped in other systems of religious ideas.

Now we get to the summation of his life, it is in his vast prolific oeuvres as evidenced below, but hopefully he does not foresee fading  like C.S. Lewis who feebly and incorrectly foretold that his legacy would evaporate in half a decade's time. Personally, I think this erudite Christian, Doctor, Professor, Reverend Alister E. McGrath still has the best output to come.


Body of Work:

Also in these languages: Afrikaans; Arabic; Chinese (both Cantonese and Mandarin); Croatian; Czech; Dutch; Farsi; Finnish; French; German; Hungarian; Icelandic; Indonesian; Italian; Japanese; Korean; Norwegian; Polish; Portugese; Romanian; Russian; Spanish; Swedish; and Vietnamese.


1. In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible (New York: Doubleday, 2001).
2. The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World (New York: Doubleday, 2004).
3. The Dawkins Delusion? Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine. With Joanna Collicutt McGrath. (London: SPCK, 2007).
4. Why God Won’t Go Away: Engaging the New Atheism (London: SPCK, 2011).
North American edition published as Why God Won’t Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2011).
Works written for clergy and others engaged in ministry

The main works here are comprise the “Truth and the Christian Imagination” series, which uses works of art as a means of communicating and exploring central Christian ideas. The five volumes in the series are as follows:
1. Creation (London: SPCK, 2004).
2. Incarnation (London: SPCK, 2005).
3. Redemption (London: SPCK, 2006).
4. Resurrection (London: SPCK, 2007).
5. The Christian Vision of God (London: SPCK, 2008).
Other books written for this audience
1. The Journey (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1999).
2. The Unknown God: Searching for spiritual fulfilment (Oxford: Lion Publications, 1999).
(voted the best book on Christian spirituality published in 1999 by Christianity Today.)
3. Mere Theology: Christian Faith and the Discipleship of the Mind (London: SPCK, 2010).
North American edition published as The Passionate Intellect: Christian Faith and the Discipleship of the Mind (InterVarsity Press, 2010).
4. Surprised by Meaning: Science, Faith, and How We Make Sense of Things (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011).
10. Mere Apologetics: How to Help Seekers and Skeptics Find Faith (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2012).


1. Luther’s Theology of the Cross.  Martin Luther’s Theological Breakthrough (Blackwell: Oxford, 1985); paperback edition published January 1990. Second edition due to be published in 2011.
2. The Making of Modern German Christology. From the Enlightenment to Pannenberg (Blackwell: Oxford, 1986).
3. “Reformation to Enlightenment (1500–1800)”, in P. D. L. Avis (ed.), The History of Christian Theology I: The Science of Theology (Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986), 105-229. Book-length article.
4. Iustitia DeiA History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification (2 vols; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986; paperback edition 1989, 1991). Second edition (in one volume) published by CUP in 1998. Third edition, completely revised, 2005.
5. The Intellectual Origins of the European Reformation (Blackwell: Oxford, 1987); paperback edition, 1992. Second edition, completely revised, 2003.
6. The Genesis of Doctrine (Blackwell: Oxford, 1990). Second edition: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997. The 1990 Bampton Lectures, Oxford University.
7. The Renewal of Anglicanism (London: SPCK, 1993).
8. The Foundations of Dialogue in Science and Religion (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998).
9. Thomas F. Torrance: An Intellectual Biography (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1999).
10.The Future of Christianity (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000).
11. A Scientific Theology: Volume 1 – Nature (London: T. & T. Clark, 2001).
12. A Scientific Theology: Volume 2 – Reality (London: T. & T. Clark, 2002).
13. A Brief History of Heaven. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002).
14. A Scientific Theology: Volume 3 – Theory (London: T. & T. Clark, 2003).
15.Dawkins’ God: Genes, Memes and the Meaning of Life.
(Oxford: Blackwell, 2004).
16. The Science of God: An Introduction to Scientific Theology. (London: T. & T. Clark, 2004).
17. The Order of Things: Explorations in Scientific Theology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006).
18. Christianity’s Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-First Century. (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2007).
19. The Open Secret: A New Vision for Natural Theology. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008). The 2008 Riddell Memorial Lectures, University of Newcastle.
20. A Fine-Tuned Universe? Anthropic Phenomena and Natural Theology (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2009).
This book is an expanded version of the 2009 Gifford Lectures at the University of Aberdeen.
21. Heresy: A History of Defending the Faith (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2009).
22. Darwinism and the Divine: Evolutionary Thought and Natural Theology (Oxford: Blackwell-Wiley, 2011).
This book is an expanded version of the 2009 Hulsean Lectures at the University of Cambridge.


1. Reformation Thought: An Introduction First edition, 1988; second edition, 1993; third edition, 1999. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing).
2. Christian Theology: An Introduction First edition, 1993; second edition, 1997; third edition, 2001; fourth edition, 2006; fifth edition, 2011 (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing).
3. The Christian Theology Reader First edition, 1995; second edition, 2000; third edition, 2006; fourth edition, 2011 (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing).
4. Christianity: An Introduction First edition, 1997; second, completely revised edition, 2006. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing).
5. Science and Religion: An Introduction. First edition, 1999; second, completely revised edition, 2009 (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing).
6. Theology: The Basics First edition, 2004; second edition, 2007; third edition 2011. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing).
7. Theology: The Basic Texts First edition, 2007; second edition 2011 (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing).
Edited Academic Works
1. Editor, Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Modern Christian Thought (Oxford/Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 1993).
2.Editor, A Handbook of Anglican Theologians (London: SPCK, 1998).
3. Editor, with Darren C Marks, of The Blackwell Companion to Protestantism (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004).

Natural Sciences

1. "Photobleaching: A Novel Fluorescence Method for Diffusion Studies in Lipid Systems”, Biochimica at Biophysica Acta 426 (1976): 173-85.
2. “Positron Lifetimes in Phospholipid Dispersions”, Biochimica at Biophysica Acta 466 (1977): 367-72.
3. “Lipid Asymmetry, Clustering and Molecular Motion in Biological Membranes and Their Models”, in S. Abrahamsson and I. Pascher (eds), Nobel Foundation Symposium: Biological Membranes and Their Models (New York: Plenum Press, 1977), 389-407.
Note that all these were co-authored with Professor G. K. Radda and others.
1. "The Anti‑Pelagian Structure of ‘Nominalist’ Doctrines of Justification”, Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses 57 (1981) 107‑19.
2. “Rectitude: The Moral Foundations of Anselm of Canterbury’s Soteriology”, Downside Review 99 (1981) 204‑13.
3. “‘Augustinianism’? A Critical Assessment of the so‑called ‘Mediaeval Augustinian Tradition’ on Justification”, Augustiniana 31 (1981) 247‑67.
4. “Justification:  Barth, Trent and Küng”, Scottish Journal of Theology 34 (1981) 517‑29.
5. “Humanist Elements in the Early Reformed Doctrine of Justification”, Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 73 (1982) 5‑20.
6. “Justice and Justification.  Semantic and Juristic Aspects of the Christian Doctrine of Justification”, Scottish Journal of Theology 35 (1982) 403‑18.
7. “Forerunners of the Reformation?  A Critical Examination of the Evidence for Precursors of the Reformation Doctrines of Justification”,Harvard Theological Review 75 (1982) 219‑42.
8. “‘The Righteousness of God’ from Augustine to Luther”, Studia Theologica 36 (1982) 63‑78.
9. “Mira et nova diffinitio iustitiae.  Luther and Scholastic Doctrines of Justification”, Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 74 (1983) 37‑60.
10. “Karl Barth and the articulus iustificationis.  The Significance of His Critique of Ernst Wolf within the Context of his Theological Method”,Theologische Zeitschrift 39 (1983) 349‑61.
11. “Homo iustificandus fide.  Rechtfertigung, Verkündigung und Anthropologie”, Kerygma und Dogma 29 (1983) 323‑31.
12. “Divine Justice and Divine Equity in the Controversy between Augustine and Julian of Eclanum”, Downside Review 101 (1983) 312‑9.
13. “Homo assumptus?  A Study in the Christology of the Via Moderna, with Particular Reference to William of Ockham”, Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses 60 (1984): 283‑97.
14. “The Influence of Aristotelian Physics upon St Thomas Aquinas’ Discussion of the Processus Iustificationis“, Recherches de théologie  ancienne et médiévale 51 (1984) 223‑9.
15. “Karl Barth als Aufklärer? Der Zusammenhang seiner Lehre vom Werke Christi mit der Erwählungslehre”, Kerygma und Dogma 30 (1984) 273‑83.
16. “Der articulus iustificationis als axiomatischer Grundsatz des christlichen Glaubens”, Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche 81 (1984) 383‑94.
17. “Some Observations concerning the Soteriology of the Schola Moderna”, Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 52 (1985): 182‑93.
18. “The Moral Theory of the Atonement.  An Historical and Theological Critique”, Scottish Journal of Theology 38 (1985): 205‑20.
19. “John Calvin and Late Medieval Thought.  A Study in Late Medieval Influences upon Calvin’s Theological Thought”, Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 77 (1986): 58-78.
20. “Christology and Soteriology. A Response to Wolfhart Pannenberg’s Critique of the Soteriological Approach to Christology”, Theologische Zeitschrift 42 (1986): 222‑36.
21. “Geschichte, Überlieferung und Erzählung: Überlegungen zur Identität und Aufgabe christlicher Theologie”, Kerygma und Dogma 32 (1986): 234-53.
22. “Karl Barth on Jesus Christ, Theology and the Church”, in Reckoning with Barth: Essays in Commemoration of the Centenary of Karl Barth’s Birth (Oxford: Mowbrays, 1988): 27–42.
23. “Christian Ethics”, in R. Morgan (ed.), The Religion of the Incarnation: Anglican Essays in Commemoration of Lux Mundi (Bristol: Classical Press, 1989), 189–204.
24. “The Eucharist: Reassessing Zwingli”, Theology 93 (1990): 13–20.
25. “Dogma und Gemeinde: Zur soziologische Funktion des christlichen Dogmas”, Kerygma und Dogma (1990): 24–43.
26. Articles “Reformation” and “Martin Luther” in The Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation, ed. J. L Houlden (London: SCM Press, 1990).
27. “The Christology of Hugolino of Orvieto”, in Schwerpunkte und Wirkungen des Sentenzenkommentars Hugolins von Orvieto, ed. K. W. Eckermann (Würzburg: Augustinus-Verlag, 1990), 253–62.
28. “Religion”, in J. W. Yolton et al. (eds), The Blackwell Companion to the Enlightenment (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991), 447-52.
29. Articles on “Justification” and “Cross, Theology of the” for A Dictionary of Paul and His Letters ed. G. F. Hawthorne, R. P. Wallace and D. G. Reid  (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993).
30. Articles on “Justification”, “Sanctification” and “Scholasticism” for Encyclopaedia of the Reformation ed. H. Hillebrandt (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995).
31. “The Transition to Modernity, 1400–1750”, in J. L. Houlden and Peter Byrne, Encyclopaedia of Theology (London: Routledge, 1995).
32. “Theologiae Proprium Subiectum: Theology as the Servant and Critic of the Church”, in W. P. Stephens (ed.), The Bible, The Reformation, and the Church (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), 150-65.
33. Articles on “Justification”, “Martin Luther”, “John Calvin”, “Calvinism” and “Lutheranism” in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997).
34. Articles on Gabriel Biel, Martin Bucer, J. H. Bullinger, M. Flacius, A. von Karlstadt, Philip Melanchthon, Johann Oecolampadius, Vadian and Huldrych Zwingli for Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation, ed. John H Hayes (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1998).
35. “Reality, Symbol and History: Theological Reflections on N. T. Wright’s Portrayal of Jesus”, in Carey C. Newman (ed.), Jesus and the Restoration of Israel: A Critical Assessment of N. T. Wright’s Jesus and the Victory of God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), 159-79.
36. “Profile: Thomas F. Torrance,” Epworth Review 27 (2000): 11-15.
37. “Newman on Justification: An Evaluation,” in Terrance Merrigan and Ian T. Ker (eds), Newman and the Word (Louvain: Peters, 2000), 91-108.
38. “The Origins of A Scientific Theology.” Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 28 (2003): 259-65.
39. “Theologie, Christliche, 4-5: Reformation bis Neuzeit”, in Theologische Realenzyklopädie, ed. Gerhard Krause, Gerhard Müller, and Horst Robert Balz. (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2004).
40. “Intelligibility and Responsibility: The Doctrine of Creation and Modern Science”. China Graduate School of Theology Journal 37 (2004): 103-37.
41. “On Writing a Scientific Theology: A Response to Ross H. McKenzie.”, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 56 (2004), 255-9.
42. “Jesus for Modern Man: The Historical Significance of John Robinson”s Christology”, in Colin Slee (ed.), Honest to God: Forty Years On(London: SCM Press, 2004), 111-32.
43. “A Blast from the Past? The Boyle Lectures and Natural Theology.” Science and Christian Belief 17 (2005): 25-34.
44. “Has Science Eliminated God? Richard Dawkins and the Meaning of Life.” Science and Christian Belief 17 (2005): 115-35.
45. “Spiritual Information and the Sense of Wonder: The Convergence of Spirituality and the Natural Sciences.” In C. L. Harper (ed.),I Spiritual Information, edited by Charles L. Harper (Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press, 2005), 1-5.
46. “Spirituality and Well-Being: Some Recent Discussions” Review Article, Brain: A Journal of Neurology 129 (2006): 278-82.
47. “Darwinism”, in P. Clayton (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Science and Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 681-96.
48. “The Doctrine of the Trinity: An Evangelical Reflection”, in T. George (ed.), God the Holy Trinity: Reflections on Christian Faith and Practice(Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006), 17-35.
49. “Theologie als Mathesis Universalis? Heinrich Scholz, Karl Barth, und der wissenschaftliche Status der christlichen Theologie.” Theologische Zeitschrift 63 (2007): 44-57.
50. “Dogma, Identität und soziale Existenz: Kritische Reflexionen über die soziale Funktion der christlichen Dogmatik in der Aufrechterhaltung von Gruppenidentität.” Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kulturgeschichte 2 (2007).
51. “Science and Religion”, in P. Clarke (ed.), The World’s Religions: Continuities and Transformations 2nd edn (London: Routledge, 2008), 609-20.
52. “The secularization of providence: Theological reflections on the appeal to Darwinism in recent atheist apologetics”, in Philip G. Ziegler and Francesca Murphy (eds), The Doctrine of Providence (London: T&T Clark, 2009), 194-208.
53. “The Story of the King James Bible.” In D. G. Burke (eds), Translation that Openeth the Window: Reflections on the History and Legacy of the King James Bible. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009), 3-20.
54. “Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen’? Gedanken über die Zukunft der natürlichen Theologie”. Theologische Zeitschrift 65 (2009): 246-60.
Professor James Moriarty 55. “The Great Tradition: J. I. Packer and Engaging with the Past to Enrich the Present” in T. George (ed.), J. I. Packer and the Evangelical Future (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009), 19-27.
56. “Is religion evil?” in William Lane Craig and Chad Meister (eds), God is Good, God is Great: Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009), 119-33.
57. “Deism or Trinitarianism? The Case of Natural Theology.” A Theology of Japan: Monograph Series, vol. 5. (Tokyo: Seigakuin University Press, 2009), 102-14.
58. “The Shaping of Reality: Calvin and the Formation of Theological Vision.” Toronto Journal of Theology 25 (2009): 187–204.
59. “The ideological uses of evolutionary biology in recent atheist apologetics” in R. Numbers and D. Alexander (eds), Ideology and Biology: From Descartes to Dawkins (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), 329-49.
60. “Water: A Navigable Channel from Science to God?”, in Ruth M. Lynden-Bell, Simon Conway Morris, John D. Barrow, and John L. Finney (eds), Water and Life: The Unique Properties of H2O (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 341-52.
61. “Religious Education in Great Britain” in Japanese. Published in book form. Tokyo: Kirisuto Shimbun, 2010.
62. “Holy Communion: Its History and Practice” in Japanese. Published in book form. Tokyo: Kirisuto Shimbun, 2010.
63. “Gli ateismi di successo: Il nuovo scientismo.” Concilium: rivista internazionale di teologia 46 (2010): 625-37.
64. “Truth, Beauty and Goodness: A New Vision for Natural Theology”, in A.
L. C. Runehov, N. H. Gregerson, and J. Wolf (eds), The Human Project in
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65. “Erzählung, Gemeinschaft und Dogma: Reflexionen über das Zeugnis der Kirche in der Postmoderne.“ Theologische Beiträge 41 (2010): 25–38.
I 66. “De grenzen aan de darwinistische wereldbeschouwing: een filosophisch en religieus perspectief”, in Luc Braeckmans, Willem Lemmens, Mark Nelissen, and Walter van Herck (eds), Darwin en het hedendaage mensbeeld (Antwerp: University Press Antwerp, 2010),113-32.
67. “Faith and Tradition”, in Gerald McDermott (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Evangelical Theology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 81-95.
68. “Evangelicalism and Science”, in Gerald McDermott (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Evangelical Theology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 434-48.
 69. “Protestantism”, in David Fergusson, Karen Kilby, Iain Torrance (eds), Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, to be published 2011).
70. “Transcendence and God: Reflections on Critical Realism, the ‘New Atheism,’ and Christian Theology”. In Mervyn Hartwig and Jamie Morgan (eds), Theism, Atheism and Meta-Reality: Realist Perspectives on Spirituality. (London: Routledge, to be published in 2011).
71. “The Natural Sciences and Apologetics”, in Andrew Davison (ed.), Imaginative Apologetics: Theology, Philosophy and the Catholic Tradition( London: SCM Press, to be published 2011).
72. “The Cultivation of Theological Vision: Theological Attentiveness and the Practice of Ministry”. In Pete Ward (ed.), Perspectives on Ecclesiology and Ethnography (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, to be published 2011).
73. “The Lord is my Light: On the Discipleship of the Mind.” Evangelical Quarterly 83 (2011): 000-00.
74. “Anglicanism and Pan-Evangelicalism”, in Mark Chapman (ed.), The Oxford Handbook to Anglican Studies. Oxford University Press, to be published in 2012.
75. “Christianity”. In Mark Cobb, Christina Puchalski, and Bruce Rumbold (eds), The Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare (Oxford: Oxford University Press, to be published in 2012).
76. “The Church as a Visionary Community: Ecclesiology and Intellectual, Aesthetic, and Moral Discernment.”

Australian Broadcasting Corporation “Religion and Ethics”
"Stephen Hawking, God, and the Role of Science" September 2010
"Could anyone believe in Pullman’s Jesus?" November 2010

A series of postings on the “New Atheism”, January – March 2011:
1. "Thank God for the New Atheism!"
2. "There is nothing blind about faith."
3. "Faith and the prison of mere rationality"

Sources: he Resurrection

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