Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Material by John Byl on science/religion

I have just updated my book The Divine Challenge: On Matter, Mind, Math, and Meaning. At the same time, I converted it into an e-book, available (free) in pdf format here. This is available also in epub format, but for some reason can't handle epub, so that you should send me an email if you want the epub file.

Its description is as follows:

This book is about the war between God and fallen man. It concerns the double challenge, between God and man, to establish who will rule. The war will be addressed at the level of competing worldviews, and their ability to explain reality and assign meaning. The battleground will range over the realms of matter, mind, and math.

The prime purpose is the apologetic one of showing the superiority of the Christian worldview over its main competitors. The main thesis is that only Christianity offers a cohesive, meaningful worldview. The challenges of modern naturalism and post-modern relativism ultimately self-destruct.

This book is addressed to the intelligent non-expert. Although the discussion will range over various issues in science, math, philosophy, and theology, no prior knowledge of these disciplines is assumed. The aim is to convey the basic thrust of the arguments in non-technical language, as simply as possible. Nevertheless, some of these issues are very subtle, requiring the reader's close attention.


The Divine Challenge: On Matter, Mind, Math & Meaning. (2004) Edinburgh: Banner of Truth
- deals with Christian worldview versus naturalism & relativism

Dutch translation: De Ultieme Uitdaging: Over God, materie, geest en getal (2003) Kampen: De Groot Goudriaan.


I have also uploaded our revised e-book How Should Christians View Origins?  A free pdf version can be downloaded here.

Its description is as follows:

Are you related to apes? Is Adam just a myth? Is evolution a fact? Is the earth billions of years old? Has science disproven the plain reading of the Bible, particularly concerning origins? Many Christians think so.

This booklet explores the nature of science and the influence of naturalism. It examines pertinent scientific evidence and biblical texts. It shows how basic Christian doctrines are grounded in the historicity of biblical events. It defends the traditional, plain sense reading of Genesis.

Much is at stake. Pastors, Bible teachers, church leaders, and students need to embrace a Christian worldview that fully upholds God's Word as the ultimate authority. This booklet provides a solid beginning towards this goal.

It is available free (in epub form) at Barnes and NobleIt is available also at Amazon, for Kindle, but at their minimum price of US $0.99 (they don't allow free books). For a free pdf version, contact me at

There is also a Spanish edition, put out last year by CLIR (Confraternidad Latinoamericana de Iglesias Reformadas), a Reformed mission organization that publishes many solidly Reformed books in Spanish.

God and Cosmos: A Christian View of Time, Space, and the Universe. (2001) Edinburgh: Banner of Truth.
- deals with a Christian view of astronomy/cosmology
Dutch translation: God en de Kosmos: Een christelijke visie op tijd, ruimte en heelal (2001) Kampen: De Groot Goudriaan.
Portuguese translation: Deus e Cosmos: Um Conceito Cristao do Tempo, do Espaco e do Universo (2003) Sao Paulo: Publicacoes Evangelicas Selecionadas.

- these books are available at

Selected papers:

Many of my papers can be found at the site of Reformation Christian Ministries.
These include most of the papers listed below, many of whose links no longer function (note added in 2021).

God, Chance and Evil (2010)
-powerpoint of paper presented at "God & Physics" Conference, Oxford, July 2010
War of the Worldviews: Christianity & Its Challengers (2009)
-lecture at Reformed Seminary in Sarospatak, Hungary
Origins and Worldview Tinkering (2003)
-Reformed Perspective 22: 9-12
On Time in Genesis (2001)
- Reformed Polemics 8(3):12-13
General Revelation and Evangelicalism (1989)
- Mid-America Journal of Theology 5:1-13
Scripture and Geologists (1989)
- Westminster Theological Journal 50:143-152
Preliminary Considerations: On Scientific and Theological Method (1998)
- Premise V(3)3:1-11
Models and Presuppositions in Science and Theology (2008)
- paper delivered at ESSSAT conference
Does Mathematics Need a Worldview? (2008)
- paper delivered at "Man & the Christian Worldview Conference"
A Christian Perspective on Math (2008)
- Reformed Perspective 27 (4): 9-13
A Christian Perspective on Physics (2008)
- in Christian Worldview and the Academic Disciplines (eds. Deane E.D. Downey & Stanley E. Porter) 2009, Eugene, OR: Pickwick.
Matter, Mathematics, and God (2007)
- Theology and Science 5 (1): 73-86.
Freewill and Responsibility (2007)
- Reformed Perspectives Magazine 9 (22):1-21
Chance, Choice, and God (2006)
Can Science Dispense with Religion? (2004)
- Can Science Dispense with Religion? M. Golshani (ed.), Tehran, Iran: Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies: 69-77.
Mathematical Models and Reality (2003)
- Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences Conference Proceedings: 33-48
Indeterminancy, Divine action and Human Freedom (2003)
- Science & Christian Belief 15 (2): 101-116
Naturalism, Theism and Objective Knowledge (2002)
- Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 14: 69-90
On Michael Ruse and Reductionary Illusions (2001)
- Research News & Opportunities in Science and Theology 2 (1): 26
On Numbers in Numbers (2001)
- Science & Christian Belief 13 (1): 59-67
Theism and Mathematical Realism (2001)
- Journal of the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences
On Life in the Universe (2001)
- Professorenforum-Journal 2(1)
The Role of Belief in Modern Cosmology (1996)
- Facets of Faith and Science 3: 47-62
On Craig's Defence of the Kalam Cosmological Argument (1996)
- Facets of Faith and Science 4: 75-90
On the Natural Selection of Universes (1996)
- Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 37:369-371
On Pascal's Wager and Infinite Utilities (1994)
-Faith and Philosophy 11(3): 467-473
Cellular Automata & Origin of Life (1989)
- Perspectives on Science & Christian Faith 41:26-29
Instrumentalism: A Third Option (1985)
- Perspectives on Science & Christian Faith 37:11-18


Fred Butler said...

Dr. Byl,
I have always loved your work. Your book, The Divine Challenge, truly helped to shape my perspective on engage unbelief apologetically.

I just discovered your blog from a link from Triablogue, and I will be adding you to my sidebars. Thanks for sharing all these other papers. I hope to print them out and read them.

Looking forward to another book,

John Byl said...

Hi Fred

Welcome to my blog. Thanks for your kind words. I am happy that you found my work useful.


Unknown said...

Dr. Byl

Thank you for all the work that you have done thus far.

I am a physics lecturer at Aros (a reformed teachers college in Pretoria, South Africa).Currently I am writing a new study guide for my first year students. I would love to add your work on "A Christian perspective on physics" as an article in my study guide. But first wanted to ask for your permission.

Thank you very much!
Albert Drijfhout

John Byl said...

Hello Albert

If you are intending to print this article then you really need the written permision of the publisher of the book of which this is a chapter. "Christian Worldviews and the Academic Disciplines" (eds. Deane E.D. Downey & Stanley E. Porter, 2009).

Write to Wipf and Stock Publishers, 199 W. 8th Ave., Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401 USA.

Unknown said...

Dr. Byl

Thank you very much for the information. I wasn't aware that the article was already included in a book. I'll yust have my students buy the book!


Anonymous said...

I notice that the good Doctor has written about subjects dealing with the natural sciences. May I enquire whether he has any research degrees in subjects dealing with these topics or are his comments purely philosophical?

Jan Polinder said...

Dr. Byl,

Thank you for your commitment to the plain reading of scripture and for your work that is also easy to read. I live in Grand Rapids MI and it is a severe grief to see how the reformed church with few exceptions has embraced compromising views of Genesis. Your blog is like a breath of fresh air!

Your papers dealing with worldview seem to be inaccessible. I would very much enjoy reading them! Thank you.

John Byl said...

Hi Jan

Thanks for your kind words. I tried a few links, and they all worked. Could you tell me which links you had problems with?