Albert Einstein was, without doubt, the most iconic scientist of the last century. In this lucid little book, Alister McGrath provides an accessible introduction to Einstein's great scientific discoveries, as well as a careful analysis of his views on the relationship between science and religion. Einstein was a nuanced thinker on the big questions of life, and who better than McGrath to guide us on an exploration of this aspect of Einstein's legacy. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a fuller picture of Albert Einstein's life and thought.
McGrath, professor of science and religion at Oxford University, provides an excellent study of Einstein's theories in relation to his beliefs about God. McGrath explains the scientific achievements of Isaac Newton that dominated the world of physics while Einstein was working as an assistant in a Swiss patent shop in 1905. That year, Einstein published an article that would "overthrow" Newtonian ideas, in which he proposed that light was composed of particles and that each particle's energy could be measured by the frequency of its electromagnetic radiation. McGrath then lays out Einstein's subsequent work, article-by-article, establishing his theory of special relativity. Though Einstein revolutionized physics, he failed in his quest to discover a "grand theory of everything," a problem he wrestled with until his death. While Einstein did not believe in a personal God, McGrath writes, he was driven by a "cosmic religious feeling" that became his "strongest and noblest motive for scientific research." McGrath, a Christian, encourages other Christians to consider Einstein's teachings as a mechanism for thinking about their own ideas regarding the relationship between science, religion, and the "meaning of everything." This analysis of Einstein's ideas will appeal to any Christian reader looking to contemplate connections between God and the unresolved mysteries of scientific discovery.