An important analysis of the theological views on miracle and revelation in the period from the disintegration of the medieval worldview to the twentieth century. The author discusses the authenticity of revelation, its origins, and its importance throughout this period. He discusses the criticisms levied at revelation in a world dominated by scientific study and logic, and traces the developments and progress of the arguments of its adherents.
The author illuminates the theories of the English Deists and their development of modern rationalism, which was to be championed during the Restoration when cynical opinion called for Christianity to be ‘reasonable’ with plain theological arguments. In response, the men behind the Scientific Renaissance argued that the structure of nature as they now perceived it only supported evidence of a divine being, which injected natural theology with a new lease of life.
Lawton establishes the conflict between science and religion early on in this book. He explores the profound effect that these arguments had on the perception of revelation, miracles, and other aspects of Christianity, which relied heavily on faith and were also reappraised unfavourably during this period. He also demonstrates that with regard to life, and revelation in particular, it is a spiritual, not logical response, which is ultimately of value. This book is thoughtfully constructed, and will appeal to scientists and theologians alike, in addition to anyone with an interest in Christian debate.