Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Blue Sky Nonsense: reviewing “Blue Sky God: The Evolution of Science and Christianity” pt. 1: Introduction

Blue Sky God: The Evolution of Science and Christianity by Don MacGregor (book sources)

To say that I am not the target audience for this book would be a massive understatement; I was lent it by a family member who wanted my opinion on the ‘Science’ parts. Theologically, this is a book in the much-parodied liberal Anglican tradition (Episcopalian for those in the US); people such as Karen Armstrong, John Selby Spong, Marcus Borg and J.A.T. Robinson feature notably in the bibliography. Obviously I do not propose to criticize it from a theological perspective; but I may have something to say about the ethical consequences of some parts.


MacGregor's bio, as given in the preface, can be summarized as: agnostic from Christian background working as a secondary-school science teacher, picked up New-Age beliefs in the late 70s in response to pressure of personal circumstances, then after some years turned to Christianity and became an Anglican priest. As such, it is no surprise that the book is very much an attempt to integrate Christian and New-Age beliefs, and the ‘science’ which is appealed to to justify this could have come straight out of Chopra or “What The Bleep Do We Know?”. Indeed, the bibliography references such familiar names as Amit Goswami, Fritjof “Tao of Physics” Capra, anti-vaxxer Lynne McTaggart, Gary “Dancing Wu-Li Masters” Zukav, and Rupert “morphic resonance” Sheldrake.

Mainstream scientists, or even anyone vaguely close to the mainstream, are notably absent from the bibliography.


MacGregor's basic thesis appears to be this: that Christianity has not dealt well with advances in scientific knowledge, and that this should be addressed from four main angles: firstly, embracing the most extreme consciousness-woo interpretations of quantum mechanics; secondly, abandoning any anthropomorphic perspectives of God and replacing them with an ultimate-ground-of-being view, identifying God with a universal quantum consciousness; thirdly, that this enables a “radical vision of reality” that will give people hope and meaning; and fourthly, the embrace within Christianity of all the alternative-medicine woo normally associated with these views.

Needless to say, it's the fourth of these points which leads to the most serious ethical objections. Whatever your position on theological matters, once you start to advocate for “spiritual healing” you are going to get people—often children—killed.


Part 1 of the book, which is the ‘science’ part, is divided into four chapters:

  1. Quantum Reality and God as Consciousness
  2. Epigenetics, Healing & Prayer
  3. Morphic Fields and the Works of Christ
  4. The Quantum Sea of Light

I will address these in individual posts.