What does “The Book of Works” mean?

Great are the works of the LORD; [They are] studied by all who delight in them. (Psalm 111:2)

The Book of Works refers to God’s creation of the natural world as studied through the tools and concepts of science. It is part of the Two Books Theology, in which God is believed to have communicated the nature of reality by giving humanity two books, The Book of God’s Words (Holy Scripture) and The Book of  God’s Works, the natural world and the laws of science that govern it. In his 1605 book The Advancement of Learning, Francis Bacon wrote:

“.. no man …can search too far, or be too well studied in the book of God’s word, or the book of God’s works, divinity or philosophy.”

The idea that the truth revealed by science is on an equal footing with the words of the Bible when it comes to a full understanding of the realities of the world has become a central theme in Theistic Evolution or Evolutionary Creation. It has been referred to frequently in talks by Francis Collins, world-famous geneticist and founder of the Biologos Foundation. In his landmark book The Language of God, Dr. Collins wrote:

“The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshiped in the cathedral or in the laboratory.” 

In his book Evolutionary Creation, theologian and evolutionary biologist Denis Lamoureux wrote:

“..divine revelation flows from two major sources –  the Book of God’s Words and the Book of God’s Works.”

Theologian Mark H. Mann posted a blog at the Biologos web site (November 8, 2012), saying:

“I want to explore what many of the great Christian theologians (and saints!) of the Church have said about how God speaks in and through God’s other great book: Nature, or Creation.”

The Book of Works is therefore to be a blog about science, often from a theological or philosophical point of view. 

4 Responses to What does “The Book of Works” mean?

  1. George Brooks says:

    I love your quote from Bacon … perfect tone … perfect authenticity …. just perfect.

  2. Thanks George. If you get a moment could you take a look at my most recent post. I havent been able to find anything on this subject, and I wonder what you think.

  3. Let’s not forget Proverbs 25:2 – ‘It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, to search out a matter is the glory of kings.’ If I recollect correctly, this is said to have been Bacon’s personal motto and or motivation behind his laying the foundations for modern science experiments and research. It’s claimed his ‘New Atlantis’ encapsulates his foresight and ambitions, in which the foundations of the precursors of renowned Royal Society may be found.

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