Reviewed by Jeff Friend on 7/11/2014 here and reprinted below. ((© 2014 Foreword Magazine, Inc.))
In A Mere Christian, Dr. Ron Smith draws on his inspiration from the writings of C. S. Lewis to combine his scientific training and Christian beliefs to present well-reasoned and solid explanations of foundational biblical concepts that are frequently misunderstood or misinterpreted. The result is both a message of instruction and encouragement for Christians and a debunking of misinformation and distortions commonly held by nonbelievers.
Smith, a pediatrician for some thirty years, had been listening to recordings of Lewis’s Mere Christianity and Reformed Theological Seminary professor Knox Chamblin’s thoughts on Lewis’s writings before and during the untimely death of Smith’s daughter. Their teachings stirred Smith’s faith and helped to refocus him on the majesty and boundlessness of God.
Smith excels in his ability to discuss and analyze scientific theories and ideas in ways that are easily understood yet not oversimplified. He is equally adept at describing religious concepts such as the seven deadly sins and the four cardinal virtues.
But his teaching on topics that embody both the spiritual and scientific simultaneously, such as time and space, are particularly enlightening. For example, he addresses the question that many have pondered through the centuries: With so many millions of people praying at the same time, how can even God keep from getting confused? His answer begins with a look at scientific method and ends with a powerful conclusion pointing to the unfathomable vastness of the creator.
Smith writes concisely and with purpose. He does not attempt to impress with his wealth of scientific knowledge, but rather uses it to bring greater depth of understanding on issues as varied as evolution, the law of human nature, the difference between instinct and morals, and the spiritual anatomy of body, soul, and spirit. He also offers words of encouragement throughout his subjects, tying in the spiritual points that underlie them. “Let me remind you that God is not a prisoner of time. Just as he is watching each grain of your life pass through the aperture of the hourglass, he sees all the grains that have already fallen and those that have yet to fall.”
A Mere Christian clearly makes Smith’s passionate case that although science has its place and is helpful to mankind, ultimately the proof for a loving, all-powerful God who created all things trumps scientific theory. C. S. Lewis would have been proud.