We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As he notes in the preface, for fifty years such contextual theologies as feminist theology, liberation theology, or African theology, have been flourishing. Polkinghorne takes the novel step of treating science and religion as an important type of contextual theology in its own right, recognizing that science, no less than other aspects of modern thought and culture, can suggest insights and provide information that are vital for theological reflection. “Theology conducted in the context of science must be prepared to be candid about the evidence for its beliefs,” he says forthrightly, but science does not dominate the conversation: There are clear limits to its authority and competence that both believers and unbelievers need to realize.
The overall message Polkinghorne brings is a crucial one: Science cannot provide its own metaphysical interpretation. As he says with typical precision, “Physics constrains metaphysics, but it no more determines it than the foundations of a house determine the precise form of the building erected on them.”
Supposing truth to be a woman, what? - is the suspicion not well founded that all philosophers, when they have been dogmatists, have had little understanding of women? that the gruesome earnestness, the clumsy importunity with which they have been in the habit of approaching truth have been inept and improper means for winning a wench? Certainly she has not let herself be won - and today every kind of dogmatism stands sad and discouraged. If it continues to stand at all!