Believing is Seeing (Book Review)

I requested and received a complimentary copy of the book from the author and the publisher.
  • Author: Michael Guillen, PhD
  • Publisher: Tyndale House
  • On-Sale: Next Week! (Sept. 7th)
  • Synopsis: Scientist Michael Guillen outlines the formation of his worldview, highlighting the ways that science informed and intersected with his developing faith.

Scripture Connection

“For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

Rom. 1:20

About the Author

Michael Guillen has not one or two, but THREE doctorates, in some very involved and complex fields. He studied physics, astronomy and mathematics before becoming a science correspondent for ABC News. In this capacity, he has traveled the world’s breadth and depth, plunging into a volcanic crater and submerging beneath sea level to investigate the Titanic.

What I Liked

Believing is Seeing caught my eye on NetGalley. I really liked the cover design, which features various scientific sketches, equations and symbols. While I’m unfortunately unable to identify all of these, the effect is really cool— and you don’t have to be a scientist to appreciate this book.

As someone who is not a big fan of nonfiction, I thought that this book would be a great resource and hopefully introduce me to some neat scientific principles that tie-in with my faith. While the book was a little bit different than what I had expected, (more of a personal narrative driving home the importance of worldview) I was very impressed with the engaging writing. Little wonder, since the author has a background working in the news, and got the job because a producer “liked how [he] explained things.”

Worldview is at the center of Guillen’s latest title, which emphasizes the importance of having a solid worldview. Throughout the book, Guillen shares moments from his own life story and faith journey.

Cool Themes

  • Guillen demonstrates that everyone, including scientists and atheists, has faith. While this is definitely an argument that I’ve heard from Christians, before, I feel that Guillen has a lot more credibility (from a worldly standpoint) in making the claim, since he has spent so much of his life studying science and performing research and experiments. He is not spouting off with an easy rebuttal when he says that atheists require faith, too. Instead, he spends time poking holes in science, not to tear it down but to say, essentially, “These are some things that we can’t explain (or prove.) When we build our scientific reasoning on these premises, we are acting out our faith.”
  • Guillen argues that everyone has a worldview, whether or not they spend a lot of time cultivating it. Ultimately, in desperate situations, people are clinging to their worldviews. And, they are acting on those beliefs.
  • The author delves into the parallels between belief in science and belief in Christianity, showing how both belief systems provide similar answers to certain fundamental questions.
  • I also really enjoyed the discussion about light and how the Scriptural and scientific truths align on this.

Audience

I originally thought that this book was for a Christian audience. Having finished reading, I think a more appropriate audience would actually be people who are uncertain of their worldview. I can also see that this book is targeted toward a young audience, including Christians who may find that their worldview is being questioned. With that said, I think that Christians can definitely learn from and appreciate the book— particularly the idea that science and faith are not mutually exclusive. And the parallels between science and Scripture were a lot of fun!

Content Concerns

Guillen alludes to the age of earth in millions of years and I’m not sure what exactly his beliefs are regarding a literal six day creation.

Recommendation

I think this book is an excellent tool for young people (say, high-school/ college-age)— Christians and non-Christians alike! I believe this can be an apologetic/ evangelistic tool for truth-seekers of varying backgrounds.

Published by Stephanie Agnes-Crockett

Hi, there! My name is Stephanie and I’m a Fresno, CA native. After studying at Biola University, I received my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) from San Jose State University. I live with my mom, poet Kimberly Vargas Agnese, and serve as her unofficial agent. We reside at MeadowArc, a food forest in its infancy. I am called to, and passionate about, purity. In fact, the name Agnes means “pure.” Before I was born, my mom felt led to include the name Agnes in her name, and in the names of her children. My full, hyphenated name includes 26 letters (but not the whole alphabet).

11 thoughts on “Believing is Seeing (Book Review)

  1. “Guillen demonstrates that everyone, including scientists and atheists, has faith.”

    amazing claim, since atheists don’t have faith, not as claimed by theists.

    “I also really enjoyed the discussion about light and how the Scriptural and scientific truths align on this.”

    and that is pure nonsense since there is nothing in scripture that describes light as we know it.

    “Guillen alludes to the age of earth in millions of years and I’m not sure what exactly his beliefs are regarding a literal six day creation.”

    funny how creationists can’t even agree among themselves nor convince each other that one version is the “right” one.

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      1. The book, “Believing is seen”? I’ve already interacted with Guillen’s arguments here.

        ““These are some things that we can’t explain (or prove.) When we build our scientific reasoning on these premises, we are acting out our faith.””

        This is not the faith as claimed by a theist. That faith is belief with nothing to support it. If we use the scientific method, we have plenty of evidence to support a scientific theory, we are not accepting things without thought.

        this is also a god of the gaps argument “”“These are some things that we can’t explain (or prove.)” The thing that most theists forget is that their claim here is based on the idea we will never find out. And every time they’ve said this, they’ve been wrong.

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      2. quite a nice set of excuses Stephanie. You want to have it both ways, to not be held responsible for what you say but to have what you say accepted as the truth.

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      3. Hello, again. I think perhaps I should clarify that this is a book review, meaning that I reference some of the points made in the book, but not all. I do believe that the book addresses some of your arguments, but my intention here isn’t to parrot the book. Given that you are intent on using my review as a discussion forum, I’m a bit surprised that you haven’t acknowledged/responded to Kimberly’s insights. With that said, I wanted to let you know that if you continue to argue, I’m going to ignore any forthcoming comments.

        Like

  2. Great commentary Stephanie.

    I’d like to address the comment from the atheist trying to school you. In response to the creationist comment I’d like to state that what’s even funnier is the hypocrisy exemplified by atheists who attempt to point out the shortcoming amongst creationists for not agreeing with each other when both Pew Research and Britannica state that there is a small subset of people who identify as atheists and Do believe in a higher power but not in the Judeo Christian God. This belief would qualify as a type of faith.
    Now before you go all purist on me and try to explain that that is not your definition of an atheist but rather an agnostic, let’s talk a little bit more about one of the fundamentals of atheism that pertains to the critiquing of gods and religions. It has been my experience ( yes anecdotal ) that good critiques employ a variety of analyses by which to provoke thought which hopefully results in better understanding. Therefore I am surprised that your comment resorts to regurgitated rhetoric and subtle insults which merely weary the reader. Your passion for defining the parameters for this discussion rather than proving why your parameters are superior cause me to question what ability you claim as an atheist to critique various subject matters.
    This is not an altogether new phenomenon. In fact it is one that is often found in churches and religions across the globe.
    I don’t want to go too hard on you here because upon perusing your comment I felt embarrassed that the atheistic doctrinal statements you employed actually prove that you too identify as an atheist while blindly following the thoughts of another.
    Really. It’s OK to step out of the parameters that make you feel safe and genuinely contribute to a thoughtful conversation.
    All the best:)

    Liked by 1 person

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