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Review Essay, Keeping the Balance

A word about these summaries, then: The first important thing I should like to mention is that they represent what I got out of these essays, not what I personally have to say about the different subjects they address. I have not intended to add anything much to, or offer any critique of, anything the authors had to say. I have merely tried to relate some of the various points they were making—hopefully without misrepresenting them in any serious way. Secondly, and more importantly, these summaries are not intended as a substitute for reading the book and studying the essays for yourself (though if you can’t manage to get a copy, I trust you will get something out of them). Almost all of the essays in Keeping Your Balance are rather substantial, containing more points and illustrations than can possibly be included in a 3-5 page synopsis. If you haven’t got a copy of Keeping Your Balance, hopefully these summaries will whet your appetite and give you a pretty good idea of what’s in it. If you have purchased a copy, then I hope they will help you remember some of the main points the various authors made, and perhaps encourage you to make notes and summaries of your own which will help you during your course.

I do not pretend that my summaries are anything special. I reflect on some of them with less satisfaction than others. Limited time and personal interest have played their part in shaping each of them, probably giving too much emphasis to some of the important things that were being said whilst overlooking or underplaying other major points which equally deserved a mention. It is only fair to advise the reader that these summaries are not especially polished or professional pieces of work and are doubtless open to criticism by anyone who has read the original essays and understood them better than this writer, or has at least had the time and wherewithal to arrange their reflections on them more carefully than I have. But I will not spend any more time apologising for the imperfection of my personal notes. At the end of the day, if you find any of them interesting and helpful, I encourage you to use them freely. If not, then you needn’t give them another thought.

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Category: In Depth, Spring 2006

About the Author: W. Simpson, PhD (University of St. Andrews, Scotland), is a physicist and writer with an interest in theology, currently engaged in scientific research in the middle-east.

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