Cosmos: Carl Sagan’s Religion – Norman Geisler

Cosmos Norman Geisler
Cosmos: Carl Sagan's Religion for the Scientific Mind by Norman Geisler
Published by Quest on 1983
Genres: Non-Fiction, Theology
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An odd addition to the Geisler corpus, Cosmos is meant to be a direct challenge to Carl Sagan's book of the same name, using Sagan's work to show how what he is longing for is religion - a religion fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Every once in a while you get a hold of one of those rare, precious out of print books. This is one of those. Norm Geisler is more than well-known in the field Christian academia. He is the author of more than 70 books and has taught theology, philosophy, and apologetics on the college or graduate level for 50 years.

As a religion major and fan of Geisler, I was thrilled to be able to find Cosmos if only for that fact that it is such a rare find. Finishing up in a short 63 pages, Cosmos is a quick read that relies heavily on the writings of renowned astronomer Carl Sagan.

The basic premise is that Sagan has become the spokesperson for the new scientific religion of the intelligentsia, and through direct quotes by Sagan, Geisler explores how Sagan’s beliefs about the cosmos fulfill every aspect of what is commonly called religion.

It is a great Christian critique of Sagan, and certainly helps other Christians to resist the allure of what appears scientific. At the books best point, it is discussing Sagan’s belief that just ONE communication with extra-terrestrials could provide hope and salvation for Man. Geisler reasons:

Sagan’s wish has been granted. It is, as expected, a short message. But unexpectedly, it did not come by radio telescope, rather, it was personally delivered by an Extra-terrestrial.

The message needs no decoding, and it has already been translated into every major language in the world…the message is simply this:

“For God so loved the world (Cosmos) that He gave His only Son (Jesus) that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”

While Dr. Geisler will undoubtedly be remembered for many things, I doubt this book will be one of them. Nonetheless, it’s an intriguing look into the times and the mind of one of the greatest evangelical scholars.


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