"Galileo" the story of theology meets new science
Forget the short, uninformative bios in textbooks. If you want a real glimpse into the life of a great genius, pick up a copy of "Galileo" by Mitch Stokes (published by Thomas Nelson).
Stokes does an excellent job of opening up the lives of great men as a writer for Thomas Nelson's "Christian Encounters" series, an offering of biographies of great Christian men and women in history. I first had read (and previously posted a review on) Stokes' book, "Isaac Newton," and found his work on "Galileo" to be just as compelling.
For most of us, the only exposure we have to such intellectual giants (who were also devout Christian men) such as Galileo and Newton come from a paragraph or two in a history book. Stokes does a remarkable job of telling the life story of Galileo from his birth to his death, capturing both the greatest of moments to the saddest of trials.
Stokes is particularly talented at helping the reader understand the great achievements of Galileo without the reader having to have any kind of background in science or mathematics, a fortunate thing for a guy like myself whose least favorite subject is math! He also highlights how faith was an intimate, and intricate, part of Galileo's life.
For a significant part of history, the church was actually the leader in supporting scientific thought and developments. But soon after the Protestant Reformation, as a part of the Catholic church's counter-reformation, a negative tension would develop between the church and some scientists, and Galileo would find himself the target of this new struggle. Stokes does an admirable job of telling how Galileo tried to "go along, to get along" with the church while also remaining true to his scientific beliefs. The result was fairly tragic during Galileo's lifetime, only to finally receive some exoneration more than three centuries later.
"Galileo" is a compelling story of a greatly flawed --- and greatly gifted --- man working out his faith, his feelings, and his genius where theology meets science. You'll likely come away informed and inspired by reading this worthwhile book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255: Ã¢ÂÂGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.Ã¢ÂÂ
May 14, 2011
A Surprisingly Good Read
Galileo is a biography on the life, faith, and genius of Galileo Galilei. The author covers every stage in GalileoÃ¢ÂÂs life: from his birth in the Tuscan region of Italy in the town of Pisa, to his growing and learning years, his love of mathematics in a time when that was looked down on, and finally his faith and conflict with the Roman Catholic Church.
Mr Stokes does an excellent job of making GalileoÃ¢ÂÂs story come alive, not just a simple rehashing of the details. He also does a fantastic job of portraying the tense situation and fine line that Galileo walked in regards to his faith and his love of science. Many have used Galileo as an example of the failures of the Church in their zealousness for maintaining authority, but we see that Galileo himself remained faithful till the end when many would have turned their back. Overall, this book is a surprisingly good read. As a caution, it continuously references famous philosophical and mathematical texts, so readers not familiar with those many get lost at times. I would recommend this book to those interested in history, especially believers who enjoy science and the history of the heliocentric debate.
Disclosure Note: Thomas Nelson has been gracious enough to give me a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.
April 28, 2011
Amazingly well-researched and detailed.
IÃ¢ÂÂm guessing that most people feel confident that they have at least a working knowledge of who Galileo was and what he did. He invented the telescope, right? And he was imprisoned and tortured for believing the world went around the sun, right?
In Galileo, author Mitch Stokes will introduce you to the real Galileo GalileiÃ¢ÂÂthe brilliant mathematician, innovative scientist, and controversial philosopher. The book follows GalileoÃ¢ÂÂs entire life, from the days he spent sneaking out of medical school to attend lectures on mathematics, to the years he spent under house arrest for holding the beliefs of Copernicanism.
Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy was a complicated and politically volatile place that wasnÃ¢ÂÂt always open to new scientific discoveries and theories, especially if those discoveries contradicted already Ã¢ÂÂprovenÃ¢ÂÂ and accepted views. For a free-thinking and somewhat naÃÂ¯ve man like Galileo, it was a dangerous place to be promoting new ideas.
I was surprised in reading this book to discover how little I actually knew about Galileo. While the book did have a tendency to become dry in certain areas, such as while summarizing the foundations of ancient philosophical beliefs, etc. it made me see Galileo, his work, and the world of his day in an entirely new light. This book is amazingly well-researched and detailed, and would make a wonderful addition to a personal collection or home-school library.
I received this book free as part of Thomas NelsonÃ¢ÂÂs BookSneeze program in exchange for my review. A favorable review is not required. Thomas Nelson is committed to gathering accurate and honest opinions from their readers regarding the titles they publish.
April 27, 2011
A wonderful biography
One of the books in the Christian Encounters series published by Thomas Nelson, Mitch Stokes's Galileo is a thorough biography of the career and personal life of Galileo Galilei. Drawing upon several historical sources, Stokes separates fact from legend and gives us insight into one of the most important figures in the world of science. We see him not only as scientist and mathematician, but as father, friend, and lover of God.
This is the first book I've read from the Christian Encounters series, and I think it's a wonderful idea. Galileo is a wonderful addition. I've always loved science and astronomy, and I knew about Galileo, of course, from various science classes over the years, but I learned a lot about Galileo that I didn't know. Especially in regards to his personal life, an area in which I knew nothing about him. Mitch Stokes tells Galileo's story in an interesting and captivating way. I never thought that I'd say a biography is a page-turner, but this one is.
April 26, 2011