Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Book Review: Isaac Newton by Mitch Stokes

Isaac Newton, written by Mitch Stokes and published by Thomas Nelson, Nashville, Tennessee, 2010, is part of the Christian Encounters series. The book is a biography of Isaac Newton. The reader learns that Newton was not only a great scientist and mathematician, but also a Christian. The biography describes Newton's theological studies as well as his scientific ones. The reader learns about Newton's birth after the death of his father, about his childhood and education, about his studies and experiments, but also if his intense interest in theology. Newton saw his scientific studies as a way to worship the Creator. He believed that as he studied God's creation he would learn to know God better. He had a deep love for God's Word, the Bible. It is commonly known that Newton was a Christian, but what is surprising to the reader in this biography is that Newton was also theologian, and that his scientific studies closely linked with his relationship with God.
The reader also learns that Newton was a private individual who craved solitude. This personality trait allowed him the time he needed for his studies, and many of his greatest discoveries were born of this solitude. Another result of Newton's solitary nature was his reluctance to publish some of his findings. He seemed to be more interested in the knowledge he gained than in public acclaim for his discoveries. Stokes" biography also describes some of the controversies that Newton's findings caused in the scientific community.
This biography gives us a glimpse of Newton's personality that most biographies do not. There are also clear explanations of some of his theories. To the casual reader, or one unschooled in mathematics and science, the explanations are challenging, but to one who is researching Newton's theories, the explanations are helpful and can be understood with perseverance. Stokes' biography of Isaac Newton is an excellent resource for the junior high or high school student. The information about his scientific work is helpful in the student's research. The insights into Newton's character will keep the student engaged in reading the book.

No comments:

Post a Comment