I have a secret dread. While this book shreds what I think are the follies of others, it may happen that I am myself not without sin. Someone more learned than I in philosophy or physics may find my own ignorance brazenly standing in these pages. If so, he or she may be tempted to throw the slur back to me: “There is nothing so absurd but some preacher will spout it!” I hope not. Yet I must admit that I am neither physicist, scientist, nor philosopher. In those fields no higher status belongs to me than that of a reasonably well-read and intelligent layman. While I have done my homework as well as I can, I hardly expect to be free of all error. So if you find a piece of nonsense mixed in with what I trust will be mostly wisdom, please be charitable. Any straightening you may like to do of crooked places will be welcome.
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Someone may ask: “If you are not competent, why then did you write the book?” Ah, but I did not say that I lacked competence, only that I am a layman. A problem often comes with books written by experts: only experts can understand them. But I am an ordinary man writing for ordinary people. My only advantage has been God’s gift of time and opportunity.
The above remarks, however, should be confined to those pages that employ physics and philosophy to present rational arguments for Christian belief. Other parts of the book deal with biblical ideas, and are more familiar territory. There, after forty years of ministry, I may reasonably claim to speak with higher authority.
Above all, I stand with you as a searcher after truth, yet one who recognises that all truth, whether sacred or secular, ultimately derives from God and must therefore be harmonious with his nature and will. May he then, who is the Truth, open our minds to perceive his imperishable wisdom.
Three wise men of Gotham,
As I have heard some say,
Would needs go forth a-hunting
Upon St David’s day.
And all the day they hunted,
And nothing could they find,
But an owl in a hollow tree,
And that they left behind.
One said it was an owl,
The other he said, Nay;
The third said ‘twas an old man,
And his beard growing grey.
Such wise men they were! Only one of them saw what was really there (an owl), and even he rode away from it, for it was not what he wanted to see! That syndrome can still be observed. We are all guilty to some extent, but the learned are sometimes particularly prone to a blinkered view –
 The poem runs to many more stanzas, and has many versions, with the oldest known printing dating from the late 16th. century.
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All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work. (2Ti 3:16-17)