What if proof for God's existence – and our very souls – could be found within our DNA? That's the premise of a new American novel that grapples with faith and reason. Catholic News Agency has the story.
Bruce Buff's novel The Soul of the Matter (Howard Books) is the first in his three-part fictional series that grapples with faith and reason. In an interview with CNA, Buff discussed his reasons and inspirations behind this unique thriller. And he reflects on how his faith has affected this novel, the importance behind faith and reason, and the influences which have gone into the creation of his new book.
What is your faith background, and how does it inform the novel?
I'm a practicing Catholic whose initial faith formation – grammar school religious ed and two years of Catholic high school – was enough to teach me the basics though without a lot of understanding. I had this view that if I was generally good to others, that was enough.
Then my faith changed and deepened dramatically, starting in the summer 1994 when I picked up my father-in-law’s copy of CS Lewis' The Problem of Pain.
Reading that was extraordinary, and started a search that continues today. After reading Peter Kreeft’s Making Sense Out of Suffering, I saw that he was teaching at BC.
Since I was working in eastern Connecticut, I was able to take Kreeft's night course, The Three Greatest Men Who Lived: Socrates, Buddha, and Jesus. For me, nothing has been the same since. Themes and questions that Lewis and Kreeft discuss, about the seeming incompatibility of a loving, all powerful God with widespread and horrific suffering, and what that means God wants from us, are raised in The Soul of the Matter series.
What does this have to say about the relation between faith and reason, and religion and science?
That science, properly understood, points clearly to God's existence and our spiritual nature, that rather than being an exception, the supernatural is all around us. Consequently, faith and reason, religion and science, based on a good understanding of God will agree.
Of course there can appear to be significant differences between religion and science, such as the Biblical description of the origin of both the universe and humanity. I think there are good answers to this and other apparent differences but I’ll leave that to others to discuss.