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Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science
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Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  3,137 ratings  ·  440 reviews
From the host of the popular podcasts, The Liturgists Podcast and Ask Science Mike, a story of having faith, losing it, and finding it again through science—revealing how the latest in neuroscience, physics, and biology help us understand God, faith, and ourselves.
What do you do when God dies? It's a question facing millions today, as science reveals a Universe that's s
Kindle Edition, 306 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Convergent Books
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4.30  · 
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 ·  3,137 ratings  ·  440 reviews

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May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
It's easily the best book I've ever written. Of course, it's also the only book I've ever written.
Matt LeFevers
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is incredible. I read it in less than twenty-four hours (it came out yesterday). Mike McHargue is one of the best things to happen to progressive Christianity and to anyone who is wondering how (or if) they can be a person of faith in an intellectual, modern world that seems like it's leaving (mainstream evangelical) Christianity behind.

The target audience for this book is probably not firmly committed Christians - in fact, McHargue pulls so few punches in describing his journey into a
I loved the first half of the book, but felt like I got gut-punched in the second half. I should say that I don't believe in the Young Earth view, and I do believe in evolution. I read Language of God last year and was happy (and relieved) to find a book that was honest and forthright about evolution and didn't use it as a means of dismantling Christian faith. So when I saw this book and read some reviews, I was excited to read it. However, I do think it's sorta mis-marketed.

The fact that this
Jamin Bradley
Having been taught to stay away from some scientific ideas throughout my early life, I was amazed at how much I found God in those same ideas over the past few years. After watching Neil Degrasse Tyson's show "The Cosmos," I was surprisingly taken into a place of awe for God. I began to make science an important study in my Christian life. I especially love learning about space and how vast and complex God's work is.

Interestingly enough, I'm also an avid charismatic which came from a few years
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first heard Mike on Pete Holme's podcast "You Made It Weird" (because I had been listening to his podcast for years). At that moment in my life I was in a mournful period of unraveling and walking away from my traditional beliefs. It seemed Mike's thoughts where my own, even some experiences mirrored mine (parents divorce, bullied kid, etc). Since that show I've talked with Mike (via email) a few times and have continued to explore new ways to understand the world more realistically, more logi ...more
Brianna Silva
For anyone struggling to reconcile faith and science, this is a beautiful half-memoir, half-science book that I heartily recommend.

While I may not agree with the author on absolutely everything, (although, when can two people completely agree when it comes to something as mysterious, undefinable, and experiential as God?), I found this book inspiring and absolutely delightful to read.

I very much appreciate Mike's vulnerability and authenticity as he shares his personal story. And the science par
Shelby Rogers
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a huge fan of Mike's podcast (Ask Science Mike and the Liturgists.) I have heard his story through these avenues and was excited to read this book.

The first half of this book - the story of how he lost his faith - was so honest and helpful for me. It was well written and I'm sure will be a comfort for many like it was for me.

The game changer for me was the chapter on prayer. Mike uses science to show us how God is experienced in the brain and how prayer and meditation can be used to he
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found his arguments against God and Christianity stronger than his arguments and reasons for. He sees the Bible as (merely?) art, isn't sure about Jesus' resurrection (not sure what he thinks about his divinity), and sometimes seems to suggest that you have to turn the logical, reasoning part of your brain off (or keep it separate) and just experience God in order to believe. Maybe I missed the point, but if so, the fact that that is possible means I can't recommend this book to others
Aaron West
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having enjoyed The Liturgists podcast, I had heard a lot about this book--not only through that medium, but through several friends of mine, and decided to pick it up. Mike McHargue, AKA "Science Mike," delves into his fascinating story of leaving faith, and coming to terms with it again, all--of course--through legitimate science.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. Science Mike sometimes came across as unapproachable or posh to me on the podcast. But I can legitimately say I was mista
Shawn Birss
I really like Science Mike. I listen to his podcast, though I have fallen behind. He even included my emailed question in one of his episodes, and his answer was kind, thoughtful, and well spoken. I find his axioms helpful. I was reading his blog and listening to his podcast when still a believer, and was still listening and reading through my loss of faith and the grief that followed. I was looking forward to this book. I'm sorry to say that I was disappointed, and truly, actually heartbroken t ...more
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book helped me answer some, not all but some of the things I have been feeling for a while.
Colleen Pettit
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have the honor of calling Mike one of my dearest friends. When I left Tallahassee, my heart broke because I knew how much I would miss my friend and knew there was so much more I wanted to learn from him. This book was like getting to sit with him again at lunch as he shared snippets of the vast amount of information that is stored in his brain. He is not only the smartest person I know, he is the kindness and has more empathy than anyone. I recommend this book to anyone who has lost faith in ...more
Paul Lewis
So, I read this (listened to it actually because I'm lazy) and am not totally sure how I feel about it. His story is a captivating one -- he grows up in faith and then becomes an atheist but hides it from his loved ones and his Church. His recalling of when he brought his daughter to Christ even though he didn't believe in Christ was moving. His feeling of doubt and insecurity and loneliness was heartbreaking to listen to.
This book challenged me and scared me, it made me angry and frustrated, i
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There is much I love about this book. The author does a great job of telling the story of his loss and return to faith. However I struggle with how he handles science and theology. I love both. I love science and I love God and I feel this book leans more on personal opinion and less on healthy understanding of both for ones own life. It also didn't leave me optimistic and hopeful. If I could I would rate the first half of the book 4 stars and the second half 1. This book wasn't meant for me in ...more
Jon Gill
What a unique and beautiful book! Relatable, moving, heartbreaking, inspiring, and poetic are just a few words that come to mind, but only begin to describe it. For a first book, it is remarkably well-written; for such a left-brained science-type author, I found it full of beautiful metaphor and mysticism.

I had no previous experience with "Science Mike" before reading this book, but I'm so happy to be introduced to his unique experience. I say unique because I have heard plenty of stories where
Amy Neftzger
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mike McHargue lost his faith and became an atheist while serving as a deacon in his church. He kept this secret for 2 years, and didn't even tell his wife for most of that time period. This book is the account of his faith which started when he was younger, disappeared for a time period as mentioned above, and then found again through researching scientific explanations concerning how the world works.

What's appealing about this book is how Mike (known through his podcasts as "Science Mike") thin
Timothy Sikes
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful, important story that covers a variety of topics: the nature of faith, the importance of community and the challenges of discussing doubt, the breadth and depth of the viewpoints of Christian faith, challenging Christian orthodoxy, and the intersection of faith and science. All told not through abstract constructs, but through the narrative of one man's life and how it changed him and his relationships.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As soon as I finished it, I couldn't WAIT to go to the Goodreads reviews, because I thought that Science Mike was gonna get DESTROYED by the same folks who thrash Rob Bell for denying the existence of hell. This is definitely not a book for Evangelical Christians. Is it? Interestingly, the meanest review I found was: "Not stopping there, Mike craps all over Sola Scriptura, but somehow still claims to affirm divine inspiration." That's funny! So, IS this book a bunch of heresy or not?! And why ar ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this.
For anyone who has ever struggled with their relationship to a church, faith, atheism or atheists this is a must. Also or anyone who just doesn't 'get' faith, non-theism or atheism - this is great.

It's a book that really builds bridges.
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's only September, but I can already tell that this is one of the most important books I will read this year.

I would recommend this book to anyone that's had a shift in their faith, but especially to those who have shifted from the opposite extremes of Fundamental Evangelicalism to Atheism/Secular Humanism. What I love about this book is that the author doesn't have any cards in this. This is not a book on apologetics. He isn't trying to win you over to his side or try to prove any absolute tr
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish everyone, Christian, atheist, and everywhere in between would read this book.
Kyle Penner
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful read! The right side of my brain loved the story of Mike's journey from faith to atheism and back to faith, and the left side of my brain loved the data and neuroscience about spirituality and its effect on our brains (and thus the world).

I'm a big "Science Mike" fan, and this book doesn't disappoint. He's fair and objective, tolerant and reconciling, and values relationship as he seeks to be a bridge builder between all the differing attitudes one might have towards religion
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps this was simply the right book at the right moment.
In a sense I agree with other reviewers that this book is not being promoted correctly... if you are looking for some sort of apologetics text, a DIY guide to merging faith and science, or a defense of Christianity, you are in the wrong place. However, if you are looking for a personally told and personally reasoned out narrative of a faith and non-faith journey that doesn't have all the answers, but tries to make the best sense it can.
Eric Gambill
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I see a lot of reviews that are awarding or taking stars based on their theological agreement with the author. Whether or not you agree, I think, is beside the point.

This book is a journey. An open and raw reflection on a crisis, and Resurrection, of faith.

Most importantly, it grants permission to doubt. Doubt is the sign of a healthy and critical thinker, rather than a sign of weakness. It's important to embrace these questions and tackle them head on. And, it's important to to find a communit
Circle of Hope Pastors
Not everyone is an ex-evangelical or ex-Catholic. But it is not hard to find such a person! Americans, in general, are struggling with faith. This is a good book from a person who has been there and done that. He secretly deserted his faith while serving in his church. He became an atheist and took a journey deep into atheist "evangelism." He had an experience with God he could not deny. Then he used his deep understanding of science (and research) to help rebuild a new kind of faith. This is a ...more
Susie  Meister
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
For anyone who struggles with the tension between spirituality and science, Mike's book will provide (if nothing else) comfort in knowing there are others like you. Mike does an amazing job articulating the dissonance between someone who is spiritual, but not religious, and provides a map for how to overcome the obstacles between the two if you so wish.
Travis Mitchell
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you grew up in a traditional Evangelical church—as I did—and find yourself filled with doubt or as though you do not belong, I would highly recommend this book. Reconstructing your faith can be difficult, but this is a great place to start.

Thank you, Science Mike, for sharing your story so that others do not feel alone.
Charlotte Lively
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite book of the year (though I only read 3). Love Mike and the candidness with which he speaks of his journey in and out of faith. Highly recommend.
Mark Eikema
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Science Mike McHargue makes a better case against christianity than Richard Dawkins, and a better case for it than C.S. Lewis.

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Mike McHargue (better known as Science Mike) is the best-selling author of Finding God in the Waves, host of Ask Science Mike and co-host of The Liturgists Podcast. He's a leading voice on matters of science and religion with a monthly reach in the hundreds of thousands. Among other outlets, Mike has written for RELEVANT, Don Miller's Storyline, BioLogos, and The Washington Post.

Mike loves sharing
“The cross was not God’s invention—it was ours. The cross was an instrument of torture, a method of intimidation created by an empire that needed to keep its conquered cities in check. In all our need for an eye for an eye, I have to wonder sometimes if Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is an answer not to God’s wrath, but to ours. I have to wonder if God, having listened to us cry for blood, decided to offer his own. Perhaps Jesus hung on a cross to demonstrate the inevitable outcome of retributive justice in the face of an empire that used violence to expand, that survived only by placing societies under its oppressive heel. Jesus didn’t hold up a sword in response to a sword. He took the sword into His side, and in doing so, revealed our brutality for what it was.” 11 likes
“Let’s say that you and I are close friends, but after an argument one night, you stole my car and drove it into a lake. This is a serious crime with a serious penalty—let’s say $10,000 in damages and three years spent in prison. Now imagine you came to me and apologized, expressing sincere regret and grief over your actions. What if I responded by telling you I could forgive you, but only if my daughter took your place in prison and paid the fine on your behalf, because I am a merciful and just friend. My mercy compels me to forgive you, but my justice demands that the crime be punished. This is the exact picture that most Christians paint of God: a God who offers no choice but to demand punishment for sins. But if a good friend of mine wrecked my car, I could simply forgive that friend without anyone’s being punished. I’m a nice guy but certainly not the embodiment of perfect love—so why can I forgive with no strings attached but God can’t?” 5 likes
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