Of all the so-called scientist–theologians, I rate Polkinghorne most highly. He writes clearly, argues cogently and humbly, and approaches the science–religion dialogue from a traditionally creedal perspective. In my opinion, his best book is Science and Christian Belief (in the US, The Faith of a Physicist), and I’d recommend it as an ideal starting point for anyone new to Polkinghorne’s work.
So, even though I’ve never met him, I’d like to wish Polkinghorne a very happy birthday, and close with his final thoughts recorded in the aforementioned Church Times interview (conducted by Patrick Miles):
I think that theology is the theory of everything, because God is the ground of everything. It seems perfectly clear to me that science does not answer every question, and, therefore, we have to seek other insights as well. It’s not an argument that can be condensed into a sentence or two, but I believe that the most comprehensive way of understanding things is in terms of a theological view.For example, the beautiful equations and deep intelligibility of the physical world are understood as being a reflection of the mind of God. Theology really does have a “scope” that enables it to be an integrating discipline. That’s why I say that I think the true theory of everything is theology. But, of course, that’s not a knock-down argument.John Polkinghorne and Patrick Miles, ‘It depends what you mean by “gaps”’, Church Times, 9 October, 2015, pp. 24–26; quotation from p. 26