Brian Balke is a scientist with a Ph.D. in high-energy particle physics, seeking diligently to explain Christian lore as it is presented in the Holy Bible by placing it in a new, unconventional frame. He follows the Bible section by section, examining it as a story of a people who begin, in Genesis, as naïve, childlike bumblers and gradually mature through the ages until the incarnation of Jesus of Nazareth, a powerful, enduring representation of what humankind can achieve. Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, all made human errors, yet humans are part of God's plan. They err when they are selfish, because selfishness is the opposite of God's unconditional love for his creation. But the author advises us not to assume from this that humans are inherently flawed as is sometimes proposed in ordinary religion. On the contrary, Balke asserts, "Humanity is the most powerful agent for spiritual transformation that exists on the Earth."
The Soul Comes First is a slim but highly readable treatise, succinct and tightly constructed. The author builds his case logically, using apt examples for all of his assertions, even to his interpretations of the mysteries of "The Book of Revelation," which he sees as a warning to us now to manage ourselves and our resources. It is unusual for someone from the realm of pure sciences to delve into religion, and the result can sometimes be a testy argument against the God Principle. Balke has turned the tables, speaking vigorously for a spiritual view of creation at every level, based on a rational understanding of Judeo-Christian tradition. Anyone with a true interest in ecumenical Christianity and a mind open to fresh notions of Biblical truth should thoughtfully consider Balke's challenging declaration of faith.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review