Copyright © 1985, 1986, 1998 by John D. Callahan
All Biblical quotations are from the Good News translations (3rd or 4th editions) by the American Bible Society.
ISBN 0-9615767-0-7 (2nd edition)
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 85-91519 (2nd edition)
Chapter 1. The Bible is the greatest book ever written. It contains the writings of great men of God who were largely inspired by Him. However, like any other document, it is not absolutely perfect, and in some places it is badly flawed. The Bible can be used as evidence to help us understand reality, but reality cannot be defined by the Bible. Observation and experimentation in addition to divine revelation are the keys man uses to unlock the secrets of the universe.
Chapter 2. The dimensions of the physical universe are staggering indeed. Our Galaxy alone, the Milky Way, is composed of a hundred billion stars; the sun is only one of them. We know that the universe consists of at least 100 billion other diverse galaxies. The universe is between 10 to 20 billion years old, and our solar system is 5 billion years old. The diameter of the Milky Way is 100,000 light-years, that of the known universe is billions of light-years. These scientific facts are questioned by few men.
Chapter 3. The spiritual universe must be interpreted in light of our knowledge of the physical universe. The evidence clearly shows Jesus to be exactly who He claimed to be: the only Son of God and as such God incarnate. God always existed and is the supreme being and creator. God created the universe, but it is perverted and contains evil. This can only be explained satisfactorily by understanding the nature of the created spiritual universe. The angels are far more numerous, old, and powerful than we ever imagined. They were created before any of the physical universe, and Satan's fall was truly profound. It affected the entire universe at a very deep and fundamental level.
Chapter 4. The creation story found in Genesis is, for the most part, not correct. Rather, the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and life began in the seas billions of years ago with very primitive forms. These forms slowly evolved into the wide variety of plants and animals we see today. Many, many animals evolved, lived and then became extinct. Man evolved over the last few million years from tree dwelling apes who began to live on the ground. Man's intelligence has allowed him to dominate the Earth.
Chapter 5. In light of all the evidence considered so far, we are now in a better position to understand man's true spiritual identity in the universe. Man is not the center and highest work of all God's creation. Besides the glorious angelic beings, intelligent life other than mankind most likely has developed or will develop somewhere in the vastness of the universe over the eons of time. Mankind is part of a great universe caught in the middle of a titanic spiritual conflict between God and Satan, good and evil. Since the conflict is so fundamental, we are to a large degree basically perverted, in darkness, and under Satan's control beyond our ability to understand. Despite this, God has provided a way for us to be right with Him and inherit eternal life. He came in the form of the man Jesus Christ nearly 2,000 years ago. Jesus died upon the cross as payment for our sins. True belief in Jesus involves repentance from sin and brings the personal presence and power of God into a human being's life. It also brings forgiveness, eternal life, and the solution to man's dilemma upon the Earth.
John Donnelly Callahan was born on May 27, 1955, in Los Angeles, California. His father was an engineer and his mother was a grammar school teacher (both retired). He has two sisters, Mary and Terese, 1 and 2 years younger than himself. Mary is a professor of accounting at Kennesaw State University (Northwest Georgia). Terese is a Berkeley graduate, business woman, and mother. Both sisters are married. John grew up and has spent his entire life in Southern California except for living in Northern California while attending U.C. Berkeley from 1975 to 1977.
John was fascinated at a very early age with astronomy and anthropology. At 5 years old he asked his mother to buy him a book about astronomy. Also at 5 he looked in a book on Western Civilization and saw the busts of the various prehistoric men, such as Cro-Magnon, Neanderthals, etc. In the 9th grade John aspired and planned to study astronomy. He received a BA degree from U.C. Berkeley in 1977 with majors in both astronomy and physics. In school and throughout his life John has also studied and kept up an active interest in anthropology. In 1978 he was hired by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. John worked in the field of spacecraft navigation with television pictures. He left JPL in 1987 (although he did part-time consulting until 1989) to work for a number of other aerospace companies involved with such project as F16 trainers, advanced sensors and phenomenology, SDI, and Space Shuttle experiments.
John was raised in a traditional Catholic church but was for the most part an agnostic. However, having a scientific disposition he realized that the universe was one of order and rules which governed its operation. Further, these laws were observable and discernible. John tried to find fulfillment in life but became withdrawn, frustrated, and depressed. This sparked him, in the 9th grade, to undertake a determined search for truth. Four years later, in his freshman year of college, he realized who Jesus was and became a Christian.
Through careful reasoning, attempting to be as objective and independent as possible, John concluded that Jesus was indeed God. This conclusion came shortly after studying the book The Life of Christ, written in 1941 by the Italian, Catholic author Giuseppe Ricciotti. Also by studying the same book John came to an understanding of man's basic spiritual problems and how men can be put right with God and receive eternal life. The year was 1974. The book was given to John as a Christmas present in 1973 by Marta Ruble, a dear cousin.
John did not abandon his understanding of the universe in the realms of astronomy and anthropology; although there was much pressure from most other Christians to do so. He was more amazed at the incorrect understanding of his fellow Christians than he was persuaded to change his thinking. As the years passed John was more and more impressed that these were not matters to be taken lightly. To him it was important whether the Bible was perfectly correct or not, whether man evolved, how old the Earth was, the true powers of Satan, and so forth. Finally the desire to write a book became too strong to resist, and the leading of the Holy Spirit was clearly evident. The book was begun in 1981 and finished in 1985. A second edition appeared in 1986, and a third, Internet version in 1996.
Faith & Reason Ministries was founded in 1989, and, having saved and invested well, John left full-time work as an aerospace engineer in 1996 to concentrate on the ministry. He occasionally tutors math and physics part time.