In Born to Wonder, Alister McGrath, a prolific Oxford scholar, scientist, and theologian, explores the deepest mystery at the heart of life itself. Life is a gift. We never asked to be born. Yet here we are, living in this strange world of space and time, trying to work out what it’s all about before the darkness closes in and extinguishes us. We are adrift on a misty, grey sea of ignorance, seeking a sun-kissed island of certainty, on which we might hope to find clear answers to our deepest and most poignant questions.
What is the point of life? Why are we here? And what is it about us that makes us want to ask these questions? As far as we know, we’re the only species on earth that asks these questions, and dares to hope that we might find an answer. It seems that we are born to wonder, not merely to exist. From time to time, all of us find ourselves overwhelmed by a sense of awe or mystery, often when confronted with the beauty of nature, whether it is a mountain stream or the vast expanse of ocean waters. That is when we see a flicker of a grander vision of reality, perhaps lying beyond the horizons of our experience. It is as if, for only a moment, a veil is removed, and we catch a half-glimpsed sight of a promised land, waiting to be mapped and explored. This sense of wonder fuels much of humanity’s creativity and its search for understanding.