Frederick R. Bauer captures the essence of William James in Science, God's Hard Gift. We have all heard the word "pragmatic." It entered our everyday vocabulary as a result of a series of lectures delivered by William James, the greatest of all great American thinkers. He gave those lectures in 1906, four years before his death at age sixty-eight, in 1910. In the first of those lectures, James described the type of person he wanted to reach, a person not unlike a large number of persons today: "He wants facts; he wants science," James said, "but he also wants a religion."
James did not live to see the incredible new scientific discoveries of the 1900s. Those discoveries have led increasing numbers of experts to claim that modern science has made religion "obsolete." Science, God's Hard Gift celebrates this centenary of James's death by updating and expanding his ideas on pragmatism for those contemporaries who want facts and science, but also a religion.