De Britse filosoof Simon Blackburn schreef een boekspreking over twee recente boeken van Polkinghorne. De Humeaanse ironie die Blackburn hanteert om de stellingen van Polkinghorne te analyseren, maken deze boekbespreking zeker het lezen waard. Hier alvast een voorsmaakje:
"In Princeton, Polkinghorne earnestly assures us, he and an ‘interdisciplinary group of scholars’ recently spent three fruitful years making scientific estimates of God’s plans for the destiny of the world. According to Polkinghorne and the Princetonians, the last things, when the day of judgment comes and the tombs are opened, are a bit like what we have now, but also a bit different: they are an ‘interplay between continuity and discontinuity.’ They do not include real Hell. They only include people who have not asked for admission to heaven, and these get some kind of after-life Bible classes. Beyond that, Heaven itself is a bit vague, but it includes pilgrimage and progress, and increasing fullness. Heaven does not provide endless harps and psalms; nor, I think, does it afford Aquinas’s favored pleasure of watching the tortures of the damned, nor Islamís seventy-two virgins per male martyr. In fact, I could not discover whether it included sex at all, but in their three years of deliberations Polkinghorne’s group has determined—scientifically, remember—that it possibly does include some animals, especially domestic pets, although perhaps not too many of them, since it is permissible for God to ‘cull individuals in order to preserve the herd.’
In any case, we need not inquire too closely into these details of Polkinghorne’s and the Princetonians’s high deliberations, since we are assured in advance that all manner of things shall be well. But why did God not skip the first course, the current Vale of Tears, and go straight to the Fields of Elysium? We are confidently assured that the team’s work ‘clearly establishes the value of the old creation, since it affords the raw material for eschatological transformation into the new creation.’ Even God, it seems, cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs."