In 1. Theology in the University Polkinghorne suggests that "the essential purpose of a University is the discovery and propagation of knowledge"(p4) and that universities are institutionalised expressions of the beliefs in the value of knowledge for knowledge's sake and the essential unity of all knowledge. He says that quantum theory illustrates the principle "Do not make common sense the measure of everything but be prepared to recognise aspects of reality in those modes that are intrinsic to their natures, however strange these modes may at first sight be."(p7). He argues that personal experience is a fundamental aspect of reality and that the human intuition of an infinite Reality is another fact about humanity and that one of the roles of theology is the intellectual study of the religious dimension of personal experience (p19), whilst theological metaphysics can offer a more profound understanding of reality (p22)
In 2. Motivations for Belief he rejects simplistic accounts of science, commending instead the approach of Michael Polanyi. He points out that the laws of nature operate all the time, but that understanding is only possible if we have access to regimes that are particularly transparent to our enquiry (p36) and suggests that God is always there, but there have been particular moments in history that have been unusually open to the divine presence, and that Scripture is evidence, the record of foundational spiritual experience (p37). He expounds the doctrine of the Trinity and commends John Zizioulas's Being as Communion.
In 3. The Role of Revelation he suggests that "revelation bears an analogy with the role played by observations and experiment in science and that the pursuit of simplicity through studying extreme conditions (such as Deep inelastic scattering) is an important part of science. He also suggests that the fact that the Bible is still read with attention and spiritual profit by so many people so long after it was written is a fact that should be taken into account. (p56)
In 4. Design in Biology? he discusses the Anthropic Principle and in addition to the well-explored physicist perspective he commends the explorations of Michael Denton of properties of the physical world that seem to be tuned to life's necessities and the Nobel-prizewinner Christian de Duve's assertion "to Monod's famous sentence 'The universe was not pregnant with life, nor the biosphere with man,' I reply: 'You are wrong. they were.' and also discusses with caution Michael Behe's claims about irreducible complexity.
In 5. Second Thoughts he modifies some of his earlier positions somewhat, especially in relation to multiverse theory.
In 6. Kenotic Creation and Divine Action he discusses Arthur Peacocke and the nature of causality
In 7. Natural Science Temporality and Divine Action he identifies "four different metascientific accounts of the nature of time, each claiming to derive from contemporary physics
In 9. Science and Theology in England he sketches "the long English history of interaction between theology and science" from Robert Grosseteste via Francis Bacon, Thomas Browne and Robert Boyle, citing Charles Kingsley, Aubrey Moore and Frederick Temple who "all played an important part in welcoming the insights of Charles Darwin and noting that the great British physicists of the 19th Century "Faraday, Maxwell, Kelvin and Stokes were all men of deep religious faith" (p198). He "feels that every German theologian writes with Kant looking over one shoulder and Hegel looking over another" whereas the English "tend to enjoy a more relaxed relationship with philosophy"(p202)