|On a future Earth whose major export to other planets is the Christian religion, mathematician Fram Galbior is a hero for his formula which allows the prediction of the appearance of ``Tuezi''. These otherwise indestructible death machines are only vulnerable for a short period of time, and so these formulas and his equilibrational calculus are literally life savers.
But, mathematics is not really the central concern of the book, it is religion.
Galbior also develops a (supposed) formula for predicting the appearance of Jesus Christ in material form. (He is supposed to appear once on each inhabited planet.) Consequently, he also becomes useful to the church as he is able to tell the real messiahs from the bogus ones.
As one might guess from knowing either the author (an editor of the Skeptical Inquirer) or the publisher (Prometheus Books), this book does not present a particularly positive image of religion. Rather, it uses the science fiction medium as a means to critically explore religion. It therefore is unlikely to appeal to the Fundamentalist demographic. But, among those who are inclined in this direction, it receives rave reviews both as a work of fiction and as a philosophical treatise.
I have not yet had a chance to read it myself, but hope to get a chance to do so someday. If you've read it and can comment (especially on the mathematical aspects) before I do, please use the links below to send me some more information.