There is perhaps no more complex question facing the church today than whether or not to embrace evolutionary science and depart from a strict literalist view of Genesis 1-3. But does Genesis 1-3 even intend to speak to historical events? That is just one of the many sub-questions this topic forces on us as we attempt to be faithful to the biblical text--whatever form that faithfulness may come in.
As in many polarized debates, the answers are never as clear as the proponents of each side represent them to be. Book are published representing either view but rarely, if ever, adequately engage the views and points of another. Thankfully, this new volume Should Christians Embrace Evolution: Biblical and Scientific Responses
engages the issues thoughtfully and with compelling argument in a true spirit on Christian respect for others. 13 scholars lay out the issues discuss the questions they raise and provide thoughtful analysis.Contributors
- Alistair Donald
- Alistair McKitterick
- Michael Reeves
- Greg Haslam
- David Anderson
- Andrew Sibley
- R.T. Kendall
- Alistair Donald
- Geoff Barnard
- John Walton (St. Andrews University)
This is a most helpful compilation, which is designed to make one think very seriously about the whole issue of evolution and the Bible. To those who love the Scriptures, and seek to be faithful to them, this will prove enormously helpful.
-Rt. Revd. Wallace Benn,
Bishop of Lewes
"This is a most helpful compilation, which is designed to make one think very seriously about the whole issue of evolution and the Bible. To those who love the Scriptures, and seek to be faithful to them, this will prove enormously helpful."
"When it comes to the debate about reconciling evolutionary theory to the Christian faith, some theistic evolutionist friends give the impression that, They think its all over! It isnt now! is my response after reading this collection of very accessible essays from a variety of scientists and theologians, who beg to diff er from that conclusion. Read, be challenged and be ready to think again."
"This book is a formidable challenge to the enterprise of theistic evolution, which necessitates the accommodation of Christian theology and biblical hermeneutics to the essentially atheistic neo-Darwinian paradigm. This means that the authority of science (specifically Darwinian evolutionary theory) is substituted for the authority of Scripture and made normative for biblical interpretation and Christian belief. The result is a contemporary gnostic (to borrow a term from one of the contributions) theology that undermines the authority of Scripture and renders theologically unintelligible the core elements of the Christian gospel and in particular the death of Christ. This exposure of the theological import of theistic evolution is presented in the book with clarity and biblically informed acumen by the relevant contributors. The book also examines the claimed evidence for Darwinian evolution (specifically the theory of common descent) in homology, the fossil record, chromosomal fusion and the human genome. The implication of the scientifically orientated contributions is that the subordination of the historic evangelical faith to the passing demands of the neo-Darwinian paradigm by theistic evolutionists has more to do with intellectual pacifism than compelling scientific reasons. The response of the contributors to this theological capitulation is (in their own words) an unequivocal no. That is the right response and this book will enable Christians concerned with safeguarding the integrity of the Christian gospel confidently to make that response."
"This is a highly significant book because it persuasively argues that Christians cannot accept modern evolutionary theory without also compromising essential teachings of the Bible."
"This collection of fine essays makes an essential contribution to the ongoing discussion among Christians about how to relate biblical revelation with ongoing scientific efforts to understand the history of life on earth. Although addressed primarily to Christian believers, the book should be helpful to a wide segment of the public who want to expose their thinking to top-quality cutting-edge arguments for a view of the history of life that gives fuller weight to divine revelation. Here you can find views that are informed in a balanced way by the best current science and biblical revelation. This reviewer believes the book will helpfully focus discussions of a Christian view of neo-Darwinian evolution on the key issues."
"Naturalism has infiltrated Christian culture in the West. In assembling such a wide range of relevant high-level scholarship into one volume, and discussing the question biblically, philosophically and scientifically, this work deserves to be studied widely. The volume challenges much of the naturalistic inroads that undermine the biblical message in the year of Darwins 200th anniversary. It should encourage the reader to question seriously the clamour to embrace neo-Darwinian theory."
"The title of Should Christians Embrace Evolution? poses a question that thoughtful Christians must face, in light of the arguments for theistic evolution being offered by Denis Alexander in England and by Francis Collins in America. To meet the challenge of an evolutionary philosophy that explains life as the product of natural causes alone, we all need help from Christians with expertise in science and theology. Each of us must in the end come to a personal decision about which experts are sufficiently trustworthy that we should accept their guidance in forming our views about which things are real and which are only imaginary. The experts in science and theology who have contributed chapters to Should Christians Embrace Evolution? are of the trustworthy kind, and their words of wisdom will be very helpful to Christians who are struggling to sort out conflicting claims and arrive at the truth."
"This book is much needed. As a nuclear physicist, I have observed reconciliation between science and theology in numerous areas, not because of modified theology, but because continuing scientific discovery has overturned nineteenth-century perspectives that sought to challenge biblical theology. The current progress in molecular biology is beyond Darwins wildest imagination, and readers would be well advised to examine the evidence. As one who lived under Communism, I understand too well that the more a society seeks to enforce an idea, the more important it is to question it."
"Well-informed, up-to-date and powerfully argued, this collection of theological, philosophical and scientific essays by distinguished authors shows that the theistic evolution on offer from Denis Alexander, Francis Collins and Kenneth Miller conflicts not only with the best biblical exegesis, but also with a sober assessment of the scientific data. The theological contributors show that accommodation to Darwinism undermines orthodox teaching about creation, the fall, and redemption itself. The scientists show that the complex information common to all life could not arise from materialistic processes, and that the popular junk DNA and human chromosomal fusion arguments for Darwinism dissolve under scrutiny. Evangelical Christians pondering whether they should embrace Darwinism owe it to their integrity to read this book."
"The value of the present volume is that it endeavours to deal with the underlying metaphysical assumptions of evolutionary theory and to analyze their implications for classical Christian theology. The book is therefore a fine antidote to superficiality in philosophy of science and in the thinking of many religious believers today, who naively think that evolutionism can or must be swallowed whole in order for Christianity to survive in the modern world."
"This excellent collection of essays by theologians and scientists addresses in detail the question of whether Christians have too readily embraced neo-Darwinism and adapted their theology to suit. The scientific rigour and theological clarity of this volume will encourage all those who have not bowed the knee to Darwin and challenge those who have. The arguments it presents are cogent and powerful. It is a much-needed contribution to what has become a one-sided debate."
"The question posed has caused much recent debate. The answer given by these authors is an emphatic No! First, they demonstrate with compelling logic that theistic evolution has serious theological consequences for the gospel. Secondly (and this should make us weep), the theistic evolutionary project is so unnecessary. As the second part of this first-class survey makes clear, there is actually no compelling reason to accept Darwinism anyway. Homological arguments have bitten the dust, junk DNA turns out to be anything but junk, and as for the origin of life itself, biologists havent got a clue." In terms of recent discoveries in molecular biology, Darwinism is not only wrong but also irrelevant, a Victorian relic.