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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2016
Christians throughout history have believed that God reveals himself both through Scripture and nature. The metaphor of Gods Two Books is often used to represent these two divine revelations.
The Book of Gods Words is the Bible. Scripture reveals inerrant spiritual truths. These include, the God of Christianity is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the creation is very good, and only humans are created in the Image of God (Gen. 1:1, 27, 31).
The Book of Gods Works is the physical world. Nature declares Gods glory, eternal power, and divine nature (Ps. 19:1; Rom. 1:20). Through the gift of science, our Creator has blessed us with the ability to explore and understand the structure, operation, and origin of his creation.
Together Gods Two Books offer us a complementary divine revelation of who created the world and how he created it.
A majority of Americans view science and religion as being in conflict, according to the Pew Research Center. Christians and non-Christians alike share this view, yet if this perceived conflict misrepresents the relationship between modern science and Christian faith, then it is both unhelpful and unnecessary today.
In Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes, theologian and scientist Denis O. Lamoureux reviews several options for embracing biblical Christianity and findings of science, including biological evolution. Holding to a high view of Scripture alongside an expert appreciation for scientific discovery, Lamoureux further outlines a way to understand passages referring to the natural world in the Bible and also demonstrates how modern science can point toward God.
Lamoureux shares his own story along the way, recounting struggles many readers will relate to on his journey toward PhDs in both theology and biology and a fruitful relationship between the two.
Topics in this book include:
- A biblical model of intelligent design in nature based on Psalm 19 and Romans 1.
- Examination of the ancient science in Scripture, such as a flat earth and 3-tier universe.
- Comparison of different Christian views on originsyoung earth creation, progressive creation (old earth creation), and evolutionary creation.
- Criticisms of the atheistic interpretation of evolution held by Richard Dawkins and his belief that intelligent design is merely an illusion.
- Galileos peaceful relationship between Scripture and nature, including his view that "the intention of the Holy Spirit [in the Bible] is to teach us how one goes to heaven, and not how heaven goes."
- Darwins religious beliefs and evidence of the impact that intelligent design had on him throughout his life, along with his claim, "It seems to me absurd to doubt that a man may be an ardent Theist [personal God] and an evolutionist."
Believers wanting to honor Gods Two BooksScripture and Naturefaithfully and without conflict will find an excellent introduction in Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes.
Denis Lamoureux is Associate Professor of Science and Religion at St. Joseph's College in the University of Alberta, the first tenure-track position in Canada dedicated to teaching and research on the relationship between scientific discovery and Christian faith. Lamoureux is the author of Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution; I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution; and Darwinism Defeated? The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on Biological Origins.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5A good beginning to a Christian evolutionary thought discussionDecember 20, 2016bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3Lamoureux has brought a very valuable addition to the creation evolution discussion. He calls for the end of the dichotomy of evolution or creation. We don't have to choose. We can have both.
He shares his own story of becoming an atheist after studying evolution. He later found that faith in a creator God is very possible while still maintaining belief in evolution. He has written this book to help students and others who struggle with their Christian faith when confronted with modern science.
He takes readers through the fossil evidence. Every year there are thousands of new fossils found, he writes, and they always show up exactly where scientists expect them to be in the fossil record. (455/2478) The evidence for evolution is overwhelming, he says.
Lamoureux is an evolutionary creationist. God with only one creative act set up the laws of nature for everything in the entire world to self-assemble through evolution. (571/2478) Beginning with the Big Bang, God put in motion extremely well-designed natural processes which he used to self-assemble the entire world, including us. (610/2478) Evolutionary creationists believe the Creator ordains and sustains all natural processes in the world, including the evolutionary process. (1465/2478)
He argues that the early chapters in Genesis are ones in which God accommodated humans and allowed writers to use the science-of-the-day. (706/2478) He proposes the Message-Incident Principle where Bible statements about nature are to be read through the understanding of ancients. Evolutionary creationists believe real historical events in Scripture begin roughly around Genesis 12 and Abraham. Jesus' statements, such as God creating male and female (Matt. 19:4) are also accommodations to the understanding of the day, Lamoureux claims.
Lamoureux is not a deist, however. He believes God miraculously works in the lives of men and women. It is possible to reject God intervening in origins and operations of the world but then fully embrace personal miracles as well as the miracles of Jesus and his bodily resurrection from the grave. (743/2478)
He points out that in light of Romans 1:21-23, it is evident that human sinfulness leads to intellectual dysfunction. (830/2478) In other words, sin impacts our ability to think clearly and rationally. (830/2478) Also, ...sinfulness twists our thought processes into believing falsehoods. (837/2478) Unfortunately, he fails to explore how this might impair the work of scientists and the conclusions they draw.
Difficulties for Christians believing in evolution include man being created in the image of God and man falling into sin. Lamoureux brushes off these issues by writing that understanding how the Image of God and sinfulness arose in humanity is ultimately a mystery and beyond our comprehension. (1478/2478) Not understanding how it came about has no impact whatsoever on his belief that we bear the Image of God and are sinners. (1478/2478) The evolutionary issue of how humans became conscious and spiritual beings is one Lamoureux does not tackle, even though I think it is a very important problem.
While this book is a good addition to the discussion on evolution and creation, there is much that yet needs to be covered. One is the area of miracles. Lamoureux says it is perfectly reasonable to reject God working in nature in the development of animals and humans yet accept personal divine action. (1996/2478) We already saw where Lamoureux accepts personal miracles. But personal miracles are God working in nature, healing, calming the storm, etc. Why should we reject God working in nature in one area (origins) but accept His working in nature in other areas?
Another topic needing further discussion is creation initially being good but then being tainted by sin. Paul says in Romans 5:12 that sin entered by one man and death through sin. How do Christian evolutionists explain that? Paul continues his argument by relating the sin of the one man (Adam) to God's saving grace through the one man, Jesus. (Rom. 5:15) If Paul was wrong about Adam how do we know he was right about Jesus?
And what about when Jesus mentioned the days of Noah and said it will be like that when He returns? (Matt. 24:7) Christian evolutionists do not accept the story of Noah as history so what do we do with Jesus' statement? And what about Peter when he writes about the world being deluged? (2 Peter 3:6) Peter relates that event to the future coming of the Lord and the earth being destroyed by fire. If we think Peter did not get the flood right, how can we trust he gets the coming of the Lord right? And John mentions Cain in I John 3:12. If John wrongly believed Cain was a real person how can we trust the rest he writes?
There are parts of this book I really appreciate. I appreciate Lamoureux's proposal of a fruitful relationship between the Bible and God's work revealed in science. I appreciate his discussion of metaphysics and physics and how one must take a leap from physics to metaphysics and belief in design and a Designer. I think he does an excellent job in discussing when evolution has an end in mind (determined by God) or is blind, as atheists claim. He presents very good arguments discounting atheism.
But there are also issues that still need to be discussed. This book is a good beginning to the topic but may not satisfy all readers, as it did not satisfy me. There still needs to be a great deal more work done on the views of Christian evolutionists and how they maintain the integrity of the Bible as revealing spiritual truths.
I recommend this book to those interested in the creation evolution discussion. Lamoureux clearly identifies how making people choose between science and faith has been detrimental. Many will find within these pages reasons to believe God created through the evolutionary process. I also recommend this book to those who are willing to work through the ideas of Christian evolutionary thought and clear up some of the remaining questions regarding the integrity of the Bible.
And just one more thought, this one regarding the title of the book. The title indicates that Scriptures in some way inform readers that evolution occurred. Lamoureux does not show that in this book. The best that can be said is that Scriptures do not say evolution did not happen if you look at it through the eyes of Christian evolutionary thought. I personally think the title is misleading.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.