Should Christians Embrace Evolution?: Biblical and Scientific Responses

Should Christians Embrace Evolution?: Biblical and Scientific Responses
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Nevin, Norman C. (Editor)

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World Magazine Book of the Year 2011, Should Christians Embrace Evolution? by Norman C. Nevin 9781596382305

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Publisher's Description

We are witnessing an aggressive attack on the credibility of the Christian faith. Christians are increasingly called to embrace Darwinian evolution—or acknowledge that they are altogether opposed to science.

But for the contributors of this volume, this is a false premise. Committed to the authority of Scripture, the need for careful exegesis, and the importance of rigorous scientific investigation, these thirteen scientists and theologians offer valuable perspectives on a controversial area of debate for concerned Christians whoa re determined to draw their won conclusions.

Foreword by Wayne Grudem.

Contributors

David Anderson has a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s in theology from the University of Glamorgan (Wales Evangelical School of Theology). He was involved in church planting in the UK before moving to Eldoret, Kenya, where he currently serves as a missionary and a lecturer at a pastors’ training college.

Geoff Barnard was for seven years a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, UK. He has been a Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences at three other UK universities, and a visiting scientist at the Weizmann Institute in Israel.

Alistair Donald is a Church of Scotland (presbyterian) minister and a past chair of its apologetics committee. He has a doctorate in environmental science, and is currently Chaplain at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

Steve Fuller is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick. Originally trained in history and philosophy of science, he testified on behalf of intelligent design theory in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005). Among many books, he is the author of Science vs. Religion? (2007) and Dissent over Descent (2008).

Greg Haslam is Senior Pastor at Westminster Chapel, London. He has pastored for thirty years and travels widely as a conference speaker, preacher and lecturer. He is the author of several books including Preach the Word!, A Radical Encounter with God, The Man Who Wrestled with God and Moving in the Prophetic.

Phil Hills has been in pastoral ministry for the past twenty–three years and has led churches in Coventry, Birmingham and Swansea. He is currently pastor of the Elim Church in Dundonald, Belfast. He has a master’s degree in theology from Manchester University.

R. T. Kendall is is an author, speaker, and teacher, and was pastor of Westminster Chapel, London, for twenty-five years.

Andy McIntosh has a PhD in Aeronautics from Cranfield and is Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory at the University of Leeds (contributing here in a private capacity). He has worked for the Royal Aircraft Establishment and has researched for thirty years in combustion and thermodynamics, and more recently in biomimetics (learning from nature for engineering advantage). He is author of Genesis for Today (2001).

Alistair McKitterick is lecturer in Biblical and Theological Studies at Moorlands College, a Christian Bible college in Christchurch. He has degrees in both physics and theology.

Norman C. Nevin OBE is Emeritus Professor of Medical Genetics at the Queen’s University, Belfast and Head of the Northern Regional Genetics Service.

Michael Reeves is the Theological Advisor for UCCF. Previously he was an associate minister at All Souls Church, Langham Place, London. He is the author of The Unquenchable Flame: Introducing the Reformation. He holds a doctorate in systematic theology from King’s College, London.

Andrew Sibley is studying towards an MPhil/PhD in theology at a UK–based university examining the relationship between science and faith. He has an MSc in Environmental Decision Making and works as a specialist meteorologist in the environmental arena. He is the author of Restoring the Ethics of Creation.

John C. Walton is Research Professor of Chemistry at the University of St Andrews.

About the Editor

Norman C. Nevin OBE is Emeritus Professor of Medical Genetics at the Queen’s University, Belfast and Head of the Northern Regional Genetics Service.

Book Details

220 Pages
Publisher: P&R Publishing Company
Publication Date: May 2011
ISBN 10: 1596382309
ISBN 13: 9781596382305

“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.”
– Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary, AZ

“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

“When it comes to the debate about reconciling evolutionary theory to the Christian faith, some theistic evolutionist friends give the impression that, ‘They think it’s all over!’ ‘It isn’t now!’ is my response after reading this collection of very accessible essays from a variety of scientists and theologians, who beg to differ from that conclusion. Read, be challenged and be ready to think again.”
– Steve Brady, Principal, Moorlands Bible College

“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.”
– Richard A. Carhart, Professor Emeritus of Physics,University of Illinois at Chicago

“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 Darwin’s 200th anniversary. It should encourage thereader to question seriously the clamour to embrace neo–Darwinian theory.”
– Gary Habermas, Distinguished Research Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy and Theology, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA

“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.”
– Phillip E. Johnson, Professor of Law Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, author of Darwin on Trial

“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 Darwin’s 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.”
– Dalibor Krupa, Research Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Institute of Physics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia

“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.”
– Angus Menuge, Professor of Philosophy, Concordia University Wisconsin, author of Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science

“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.”
– John Warwick Montgomery, Professor Emeritus of Law and Humanities, University of Bedfordshire, UK; Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Christian Thought, Patrick Henry College, Virginia, USA; Director, International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism and Human Rights, Strasbourg, France

"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.”
– Alastair Noble, former Inspector of Schools andHead of Educational Services, Scotland

“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 haven’t got a clue. In terms of recent discoveries in molecular biology, Darwinism is not only wrong but also irrelevant, a Victorian relic.”
– Colin Reeves, Professor of Operational Research in the School of Mathematical and Information Sciences (MIS) at Coventry University

“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 safe–guarding the integrity of the Christian gospel confidently to make that response.”
– Patrick J. Roche, Tutor in Philosophy of Religion, Irish Baptist College