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How I Changed My Mind About Evolution 

Many evangelicals have come to accept the conclusions of science while still holding to a vigorous belief in God and the Bible. How did they make this journey?

EvolutionHow I Changed My Mind About Evolution
Edited by Kathryn Applegate and J B Stump
Monarch Books
ISBN 978 0 85721 787 5
Reviewed by John Biggs

This book is the first in a new series at IVP called BioLogos Books on Science and Christianity. It brings together 25 short contributions, with only three exceptions specially written for this volume. All the authors acknowledge the primacy of Scripture, but have been challenged to establish the harmony between science and biblical faith, the crux being the Darwinian theory of evolution.
 
They come from a great diversity of background. Obviously many are biologists and geneticists, but there is an entomologist, an astronomer, and a motion picture and television producer. There are theologians, church pastors, and preachers. Many are in senior positions in universities. Francis Collins led the Human Genome Project which produced the first reference sequence of the human DNA. Denis Lamoureux is an associate Professor of Science and Religion holding three doctoral degrees – on dentistry, evangelical theology and evolutionary biology. Tremper Longman III is an Old Testament Professor who came relatively late to wrestling with Genesis 1 and 2, but when he did was fired from his post for not accepting it as a literal account.
 
This collection very much reflects the American scene, and for those of us this side of the Atlantic this is its weakness. Nearly all make reference to their own biography, and this is a strength in that we are hearing of real crises of faith and real situations. But it is a weakness that so many have to tell of being brought up in strong evangelical churches that will not tolerate any belief in evolution, who interpret the geological evidence in terms of a young earth theory about 6,000 years old, and contorted explanations of how Cain and Abel were able to marry.
 
There are many helpful insights. Oliver Crisp, a Professor of Systematic Theology, is not alone in asserting “if evolution is true, and all truth is God’s truth, and faith seeks understanding of the mysterious God revealed to us in Scripture, in Christ and in the world around us, then evolution and biblical Christianity must be consonant with one another”. A common conclusion is that the “Scriptures affirm that God created the world, while science fills in the details of how that happened” (Amos Young).
 
Jennifer Wiseman, an astronomer, faces up to all the classical questions that arise from the size and age of our known universe. What if there is life on other planets? What would that mean for man’s relationship with God and the redemptive work of Christ?
 
With the caveat that the North American scene is different from ours, individual readers can seek a resolution to their own deep questions within this wide range of different approaches to what appears to be inherent contradictions. There is much wisdom to be found. 

 

John Biggs is a former President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain



 
Baptist Times, 20/01/2017
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