Is the Science vs. Religion Debate Over?

“The Ooze” Select Blogger Book Review

Is the Science vs. Religion Debate Over? From the number of new books coming across my desk this year, it doesn’t look like it is over. I’ve had three just in recently including “Thank God for Evolution!” by Michael Dowd (Viking Adult, 2008) and “Nature’s Witness, How Evolution Can Inspire Faith” by Daniel M. Harrell (Abingdon Press, 2008) which is part of Emergent Village’s Living Theology series.

Thank God for Evolution!

Here is how the publisher describes this book:

“Thank God for Evolution! presents in a lively and accessible manner the reasons why it is now possible to view evolution as a divine process; how current science shows that evolution is not meaningless blind chance; practical methods for using evolutionary insights to achieve greater personal fulfillment and thriving relationships; and how aligning with evolutionary trends can guide activists and others hoping to make our world a better place. As a Christian minister, Dowd especially addresses the concerns that Christians have about evolution, but this book contains insights that will appeal to people of all faiths and of no faith.”

Nature’s Witness, How Evolution Can Inspire Faith

Whan asked what the author hoped people would gain from this work, he said, “Written as a pastor and practitioner, the intent is to provide scientific information and theological reflection making a connection between faith and evolution reliable, comprehensible, authentic and less fearful.”

Regarding his motivation behind writing the book, he noted, “Theological integrity demands that whatever we think about faith and life correspond to the way things actually are as opposed to how we want or wish things to be. God is the God of reality. If evolution is real, then to reject it presents difficulties for Christian faith and theology. A proposed alternative is to assume that ultimate truth resides in the heart and mind of God and to assume evolution to be part of that truth (‘all truth is God’s truth’). Based upon confirmed scientific data, a flourishing, robust Christianity stays faithful to the Biblical narrative as its source for theological reflection, while at the same time heralding scientific discovery as an accurate description of the universe on which theology reflects.”

If you are wanting to hear about Evolution from a Christian perspective, you should find these two works helpful.

I’m not interested in a debate over Creation/Intelligent Design vs. Evolution, so please don’t start one in the comments section. I bring these two works to your attention in the spirit of fairness and balance.

For those interested in my position, I’m a six day creationist to the core.

Tags: ,

8 Responses to “Is the Science vs. Religion Debate Over?”

  1. I know you don’t want to get into “the debate” here. This is just for what it’s worth:

    I was traveling in Georgia this week and drove past a church marquee which read something like, “The Big Bang Theory: God said let there be creation and, BANG!, it happened.”

  2. Rick Meigs says:

    That’s a good one Scott and thanks for commenting.

  3. JohnO says:

    Yea, I am all and well fine with Evolution, if it is in fact a reality. I see one large problem with it by itself. Though, I know a brilliant Christian and biologist who assures me my concern there is unwarranted. And there is one primary concern with compatibility, and that is what I wanted to share. If anyone has read either book, please let me know if they address it sufficiently. Namely, the introduction of death into the world happens at the human level. Evolution requires death (natural selection) to work. Did death occur before humans? If so, were humans the only beings to not die until sin entered (while animals did)? Is there justification for that anywhere? Moreso, if that is true, what justification do we have for introducing a “(platonic) spiritual” death into the ancient near east where no such belief is found?

    Thanks

  4. Gavin says:

    Denis Alexander’s new book ‘Creation or Evolution’ deals with this topic (and many overs) quite well. I’d also recommend Ernest Lucas’ ‘Can we Believe Genesis today?’ for discussions on how to read Genesis in its original context and David Wilkinson’s ‘The Message of Creation’ for an overview of the theology of creation in its entirety from across the whole of the Bible.

  5. Rick Meigs says:

    JohnO: I don’t know if they deal with that issue or not.

  6. Rick Meigs says:

    Gavin: Thanks for the recommendations.

  7. Peggy says:

    Hey, Rick — and others!

    There is a rich conversation continuing over at Jesus Creed concerning this very issue:

    http://www.jesuscreed.org/?p=4446

    There is another series that was very interesting…this is the link to the final one…you can find the earlier ones from it:

    http://www.jesuscreed.org/?p=3588

    RJS is a scientist who frequently hosts scientific topics on Scot’s blog.

  8. I just completed a 3 part series on this topic: The Perfect Sun; Gravity is Cool; and Millions Die Without Christ Due to Christian Ignorance.

    My last article is designed to challenge people of faith to consider the consequences of scientific error and our credibility.

    Let me know what you think!