Best book on Evolution and Creation?

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Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 5 2015 10:12 PM

Best book from a scientific point of view, however, neither (yet) available in English, nor on Logos...

http://www.evolutionslehrbuch.info

David Paul:

waste time on a subject He didn't give any command to examine.

He neither commanded to use Bible software, and still it's worthwhile.

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 12:19 AM

Thank you so very much for all the suggestions. As I consider John Walton, for instance, I am concerned (rightly or wrongly) that his approach is too centered exclusively on Genesis. I cannot find any theory about the meaning of Genesis satisfactory that does not account for how it is understood and handled in other parts of Scriptures. For instance, if someone would say that the Flood is some sort of metaphorical tale, they would need to explain how that works when Jesus compares judgment day to the days of the Flood. The same applies to when Paul makes an exhortative point out of Eve being deceived, not Adam, etc.

What I have encountered in my admittedly limited readership on the topic is either topical treatments that defend the traditional reading of the Genesis account throughout the Bible but do not deal well, if at all, with the challenges that come from the scientific community's claims about the age of the earth and of fossils. Or there are those who talk all about Genesis and the challenges but are largely mum about the rest of the Bible.

So, in all the books mentioned above, is there one or more that does both well? How do Walton and Lamoureux fare with regard to these questions?

Posts 691
Kevin A Lewis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 3:31 AM

HI MJ and Francis!

MJ. Smith:

If you wish to discuss the truth or falsity of the AIG position, take it to ChristianDiscourse.

Normally I would totally agree - although in this case the comments made are here and need at least some sort of challenge - Here!

the best I can say about them are they a caricature of the AIG position - or instead they are defamatory. If "any" of these opinions have been expressed by individuals in their publications they are NOT the views of AIG as a whole.

The only redeeming factor is the use of "Answers in Genesis books type" - as such I can just about support the "TYPE" element - but we should object to the highly fringe material being associated with a group that is far less "fringe" than the assigned views would suggest.

Shalom Kevin

Posts 525
Kent | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 4:07 AM

I am very confused by your request. You want

Francis:
intelligent, careful exegesis of the pertinent biblical material that is made to relate to the questions raised by evolutionists and willing to admit, when applicable, what we don't know or can't settle. I want something informed, informative, sensible and solid exegetically.

But you want it to be non-dogmatic

Francis:
I don't want the same from a creationist standpoint.

and not scientifically elaborate

Francis:
I am not interested in elaborate "scientific" arguments such as the cosmological constant. 

I don't believe you will find a resource that fits your requirements.however, if you do find one that is UP TO-DATE SCIENTIFICALLY please share it.

Posts 3687
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 4:37 AM

Kevin, I can no longer edit my original post, otherwise I would remove the allusion to AIG. My impressions were based on readings I did quite a while ago and could indeed not be fair to the ministry as it exists today. I was not trying to take a shot at AIG (although I admit that the way I wrote does just that), but to dismiss suggestions of books along the dinosaur skeletons are cows-bones glued together type. So please ignore what I wrote about AIG and retain the type of content criteria.

Kent, I am not sure what you find confusing. I think that dogmatic/non-dogmatic is not a category that expresses best my criteria. I want solid exegesis not confessionally-conditioned eisegesis. And when I say confessional, this is not to disparage confessionalism, since I am a believer myself. But as I said, I don't want Job's friends type of answers. The question at hand is how the way the Bible represents creation is to be understood (e.g., is Walton's ancient cosmology model working at the scale of the entire Bible?). There are many passages of Scriptures that have a long tradition of interpretation that is sometimes mistakenly held to be the straight-forward and thus least suspect way of reading them. They are, often, simply a long tradition of a Westernisation of the Scriptures that has read them according to our culture, conventions and expectations (what we find "self-evident") rather than on their own terms. The challenges brought by scientific discoveries can provide the impetus to consider whether traditional interpretation is as canonical as it has been made to be. Hence, I am more interested in the interpretation of the Biblical material than in, say, ID types of arguments. Is this clearer to you?

You may be right that this resource does not exist. I don't know, that's why I am asking.

Posts 1995
Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 4:58 AM

Kevin A Lewis:

HI MJ and Francis!

MJ. Smith:

If you wish to discuss the truth or falsity of the AIG position, take it to ChristianDiscourse.

Normally I would totally agree - although in this case the comments made are here and need at least some sort of challenge - Here!

the best I can say about them are they a caricature of the AIG position - or instead they are defamatory. If "any" of these opinions have been expressed by individuals in their publications they are NOT the views of AIG as a whole.

The only redeeming factor is the use of "Answers in Genesis books type" - as such I can just about support the "TYPE" element - but we should object to the highly fringe material being associated with a group that is far less "fringe" than the assigned views would suggest.

Shalom Kevin

I present this article concerning the existence of fire breathing dragons living with humans as recent as medieval times as evidence of Francis' concerns.

I also highly recommend The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate (or anything else by Walton).

Also helpful:

Four Views on the Historical Adam (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology)

The Lost World of Adam and Eve: Genesis 2-3 and the Human Origins Debate (This one is new).

Video of John Walton's view here.

Disclaimer:  I hate using messaging, texting, and email for real communication.  If anything that I type to you seems like anything other than humble and respectful, then I have not done a good job typing my thoughts.

Posts 691
Kevin A Lewis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 5:43 AM

Joseph Turner:

I present this article concerning the existence of fire breathing dragons living with humans as recent as medieval times as evidence of the Francis' concerns.

Hi Joseph

Reasonable point - but not quite in the category of the Original Post's issues. Also worth saying that The Bible itself includes subject matter that many would lump together with this and then label Myth (i.e. untrue). The fire breathing element of Dinosaur or Dragon would be difficult at this time to prove or for that matter disprove, based on current fossil evidence.

As Francis has said above - and his point was well made - would have been far better made had AIG be left off the post. They I would have both understood and agreed wholeheartedly.

Back to the original enquiry - I am also concerned that the request for information - has left little room for relevant material to be offered.

Shalom Kevin

Posts 943
Everett Headley | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 6:53 AM

MJ. Smith:

Travis Walter:

If thats what you really think about AIG, then I challenge you to actually read and watch some of their programs. 

Saying what you said about them is simply not true.

Travis, don't assume Francis doesn't know the AIG material; rather, remember that this is not the place to discuss theology and therefore not the place to label what the OP posted as "not true" except, perhaps, on a factual point such as correcting a year, title or author reference. If you wish to discuss the truth or falsity of the AIG position, take it to ChristianDiscourse.

Note: I have read their material as my father was at one time a supporter but became a strong critic.

MJ,

To correct  Travis on his beliefs is indeed discussing what should not be done here.  The OP is inflammatory to those who value AIG's work.

Posts 421
Scott S | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 10:29 AM

Francis, since you want to steer between the views which you describe as “all dating methods are totally unreliable” and “I don't want pragmatic, uncritical exegesis”, checkout publications from Hugh Ross’s Reasons To Believe (RTB). 

The reason Ross represents a middle ground, is that he holds to a substantial form of inerrancy See Q8, while only challenging a limited number of theories of Science.  This is a significant contrast to authors that might be associated with AIG or Biologos views.

Many RTB publications are available through Logos, but you should also peruse the Reasons website to see which publications best address the questions you may have, i.e., physical science, life science, or the biblical text.   

A few suggestions:

  • For the most discussion of the Bible, look at “Navigating Genesis” and “Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job”.  Ross also recommends C. John Collin’s Genesis 1-4 commentary. 
  • On age of the Earth, “A Matter of Days”, the 2015 edition is now available but I have not seen it.  
  • For general coverage the old title “Finger Print of God” is still relevant.  Hugh Ross also has helpful videos on you tube.

Francis:
How do Walton and Lamoureux fare with regard to these questions?

Lamoureux said in a youtube video he has given up on the bible being reliable, and "grieves the loss".

Posts 80
Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 11:12 AM

As far as exegesis is concerned...that is really difficult to answer since so many resources do in fact touch on it, but virtually none in Logos have it as its main focus.  For example the NIV Application Commentary (by Walton) on Genesis...but also WBC on Genesis and various others would also touch on the interplay of science and theology.  The IVP Reference Dictionaries, Old Testament theologies (Waltke, Goldingay  etc)  are also good things to look at.

But, as far as your first request for a quality book "to give an overview of where the discussion is at."  That I may be able to help you with.  Actually I would recommend two books in addition to the one's already mentioned (I loved Number's historical book on "The Creationists").

Both survey creationists, intelligent designists, and evolutionists and combined I think you will get a really good picture of where the discussion is and also who some of the key players are.

The Adam Quest by Tim Stafford

This is from a reviewer

"Stafford, who is Senior Writer for Christianity Today, provides a snapshot of 11 different scientists whose work converges on one of 3 different Christian beliefs about evolution and creation: young earth creation, intelligent design, and evolutionary creation. The scientists disagree with each other on how life developed, but all hold firm to the belief in God as creator. You won't find an in-depth explanation of the scientific work involved, but you will get the flavor of their research and questions. That's the value of this book."

The Evolution Controversy:  A Survey of Competing Theories  Thomas Fowler and Daniel Kuebler

I enjoyed both books ("The Adam Quest" is by far a quicker read...and I enjoyed it so much I finished it in just a weekend.)

 

Posts 3687
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 11:31 AM

Scott S:
Lamoureux said in a youtube video he has given up on the bible being reliable, and "grieves the loss".

Are you able to provide a link as to where this video may be found or what it is called?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 12:58 PM

Everett Headley:

MJ. Smith:

Travis Walter:

If thats what you really think about AIG, then I challenge you to actually read and watch some of their programs. 

Saying what you said about them is simply not true.

Travis, don't assume Francis doesn't know the AIG material; rather, remember that this is not the place to discuss theology and therefore not the place to label what the OP posted as "not true" except, perhaps, on a factual point such as correcting a year, title or author reference. If you wish to discuss the truth or falsity of the AIG position, take it to ChristianDiscourse.

Note: I have read their material as my father was at one time a supporter but became a strong critic.

MJ,

To correct  Travis on his beliefs is indeed discussing what should not be done here.  The OP is inflammatory to those who value AIG's work.

Sorry, I did not read the OP as inflammatory but rather read Kevin as unnecessarily defensive. However, Francis has conceded that he would edit his post if he could so that should be the end of it. From my personal perspective the whole discussion is based on a misunderstanding of abductive logic - the logical basis of science.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 421
Scott S | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 6:18 PM

Francis,I was able to find my notes of 5 years ago, including links to videos, where Part 1 at 8 minutes Lamoureux said “I am an inerrantist of the highest order”.  Unfortunately, that’s the opposite of what I remember. I apologize for not checking this before posting.  

Apparently, I formed my position after listening to the following statements in the next video : at 5:45 min:sec, Lamoureux said “I have been grieving a good portion of my professional life dealing with this.”  At 8:20 Sin did not enter the World through Adam.  At 9:20 Lamoureux thinks a Skeptic’s question is reasonable: If the bible gets it wrong scientifically and historically, why should I trust it’s theological message?  These statements seem inconsistent with inerrancy, but I missed the point he sees himself as “an inerrantist” and I misrepresented that. I’m sorry for the distraction.

Posts 497
Greg Masone | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 9:18 PM

Francis:
So, in all the books mentioned above, is there one or more that does both well? How do Walton and Lamoureux fare with regard to these questions?

Francis, 

Again, I think Lamoureux provides the best perspective on this issue. I read the book I suggested to you back in 2008 or 2009 (and I still own it), so my memory is a bit fuzzy, but browsing through its chapters I see a great deal of discussion on Genesis 1-11, and then a chapter devoted to the Christian perspective on it, namely, what are we to do with Jesus and Paul's uses of Genesis 1-11 in light of what was previously discussed about those chapters?

So I think it would provide as good a discussion as one could hope on those issues. You might, if you have the time, check out the links to his lectures and presentations that I gave you to get a taste of his book.

You may want to play around with the website Biologos.org too. Its a great site for Christians to explore these issues, and features numerous contributions from Lamoureux, Walton, Wright, and various other Christians, both theologians and scientists. It is pro-evolution (which is the only legitimate position a person can have these days), and its mission is devoted to understanding our faith within that context.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 9:24 PM

Greg Masone:
It is pro-evolution (which is the only legitimate position a person can have these days),

Hmm....That is one way of stifling the debate.

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Posts 497
Greg Masone | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 9:29 PM

Scott S:
These statements seem inconsistent with inerrancy, but I missed the point he sees himself as “an inerrantist” and I misrepresented that. I’m sorry for the distraction.

The thing with inerrancy is where one grounds his perspective on it. If I claimed I believed in inerrancy of scripture, yet used the knowledge and truth standards of a 21st century person to "judge" the text by, I wouldn't hold to inerrancy for very long because, in many ways, the scriptures wouldn't hold up to my standards simply because it wasn't written with my standards in mind.

When thinking about inerrancy, we have to judge scripture by the author's standards. Not our own. This is why I can say I am an inerrantist, yet fully accept the biological evolution of all life on earth AND say that the science in the Bible does not concord with the science I currently believe. This is very similar to what Lamoureux says too.

How can I say this, and still believe in inerrancy? Because when I judge scripture according to the standards of the Ancient Near East, it passes with flying colors. The cosmology present in Genesis 1-11 fits perfectly into its milieu. But it doesn't have hidden scientific knowledge so as to satisfy the minds of 21st century Americans. When I judge John's writings according to the standards of the 1st century, he does much better then if I were to hold him to 21st century standards.

So with inerrancy, we have to use the standards of the authors to "judge" the text, or else we add a whole host of criteria that the authors, even though they were divinely inspired, weren't privy to. But if we still insist, the question must be asked "why these 21st century standards, and not 16th century ones?" If we are willing to judge the text by the science of the 21st century, then we must also be willing to do it by the science of every century before us, and every century after us. You can see the headache this would cause, and the potential damage it could do too. What if we find great scientific support in scripture for some new theory, but 200 years later that theory is decisively discarded? Would scripture be wrong then?

No. Better to ground our inerrancy in the period the scriptures were written, so the standard doesn't change with each successive generation of Christians.

Posts 497
Greg Masone | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2015 9:44 PM

Super.Tramp:
Hmm....That is one way of stifling the debate.

In light of the evidence, this is true. Now, would we not say the same on the question of the movement of the earth? Is there any legitimate debate within Christendom on whether the earth moves? How many of us would invest serious study in this question? And yet, I bet none of us could walk outside our house right now and definitively prove how geocentrism is false.

Evolution isn't going anywhere because it is true. I call it a legitimate position because it isn't science that drives antievolutionists in their rejection of the theory. Religious truths (little t) are held and insisted upon, and "science" is gathered afterward to bolster the religious truths. I'm not aware of any atheists who outright reject evolution for young-earth creationism, or even some non-evolutiontary position. There is always religion involved in the rejection equation.

Posts 3938
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 7 2015 6:54 AM

http://www.discovery.org/id/books/

With special mention of Behe, Dembski, Woodward, Meyers and Johnson. The rest may also be good, but those were the ones I've read. 

NOTE: this comes from the Intelligent Design perspective. They seek to be more scientific than the answers in genesis folks, and have erected a big tent that allows catholics, protestants, and any one else that believes there is a creator God to participate. This has caused some criticism from both sides... But I do think they have a more solid grasp of the issues and science than many groups. The Christians in their number have written some good books from a theological perspective as well. Behe is a catholic - and even as a protestant I would start with him. Dembski IIRC is deist, Woodward is a Christian and graduate of Princeton. Johnson is also a Believer - but was/is an attorney and Berkley professor IIRC. I don't remember where Meyer stood theologically.

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Posts 943
Everett Headley | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 7 2015 7:30 AM

Greg Masone:

Super.Tramp:
Hmm....That is one way of stifling the debate.

In light of the evidence, this is true. Now, would we not say the same on the question of the movement of the earth? Is there any legitimate debate within Christendom on whether the earth moves? How many of us would invest serious study in this question? And yet, I bet none of us could walk outside our house right now and definitively prove how geocentrism is false.

Evolution isn't going anywhere because it is true. I call it a legitimate position because it isn't science that drives antievolutionists in their rejection of the theory. Religious truths (little t) are held and insisted upon, and "science" is gathered afterward to bolster the religious truths. I'm not aware of any atheists who outright reject evolution for young-earth creationism, or even some non-evolutiontary position. There is always religion involved in the rejection equation.

Greg,

This IS a debatable topic and one in which many do not agree with you on. The OP was suggestions for resources, not for opinions offered on what is or is not legitimate.  That is for each of us to decide.  Please take this to christiandiscourse.com if you want to debate this.

Posts 4772
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 7 2015 2:36 PM

Jan Krohn:

David Paul:

waste time on a subject He didn't give any command to examine.

He neither commanded to use Bible software, and still it's worthwhile.

Really?? You equate using a tool to do what He said to do with engaging in a practice purportedly related to Him but upon which He never spoke?

Your equivalency detector needs some tuning.

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