Genomic science indicates that humans descend not from an individual pair but from a large population. What does this mean for the basic claim of many Christians: that humans descend from Adam and Eve? Leading evangelical geneticist Dennis Venema and popular New Testament scholar Scot McKnight combine their expertise to offer informed guidance and answers to questions pertaining to evolution, genomic science, and the historical Adam. Some of the questions they explore include: - Is there credible evidence for evolution? - Do we descend from a population or are we the offspring of Adam and Eve? - Does taking the Bible seriously mean rejecting recent genomic science? - How do Genesis's creation stories reflect their ancient Near Eastern context, and how did Judaism understand the Adam and Eve of Genesis? - Doesn't Paul's use of Adam in the New Testament prove that Adam was a historical individual? The authors address up-to-date genomics data with expert commentary from both genetic and theological perspectives, showing that genome research and Scripture are not irreconcilable. Foreword by Tremper Longman III and afterword by Daniel Harrell.
Author: Denis O. Lamoureux
Publisher: The Lutterworth Press
Release Date: 2014-12-25
In this provocative book, evolutionist and evangelical Christian Denis O. Lamoureux proposes an approach to origins that moves beyond the 'evolution-versus-creation' debate. Arguing for an intimate relationship between the "Book of God's Words" and the "Book of God's Works", he presents evolutionary creation - a position that asserts that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit created the universe and life through an ordained and sustained evolutionary process. This view of origins affirms intelligent design and the belief that beauty, complexity and functionality in nature reflect the mind of God. Lamoureux also challenges the popular Christian assumption that the Holy Spirit revealed scientific and historical facts in the opening chapters of the Bible. He contends that 'Scripture features an ancient understanding of origins that functions as vessel to deliver inerrant and infallible messages of faith'. Lamoureux shares his personal story and his struggle in coming to terms with evolution and Christianity. Like many, he lost his boyhood faith at university in classes on evolutionary biology. After graduation, he experienced a born-again conversion and then embraced belief in a literal six-day creation. Graduate school training at the doctoral level in both theology and biology led him to the conclusion that God created the world through evolution. Lamoureux closes with the two most important issues in the origins controversy - the pastoral and pedagogical implications. How should churches approach this volatile topic? And what should Christians teach their children about origins?
Author: Peter C. Bouteneff
Publisher: Baker Academic
Release Date: 2008-10-01
What are we missing when we look at the creation narratives of Genesis only or primarily through the lens of modern discourse about science and religion? Theologian Peter Bouteneff explores how first-millennium Christian understandings of creation can inform current thought in the church and in the public square. He reaches back into the earliest centuries of our era to recover the meanings that early Jewish and Christian writers found in the stories of the six days of creation and of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Readers will find that their forbears in the faith saw in the Genesis narrative not simply an account of origins but also a rich teaching about the righteousness of God, the saving mission of Christ, and the destiny of the human creature.
Author: Luke J. Janssen
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Release Date: 2016-08-12
Church tradition has long held that humanity arose from two people living in a garden of paradise in the Mesopotamian basin roughly six thousand years ago. Scientists now have abundant evidence that the human population never numbered less than ten thousand, originated out of Africa hundreds of thousands of years ago, and descended from ancestors that we share in common with several other species (some now extinct, some still living). Is it possible to make these two starkly different worldviews agree, or do we have to choose one and discard the other? This book will summarize the fossil and genetic discoveries that support the scientific view, and then address the impact that this has upon many Christian theological tenets. In the process, it presents many examples of the church adjusting long-held traditions and teachings in the face of scientific advances, as well as examples of how we often hold two seemingly contradictory ideas together without feeling a need to discard one of them. Many theologians have written on this topic without adequately incorporating the scientific aspects. Many others have addressed the science without exploring the impact on theology. This book accomplishes both.
Author: Patricia A. Williams
Publisher: Fortress Press
Release Date: 2001-06-19
In this provocative new addition to the Theology and the Sciences series, Patricia Williams assays the original sin doctrine with a scientific lens and, based on sociobiology, offers an alternative Christian account of human nature's foibles and future. Focusing on the Genesis 2 and 3 account, Williams shows how its "historical" interpretation in early Christianity not only misread the text but derived an idea of being human profoundly at odds with experience and contemporary science. After gauging Christianity's several competing notions of human nature -- Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox -- against contemporary biology, Williams turns to sociobiological accounts of the evolution of human dispositions toward reciprocity and limited cooperation as a source of human good and evil. From this vantage point she offers new interpretations of evil, sin, and the Christian doctrine of atonement. Williams's work, frank in its assessment of traditional misunderstandings, challenges theologians and all Christians to reassess the roots and branches of this linchpin doctrine.
The majority of earth’s inhabitants believe in angels. Yet so few of us can claim to have seen one. Why? Perhaps it’s because in order to encounter one we first have to learn what to look for and how to look! We live in a world where the natural and supernatural overlap. Angels are constantly on mission from God and constantly at work in this world. From the Garden of Eden to the book of Revelation, Scripture is filled with hundreds of references to these wondrous creatures. In this creative work, Scot McKnight explores what the Bible says – and doesn’t say – about these majestic beings. And that’s deeply important because angels are still on mission today. They express God’s love, confirm His presence, and even lead humans in redemptive worship. Don’t just believe in angels. Learn how to recognize these messengers of God that are all around us, and find out how God might be using them to affect our lives.
When it comes to the history of the universe, many believe that science and faith are mutually exclusive. But in this revised version of Origins, physics professors Loren and Deborah Haarsma explore what God's Word and God's world teach us about creation, evolution, and intelligent design. Clearly explaining the science, the authors focus on areas where Christians agree. They also present the strengths and weaknesses of areas where Christians differ. Origins helps you develop a deeper understanding of the origins of the universe and sort out your own views on faith and science. Small group discussion questions follow each chapter. A companion website provides resources for further study.
Author: Michael Murray
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Release Date: 2008-06-19
Those who believe in God often puzzle over how God could permit evil and suffering in the world. Nature Red in Tooth and Claw focuses specifically on non-human animal suffering, and whether or not it raises problems for belief in the existence of a perfectly good creator.
Author: Ron Cole-Turner
Release Date: 2016-09-03
Good theology takes the newest science seriously. In this book, new findings about human origins, like interbreeding with Neandertals and the re-dating of the first tools and cave art, are brought together with a Christian theological vision of humanity created through evolution for unity and completion in Christ. Opening chapters presents the latest scientific research. In clear and accessible writing, key findings from major science journals are turned into a story that begins seven million years when our lineage separated from the line that leads to chimpanzees. Since then, we have changed slowly but dramatically. Surprising new discoveries about Homo naledi and the Denisovans are all interpreted within the larger context of the emerging scientific consensus about the complex origins of our humanity. We have taken on many forms, spreading out across the Old World, then sometimes reconnecting in ways that move evolution along. As we change, we create simple stone tools, refine them slowly, and finally begin to create art and culture.Chapter 8 looks at some of the ways in which science and theology were both misused in the past to support racism and domination. Chapters 9 and 10 provide the culminating theological vision of the book. Chapter 9 asks how we can evolve in the image of God. Eight different approaches to the meaning of ?image of God? are offered, and the book suggests a new way to think about this key theme in light of the science of human origins. Static views of humanity are set aside, and it is argued that for humanity to be in the image of God is for us to be moving toward the fullness of our destiny in Christ. This is developed in two ways Chapter 10. First, Christ completes our humanity, bringing to finality what God has patiently created. Second, Christ makes us all one. In Christ, God is making humanity one by uniting all our past forms, all our present diversity, and all our future possibilities into one redeemed humanity. By drawing on the latest science, this book offers a traditional and yet contemporary Christian view of humanity.
Author: Dale B. Martin
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2017-02-21
A leading biblical scholar’s landmark work challenges the historical realism that has dominated the discipline for more than two centuries How can a modern person, informed by science and history, continue to recite the traditional creeds and confessions of the Christian church? What does the Bible mean and how do we verify biblical truths? In this groundbreaking book, a leading biblical scholar urges readers to be more creative interpreters of biblical texts, mapping out an alternative way of reading that is not first and foremost about understanding what those texts would have meant for the original authors and readers. Limiting our study to the ancient meaning of the text, he argues, has produced either bad history, or bad theology, or both. One cannot derive robustly orthodox Christian doctrine or theology from a mere “historical” interpretation of the Bible. Martin offers instead theological readings of the New Testament that are faithful to Christian orthodoxy as generally understood, but without attempting a “foundationalist” understanding of the meaning of the text. His provocative and ambitious book demonstrates how theology and scripture can remain vital in the twenty-first century.
Women comprise at least half the world, and usually more than half the church, but so often Christian teaching to women either fails to move beyond a discussion of roles or assumes a particular economic situation or stage of life. This all but shuts women out from contributing to God’s kingdom as they were designed to do. Furthermore, the plight of women in the Majority World demands a Christian response, a holistic embrace of all that God calls women and men to be in his world. The loudest voices speaking into women’s lives in the twenty-first century thus far come from either fundamentalist Islam or radical feminism. And neither can be allowed to carry the day. The Bible contains the highest possible view of women and invests women’s lives with cosmic significance regardless of their age, stage of life, social status, or culture. Carolyn Custis James unpacks three transformative themes the Bible presents to women that raise the bar for women and calls them to join their brothers in advancing God’s gracious kingdom on earth. These new images of what can be in Christ free women to embrace the life God gives them, no matter what happens. Carolyn encourages readers with a positive, kingdom approach to the changes, challenges, and opportunities facing women throughout the world today.
Author: John H. Walton
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Release Date: 2010-08-21
In this astute mix of cultural critique and biblical studies, John H. Walton presents and defends twenty propositions supporting a literary and theological understanding of Genesis 1 within the context of the ancient Near Eastern world and unpacks its implications for our modern scientific understanding of origins. Ideal for students, professors, pastors and lay readers with an interest in the intelligent design controversy and creation-evolution debates, Walton's thoughtful analysis unpacks seldom appreciated aspects of the biblical text and sets Bible-believing scientists free to investigate the question of origins.
The Dictionary of Christianity and Science provides, in one volume, entries on over 450 key terms, theories, individuals, movements, and debates at the intersection of Christian faith and contemporary science. In addition, because certain topics such as the age of the Earth and the historicity of Adam and Eve provoke disagreement among Christians, the dictionary includes “Counterpoints”-like essays that advocate for the views most commonly held among evangelicals. Representatives of leading perspectives present their arguments vigorously but respectfully in these advocacy essays, allowing readers to compare options and draw their own conclusions. The dictionary is also fully cross-referenced and entries include references and recommendation for further reading. Edited by Paul Copan, Tremper Longman III, Christopher L. Reese, and Michael G. Strauss, the Dictionary of Christianity and Science features a top-notch lineup of over 140 contributors in the fields of biblical studies, theology, philosophy, history, and various sciences. A unique reference work, it will be useful for scholars, pastors, students, and any Christian wanting to better understand the most relevant issues and ideas at the intersection of Christian faith and science.