The Creation / Evolution Debate – 11 Essential Books

As Christ-following outdoorsmen, nature lovers, fathers, mothers, and teachers, we’re subject to supply reasons for what we believe.  When it comes to the creation versus evolution debate, I’m not sure most Christians feel equipped to tackle the hard questions or issues.  But we should take the time to learn about this debate.  Everyday, our kids read textbooks or watch documentaries that don’t tell the whole story about origins.  I try to teach my son and daughter to view things objectively and to think for themselves.  So far, so good.

Depending on its context, the word “evolution” can leave behind a trail of varying meanings.  But how does the scientific community or the creationist camp view it?  Hopefully, this reading list will shed some light on the growing differences of opinion on our beginnings.  Once you learn that the scientific theories for origins just aren’t that clear-cut—much less, conclusive—your faith can lift its head proudly.

Do we need to prove the existence of God or creationism?  In my opinion—no.  Reality and truth exist independently of our beliefs.  But by examining this debate and reading these books, you will gain a much higher respect and reverence for our wondrous God.  You will also come to understand just how much science cannot explain everything about our world and our existence.

I’m listing my favorite books on this topic.  They’ve been a tremendous resource over the years.  I don’t necessarily agree with all the claims or viewpoints in some of these books, but overall they have been a great learning tool.

Creation: Facts of Life by Gary Parker

Darwin on Trial by Phillip Johnson

The Battle for the Beginning by John MacArthur

What Darwin Didn’t Know by Geoffrey Simmons, M.D.

Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution by Michael Behe

The Case for the Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God by Lee Strobel

Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? by Jonathan Wells

The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

Okay, you may wonder why I listed that last book.  And there are other books more recently written that argue the evolutionist’s viewpoint.  But we should understand the argument from both sides.  How else can we have an intelligent discussion about these things?

Here is the list of books I plan to read in the near future:

Reclaiming Science from Darwinism by Kenneth Poppe

The Evolution Handbook by Vance Ferrell

The Edge of Evolution:  The Search for the Limits of Darwinism by Michael Behe

How about you?  What books do you recommend for this topic?

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21 Responses to The Creation / Evolution Debate – 11 Essential Books

  1. pastorjeffcma says:

    “Darwin on Trial,” “Darwin’s Black Box,” “The Case for the Creator,” “Icons of Evolution,” “Origin of the Species” are the ones that I have read. One that is on my must read list is “Signature in the Cell” by Stephen Meyer. Two others that I plan on reading very soon were the Books of the Year in 2011 in World Magazine–“Should Christians Embrace Evolution: Biblical and Scientific Responses” edited by Norman C. Nevin and “God and Evolution” edited by Jay Richards. Thanks for bringing up one of my favorite topics.

    • thanks Pastor Jeff… I have seen a video segment from “Signature in the Cell” I’m always astounded by the complexity of life, even the workings of a single cell and its components.

  2. youthguyerik says:

    I would recommend dinesh d’souza’s lecture at Wheaton college- available for free on iTunes U. Not a lot of Darwin, but a lot on science and how to respond to the atheist position. Also on iTunes is the debate god podcast. Lots of debates over these issues. Just suggesting these as a trade off for the excellent reading list. Thanks.
    Youthguyerik

    • thanks Youthguyerik …. I will check these out on iTunes. As I mentioned in Jeff’s comments, I found a video segment for the “Signature in the Cell” Found this at http://www.arn.org. This website has lots of good resources, videos, animations, etc.
      thanks for checking out my post.
      Scott

  3. Steve Bartholomew says:

    You left off some really important books, Scott . I’ll mention just 4 …
    First, and most important, is the book that ushered in the modern creationist movement, “The Genesis Flood,” by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb, currently in its 48th printing. This book addresses 2 of the fundamental issues in this debate, the scope of the Genesis Flood and the age of the earth. Anyone familiar with the literature on this subject should know that these are without doubt the 2 MOST divisive issues in the debate. The modern Christian church is inundated with Theistic Evolutionists – like those in BioLogos – and these people invariably are at odds with “true” creationists (i.e., those who believe in a worldwide flood and an earth that is about
    6-10,000 years old). Even worse, many of these people completely ignore the Genesis Flood!
    The plain truth is that “The Genesis Flood” is REQUIRED READING for anyone interested in ths debate.

    The other 3 books are “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis” by Michael Denton, “In the MInds of Men” by Ian Taylor, and a somewhat older book, “Evolution and Christian Faith” by Bolton Davidheiser.
    All of these books are available through Amazon, although Taylor’s book may be out of most people’s price range (it has sold for over $400 at times on Amazon!). I believe, however, that Taylor’s book is available from Creation Moments for about $35 (look it up on Google).
    Steve Bartholomew

    • thanks Steve … I’m very familiar with Henry Morris and should have included him in the list. I’ve also heard of Denton, but not the last 2 you mentioned. The point of me listing all these different books is that people explore all views about creationism. Even though I consider myself a creationist and believe in the Genesis account, I don’t necessarily believe in the young earth idea and I’m totally NOT a Theistic Evolutionist. Thanks again for sharing these other books.
      Scott

  4. Steve Bartholomew says:

    Scott … You said that “Even though I consider myself a creationist and believe in the Genesis account, I don’t necessarily believe in the young earth idea and I’m totally NOT a Theistic Evolutionist.” From this comment, I must assume that you don’t believe in a “young” earth. In this debate, a “young earth” generally means an earth that is 6-10,000 years old. The vast majority of people who reject this age believe in the age proposed by evolutionists – 4.6 billion years old. Anyone who believes in some other age (100,000 years, 1 millioon years, etc.) is far out on the periphery of the discussion and is ignored. Therefore, since you say that you “don’t necessarily believe in the young earth idea” I assume that you believe in “the old earth idea” … i.e. an age for the earth of about 4.6 billion years. If this is so, then you cannot believe in a worldwide flood (NOBODY who believes in an “old earth” believes in a worldwide flood, because the 2 events are mutually exclusive). If you believe in an “old” earth and reject a WORLDWIDE flood, but believe that God was orchestrating the whole process, then (unless you believe in Progressive Creation – which I believe is ridiculous) you must believe in theistic evolution.
    Obviously, I have made a number of assumptions re: your beliefs. Am I wrong about them?
    Steve

    • Steve … thanks for the questions. Let me work backwards from your last point. I assume that by “theistic evolution” you mean that God used some process of evolution to create life over billions of years. No, I do not believe God used evolution to create us and the living beings on this planet. I do believe in the Genesis flood and the events that are recorded in Genesis.

      It’s not too unusual for Christians to believe in an old earth. Even Bible scholars like AW Pink believed in the concept of an old earth. I don’t want to get into a long debate on this, but I like to think that God Himself has been around much longer than 10,000 years, and I’m not sure why we need to believe that the cosmos, the solar system and our planets should be a “recent” part of His creation.

      Please understand that I’m not dogmatic about this idea. I reserve the right to change my mind about this. I do believe that the creation of life is fairly recent–perhaps 10,000 years or longer. Now, we could get into the interpretation of the creation account. This is strictly my opinion, but I believe the Creation account to be literal, I also believe God has only given us a “synopsis” on creation–a high level account. He doesn’t go into any detail about “how” He did it. Genesis sets the stage for Christ’s purpose & mission and the future redemption of man. It’s more of a love letter, and I don’t believe God intended it to serve as a “textbook” for God’s “science.”

      When He says that the earth was “formless and void” does that just mean an instant in time or did He take longer (from our perspective) to create the earth, the planets, the cosmos–I really don’t know. Does it mean that He waved His hand and poof there it was or did He use physical processes that He invented to create the earth–a Big Bang possibly. God may hold a different perspective on time than we do. I don’t believe He used evolution to create life because life is so beautifully complex, organized and designed. All too often, I believe that we as –scientists, humans, or even Christians–really believe that we understand time, matter and energy. We’ve only scratched the surface on what’s there and how things really operate.

      Hope this helps. My intention is not to cause confusion, and I’m certainly open to learning new ideas. There are lots of variables, and we always have to be careful about how we interpret God’s Word and not go beyond what He’s chosen to reveal. If we speculate outside God’s Word (or between verses) we should do like Paul does or I have done and say its an “opinion.”

      Scott

  5. Steve Bartholomew says:

    Scott … Thank you for your thoughtful and revealing reply. You indicated that you did not want to “get into a long debate,” so I will try to be as concise as possible. It is clear to me that you are a devout and sincere Christian who truly loves the Lord. Your beliefs regarding creation, however, include some serious contradictions. Let me be clear about why I am spending time sharing these emails with you. You say that you are not a Theistic Evolutionist, one, that is, who believes in evolution but believes that God orchestrated it. On the other hand, you are not a committed opponent of evolution, as young-earth creationists are. The reason that this position is so important stems from this vital truth: the theory of evolution is an attempt to explain how the world, and living things, came into being by entirely NATURAL processes – that is, apart from God. At its very core, in other words, the theory of evolution is stridently ATHEISTIC. Glance through any textbook on the subject and you will see exactly what I mean here. Thus, one who does not strongly oppose evolution provides tacit assent to its followers. That, my friend, is the problem! Christians need to aggressively oppose this evil theory.
    Furthermore – and this is what Theistic Evolutionists utterly fail to recognize – the theory of evolution is a complete lie. Those who believe it are condemned by Paul in Romans 1:22 & 23: “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.”
    Let me point out some of the contradictions mentioned above. You said on the one hand that you “believe in the Genesis flood and the events that are recorded in Genesis.” On the other, you said that “It’s not too unusual for Christians to believe in an old earth.” Right away, there is much ambiguity in these statements. Re: the first, Do you believe that the Genesis flood was WORLDWIDE? Your 2nd statement obviously suggests that YOU might believe in an “old earth.” As I pointed out in my previous email, one cannot believe in both a worldwide flood and an old earth, because these two things are mutually exclusive; they cannot both be true.
    Of course, if you believe that the events that are recorded in Genesis are true, as you claim, you would be forced to believe that the flood was worldwide in scope (see Gen. 6:7, 13, 17 & 7:19, 20-23; II Peter 3:5 & 6, etc.). But if you admit the possibility that the earth might be old (4.6 billion years), you cannot believe that the flood was worldwide (they’re mutually exclusive – remember?). But if you don’t believe that the flood was worldwide, how can you claim to believe in the events that are recorded in Genesis, which leave no doubt whatsoever that the flood WAS worldwide?
    The logic is simple: one who truly believes in the events recorded in Genesis must believe that the flood was worldwide; one who believes that the flood was worldwide cannot believe in an ancient earth (because a worldwide flood utterly obviates the evolutionists’ explanation for the fossil record – which is at the heart of the theory); one who does not believe in an ancient earth cannot believe in the theory of evolution (because an ancient earth is absolutely foundational to the theory).
    It’s OKAY to believe in a young earth, Scott! When you connect all the dots, it really does make perfect sense.
    I sincerely hope that you give these words serious consideration.
    Your Christian Brother … Steve

  6. Kevin says:

    How can you suggest that you are teaching your children to have an open mind on this subject and then have them read factually imprecise books on the subject. If you really wanted your children to be open minded about this subject you would have them read “The Greatest Show on Earth” by Dawkins, or “What Evolution is” by by Ernst Mayr. or “why Evolution is True” by Jerry Coyne.
    I don’t, though, have any hope that you’re actually interested in teaching your children, what you are interested in doing is perpetuating your rejection of science and the scientific method. And that’s sad.
    Don’t be a hypocrite, teach your children well.

    • Kevin … I have to agree with Steve here. Have you actually read the books on the list, including Darwin’s Origin of Species (although I realize his theory may be getting dated)? As I mentioned in my post, I don’t shy away from the books you mention and I also said that I don’t agree with everything in the books on my list—I try to think critically, but I’m not perfect. I will admit I do have some bias as a Christian, but then who doesn’t have some bias—even atheists or evolutionists gravitate toward facts or information that strengthen their viewpoint. In my opinion, the science is terribly incomplete on both sides of the fence. True science will continue to baffle us, and change our view of reality for years to come. Look at how the theories of Physics have changed over the years. Why even the theory of evolution continues to “evolve.” The question is: are you looking for newer or better explanations? Heck, you might discover a theory that doesn’t involve God or evolution–what about space aliens?

      No, I can’t prove God scientifically and don’t want to really spend my time trying. Life’s too short and precious. The thing is, I could spend a lifetime trying to figure this stuff out intellectually, but God has revealed Himself to me spiritually and I’m satisfied with my decision to believe and follow Him. My main purpose in listing the books is helping my fellow believers enjoy an even higher view of our magnificent God.

      thanks for taking the time to comment on the post.
      Scott

  7. Steve Bartholomew says:

    Kevin … I have read Jerry Coyne’s book and parts of Richard Dawkins’. I couldn’t finish the latter, becuase it was so ridiculously biased. Neither book did anything to convince me that evolution had anything to recommend it. You say that we should encourage our children to have open minds about this subject, to be exposed to different points of view. How many of the books that Scott and I have recommended have you read?
    Steve

  8. Steve … I hear what you are saying, but I’m not totally following your logic about the belief of a worldwide flood and an ancient earth as being mutually exclusive. You mention the fossil record, but the fossil record in many ways is a big contradiction for the evolutionists. The record shows the existence of complex forms of life dated back through the ages. I fear that too many people associate the idea of an ancient earth too closely with the theory of evolution. Don’t get me wrong, I understand WHY the ideas are tied together(and WE have sometimes helped strengthen that association), but I don’t see why they HAVE to be tied together. Please help me understand your reasoning.

    Now, I do believe in the Great Flood as it’s related to us in Genesis, but I don’t think this necessarily helps explain the fossil record or how it explains scientist’s proposed misconception of the earth’s age. I mean, it’s a good idea to say the flood has somehow altered our conception of the earth’s age or somehow explains the fossil record, BUT could there be other possible explanations—and again, I’m not trying to lay a foundation for evolution. Henry Morris is a great man of God and has done huge things for the creationist’s cause, but shouldn’t we continue to look at other possibilities?

    I believe that God wants us to seek the truth and not throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water–even when it comes to science. Do we not place a lot of trust and confidence in these guys –regardless if they’re Christian or not? Have I stopped flying airplanes or listening to my doctor’s diagnosis or taking my medicine or taking an elevator hundreds of feet up a building? No, I do these without questioning the science or engineering behind them. I do these without questioning whether the scientists/engineers were Christians or non-Christians.

    Now, scientists are not perfect, and I believe they have the evolution theory wrong, but if what they discover (and God gives men the ability to discover) somehow doesn’t line up with OUR INTERPRETATION of Genesis, why do we immediately discount their discoveries? Maybe, we should be the ones who go back to the drawing board and reexamine our interpretation of the Genesis account. The way I see this is we both (Christian scientists and non-Christian scientists) are looking through a dimly lit glass. As Christians, we can believe in Genesis (literally) and still not be able to explain origins fully, in the detail that most scientists are looking for. Non-Christians are in the same boat—just look how the theory of evolution has changed over the years and now you even have some wacky people proposing we were somehow created or altered by space aliens. In my OPINION, both sides aren’t seeing the whole story. God did not choose to reveal it all. And what if He had chosen to clear all this up for us and gave us a long drawn-out explanation in the first book of the Bible. Would that not have been a distraction? Men have a tendency to fall in love with knowledge,discovery & debate. God wants us to fall in love with Him.

    Scott

  9. Steve Bartholomew says:

    Scott … I completely agree with you that “Men have a tendency to fall in love with knowledge, discovery & debate” and that “God wants us to fall in love with Him.” On the other hand, the Truth is extremely important to God. How important? According to His Word, love of the truth is ESSENTIAL to salvation! II Thess. 2:10-12 refers to “those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved …” Thus, God wants us to have a clear understanding regarding the truth about His creation.
    You said that you are “not totally following [my] logic about the belief of a worldwide flood and an ancient earth as being mutually exclusive.” This is an extremely important point. In a very real sense, one’s perspective about this entire debate hinges upon properly understanding it.
    Let me try to explain it … According to the theory of evolution, the earth is about 4.6 billion years old and the universe is about 14 billion years old. The theory postulates that life on earth began about 3 b. years ago, with microscopic single-celled organisms, and that about 570 million years ago, in what has become known as “The Cambrian Explosion,” life leapt forward. From these “primitive” single-celled organisms, over the next 570 million years, living organisms slowly evolved into all of the life forms that exist today plus all the others that have become extinct entirely through random natural events. The story of this evolution is supposedly contained in the fossil record. This record is an ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL feature of the theory. If it was proven to be false, the theory would collapse.
    The Genesis flood, assuming that it was worldwide, offers a completely different explanation for the fossil record. If it occurred, IT would have been the catalyst for the vast majority of fossils in the world. Rather than taking hundreds of millions of years to be created, as evolution claims, the fossil record would have been initiated in a single catastrophic event that lasted only a single year!
    You question why these 2 explanations are mutually exclusive. The implication of your question is that both of the explanations could have an element of truth. In order for this to be true – in order, that is, for both the evolutionary explanation and the worldwide flood explanation for the fossil record to be true – the fossils would have to be caused by BOTH of these processes. But NOBODY even suggests this. Both evolutionists and creationists agree that the fossil record is due to either one process or the other, not both. And because of this, evolutionists unanimously REJECT the possibility of a worldwide flood – as do theistic evolutionists and most Intelligent Design proponents. I could go into more depth explaining exactly why these explanations are mutually exclusive, but this email is probably too long already. I believe that through careful thought you can see this on your own.
    You said that “I fear that too many people associate the idea of an ancient earth too closely with the theory of evolution,” and that you “don’t see why they HAVE to be tied together.” The reason that they have to be tied together is very simple: the TOE absolutely DEMANDS an ancient earth; it cannot possibly exist without it. If it can be “proven” that the earth is not ancient, therefore, the theory collapses. A WORLDWIDE FLOOD PROVIDES THIS PROOF … and that’s exactly why evolutionists so vehemently reject such an event.
    You also said that “I believe that God wants us to seek the truth and not throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water – even when it comes to science.” You then provide examples of some of the wonderful things that scientists have provided the world. You are suggesting that a rejection of the TOE is equivalent to a rejection of the scientists, or at least their work, who have provided us with these things. The error here is your failure to separate HISTORICAL SCIENCE from APPLIED SCIENCE. The TOE exists SOLELY in the realm of historical science. It is concerned only with events that took place in the past. The discoveries that you mentioned (airplanes, advancements in medical science, etc.) are strictly the result of applied science, research and tests that are done in the present. These discoveries are completely disconnected from the theory of evolution. They would be made if the TOE had never been imagined. Many important and successful scientists, both living and dead, were devout creationists. Their belief about creation had no impact upon their success.
    I could go on far longer here, Scott, and if you would like to continue our dialogue I will be more than happy to. But I don’t know how you feel about this. For now, I will just say that I believe that the reason you have such difficulty accepting the position of young-earth creationists is that you find the arguments of evolutionists regarding the age of the earth too convincing. What I’m referring to here are such things as radiometric dating and paleontology. As a result of these things, you believe that the plain natural sense of the Scriptures that teach about creation – such as the notion that the days of creation are normal 24-hour days – must be reinterpreted to accomodate the “discoveries” of science. I can relate to your attitude toward these things, because I was once there myself. As I investigated them, however – and I have been studying this subject for about 30 years – it became increasingly clear to me that the TOE was built upon a foundation of sand and that the truth is that there is NO evidence for macroevolution. I realized that the theory was a complete lie. It is clear to me that you are very open to learning the truth about this vital subject, and I am confident that with your prayers and God’s help you will discover it – just like I did! Please know that I will be more than willing to help you in any way that I can.
    Good night and God bless you, Scott.

    • Steve … I’m glad we are on the same side brother, but you still haven’t convinced me with your argument. You mentioned historical science and that my friend is the problem. Scientists–both evolutionists & creationists–often use applied science to support their view point. I’m not sure you can truly call “historical science” science–sounds more like conjecture, opinions or ideas. However, when one examines it, this whole debate is more like a court case than the actual use of scientific method to prove something conclusively in a laboratory(which you can’t do with origins). My reason for the examples is that we do (most of the time) trust our scientists in the realm of applied science. Again, I encourage you to look for other explanations and not get fixated on one possible explanation. It’s okay to do this and I don’t believe we are compromising God’s truth. We’re simply being humble and admitting we don’t have all the answers.

      Grace & peace,
      Scott

  10. Steve Bartholomew says:

    Scott … My beliefs about creation and evolution stem from the fact that I believe the following:
    1. the inerrancy of Scripture … that is, that the original text of the Scriptures was completely true and without any errors.
    2. the Scriptures should be understood in their plain, natural sense. The days in Genesis 1, in other words, should be understood as normal 24-hour days, because that certainly appears to be their plain meaning. Similarly, it should be understood that the sun, moon and stars were created by God on the 4th day of creation.
    3. For the reason stated in # 2, the Genesis Flood should be understood as being worldwide in scope.
    4. The fossil record was created primarily by the Genesis Flood and its aftermath, not by millions of years of sediment accumulation , as taught by the theory of evolution.
    5. As it is taught in our nation’s pubic schools and presented in most media outlets, the theory of evolution is entirely atheistic. Here 3 evidences of this fact:
    A. statement from the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) Re: “The Teaching of Evolution”: “Because science is limited to explaining the natural world by means of natural processes, it cannot use supernatural causation in its explanations. Similarly, science is precluded from making statements about supernatural forces, because these are outside its provenance. Science has increased our knowledge because of this insistence on the search for natural causes.”
    B. from a popular high school biology textbook, “Biology: Principles & Explorations” by George Johnson and Peter Raven – in the passage on “Spontaneous Origin”: “Most scientists think that life on earth had a SPONTANEOUS ORIGIN, developing by itself through natural chemical and physical processes.”
    C. famous quote by the American biologist, Richard Lewontin: “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the absurdity of some of its theories … in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories [like the theory of evolution!], because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism [essentially the same as naturalism]. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

    6. The theory of evolution is intended to explain how the world came into being completely apart from God and is a complete lie.

    In your last email, you said “I encourage you to look for other explanations and not get fixated on one possible explanation.” Accepting that the premises listed above are unequivocal for me, what are the “other explanations” that you have in mind?
    Steve

  11. Steve Bartholomew says:

    Scott … I understand that you probably decided that it was time to end our email exchange. I’m well aware that these exchanges cannot go on forever! I thought I’d give it one more shot, though, before accepting the inevitable …
    The difficulty I am having with you is that I don’t know what you believe in regards to creation. According to God’s Word, which is His Truth, the world was created in six days by the Word of God (“For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth and all that is in them …” Ex. 20:11). Several thousand years ago, because “the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart,” God brought upon the earth a great flood that inundated the entire earth: “the water prevailed 15 cubits higher, and the mountains were covered … And all flesh that moved on the earth perished … and all mankind.”
    What exactly do you believe about these things?
    If you decide not to respond to this email, I completely understand. I have enjoyed our correspondence and pray that God continues to bless you as you search for the truth about this most important topic.
    I hope we will see one another face to face one day.
    Steve

    • Steve … Sorry, but I don’t check my blog everyday. I would like to continue a dialogue, but perhaps we should move to email. My email address is followhim315@yahoo.com.

      I totally understand your concern about giving evolutionists any ground in these matters. I don’t want to do this either. Who knows, we may very well help someone come to Christ through these discussions, but It’s still a spiritual transformation/decision and not intellectual.

      As you are trying to understand me, I am trying to understand you and I consider this an “iron sharpens iron” dialogue. There are many things in scripture I am dogmatic about, but just choose not to be dogmatic about things that aren’t “crystal” clear–and I believe the creation account to be one of these areas. Biblical scholars, like Martin Luther, have struggled through the years trying to understand and fully interpret the Genesis creation account. If these men have struggled, I don’t see how I can rush to a concrete interpretation or final conclusion. All I ask is that you respect my judgement on this. There are many things in the Bible we can believe in and have faith in and yet, not fully understand. As I have said before, I believe the Genesis account to be literal–not figurative or poetic or allegorical. I just don’t fully understand it all. And I will keep searching and learning and pray that the Spirit will reveal what he thinks I need to see. I hope you are doing the same.

      You asked about other potential views or interpretations for Genesis and I wanted to recommend a book called “Genesis Unbound” by John Sailhamer. Now, the book does have some problems. I read it several years ago, but over the weekend I dug it out of my closet. I’ve also read reviews on the book and what the critics have said. I don’t agree with his belief that death occurred before the fall. I’m not saying I agree with all he proposes in the book. I only mention it just to offer an example that other interpretations exist, and his views don’t fall into the progressive creationist or theistic evolutionist category.

      We could just as easily be debating about other Bible issues: free will vs. predestination, when the rapture will occur, do people still speak in tongues, prophecy, etc. But these are arguments that usually deal purely with the Biblical text itself. Some of these are discussions that we need to have as long as we don’t use them to divide us or distract us from unity and the Great Commission. I certainly believe in predestination because the Bible teaches it, but I’m not dogmatic about it. I’ve tried to understand predestination as best I can, but I’ll admit I still don’t fully understand it.

      The creation arguments are different in that creationists (whether progressive, young-earth or old-earth) are trying to make the Genesis account fit or support modern scientific views about our world. Now, what if we took that bias out of the argument? What if we just forget about what all the scientists are saying and just examine the text itself? I believe that you would agree that there would still exist different interpretations and I’m not even talking about the age of the earth. There would certainly be other things that we might see differently—just like many theologians see different interpretations about predestination or the rapture or prophecy.

      Well, I’ve probably muddied the water some more, but I’m just trying to be honest about my beliefs. I’ve been studying the topic of Heaven over the summer and our discussion has got me thinking about another angle on creation. Would be glad to share if you’re not getting impatient with our discussion.

      Here is an interesting quote from Martin Luther on Genesis 1: “…it contains things the most important, and at the same time the most obscure. …. who could explain all these momentous things, with sufficient appropriateness and success. For interpreters and commentators have confused and entangled them with such a variety, diversity, and infinity of questions, that it is sufficiently plain, that God has reserved the majesty of his wisdom, and the full and sound understanding of this chapter, to himself alone.”

      Feel free to email me. I don’t check my emails everyday and I can’t view them at work, so I may not respond immediately.

      thanks,
      Scott

  12. Steve Bartholomew says:

    Scott … I am very glad that you wish to continue our dialogue and look forward to an interesting exchange! I am going to send you a brief email to make sure that it isn’t blocked. Please send me a reply.
    Thanks!
    Steve

  13. youthguyerik says:

    I am gonna offer this one just cause i came across it this week and it reminded me of this post. Its an article from the biologos blog tracking Christian traditional teaching and understanding of the creation account. I struck me as interesting and I was looking for a spot to share it. Plus, it seems to be really in theme, if not with the post, certainly with the discussions.

    http://biologos.org/questions/early-interpretations-of-genesis

  14. Steve Bartholomew says:

    Erik … I am very familiar with BioLogos. Its members all endorse the theory of evolution. Several days ago, in an email to Scott, I pointed out that the theory of evolution is completely ATHEISTIC. I will repeat those comments here:
    As it is taught in our nation’s pubic schools and presented in most media outlets, the theory of evolution is entirely atheistic. Here 3 evidences of this fact:
    A. statement from the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) Re: “The Teaching of Evolution”: “Because science is limited to explaining the natural world by means of natural processes, it cannot use supernatural causation in its explanations. Similarly, science is precluded from making statements about supernatural forces, because these are outside its provenance. Science has increased our knowledge because of this insistence on the search for natural causes.”
    B. from a popular high school biology textbook, “Biology: Principles & Explorations” by George Johnson and Peter Raven – in the passage on “Spontaneous Origin”: “Most scientists think that life on earth had a SPONTANEOUS ORIGIN, developing by itself through natural chemical and physical processes.”
    C. famous quote by the American biologist, Richard Lewontin: “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the absurdity of some of its theories … in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories [like the theory of evolution!], because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism [essentially the same as naturalism]. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

    Followers of BioLogos, and all other Theistic Evolutionists, think that God can be added to the TOE, as its cause, or designer. They are sadly mistaken, because the very purpose of the theory is to explain how the world came into being APART FROM GOD. Once God is attached to the theory, it’s no longer the Theory of Evolution!
    Steve

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