The whole conflict between faith and science has been trumped up. Does this surprise you? This book will convince you.
This book is divided up into four sections. “What do we know and how do we know it?” is a preliminary, basic overview of what is called “epistemology” in fancy terms, making distinctions between natural and special revelation that carry the next two sections. “What can the Bible tell us about nature?” is a look at the special revelation in the Bible and discusses the boundaries of what it can tell us and why we can’t just assume over-literalized interpretations when interpreting it. In the next section, “What can nature tell us about itself?”, Glover describes what science can tell us about the beginning of the universe and the origin our our solar sytem, and then describes why radiometric dating methodology is reliable. The last section, “What about evolution?” is a summary of evolutionary theory.
Glover’s strong points are his knack for analogy and his conversational style. His humility and honesty about the limitations of science make bearable the experience of shattering the “godless atheist” facade so many evangelicals have constructed in front of mainstream science. He explains some heady concepts (including a bit of mathematics and physics) very simply, and just in case it starts seeming too dense, he doesn’t linger there long; for more advanced readers, he provides references to more technical works.
This book was not meant to grapple with theological issues associated with Adam or the Fall; it does try to provide a case for not simply dismissing any data that might make us take a second look at our first guess on those topics.
This book is accessible but not condescending, enjoyable and humorous at times but not a slick car-sales job, earnest but not overbearing.
For anyone who might be interested in looking into the issue of evolutionary creationism (Glover’s term of choice in lieu of “theistic evolution”), Beyond the Firmament is the place to start.
The reason I mention it now is that I am pleased to report that one of Sonlight’s owners, mentioned in this previous post as having maintained an anti-evolution stance, has now “come out” as a fan of this book; please note that this is not to say whether he has entirely embraced the book’s conclusions. He also was impressed with the Haarsmas’ book, Origins: a Reformed Look at Creation, Design, & Evolution, so much that he expressed a desire for Sonlight to begin offering the book!
Releasing Christian educators from the Young Earth Creationist (YEC) plantation by getting them to at least dialogue on the issue of origins is something essential to the viability of our faith for present and coming generations increasingly aware of the usefulness and reliability of modern science.
As if all this hasn’t communicated the value of this book, let me again highly recommend Beyond the Firmament. You locals can borrow my copy, and I’ll even buy a couple copies for those interested but not sufficiently funded (it’s less than $15 at Amazon).Tagged with: creationism • evolution • intelligent design • Science • Theology