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Nature's Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith (Living Theology) [Paperback]

By Daniel M. Harrell (Author)
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Item description for Nature's Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith (Living Theology) by Daniel M. Harrell...

Overview
People of faith insist that God is the God of the world around us. Yet scientific evidence supporting evolution seems to offer an explanation of reality different from the biblical one. In light of this apparent conflict, some choose either to deny the scientific data or separate science and faith from each other, giving the appearance that faith is disconnected from reality. Others accommodate faith to science, but run the risk of watering down faith such that faith "fills in the blanks" left by science. Against these options, Daniel Harrell asserts that the evidence for evolution accurately describes the world we see, but insists that this description does not adequately serve as an explanation for the world. Rather than seeing science and faith as diametrically opposed, Harrell suggests that evolutionary data actually opens the door for deeper theological reflection on God's creation. Writing out of a pastoral concern for those struggling to negotiate faith and evolution, Harrell argues that being reliable witnesses to creation helps people of faith be reliable witnesses to its creator. Whether they are pastors wondering how to talk about these issues with their congregations, or students asking whether their biology classes make their faith irrelevant, Harrell's readers are winsomely led on a journey of exploration in which a robust biblical faith can be held along with affirmation of the scientific data for evolution.

Publishers Description
People of faith insist that God is the God of the world around us. Yet scientific evidence supporting evolution seems to offer an explanation of reality different from the biblical one. In light of this apparent conflict, some choose either to deny the scientific data or separate science and faith from each other, giving the appearance that faith is disconnected from reality. Others accommodate faith to science, but run the risk of watering down faith such that faith fills in the blanks left by science. Against these options, Daniel Harrell asserts that the evidence for evolution accurately describes the world we see, but insists that this description does not adequately serve as an explanation for the world. Rather than seeing science and faith as diametrically opposed, Harrell suggests that evolutionary data actually opens the door for deeper theological reflection on God s creation. Writing out of a pastoral concern for those struggling to negotiate faith and evolution, Harrell argues that being reliable witnesses to creation helps people of faith be reliable witnesses to its creator. Whether they are pastors wondering how to talk about these issues with their congregations, or students asking whether their biology classes make their faith irrelevant, Harrell s readers are winsomely led on a journey of exploration in which a robust biblical faith can be held along with affirmation of the scientific data for evolution."

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Abingdon Press
Pages   165
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 7.31" Height: 0.49"
Weight:   0.61 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2008
Publisher   Abingdon Church Supplies
Series  Living Theology  
ISBN  0687642353  
ISBN13  9780687642359  


Availability  0 units.


More About Daniel M. Harrell


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Daniel M. Harrellis senior minister of Colonial Church in Edina, Minnesota. For 23 years he served as a minister at Park Street Church in downtown Boston. He is the author of "Nature's Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith "as well as numerous articles that have appeared in "Leadership Journal, ""Christianity Today, ""The Christian Century, " and "Regeneration Quarterly." He holds a PhD in developmental psychology from Boston College and has lectured at Fuller Seminary, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Gordon College, and Boston University. He lives somewhat obediently by grace in Minneapolis with his wife and daughter.

Daniel M. Harrell was born in 1961.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Evolution > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Faith
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Science & Religion


Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Science, Faith & Evolution



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Reviews - What do customers think about Nature's Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith (Living Theology)?

A hearty Zero stars  Mar 13, 2009
Dr. Harrell's book is replete with errors in several critical and foundational areas. For the astute reader, a few brief quotes need to suffice.

1- The relationship of faith to knowledge.
Before science can proceed to investigate a single question, she must make a number of pure acts of faith.
a- Faith in the trustworthiness of human reason.
b- Faith in the trustworthiness of human memory.
c- Faith in the trustworthiness of the senses.
d- Faith in the unprovable principles on which all science is founded.
All these propositions are assented to by acts of faith of the most absolute kind. They are not only not proven by science, but can never be proved. Possibly there would be less of a tendency to set religion over against science, or vice versa, if it were more generally recognized that ... faith is indispensable to both. Science & religion, both ultimately rest on faith- both of them are forced back upon convictions which are beyond the possibility of further analysis or proof.-- Wernecke- Faith in the NT

... religious belief is no more of a faith than is the belief that nature is uniform. They are both acts of faith.-- Raphael Demos- Academic Freedom, Logic & Religion


2- The nature of science.
The history of science is a road strewn with the decaying bones of assumptions which were once considered self-evident and later found to be false.-- Moses Richardson, Mathematics and Intellectual Honesty

Laws of science are not laws at all. . . . Laws of science state tendencies we have recently observed in our corner of the universe.--Bart Kosko - Fuzzy Thinking


3- The nature of reason.
Faith is not the antithesis to knowledge nor to reason.
The opposite of Knowledge is Ignorance.
The opposite of Reason is Irrationality.
The opposite of Faith is Doubt.-- Wernecke- Faith in the NT

The Christian takes belief seriously; the rationalist tries to dispense with it. The Christian says that without believing there is no knowledge; the rationalist says that when there is believing there cannot be knowledge. Reason does not precede faith, but faith precedes reason. The uselessness of saying that reason has merely to follow the laws of its own nature in order to arrive at truth is that this is precisely what it cannot do; its own nature has been corrupted by sin. The whole of us, including our reason, must be justified by faith.-- Alan Richardson- Christian Apologetics

Mankind would remain in the deepest darkness of ignorance if the path of reason were the only available way to the knowledge of God.-- Aquinas- Contra Gentiles

Philosophy seldom suspects that reason itself is incapable of knowing the truth.-- D. R. Davies


4- The nature of logical fallacies.


5- The nature of truth.
Please visit www.truth-defined.com for a clear exposition of the nature of truth.


6- The nature of scripture.
[We] compare scripture with scripture until [we] have discovered the true meaning of the text. But right there [our] authority ends. [We] must never sit in judgment upon what is written. [We] dare not bring the meaning of the Word before the bar of reason. [We] dare not commend or condemn the Word as reasonable or unreasonable, scientific or unscientific. After the meaning is discovered, that meaning judges [us]; never do we judge it.-- A. W. Tozer-The knowledge of the Holy

... the word of God judges us, not we the Word of God. Either we accept by faith the divine truth of the Bible or by unfaith we reject it.-- Alan Richardson- Christian Apologetics

7- The nature of evolution.
Evolution...is therefore a theory about unique events that are, by definition, not part of science, for they are unrepeatable and not subject to test.-- Colin Patterson- Evolution

Belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if that religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.-- Prof. Will Provine

But by far the most potent single factor to undermine popular belief in the existence of God in modern times is the evolution theory of Charles Darwin.-- Philos. & Christian Faith- Colin Brown
 
All truth is God's truth  Feb 24, 2009
Daniel Harrow, a pastor at Park Street Church, in Boston, accepts biological evolution as God's means of creating life on Earth, then examines the theological implications in layman's language. As you accept the reality of genetic variation and natural selection, you can either "watch your faith crumble as God is moved to the periphery" or you can "praise God for his ingenuity and creativity - even when that creativity runs counter to your expectations" (p. 133). "Natural selection need not imply godless selection . . . [It] is no more godless than gravity." (p. 78). He asks more questions than he answers, but does have many helpful insights. He is not dogmatic about his views, leaving open the issue of exactly how Adam and Eve came to be, for example. The book is an easy read and includes numerous notes and an excellent bibliography.

I recommend this book for Christians who are struggling with how to integrate biological evolution into their evangelical Christian worldview
 
A Third Way  Jan 21, 2009
With Nature's Witness, Dr. Daniel Harrell gives a gift to those of us who have just known that there had to be a third way in the "science" vs. "faith" debate over evolution. Like a middle school gym teacher, Harrell takes the often truculent and sometimes petulant "science" and "faith" by the scruff of their necks and forces each to look the other in the eye and shake hands. Harrell reminds us that all truth is God's truth, and that viewing creation through this lens not only allows harmony between "science" and "faith," but mandates it. There are a number of good books out there that illuminate the glory of God in science and creation by highlighting -- through the rigor of scientific analysis -- the extraordinary improbability of the existence of the cosmos, or of life, without God. This book is different. It challenges the reader to accept (philosophically) the presupposition of a science/faith harmony and, from that point forward, to thoughtfully consider the meaning and ramifications of this harmony. Nature's Witness takes the reader on a disarmingly joyful and accessible journey, and emboldens the reader to take a new look at these provocative themes.
 
A great read for folks on both sides of the debate  Nov 25, 2008
What a great book. If you're a Christian who breaks into a cold sweat when the topic turns to evolution (you know who you are), this is a great book for you. It will help you remember that God is all about truth--even truth revealed through science.

If you think Christianity is just for uneducated folk who ignore science, this is for you, too. It will challenge some of the assumptions you have about Christians and maybe even some of the conclusions you draw from scientific observations.

Christians may have to re-read some of the science sections, and scientists may need to re-read some of the theology sections, but Nature's Witness really is intellectual, accessible, and funny, too.
 
Addresses Questions I Didn't Know I Had  Nov 3, 2008
Harrell answers questions that I didn't realize I needed to be asking. When I was in about third grade in a Catholic elementary school, one of my classmates asked how God could have created the world if evolution is true. Our teacher explained that we shouldn't read the Bible literally, and God did create the world and evolution is how God did it. Third grade was a long time ago, but I never thought about such things on a deeper level, and never understood how intelligent people could be troubled by evolution.

Harrell explains why evolution does indeed pose a significant challenge that deserves sophisticated thought, and then proceeds to show on a much deeper level how the different concepts fit together. I'm not sure that my answers end up being the same as his -- though I'm a middling theologian and an abysmal scientist so take that with a grain of salt -- but this was a tremendously helpful introduction to the issues. It is also packed with footnotes, for those who would like to explore further.

Read it if you are troubled by the intersection by Christian theology and evolution, or if you do not understand why people could be troubled.

Nature's Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith (Living Theology)
 

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