Item description for Perspectives on an Evolving Creation by Keith B. Miller...
Overview According to the authors of this book, who explore evolutionary theory from a clear Christian perspective, the common view of conflict between evolutionary theory and Christian faith is mistaken. Written by contributors representing the natural sciences, philosophy, theology, and the history of science, this thought-provoking work is informed by both solid scientific knowledge and keen theological insight. The three sections of the book address (1) relevant biblical, historical, and scientific background, (2) the scientific evidence for an evolving creation, and (3) theological issues commonly raised in connection with evolution, including the nature of God's creative activity, the meaning of the miraculous, and the uniqueness of humankind. Woven through the volume are short meditations designed to direct readers toward worshiping the God of providence.
Publishers Description According to the authors of this book, who explore evolutionary theory from a clear Christian perspective, the common view of conflict between evolutionary theory and Christian faith is mistaken. Written by contributors representing the natural sciences, philosophy, theology, and the history of science, this thought-provoking work is informed by both solid scientific knowledge and keen theological insight. The three sections of the book address (1) relevant biblical, historical, and scientific background, (2) the scientific evidence for an evolving creation, and (3) theological issues commonly raised in connection with evolution, including the nature of God's creative activity, the meaning of the miraculous, and the uniqueness of humankind. Woven through the volume are short meditations designed to direct readers toward worshiping the God of providence. Contributors: Laurie J. Braaten Warren S. Brown Jr. David Campbell Robin Collins Edward B. Davis Terry M. Gray Jeffrey K. Greenberg Deborah B. Haarsma Loren Haarsma James P. Hurd Conrad Hyers David N. Livingstone Keith B. Miller John C. Munday Jr. George L. Murphy Mark A. Noll Robert John Russell Howard J. Van Till David L. Wilcox Jennifer Wiseman
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.38" Width: 6.26" Height: 1.16" Weight: 1.68 lbs.
Release Date Sep 25, 2003
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN 0802805124 ISBN13 9780802805126
Availability 0 units.
More About Keith B. Miller
Miller is research assistant professor in geology at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. He is also a fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation and an officer of the Affiliation of Christian Geologists.
Keith B. Miller currently resides in the state of Kansas.
Reviews - What do customers think about Perspectives on an Evolving Creation?
It's a great book for all Christian Scientists to have to read it. Oct 6, 2007
Not so long to read this book, I felt that how I would be ignorant in Bible and Science. It's a must-read book for all sunday school teachers, preachers, theologists as well as engineers and schientists in Christian communities. I was told a lot by Creation scientist's view, but this gives me a chance to listen the other view. Now I can have a balanced view about evolution and creation theories, and how both of theories can be emerged in Bible.
A solid foundation for exploring theistic evolution Jul 18, 2007
Perspectives on an Evolving Creation is an essential tool and good starting foundation for anyone exploring theistic evolution.
The book is a collection of essays by experts on a variety of topics concerning theistic evolution. This approach is wise, since most books with a single author cannot encompass such a broad range of issues without the author showing his ignorance in some areas.
The essays are divided into three sections: Providing a Context, Scientific Evidence and Theory, and Theological Implications and Insights.
"Providing a context" is a brilliant selection of works covering an introduction to the topics, a brief history of the conflict, and philosophy of science. A couple of essays show the movement of Concordialism (basically progressive creationism) that was replaced by early versions of theistic evolution held by people such as Asa Gray and James McCosh. Another essay discusses the various views and debates held by Charles Hodge, and Benjamin Warfield - all of this harmony taking place before fundamentalism upset the peace and began the conflict in the 20th century. In the middle is a wonderful and insightful essay by Conrad Hyers that shows that Genesis 1-3 did not wait thousands of years for hidden scientific truths to be discovered, but rather had meaning to the original audience in expressing key theological truths and combating neighboring cosmogonies like the Babylonian Enuma Elish. The section is finished by an essay exploring the relationship between science, God, and interventionism and greatly establishes the necessity of God's continual sustaining of the universe.
The middle section, "Scientific Evidence and Theory," solidly tacks down the scientific case with a few theological insights thrown in. After a shaky start with "An Evolving Cosmos" (addressed later in my review), the antiquity of the earth is nailed down in verbosity and scholarly erudition by Jeffrey Greenberg. Further essays relentlessly demolish creationist objections based on the fossil recored and Cambrian explosion. A couple essays deal with human genetics and finding Adam, and the section is finished out nicely by Terry Gray's essay on Biochemistry and Evolution, which elucidates the confirmation that biochemistry gave evolutionary theory and combats creationist misinterpretations.
The final section is somewhat weaker, if not only because of the variety of views that can be held. One author is more Calvinistic than the others, and some of the rest differ on the adequacy of other theistic evolution views, with one author going so far as to briefly criticize the exposition of the arguments of another essay. This paints a portrait of the multi-facetedness and controversial nature of the theological realm of theistic evolution.
The section is held in place by by far the most brilliant essay in the book, "Special Providence and Genetic Mutation; A New Defense of Theistic Evolution" by Robert John Russell. He first establishes that he is doing constructive theology, not natural theology, and thus one can proceed in light of the fact that quantum physics is liable to change or be replaced. He then masterfully argues for a non-interventionist approach by which God acts at the quantum level in the gene. He finishes out by answering objections and acknowledging the problem of evil and theodicy. This, however, makes for the climax of the book, in which he exhorts: "It is time Christians refrained from attacking evolution or spending energy on useless alternatives and focused their faith and reason on this truly fundamental challenge: If God works through evolution, why does God not act to prevent so much of the suffering in nature; indeed, is there no other way that life and humanity could have "evolved" than through this 3.8 billion year history?" He is not afraid to admit a problem and acknowledges that he has turned all his efforts to resolving it and exhorts fellow Christians to do the same. Such, I think, is very admirable.
The rest of the section is adequate, with an essay studying Christ's work on the cross and what it means for evolution, followed by a couple of (unnecessary, IMHO) essays on environmentalism basically establishing the stewardship position, a mentally piquing essay on evolution and original sin (basically arguing that Romans 1 describes the fall, with an original group of hominids turning from God, resulting in corruption gradually being caked into the structures of society; this essay deals with all the major scriptures and competing views), and finished by a thought-provoking essay on cognitive neuroscience by Warren S. Brown that espouses non-reductive physicalism.
The book is not without its flaws. First are the small devotions scattered throughout the book. Even though they could have a purpose, I feel they are out of place in an otherwise scientifically rigorous book that will be peered over by diverse and scathingly critical minds. They seem weak and unscientific amidst the rest of the work. Perhaps they would have been better off in a separate book.
Some of the devotional attitude seems to have spilled over into one of the essays "An evolving cosmos." Scattered with bits of cosmology, it nevertheless reads like a devotion - "simple math tells us that our Sun is one of over 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe!" and "When our study of the universe is done in love for God and in service to to others, the excitement and blessing overflow!" It's probably no coincidence that the following devotion was written by the same author.
Then there is the essay by John C Mundane Jr on "Animal Pain; Beyond the Threshold?" This one seemed incredibly lame as the author spent most of his time stating the problem, then tried to dance around it (he throws out the possibility that the method of a predator going for the neck of the prey actually induces less pain, since the receptors in the neck are less sensitive) but then realizes that the previous is not enough to dismiss all animal pain and goes through some possibilities for resolution before throwing his hands up in the air and saying "We just need to accept God as good."
Nevertheless, this book has been a tremendous help in my explorations. It serves as a "home base" and grounding point for my quest; indeed, this is the best part of the book. Some of the essays have footnotes that say they are abridged versions of larger works, and most of the authors have written books that you can read if you want to go further into depth on certain issues. Indeed, I have gone on to read "Offense to Reason" by Bernard Ramm, "The Meaning of Creation" by Conrad Hyers, and "Whatever Happened to the Soul?" by Warren S. Browm and will likely read more, each time going back to "Perspectives" to find out where I should go next.
Indeed, this book is a mostly solid, intellectually rigorous overview of theistic evolution with plenty of opportunities for further study if one so desires. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Sublime Mar 10, 2007
This was just a fabulous collection of essays. All you'd ever want on the topic, and more. A variety of authors with a variety of perspectives look at the history of the literal creationism-intelligent design-evolution debate, the evidence for evolution, and, in the last 2/5ths of the book, the meaning of evolution for theology and the Christian walk. I say now, this book has changed many ways I view the Bible and the Christian myth. It has helped me more integrate the Rock of Ages and the age of rocks. It has helped me see the full import of the evolutionary myth to the meaning of Christ. It allows one to be an intellectually fulfilled predestinationist, and an evolutionist. And that's just the beginning.
Never before have I seen a work that takes both evolution and following Jesus so seriously. If evolution is true, as the evidence overwhelmingly indicates, then it's part of reality. It's part of God's creation. Are we not to contemplate all that we see to understand God better? Therefore it should reveal something of God, for there is that of God within it. In this book the authors show that of God in evolution. The icing is the regular devotionals dispersed throughout the book, where we contemplate evolution and creation, in order to grow more in our relationship with God.
I didn't agree with everything written in this book. A couple of the authors even come very close to supporting elements of the intelligent design hypothesis. Some of the essays are clearer or better written than others. But every single essay shares something that I could take away, that enriched my life, that made me a better Christian, a better biologist, and a better man. It took me a month to get through this book, because it is simply that life changing. Without a doubt it is the finest of this genre I have yet read.
Wonderful Literary Critique Sep 30, 2005
Miller's book provides encouragement for the Christian biologist seeking commonground between science and faith. A must read for any Christian working in or seeking work in the scientific field. Eye-opening and wonderfully composed.
essay collection on Theistic evolution by orthodoxChristians Jan 2, 2004
The book is a collection of essays (21) with a common theme-theistic evolution(TE), a common allegience-to orthodox Christianity, on the part of the writers. As such it is in a very small category, as TE tends to be beat up by both extremes on the issues- the young earth creationist(YEC) and secular evolutionary materialists, being orthodox complications the matter a lot as no one is happy with what you have to say. It is an introductory book, aimed at a general audience with at least a background on the issues. Its weaknesses are the general weaknesses of the essay collection genre itself, in particular, no sooner do you get into an essay then it is over and you must start the process of familarization and understanding an author all over again. The unevenness of different people's style and form makes going a little hard and continuity even harder. I suspect that the various authors had the other guys outlines in hand as they refer internally to the other essays, but no discussion or 2-way conversations are apparent, this helps a little bit to lighten the essay load but it is still a difficult straight through read. however i have no problem recommending the book, partly because i have little else to offer, partly because the bulk of the essays are above average and any reader can skip and choose what he/she desires to read.
The essays themselves are divided into 3 major groupings: "Providing a Context" "Scientific Evidence and Theory" and "Theological Implications and Insights". For my own appraisal the book reached a peak early with the first two parts and really slumped in the last, with the exception of H. VanTill's essay "Is the Universe Capable of Evolving?". I enjoyed the next essay "Special Providence and Genetic Mutation" but found it a little too choppy, i hope to read the longer essay that it is a summary of in order to see the fuller development. The material covered is the big questions in the field and offered little surprises overall except for chapter 5 "Does Science Exclude God? Natural Law, chance, Miracles, and scientific practice" which is good enough to be the one chapter that i would recommend reading if you wish to get a quick idea of the book and whether you wish to invest the time in reading the whole collection. The authors choosen are certainly the best in the field and their names are known to anyone with a familarity in the field. Conrad Hyers, Howard Van Till, Mark Noll, David Livingston, Keith B. Miller, are joined by Terry Gray who i wish the best in his search for answers in this discussion, as it has carried a very high personal cost to him and i admire how he has risen to this level in the discussion, congratulations.
The book suffers a little from no research notes or reference listing, although most of the footnotes will do for a start. A systematic introductory essay to each section outlining the issues and the past history of positions would have been helpful as well. In general however the authors are very aware of their audience and do a good job communicating their understanding with a minimum of jargon, in a fair and not-argumentative way.