Evolution, Science, Atheism and Christianity

Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from Scripture
Gen. 1.1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

In our Modern/Post-modern age, there is probably little more scorned than the
view expressed in this opening verse of God’s written revelation. Science (it is
thought) has made such a notion unthinkable if not untrue or irrelevant. The
battle rages on. And every once and a while a voice comes on the scene to
challenge the current thinking in fresh ways, and to call men back to God and
His Word, His world. Alister McGrath possesses one of those voices. A voice that
speaks knowledgably, coolly, thoughtfully and rationally in response to the
Scientific-Atheism gaining such momentum in our day. If you are not familiar
with McGrath – he is uniquely qualified to address the likes of Richard Dawkins,
author of several Scientific-Atheistic works like “The Selfish Gene” and “The
Blind Watchmaker”. In fact, McGrath’s book: “Dawkins’ God – Genes, Memes
and the Meaning of Life” is the first book-length response to Dawkins, and it is
well worth the read; even if you have no science background at all. McGrath,
who once fed his own Atheistic appetites on Dawkins (et al), pursued science as
the answerer of all things, earning a PhD in molecular biophysics. But along the
way, God broke in and brought him to Christ. Switching gears somewhat, he
then went on to study theology and is at present Professor of Historical Theology
at Oxford University. Hence my comment on his unique qualifications. No, you
will probably not agree with his entire take on things. But if you want to read
something that addresses the issues of the day, by holding the feet of one of
Christianity’s most vocal opponents to the fire – in the arena of his own
discipline – this work will both inform and encourage you, while provoking you to
think much more deeply and sanely on how Christians are to deal with Science,
its discoveries, the Bible and those who use Science to try and discredit Biblical
truth. Having just read it on my vacation, I returned to buy 10 copies to give as
gifts. If you or someone you know is struggling in this area, I highly recommend
this excellent volume. You will think. And you will cease to be as intimidated as
perhaps you once were in this debate. As needs oft repeated in our day, one
does not have to surrender their brains or their rationality to be a Christian. Nor
does one have to capitulate to wrong conclusions drawn from scienfic data, and
a prejudiced class of thinker. Buy it. Read it. Give it to others.


2 thoughts on “Evolution, Science, Atheism and Christianity

  1. I often times worry about approaching these grandios issues, as they appeal to me in their revelation of God’s unimaginable complexity, but wonder if it is where God wants my energies directed. ( 2 Timothy 2:23)

    I sense the pride in myself…sometimes outweighing the desire to discover.

    I will look into the book though. Put away my pride and God’s creation is an intellectual journey…designed to fascinate.

  2. Reid,

    I was so thoroughly disappointed in Dawkins’ latest book, The God Delusion, because at no point does he engage any of McGrath’s insightful critique (which was published years before Dawkins’ book was completed). In my opinion McGrath eviscerates Dawkins’ “selfish gene” theory as just so much Darwinian logic applied to a different sphere of inquiry without even the slightest scientific evidence for it (showing again the “myth of neutrality” foisted upon Christians in every public sphere and how philosophical pre-commitments and epistemologies, essentially worldviews, should be the point of contention, not merely “the facts,” so-called.). Dawkins just charges ahead, assuming the validity of his meme theory and theistic criticisms, as if no one had noticed (and published) the fact that the emperor is wearing no clothes. Contemporary atheists continue to simply refuse to engage the best Christian apologetics out there. They shred straw men of Plantinga’s Reformed Epistemology, ridicule (instead of refute) the ontological arguments used from Anselm til now, and they rarely even meaningfully engage presuppositionalism of any stripe, dogmatically accepting Michael Martin’s ridiculuous quasi-refutation of the transcendental argument (found here: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/michael_martin/martin-frame/tang.html) and moving on. Oh well, enough ranting on that subject… You just got me excited, that’s all. 🙂

    I just finished Nancy Pearcey’s book Total Truth, which I think is the most comprehensive Western worldview analysis work to be published since the death of Francis Schaeffer. It is fantastically far-reaching and deep-searching, but still able to distill historical influences and progressions into meaningful analysis without being too oversimplified. It’s a great introduction to the Intelligent Design-movement as well, for anyone who wants to understand it (and why Creation Science isn’t enough to turn the tide in the battle for the American mind between theism and atheism), and she points out the pervasiveness of the “public/private” “fact/value” dualism Western society has accepted for generations, while emphasizing the importance of worldview analysis as the only appropriate response for Christians in this situation. She also makes worldview thinking and apologetics practical and less academic. I learned MUCH from this book and even had my eyes opened to more ways that dualistic thinking had slipped into my own lifestyle and evangelistic approaches. I look forward to reading it again (maybe the “Study Guide Edition”). It’s not all that often that I give a book an unqualified affirmation, but this one gets it. “If you only read one book in 2007, make it Nancy Pearcey’s Total Truth…” (Now I’m just way over-stating the case for emPHAsis.)

    Anyway, just thought I’d share some random thoughts that your post elicited. Hope the Lord is working in your life and ministry in fearfully wonderful ways. We miss all of you. Blessings!

    Soli Deo Gloria,

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