Review: How I Changed My Mind About Evolution

26598233How I Changed My Mind About Evolution: Evangelicals Reflect on Faith and Science edited by Kathryn Applegate and J. B. Stump brings together the interdisciplinary voice of twenty-five respected scholars to discuss their collective change of heart on one of the most controversial issues of modern times—evolution. The contributors include scientists such as Francis Collins and Denis Lamoureux, pastors such as Kin Fong and John Ortberg, biblical scholars such as N. T. Wright, Tremper Longman III, and Scot McKnight, and theologians and philosophers such as Oliver Crisp and Amos Yong.

As the inaugural volume in the BioLogos Books on Science and Christianity series, this volume appropriately opens the conversation with a chance for the reader to listen and engage with familiar faces. Each essay is a brief and well-written account of the author’s personal journey to understanding evolutionary creation as the best scientific explanation of how God brought about diversity of life on earth. Not all readers are going to find the conclusions of these essays convincing. But the challenge shouldn’t be to simply align with the author’s conviction.  Rather, the challenge should be to listen and engage with the author regardless of their conviction. That is how a conversation works and that is how this book will function.

As an Old Earth Creationist, my personal contention with the book isn’t where most readers will find their disagreement. Unlike the majority of evangelicals, I have no issue with the age of the earth associated with evolutionary creation. The real difficulty for me is in the countless attempts to reconcile the evolutionary process with the authoritative witness of Scripture. It is a big hurdle and I have yet to find an adequate answer to make the jump. While I did find these essays to be both enlightening and helpful to my overall understanding of the conversation, I remained unpersuaded and unmoved in my convictions. But, then again, the book is not designed to move convictions. It is designed to open the conversation and move the dialogue, and that it does with both grace and excellence!

How I Changed My Mind About Evolution: Evangelicals Reflect on Faith and Science edited by Kathryn Applegate and J.B. Stump is a book well-worth the reader’s time and reflection. The reader will encounter many familiar faces, and their worlds will be open to a conversation that they may have once neglected. This likely isn’t a book that will change your thinking, but it is a book that will orient your head and heart towards a journey that many respected scholars have taken with both caution and carefulness. For those interested in the intersection between faith and science, and those who are able to think independently and critically about the subject matter, this book comes highly recommended!

 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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