Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 117:467 (Jul 60) p. 267
Evolution And Christian Thought Today. Edited by Russell L. Mixter. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids. 225 pp. plus illustrations. $4.50.
One of the crucial issues in contemporary evangelicalism is the relation of the theory of evolution to the orthodox faith. This volume, produced by thirteen members of the American Scientific Affiliation, is an attempt to relate Christian thought to the theory of evolution. The authors, who are evangelical Christians, present various aspects of the theory of evolution as it relates to Biblical faith. Important chapters are those on the influence of Darwin on biology, the question of the origin of the universe and the origin of life, and the Scriptural narrative of creation as it relates to the evolutionary concept of prehistoric man.
Many evangelicals will feel that the authors of this volume have tended to regard the alleged scientific basis for the theory of evolution as being more authoritative than the Scriptural narratives themselves. The theory seems to be that intelligent men must accept the conclusion of evolutionists in many particulars even if it is contrary to the traditional interpretation of Scripture.
The volume does present, however, some important facts which should be carefully evaluated by thoughtful Christians. Most evangelicals will agree that the Bible does not date the creation of man and that the traditional date of 4004 B.C. is untenable both from a Scriptural and a scientific point of view. However, one wonders whether evangelicals should take as seriously as do the writers of this volume the dating of fossils and of organic life, including man, on the basis of the theory of evolution. The distinction between the facts as they are discovered and their interpretation is often blurred in a discussion of this kind.
Of interest, however, is the presentation that even evolutionists today no longer trace all life back to a single common ancestor and substitute instead a multiple origin for various forms of life. It seems to leave some room for the Biblical concept of animals being created after their kind even though the writers of this volume believe that evolution has proved that species can change.
A crucial chapter is that written by James O. Buswell III on the question as to whether man is the immediate creation of God or descendant from a previously existing organism. In a carefully documented discussion he concludes that evolution has no just ground to challenge Biblical faith as it relates to the origin of matter, the origin of life, or the origin of major kinds of plants and animals, and the immediate creation of man. Buswell seems to accept the evolutionary idea that man has been in
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