Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 159:634 (Apr 02) p. 238
By The Faculty Of Dallas Theological Seminary
Matthew S. Demoss, Editor
Three Views on Creation and Evolution. Edited by J. P. Moreland and John Mark Reynolds. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999. 296 pp. $17.99.
Why is another book on the creation-evolution controversy needed? Because this book gives theological students the right amount of information and a fair-minded tone for this unavoidable debate. The book’s format is rather distinctive for the excellent “Counterpoints” series in that authors, responders, and “final reflections” are given by different authors with diverse approaches to the subject.
The editors’ introduction presents the necessary assumptions for understanding the articles that follow. “In light of this need for integration [of science and theology], the purpose of this book is to inform the reader about the issues involved in the dialogue about creation and evolution among three different schools of thought: (1) young earth or recent creation [Paul Nelson and John Mark Reynolds]; (2) progressive or old earth creation [Robert Newman]; and (3) theistic evolution or evolving [‘fully gifted’] creation [Howard Van Till]” (p. 17). The discussions are by leading scholars in the various positions, including the scientific materialism of “intellectually fulfilled atheists.” Issues concerning “integration of theology and other disciplines,” positional challenges, philosophy, biblical theology, science and history are summarized in a helpful way. Most students have neither the time nor the expertise to read the technical, specialized works that this book summarizes in the context of the debate. The introduction includes insights that whet one’s appetite for the rest of the book: “Actually, the issue here is not controversial at all, since the central topics do not involve how to practice science … but how to define science and distinguish it from nonscience or pseudoscience” (ibid., italics theirs).
The responders are Vern Poythress (biblical studies/hermeneut-ics), John Jefferson Davis (theology), J. P. Moreland (philosophy), and Walter Bradley (natural science). Poythress captures the primary weakness of the book when he notes its deficiency in the biblical theology of creation as distinct from origins in the early chapters of Genesis, but one cannot hope to find everything in a book of this length.
The book closes with excellent “reflections” by Richard Bube and Phillip Johnson. Johnson is especially insightful about the agenda of
BSac 159:634 (Apr 02) p. 239
scientific materialists like Richard Lewo...
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