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Science, Creation and the Bible: Reconciling Rival Theories of Origins di [Carlson, Richard F., Longman III, Tremper]
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Many Christians are torn between their belief in the Bible and the conclusions of science. This is especially the case concerning the creation narratives of Scripture and the rather different stories that science tells.

Physicist Richard Carlson and biblical scholar Tremper Longman address the longstanding problem of how to relate scientific description of the beginnings of the universe with the biblical creation passages found in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. Experts in their respective fields, these two authors provide a way to resolve the seeming conflicting descriptions by showing the meaning of the biblical texts as well as the meaning of scientific description.

In the process they will uncover

  • how theology and science differ, and what they both contribute
  • what the key biblical passages actually say
  • how the ancient Hebrews themselves understood the meaning of Genesis 1--2
  • how the rest of Scripture helps us understand these passages
  • what we can gain from science and what its limits are

Properly interpreting the biblical texts and clearly identifying the nature of scientific claims are key. With those in hand we can see how Christian revelation and scientific findings about the origin of the universe are not in opposition but rather work in partnership with each other.

Dettagli prodotto

  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 890 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 145
  • Editore: IVP Academic (7 ottobre 2010)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • ASIN: B0043D1FWW
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20 di 22 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Good short and well-written introduction 18 ottobre 2010
Di Paul R. Bruggink - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
The focus of this book is on how to interpret the creation narratives in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, leading to the goal of "resolving the creation-evolution conflict" (p. 72). Chapters 1 & 2 are good brief introductions to the problems of reconciling the Bible and science. Chapter 3 on biblical interpretation presents a good introduction to hermeneutics and myth and ends with quotations from and a discussion of Peter Enns' book "Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament." Chapters 4 & 5 present and discuss creation narratives other than Genesis 1 & 2 in the Old and New Testaments, although it is not clear how these add much to the stated purpose of the book. On the other hand, Chapter 6 contains one of the best discussions of the similarities and differences of the Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 creations accounts that I have read.

Chapter 7 contains an excellent discussion of the benefits of accepting that Genesis 1 & 2 should not be read literally because there are simply too many differences between them. Once we get beyond reading Genesis 1 & 2 literally, we can then consider the worldview questions and answers that Genesis 1 & 2 do give us: (1) How is it that things exist? (2) Who are we? (3) What does God think of us and the rest of that which exists?, and (4) What are we to do? This then provides rapprochement between science and Christian faith, opens doors for presenting the gospel message to our educated friends, and allows us to celebrate scientific progress in biology, geology and cosmology as encouraging signs of God's wisdom, power, care and faithfulness in his creation.

Although the authors have done an excellent job of discussing how to interpret and understand the Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 creation narratives, which is the necessary first step, it is not at all clear how they have resolved the creation-evolution conflict, since that involves so much more than the age of the universe and the earth. This book does not deal with the theological implications of biological evolution. As the title indicates, it deals only with science, creation and the Bible. I recommend this book for anyone looking for a good, short and well-written introduction to how to read the Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 creation narratives.
16 di 17 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
2.0 su 5 stelle The War Continues 29 dicembre 2010
Di Austin DeArmond - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
Trempur Longman III and Richard Carlson make a valiant attempt to reconcile rival theories of origins found in the current science versus faith debate. I waited expectantly and patiently for this work to finally appear. I ended up buying the book at November's ETS meeting and devoured the work once returning home. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The work does not leave the reader with any sound reconciliation between the two positions. The authors conclude in more or less words that Genesis is old world cosmology that is meaningful yet shouldn't inform the reader of any scientific ontology. Figurative interpretations, because of multiple accounts of creation, is the viable option for interpreting the creation event. After explaining the role of science and theology, the authors seek to define and parameters of each discipline in hopes that readers will seek various "truth" that are presented in each field. Go to science to answer the "how" questions. Go to Scripture for the "why" questions. I appreciate the irenic discussion on the topic. However, the book does not discuss the ramifications of biological evolution and how it affects other doctrines of Scripture. It also fails to adequately assess and discredit the Intelligent Design movement which is very convincing to many evangelicals. The books succumbs to the same fate as Karl Giberson's book Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution. It does not offer a reconciliation or a sustainable foundation for a belief in the science of evolution with a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Anyone who is moderately knowable about the material presented in the controversy will find this book lacking. However, it is commendable as a introductory piece of literature to inform the readers of the basics of the war between the two fields of study.
6 di 6 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
3.0 su 5 stelle Not too Shabby 23 gennaio 2011
Di revtcr - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
In their Introduction, Carlson and Longman III note that "Many Christians are torn between their belief in the creation narrative in the Bible and the conclusions of contemporary science, views that seem irreconcilable" (p. 11). The authors then set out to demonstrate that Science and the Christian faith do not have to be or remain enemies.

This thesis is developed through the seven chapters that make up this well-written though short title: Chapter 1: "Theological and Scientific Sources and Their Interpretation." Before mentioning in brief that Genesis 1-11 must be situated within the ancient Near Eastern writings of ancient Israel's neighbors (p. 26), the authors give an orientation of the rise of Creationism and the many competing views as a result of Darwin's The Origin of the Species in 1859. Chapter 2: "Characteristics of Theology and Science Relevant to the Conflict." "Christian theology seeks truth, and like science, wants to offer a truthful understanding of the universe and all that occurs in the universe" (p. 34). The authors also noted that Scripture plays the "primary and indispensable role in theology" (p. 35). They go on to quote both the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978) and the Fuller Theological Seminary statement of faith on Scripture, to affirm the Bible's role in Christian faith and theology. The limitations of both theology and science are duly noted (pp. 45-46). Chapter 3: "Biblical Interpretation: A Key Element in Resolving the Creation-Evolution Conflict." The authors begin the chapter: "This chapter arises from our conviction of the importance of carefully interpreting the Bible nd applying a good interpretive method to biblical passages that address creation" (p. 51). The three main components to contemporary biblical hermeneutics are duly noted and treated: the author--the text--the reader (pp. 53-56). Of special note is the subheading "Genre--A Further Word." Here the authors develop the chapter around the fact that the Bible contains a variety of literary forms, "each chosen carefully by the writer in a way that is consistent with the writer's purpose for a given passage" (p. 57). An effort is made to define "myth" with the help of such noted writers and theologians as C.S. Lewis, J.R. Tolkien, I. Howard Marshal and Grant R. Osborne (pp. 59-68). With the aid of Peter Enns recent Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament, the authors argue for both the inspirational (divine) and incarnational (human) make up of the Bible, with special focus on the literary form of Genesis 1 and 2.

Chapters 4 and 5, "Creation in the Old Testament" and "Creation in the New Testament," respectively, are included to demonstrate how both the Old and New Testament writers used the creation story to serve their theological purposes. It must be noted that these two chapters are inticipation of what the authors will say later about the ancient Hebrews' notion of worldview.

In Chapter 6: "Genesis 1:1-2:3 and Genesis 2:4-25," the authors note that while most focus on Genesis 1 as the biblical account of creation, Genesis 2 must also be factored in, to get "a complete picture of the message of creation in Genesis" (p. 107). Before addressing the similarities and differences in Genesis 1 and 2, the authors note "A simple comparison of the primeval prologue, Genesis 1-11, with other ancient literature reveals that Genesis 1-11, including the two Genesis creation passages, parallels ancient Near Eastern tradition in many ways, whereas the Genesis 12-50 patriarchal narratives and the remainder of the Pentateuch are uniquely Hebrew" (p. 112). Chapter 7: "Genesis 1 and 2 as a Worldview Statement of the Ancient People of Israel." The authors conclude the matter thus: "We have come to the point where we can suggest that Genesis 1 and 2 together constitute a worldview statement of the ancient Hebrew people, and because of the importance of this statement, these accounts are found at the beginning of the Bible... Genesis 1 and 2, in the story beneath the story, work in a complementary fashion in together presenting a coherent worldview of ancient Israel, and this is the primary reason for their being both a part of the Bible and the opening narratives of the Bible" (pp. 134-35).

The book is well-written, at a non-technical level, no doubt with a wider readership in mind. My only drawbacks to date: 1. There's no interaction with say Walton's recent The Lost World of Genesis One, which is preoccupied with the same, as it subtitle makes clear. 2. Still awaiting a clearer definition of "myth" by the authors. And 3. the authors devote about a page commending the New Living Translation.

At any rate, Science, Creation and the Bible by Carlson and Longman III is a solid addition to recent titles in the creation-evolution debate.
3 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Helpful and hopeful discussion 16 aprile 2011
Di James Korsmo - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
In this brief and general-reader-friendly book, physicist Richard Carlson and Biblical Studies professor Tremper Longman III undertake an attempt at a solution to the perceived conflict between the Genesis creation accounts and modern science. They advocate a reconciliation between the two disciplines, and they do this by making the following argument (their thesis statement, which appears on page 14):

"The first two chapters of Genesis, which accurately present two accounts of creation in terms of ancient Hebrew scientific observations and heir historical understanding, are neither historical nor literal in the twenty-first-century literal sense. Instead, the underlying message of these chapters applies for all time and constitutes a complete statement of the worldview of the Hebrew people in the ancient Near East. They accurately understood the universe in terms of why God created it but not how in the modern scientific and historical sense. This worldview, markedly different from those of their pagan neighbors articulates the principles underlying their understanding of the relation of God to the universe, their relation to the true God, and their relation to each other and to the created order."

This book has a number of strengths, as the authors seek to make their case for this thesis. The principle strength is that it distills a lot of technical and academic thinking and writing into a very readable presentation that introduces some of these concepts and arguments to people who aren't otherwise familiar with them. For instance, the writers use some of John Polkinghorne's work to present a vision of the relationship between science and theology that goes beyond the popular conflict motif to a much more nuanced understanding of two disciplines with different spheres of study and different aims. The second major discussion that lays the groundwork for their thesis surrounds biblical hermeneutics, that is, how we read the Bible. Here again the authors present in simple terms an approach to reading the Bible that pushes people to be self-conscious in how they are interpreting the Bible and opens up the question of genre, the more of less formal conventions that guided both author and audience in understanding the type of text being presented. They discuss at length an incarnational model for understanding the Bible as both a divine and a human book. They also push for the category of myth as being helpful when looking to Genesis 1 and 2 and make a case from some contemporary authors such as C. S. Lewis for the usefulness and legitimacy of Christian myth.

The authors then move on to a reading of the major creation texts in the Old and New Testaments, preparing the way for a careful reading of Genesis 1 and 2 to investigate its place in the canon, its teaching, and its context in the ancient Near East. They assert that Genesis 1 and 2 should be read as a worldview statement for the ancient Hebrews, a statement that is made in a two-layered story, one layer being that of a story of the experiences and understandings of the ancient Hebrews, and a second layer consisting of the theological story they wanted to convey. It is the second, theological layer that is important for us today. They also point out both the similarities and the difference between the two Genesis accounts, concluding that the differences cue us in that these stories aren't meant to be read literally, since the author left in what would otherwise be viewed as conflicting details.

I have many reasons to commend this book. It is readable, and it helps to get people thinking in a critical way about what is perceived as a major conflict for Christians today between science and the Bible. I think many of their ideas are very helpful, and I do think that reading Genesis 1 and 2 against the back drop of the ancient Near East gives much greater understanding of these passages than a surface reading by someone in the twenty-first century alone could. I am also in agreement with the basic outline of the relationship they sketch between science and theology and hope this popular-level treatment brings that understanding to a wider audience. There were, I thought, a few weaknesses in the book. For me the largest one was the lack of useful summaries at the end of the two chapters investigating the creation texts in the NT and OT outside of Genesis 1 and 2. I thought these were interesting chapters, but they didn't seem to add much to the argument. Or, at least, their place went largely unstated beyond a few allusions. I also thought they ignored one of the most important "losses" as they term it, if their non-literal approach to Genesis 1 and 2 is adopted, namely the question of the historicity of Adam and Eve and the implications of that discussion for our understanding of humanity, the image of God, and the origin and character of sin. Although it is a complicated question, its exclusion seems a glaring omission (though it could be argued that it is technically outside their scope in focusing on Genesis 1 and 2, but Genesis 2 and 3 clearly for a unit of story, so decisions about one would likely have implications for understanding the other).

In conclusion, I hope many people read this book, and I do happily recommend it. There are pieces that could have been stronger, but it is overall a very clear statement of a better way of thinking about science and the Bible than the conflict model, and it helpful points Christians in a better direction.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Much to benefit from even if you disagree!!! 9 marzo 2011
Di Jared Totten - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
"Theology and science are each seekers after truth". Richard Carlson and Tremper Longman III offer this simple yet profound statement in the introduction to their book Science, Creation and the Bible. The problem (and the reason a book like this would even be necessary) is that theologians and scientists are not always seekers after truth. Sometimes they are merely protectors of a certain paradigm or worldview. So it is refreshing when authors such as these two (a scientist and a theologian) are upfront about their worldview commitments:

"We profess our deep commitment to Christian faith and the biblical teaching about creation. At the same time, we believe contemporary science addresses questions on how physical and biological processes began and continue to develop, while theology and philosophy answer why for the same questions. The creation-evolution conflict hinges on two issues: (1) the question of the trustworthiness of contemporary scientific understanding of the beginnings of the universe, the earth and life on the earth, and (2) the question of the faithful reading of the two creation passages in Genesis 1:1-2:3 and Genesis 2:4-25 in their literal or non-literal forms."

As you may have noticed, the broader word "science" in the title specifically refers to evolution as the book progresses. The authors are equally critical of both the Young Earth Creationism and Intelligent Design positions, drawing almost no distinctions between the two (a fact that adherents in both camps would resent, I'm sure). Evolution is not so much defended here as simply stated as fact and then shown to be compatible with the Genesis creation accounts. Or to say it another way, this book is not so much a defense of evolution as it is a defense of a non-literal reading of the creation accounts and their compatibility with evolution. However, this is not to say that only those holding to a position of theistic evolution will benefit from this book.

Chapter 3, "Biblical Interpretation", is alone worth the price of admission and will be beneficial for every Christian, regardless of your position on the origin of the universe. I also found their argument for a non-literal reading of the creation accounts did not necessitate evolution and was equally compatible with my own position of Intelligent Design. Overall, Science, Creation and the Bible is a very accessible book on the current origins debate and has something to offer everyone.
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