Customer Reviews


36 Reviews
5 star:
 (19)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


101 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must the debate continue?
As I write this review, I am team teaching with a colleague from the Biology department at Ottawa University in Ottawa, KS. The course we are teaching is one on Intelligent Design. With all the furor over the Kansas State Board of Education's revision of science curriculum, this course is timely, to say the least. As part of our course material, we are attempting to...
Published on January 21, 2006 by Richard Menninger

versus
19 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Lack of Rigor
This book is highly praised in Francis Collins' foreword, and I found Collins' own book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief to be a wonderful and inspiring book. But "Coming to Peace with Science" was a big disappointment for me. I suspect it would be entertaining reading for a Dawkins fan because it fills most of its pages with material...
Published on September 17, 2007 by Edwin A. Suominen


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

101 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must the debate continue?, January 21, 2006
By 
This review is from: Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology (Paperback)
As I write this review, I am team teaching with a colleague from the Biology department at Ottawa University in Ottawa, KS. The course we are teaching is one on Intelligent Design. With all the furor over the Kansas State Board of Education's revision of science curriculum, this course is timely, to say the least. As part of our course material, we are attempting to articulate the debate in the broader terms of the science/religion dispute set in the context of differing worldviews. One important area of all of this investigation is the issue of the confrontation between evolutionists and creationists. Must they be opponents, even enemies? Falk say no.

Our author writes from an Evangelical Christian viewpoint. He is clear about his faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and how the first chapters of Genesis are a great hymn celebrating-though not literally- God's creation of the world. He arrives at this conclusion about the creation account from the evidence science has amassed about the age and development of the universe. One of the strengths of this book is Falk's discussion of fossil evidence, geological evidence and genetic theory. These discussions are supplemented by graphs and pictures that are helpful. Since I am trained in theology and not science, I found these parts of the book enlightening without being condescending.

Falk, who has taught biology for over 20 years, supports the idea that species developed gradually, including humans. And he sees no conflict between faith and the naturalist's view of our world. Overall, he appears to attempt to write within the worldview that science should not be depended on to point a person of faith to God and science must realize that it is not equipped to discover the supernatural.

Falk delves into theological issues such as where does death enter in the story, if indeed, animals died before the appearance of humans. Also, he spends 10-15 pages on the question of how humans were created. He shares that there are alternative ways to interpet the picture in Genesis 2-literal and figurative-though he readily admits science cannot answer the `when' or the `how' of the spiritual side of human creation.

Falk is clear to point out that Christianity has been too quick and too harsh to push science away. But he is also intent to bring an end to the war between the opposing camps in Christianity, between those who hold to a literal view of creation as opposed to a gradual creation on the part of God. In some sense his book is a positive addition to the discussion. To see a Christian biologist hold to his faith and to evolution without a crisis developing in his thinking is hopeful. But his book also affirms (at least in my mind) that the two disciplines will never be compatible. Not that they must remain antagonistic toward one another but simply they ask two different sets of questions.

Regardless of my final observation I recommend Falk's book for those interested in the science and religion debate.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow., October 9, 2006
This review is from: Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology (Paperback)
It's difficult to not type with superlatives when reviewing this book. This is one of the top devotional books on nature I've ever read. I've never seen a finer treatment of the basics of evolution for the layman. I've never seen a more clear portrayal of how Christ is involved in evolution. But most of all, in all my reading on the intersection of evolution and Christianity, I've never seen a more gentle, kinder approach that so exemplifies that attitude of Christ.

Falk comes with a strong support for evolution, in all it's glory. But he treats it as far more glorious than most biologists, for he sees God's presence within it. There is no holding back here- Falk makes clear, cogent arguments in favor of every step and aspect of evolution. His treatment is something that anyone can understand, and anyone with an open mind can come to agree with. He comes from a background originally in literal creationism, and so knows the arguments that speak to the literal creationist. As someone who was also once a literal creationist, I can say Falk knows the arguments that refute the classic creationist arguments as well.

But he doesn't stop there. He then turns to the scriptures. Falk fully supports complete acceptance of the scriptures, but he's not interested in blind literal acceptance. He wants us to delve into the Bible and accept the points that God is trying to make. Throughout Falk's personal relationship with Jesus is clear. He sees this as the point behind everything. And he finds that he sees more of Christ by studying biology and evolution. It would be easy to try to proof-text passages to make the Bible appear to be supportive of evolution. That's not Falk's style. He's looking to see what God wants us to know, primarily through the scriptures.

This is the first time I've found a work that fully explains the nature of sin, death, and decay, using biology and the Bible both. For those unfamiliar with the controversy, this is the lynchpin of the literal creationist distate for evolution. Falk at no point denies the miraculous, but rather finds it foundational to his faith. However, he argues for a God that works through natual laws that He created- and ingeniously, Falk argues this based on how we see God working in our own individual lives.

I can not stress this enough. This is the most grace-filled treatment of this subject I have ever read. You get the feeling that Falk actually cares about his readers, whatever stripe they might be. He cares more that we treat each other with love on this subject than that we be right. If you have only $15 left to eat or buy this book, get the book. Feed your mind first and see what glories you might behold.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughts from a life-long creationist..., September 7, 2006
This review is from: Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology (Paperback)
Other reviewers have reviewed the actual contents of this book; I would like to address how this book effected my life. This is likely pertinent since the author clearly makes an effort to "bridge the worlds between faith and biology."

I'm very grateful that Falk persisted in tackling such a difficult and provocative topic (science and religion) as he did with "Coming to Peace..." I've read it many times and each time am struck by the sensitivity, sincerity, and Christian love with which he approaches this topic. This book should be very understandable to a wide audience (college degrees not required)!

I'm 36 years old with a masters in biology from a private Christian college. I've grown up in a Christian denomination whose official position on creation is a belief in a literal 6-day, young-earth interpretation of Genesis.

I greatly appreciate my church's interpretation of most biblical issues. Their stand on creation, however, gives me trouble. This past winter I visited with one of my past college biology professors and one of my graduate student colleagues who is now a bioloy teacher himself. We had quite a long talk about their spiritual journeys as biologists, and they both turned me on to Falk's book (Coming to Peace with Science).

As a biologist by training (if not direct avocation at this point in my life), I've been exposed to evolution, and I recognize that it's difficult to ignore the evidence from the fossil record, age of the earth, etc. But meshing that with my faith was difficult at best. For a long time I just kept them compartmentalized, and focused on Christ as my salvation instead of Christ as the Creator. Falk's book and my wonderful talks with my old college friends have opened a brand new door of understanding to me. It's really a source of great relief! I have been touched spiritually and intellectually by the material presented in this book.

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around my understanding of God's role in human evolutionary development, and the concept of death and destruction before the "fall" of Adam and Eve -- and even who Adam and Eve really were -- but I can only say that having a devout Christian present possibilities to me, as Falk does in his book, is truly a source of comfort during these struggles. It's even more comforting to know that Falk has struggled greatly with these very same issues.

If you have found yourself asking how science can be explained in a religious context without undermining the integrity of either science or faith, then this book is for you. If you're anything like me, you may continue to have questions, but you won't feel ridiculed or unloved -- by the author or by your God.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the enlightening read, January 10, 2005
This review is from: Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology (Paperback)
Coming to Peace with Science, in an orderly fashion, brought together the topics concerning the evidence of evolution and benchmarked the evidence based on three different views, of which the gradual creation view seemed to fit best in all scenarios with the logic and scientific evidence at hand. Since the book was written for a Christian audience, there is a serious and legitimate caution for scriptural and spiritual awareness throughout the book.

Falk immediately makes the distinction that there are several respectable ways of interpreting scripture, including a view that not all scripture is literal, and a poetic device can be used. He also clarifies that the Bible is not a text book and later makes mention of the reason creationism should not be taught in the grade school science classroom, is that it is not science, whereas evolution is.

Falk decodes the Biblical creation story, pointing out its message to present God as the Creator that instituted marriage and desires our obedience along with promoting community. It is brought up also in this chapter the antitheistic pressure that the church has felt from some evolutionists that could be the motivation for the aggressive response.

The evidence of the Earth's age is made accessible by the presentation of dating methods and the agreement of these tools of modern physics on an Earth that is around 4.6 billion years old with the use of the stars, the Earth's magnetic poles, and isotope ratios. With this platform established, it was easy to jump into the next section, dealing with the fossil record. He starts out with presenting questions on the legitimacy of the evolution of a cell into a multicellular organism and mentions Gould's theory of the Cambrian explosion.

Geographical in many interesting and well described examples are presented and explored in a "does this make sense" manner, where, of course, the answer is a definite yes. This was an aspect of evolution that I felt was touched on more in depth in this book than in others. The use of Hawaii, New Zealand, Lakes, and fur as geographical isolation examples were concrete in the way they showed species evolving in their isolated environment.

Genetic proof for gradual creation is revealed through the exploration of introns and exons in species allowing us to track their lineage through the investigation of the similar mutations in introns that aren't subject to natural selection due to their lack of expression
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True to Science - True to Core Christian Beliefs, January 31, 2005
This review is from: Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology (Paperback)
Particularly well-suited for college-age students, "Coming to Peace with Science" may be one of the most important books addressing the science/faith issue written to date.

With remarkable precision and clarity, Falk lays out a broad array of essential evidence demonstrating the reality of evolution and the inter-connectedness of all life on Earth. The truth, which is strongly confirmed throughout this book, is that critiques of science and evolution emanating from various Christian circles are simply no longer tenable. And Christian credibility is not well-served when truth is the casualty of faith doctrine.

For years, many have insisted that understanding in science, especially biology, is simply inconsistent with Christian belief. What I especially appreciated about Falk's approach is that he effectively weaves his understanding of science together with his Christian faith in ways that are not only scientifically compelling, but personally satisfying.

If this book has a weakness, in my view it is that Falk is not quite as forthright about the conclusions of science as are justified by the scientific data. But Falk is quick to acknowledge that his goal is not to convince or persuade, but rather to encourage honest discussion, and most importantly, mutual acceptance among people within the Christian faith.

Falk's own personal Christian convictions, which are readily apparent throughout, make this book an excellent resource that Christian parents and pastors should not only read and understand themselves, but also put into the hands of college-bound students and anyone interested in understanding how biology and faith can co-exist with integrity. If Christians are to be regarded as `salt and light' to the world, the foundation must be solid and built on truth. Falk bridges the perceived gaps as well as anyone I have seen, and does so with extraordinary sensitivity. Don't miss this one!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for young people, April 24, 2005
This review is from: Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology (Paperback)
My children go to a great parochial school. The one issue I have with the quality of their education is the science. They teach young earth creationism only. This book presents a clear, cogent rationale for a person of faith to accept the findings of science, without casting aside their faith. Dr. Falk has done a great job of presenting the science, using many analogies to everyday life, so you don't have to have a science background beyond high school level to understand his points. Also, he integrates his own faith journey into this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!, October 19, 2004
This review is from: Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology (Paperback)
"Coming to Peace with Science" is a wonderful blend of science and the biblical account of creation. The book provides compelling evidence of what science is telling us about our origins while maintaining reverence for God's word. Dr. Falk gives specific examples of our origins using several different fields of science and shows how the bible agrees with this evidence.

This book highlights the importance of modern-day Christians' acceptance of well-established science and warns of the dangers of rejecting this science in the name of God.

Whether you are a scientist, laymen, Christian, or athiest, this book will open your eyes to a new way of thinking.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scientifically Compelling / Theologically Less So, December 27, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology (Paperback)
(4˝ stars)

Last year around this time I finished the book THE BATTLE OF BEGINNINGS by Del Ratzsch (see review, if interested); this year it's COMING TO PEACE WITH SCIENCE by Darrel Falk. In my opinion both books are eminently worth reading on the creation/evolution controversy, and have provided an edifying education on the subject.

It seems to me there are really three crucial angles, or lines of approach, essential to covering this issue: the scientific, the philosophical, and the theological (which encompasses the biblical). Whereas Ratzsch's book dealt (competently) with the second of these, it is in the realm of the scientific data - i.e. the physical nitty-gritty, if you will - that biologist Falk's treatment stands out. In fact thus far in my reading of the relevant literature I have not found elsewhere so strong, concise, and accessible a presentation of the scientific bases (pl.) for belief in what Falk calls "gradual creation". [Side note: I quite like this term, by the way. One could say it is basically equivalent to the standard "evolution" label, but has the advantage of avoiding unnecessary and unintended baggage. After all, "evolution" has so often become merely a skin into which is stuffed all manner of unwarranted (and unscientific) philosophy - usually anti-theistic. Falk, an evangelical Christian, seeks to avoid such unfruitful distraction. Obviously he sees no conflict in Christian belief and a creation-of-life-process which bore much resemblance (physically) to modern evolutionary theory.]

I was impressed with Falk's presentation of what the fields of biology, dating, fossilology, geographical distribution of life forms, and genetics are collectively telling us about the history of life on earth. If one does not believe a priori that he/she should not examine with any openness scientific evidence that might call into question certain aspects of their previously held notions, I don't know of a better compendium to direct the honest inquirer to than the relevant chapters of COMING TO PEACE. [And to the reviewer who described Falk's writing abilities as "modest", I think a qualification needs to be made. If such is meant to imply that the material was not communicated extremely clearly, was not skillfully summarized, or was not made remarkably accessible to readers outside the specialist disciplines discussed, I couldn't disagree more. In fact the book's ease of reading is one of its great assets. I have found that many scientific writers claim (and sincerely believe) they are writing for "everyman", but usually are kidding themselves. With Falk the cliché is actually true.]

Unfortunately, as is clear from this review's title, I can not praise the book's sections on theological content with the same degree of enthusiasm as I do the scientific material. Or to put it another way, I found Falk the biologist much more persuasive than Falk the theologian. Not that I (personally) disagree with his overarching assertion that the God of the Bible has worked his act of life-creation in a manner that is not incompatible with much of the outline drawn by today's scientific consensus (again, gradual creation). But I am speaking of Falk's avoidance of addressing many of the specific nettles involved in this harmonization. I felt the author was too liberal in his appeal to `metaphor' in the scriptural account. If this is done indiscriminately it gives, in my opinion, an impression too like that of schmoozing; as though any apparent difficulty which exists in the biblical record can always be swept under the rug of `figurative language'. And if the author felt that such narrowly-focused sticking points lay outside the intended scope and audience for the book - fine. But that is different from advancing an apparent method of resolution that (in my eyes, at least) does not stand full scrutiny. Also (and again I'll place this under the "theological" tab), I would very much have liked Falk to address the commonly believed and often forwarded idea that an objective analysis of the physical data SHOWS (or if not shows, strongly suggests) that the idea of an unseen Guiding Hand - espoused throughout the book - is untenable. If memory serves, I once read an article by Stephen Gould in Natural History magazine that made this very point (I could be mistaken, though). Obviously Falk disagrees, but meet it head-on.

To encapsulate my thoughts on the book, I would restate the following: I am very glad I read CTPWS, and found much that was solid, forceful, and extremely helpful as I continue to struggle through the issue it seeks to explain. Specifically, the scientific synopses were superbly handled. On the other hand, the fact that the biblical/theological treatment was not of the same prime caliber left me in something of a quandary. In this respect, the hope I had of really unifying these two facets in my own mind is still a quest uncompleted (or not fully completed).

Final note: I can't say enough about how much I appreciated the gracious tone Dr. Falk has taken in this book. Beyond polite, the reader senses a genuine Christian warmth toward them, and the sincere motivation to be of help in navigating their way through this thorny issue.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Art of Gentle Persuasion, April 30, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology (Paperback)
Coming to Peace With Science is an oddly successful book. Odd, because it satisfies neither the esthetic tastes of a hardcore science reader, nor the sensibilities of a confirmed reader of evangelical Christian literature, and yet it accomplishes its goal: opening doors to thought. Proof? First, I'll simply point to the reviews of the book already published on Amazon: multiple accounts of palpable relief as the committed believer in the Bible is able to finally reconcile their religious heart and soul with the more fact driven brain.

Secondly, a personal story. I'm a formerly devout Catholic, now in a state usually described as agnostic: I don't see any evidence that there is a God that personally intervenes in our lives, and I don't believe in an afterlife. Nevertheless, I'm awed constantly by the universe in which I live, and it has been a deep source of pain to me that many evangelical Christians reject the astounding beauty of the natural world, brought to marvelous fruition by natural selection (evolution). I have a sister that is an evangelical Christian, and for years, we sparred (at times bitterly) on the subject of evolution. Both now in our fifties, we attempted to beat our ideological swords into ploughshares by seeking a book to read together, and discuss afterwards. Coming to Peace was that book. When I read the book, I was forcefully reminded of the peace and comfort that a deep-seated belief in God brings to some people (I remain not a member of that tribe). It left me more respectful of the believer. When my sister, who lives near Washington, D.C., read the book, she responded this way: "Dan, this book has changed my life. I can't go outside without seeing the world in an entirely different, and much more beautiful way. It's incredible!!! I went down to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History last week. Wow!! I was fascinated and amazed as I walked through the halls thinking how amazing evolution is, and how great is the God that could come up with such an amazing way of bringing us this beautiful world that we live in!!!" Yes. My sister likes exclamation points.

How did Falk facilitate my sister's tectonic shift regarding science? By being respectful. By being gentle. By describing his own emotions, both high and low, as he took his own journey towards recognition that a) natural selection/evolution is undeniably true and b) not contradictory to his evangelical faith in Christ. By repeatedly affirming his belief in a Creator that watches over us, and simultaneously uses natural law (including natural selection/evolution) to build His marvelous universe.

Falk's skills as a writer are modest, and some of his observations will certainly make a reader whose only religion is scientific data, well interpreted, squirm. Falk's gift, however, is as a bridge builder, a bridge that spans a chasm that never needed to be there in the first place. I will never convince my sister that God is not compulsively monitoring the well being of every sparrow in the field, nor will she ever convince me of that heaven or hell for eternity may be in my future. Thanks to Falk, however, when my sister and I hike together, we see the wonderful adaptation of the flower to its climate, the adaptation of the insect to the flower (and vice-versa!), and the astounding, awe-inspiring beauty of a world set in motion by a few simple natural laws, natural selection being one of them. My sister and I celebrate this together, and for that, I celebrate Coming to Peace With Science!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Science and God are not at odds, January 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This author bridges away from those fundamentalists who make unsupportable claims about all of creation occurring within a 6 day period less than 7000 years ago. How to work in science based fields and still believe in an omnipotent God is a struggle for many. The theologians who espouse the notion that the original proto-Canaanite Phoenician character based Genesis language supports a strict 6 day creation simply do not have that language around to support that claim. What is key is to be able to encourage a personal relationship to God as Abraham had without being pushed away by theologians insulated from reality by a religious system culture which mandates adherence to their own ideas. I have heard a theologian state that if the 6 day creation less than 7000 years ago is rejected, one is incapable of believing in God. However, he is willing to believe that God would deceive us by sending us light from stars that are millions of light years away as measured by physics that have not ever been challenged.
This author also seems to address scripture as inerrant in intent but not always in construct. Clear to many is that Biblical history is made by imperfect men, even those inspired to produce the supreme art that is scripture. Its awesomeness art is not to be the focus but rather the underlying messages, the key one of which is that God loves mankind, each of us individually and our foremost duty is to love Him back. If we can establish that relationship, if we can live within it, life would be better for the vast majority of us.
In summary, this author nicely relates his reasoning past this dilemma that many of us face and in that way, makes faith available to many who would throw out faith otherwise because of well meaning but errant theologians.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology
$20.00 $14.80
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.