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Darwin's Forgotten Defenders: The Encounter Between Evangelical Theology and Evolutionary Thought Paperback – January 1, 1984

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Regent College Publishing (January 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573830933
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573830935
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,500,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Tracing the Christian response to evolution from the mid-19th century to the present, Livingstone finds accommodation to have been more common than confrontation. Nineteenth-century theologians concentrated upon reconciling evolutionary thought with the existence of a Divine plan for the universe. It was only with the rise of Fundamentalism, which saw evolutionary theory as an attack upon the authority of scripture and as yet another of the modern forces demolishing society's old values, that a split between religion and science developed. Hence, Livingstone concludes, this split is not necessary. While not as comprehensive as James R. Moore's The Post-Darwinian Controveries ( LJ 7/79), this is an excellent work. D. Stephen Rockwood, Mount Saint Mary's Coll. Lib., Emmitsburg, Md.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "brentmw" on November 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
Evangelicals don't know their history. That's why they fight for the dubious notion of a renaissance of our American Christian roots. It's why they get suckered into prophecy hysteria every 15 years. It's also why they don't discuss the important and complex facets of the evolution-creation debate. Unbeknownst to many, the history of evangelical reaction to evolution is not a one-sided testament to antievolutionism. Not at all.
David Livingstone has written an important work because it teaches 3 important lessons relevant to the origins debate: 1. Evangelicals often misunderstand what is and what is not at stake in the evolution debate. 2. The issue of reconciling science and Christianity is far more complex than the either/or categories evangelicals often use. 3. History is full of valuable arguments and insights that remain relevant to the issue today. Evangelicals must look to the past as more than ammo to "disprove" evolution.
The title of this book is a little deceptive. Evangelicals have always (and rightfully) been uncomfortable about evolution. Livingstone does not tell a one-sided history. Instead, he delves into the lively intellectual response to Darwin. Especially intriguing is the reaction to evolution in Princeton. There we discover "the Fundamentals" contributor B.B. Warfield held to both a theistic evolutionary scheme of creation AND inerrancy!
Livinstone is masterful in telling the historical evangelical reaction to Charles Darwin and evolutionary thought. A must-read for anyone who is frustrated by the nonsensical rantings of modern antievolutionism.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By UseAPencil on December 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Brilliant survey of early views of specifically Darwinian evolution by 19th century scientists and evangelical clerics, showing that originally there was not great conflict and shows why there need not be today. A must read for those who feel modern evangelicalism is a bit too strident (or perhaps just wrong) in its denunciation of evolution.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steven H. Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Sometimes, the impression is given that the only true "biblical" or "evangelical" perspective is a "young earth" (i.e., less than 20,000 years old) that allows for no more "evolution" than could have taken place from different "kinds" emerging from the Ark of Noah. David Livingstone's 1987 book is a very important and helpful counterbalance to such opinions.

He states in the Preface, "In this book I have tried to re-create some of the facts of the evangelical encounter with Darwinian evolution... My ambition has been to let the characters speak for themselves in the hope of preventing selection from degenerating into distortion." He adds in the Introduction, "The time is ripe to question the assumption that creationists bear the imprimatur of evangelical orthodoxy on the issue of evolution... My claim is that while no evaluation has gone uncontested, there has been a remarkable assimilation of the evolutionary perspective by evangelical scholars."

Concerning the famed Princeton theologian B.B. Warfield (see his The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield (Vols. 1-10)), Livingstone writes, "Warfield certainly lamented the spiritually disruptive effects of the theory of evolution on its chief advocate, and he expressed his annoyance at Darwin's absolutist claims for his natural selection mechanism. But this must not be allowed to conceal the fact that Warfield remained enthusiastic about the theory as a natural law operating under the control of Providence."

Augustus Strong in his
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bradley P. Hayton on February 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
In contrast to the "scientific creationist" or "intelligent design" crew who address the scientific basis of evolution, Livingstone defends evolution by contending that it has been supported by "moderate evangelicals" even before Darwin. Although Livingstone says this is merely an historical book, he outlines the rationale supporting evolution throughout, distinguishing good from bad reasoning. Clearly, Livingstone sides with evolution. He paints a convincing case that most mainstream evangelicals, including the likes of Warfield, Hodge, Torrey, and other less known Christian leaders in the various disciplines of science, supported the harmony between evolution and the Christian faith. Despite the small print, I know of no other book as informative about Christians in science and their beliefs regarding evolution.

Yet one is impressed with the theological adjustments that these scientists and theologians had to make in their faith in order to accommodate evolution. On the one hand, evolution fit in nicely with their postmillennialism, a fact that Livingstone fails to point out, yet there were many areas in their beliefs that had to be changed. Some proposed the day-age theory; some said that the Scriptures explain the why of Creation whereas evolution explains the how. Many believed in theistic evolution, while others believed that there was a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Still others, a view that Livingstone himself seems to favor, believe in radical dualism: God creates the soul and evolution creates the body. All of these theories appear to be making God a "god of the gaps," someone to explain the mysteries while still believing in naturalism.
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