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Paradigms on Pilgrimage: Creationism, Paleontology and Biblical Interpretation Paperback – March 31, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Clements Publishing (March 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1894667328
  • ISBN-13: 978-1894667326
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,481,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The sad state of affairs that sees a continuing ‘conflict’ between science and Scripture simply does not have to exist. This book is a breath of fresh air. I pray that the book may have its intended good effects." —Dr. Mark A. Noll, Wheaton College

"There are a multitude of books on the polar ends of this issue, but this book gently and personally takes the reader from one side to the other, with good rationale for the travel." —Dr. Brian Alters, McGill University

"An excellent and much needed volume." —Dr. Sam Riffell, Mississippi State University

About the Author

Stephen J. Godfrey (Ph.D., McGill University) is the Curator of Paleontology at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, Maryland. Christopher R. Smith (Ph.D., Boston College) is an author and biblical scholar living in East Lansing, Michigan.

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Customer Reviews

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This book took me a couple of days to read at a leisurely pace.
Kimberly G. Mahrhill
I recommend this book to any Young Earth Creationist or to any Old Earth, Progressive or Evolutionary Creationist who is trying to reach Young Earth Creationists.
Paul R. Bruggink
Anyone of faith who cannot or is struggling to understand and respect modern scientific perspectives on this issue should read this book.
Purple Prussian

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Daryl P. Domning on July 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
Most people who reject evolution are not driven by doubts about the scientific evidence. Nonscientists for the most part, they are not passionately concerned about DNA or radiometric dating. What they are passionate about is the tension they feel between science and their own religious faith. They are wrestling with deeper, existential issues, such as the meaning of life, the explanation of evil, and the existence of God.

Paradigms on Pilgrimage is a rarity: a book for people trying to think their way through the conflicting claims of fundamentalism and modern biblical scholarship as well as natural science. It should appeal to, and maybe persuade them, because it is the highly personal story of two former fundamentalists who made that same intellectual and spiritual journey themselves. Together they moved toward a new understanding of God as having created by means of evolution. In sharing their stories, they document the thinking of real people as they moved into and out of the creationist worldview.

Along the way, they provide some original, ingenious arguments against creationism and biblical literalism - which are of all the more interest because they were arguments that actually helped change these individuals' minds. In a final section, they also offer an original reading of Genesis 1 with commentary, to show how this creation account presents (and makes good sense as) a naïve observational cosmology radically different from our objective scientific one. The authors' argument - that the biblical writers were not and did not claim to be omniscient about the natural world - restores to the biblical text the integrity it loses in the hands of literalists.

This enjoyable and stimulating read will give evolutionists insight into the minds of their opponents, and give creationists persuasive reasons to change their minds. To my mind, it's a valuable contribution.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Williams on September 28, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a part of my continuing interest in the Creation-Evolution-Design (CED) debate. It is however a bit off my usual reading schedule, it is in the genre of personal stories, of transition from young earth creationism (YEC) to something else. I don't usually read personal stories or books with substantial personal involvement, i prefer to spend my time on science and ideas rather than with people's personal struggles. This was an online recommendation that i took seriously and am frankly glad i did. It is not a spectacularly argued book, careful but not with great flashes of insight, more understated and calmly through the years type of analysis. It has as a goal not to discourage people from reading the whole thing, not to push hot buttons and have people just put the book down in disgust and move on. It has a goal of personal involvement and sympathetic identification with the authors as they tell you their journeys in the field, and as such it is very well done. Don't read this for big ideas in the CED debate, for great pieces of refutation you can take to the online boards, it isn't that type of a book. What it is, is a gentle, kindly story of two rather smart and sensitive men studying how their youthful background ought to interact with their adult callings and their studies of both God's World and God's Word over time and with increasing maturity and sensitivity to nuance.

I'd recommend this to every YEC, to anyone who struggles with the issues in CED, to anyone who reads Genesis and asks real hard questions. It is designed for this audience, it is very sympathetic to their concerns and sensitivities, and ought not to upset even the most hard boiled YECist.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Brian Spitzer on September 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
"Paradigms on Pilgrimage" is just the book for the Christian who is trying to be intellectually honest while staying loyal to God. Between them, the authors-- one an expert in paleontology, the other in Biblical interpretation-- show that a literal view of the first chapters of Genesis is neither true to the scientific facts nor true to the Bible itself. Best of all, this book is not just a recitation of facts. It lays out the heartfelt, personal struggles of two believers who start as Biblical literalists and come to recognize that there is a wiser and more genuine way to understand God's Word. The controversy over the beginning of the Bible often seems to demand that we sacrifice either our faith or our minds. Drs. Godfray and Smith show that we can keep both.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. M. Clapp on November 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a book that reinforces evolution, this is the book for you.

If you are looking for a book that reinforces the Biblical creation, this is the book for you.

This book will change your mind about the Creation vs. Evolution Debate.

This book is a refreshingly honest and personal view of the Young Earth Creationists versus Evolutionists debate. The authors use paleontological evidence (many examples were personally witnessed) and Biblical backing to illustrate an emotionally and intellectually challenging journey. The narrative is chronological and thoughtful; it follows the logical thinking of a person brought up as a Young Earth Creationist and studying to be a paleontologist.

I met one of the authors during a college lecture series on Darwin, and was amazed (and relieved) to find a scientist who was willing to consider the Bible as evidence for science and to search for the science in his personal faith.

If you are tired of the typical Science vs. Religion Debate and want to find a common ground, start here with Paradigms on Pilgrimage.
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