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Nature's Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith (Living Theology) Paperback – Bargain Price, September 1, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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"Some Christians are fighting the wrong battle. Evolution is not the enemy, as Daniel Harrell argues persuasively. With wry, self-deprecating humor, he introduces the basics of evolution and asks big questions about God and God's creation. Harrell is not trying to develop an apologetic for the Christian faith in a scientific world. What he has done is much more demanding. He has written an honest, thoughtful, doubt-filled, faith-filled, searching exploration of foundational reality. This is an important book." --Richard Peace, Robert Boyd Munger Professor of Evangelism and Spiritual Formation, Fuller Theological Seminary

"With his peerless ability to turn the familiar inside out and upside down, and to make even the most unfamiliar ideas from both science and theology accessible, Daniel Harrell has given us a gift of a book. It will make you laugh, think, and pray and it is very possible that when you finish it you will believe more deeply in both evolution and creation than ever before." --Andy Crouch, author of Culture Making, and editorial director, The Christian Vision Project

"Daniel Harrell has interesting friends. To argue for Darwinism among evangelicals and for God among empirical scientists takes courage. And unlike many science-and-religion books, which range from dull to daunting, Harrell's gracious opening up of those conversations to the rest of us is not only informative but entertaining. Where's this book been?!" --Jason Byassee, Assistant Editor, Christian Century, and affiliate professor of theology, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Review

"With his peerless ability to turn the familiar inside out and upside down, and to make even the most unfamiliar ideas from both science and theology accessible, Daniel Harrell has given us a gift of a book. It will make you laugh, think, and pray--and it is very possible that when you finish it you will believe more deeply in both evolution and creation than ever before."
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Product Details

  • Series: Living Theology
  • Paperback: 165 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0687642353
  • ASIN: B003VYBDVC
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,850,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Debra Veth on November 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
What a great book. If you're a Christian who breaks into a cold sweat when the topic turns to evolution (you know who you are), this is a great book for you. It will help you remember that God is all about truth--even truth revealed through science.

If you think Christianity is just for uneducated folk who ignore science, this is for you, too. It will challenge some of the assumptions you have about Christians and maybe even some of the conclusions you draw from scientific observations.

Christians may have to re-read some of the science sections, and scientists may need to re-read some of the theology sections, but Nature's Witness really is intellectual, accessible, and funny, too.
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Harrell answers questions that I didn't realize I needed to be asking. When I was in about third grade in a Catholic elementary school, one of my classmates asked how God could have created the world if evolution is true. Our teacher explained that we shouldn't read the Bible literally, and God did create the world and evolution is how God did it. Third grade was a long time ago, but I never thought about such things on a deeper level, and never understood how intelligent people could be troubled by evolution.

Harrell explains why evolution does indeed pose a significant challenge that deserves sophisticated thought, and then proceeds to show on a much deeper level how the different concepts fit together. I'm not sure that my answers end up being the same as his -- though I'm a middling theologian and an abysmal scientist so take that with a grain of salt -- but this was a tremendously helpful introduction to the issues. It is also packed with footnotes, for those who would like to explore further.

Read it if you are troubled by the intersection by Christian theology and evolution, or if you do not understand why people could be troubled.

Nature's Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith (Living Theology)
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Enjoyed this book immensely. The book's style is very much a reflection of its author - 75% thesis (and 25% sidebar). I am sure it will have a significant impact in the world of faith (and science).

When I first came to faith and starting reading "in the beginning" of Genesis in the King James Version (shows you how long ago I got started), I noted:

v. 20-21a: And God said, "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created ...."

v. 24-25a: And God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made ...."

... it seemed to be describing evolution through the use of the language, coupling the acts of the creation (the waters & the earth bringing things forth) with the acts of the Creator (God created/made). So when I starting hearing all the antagonistic hoopla pitting evolution against faith, it struck me as odd. So, touché to Daniel Harrell for doing something about it!
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Many people have jettisoned faith because scientific findings seem to run counter to the Bible's account of Creation. However, the Bible tells clearly WHO made the world, but not in detail HOW. This book, written by an evangelical theologian, draws the two schools of thought together in a beautiful exploration of how GOD did it. One does not need to agree with the author's every point to understand the magnificent complexity and the incredible love for His creation which God the Father embodies.
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In the realm of those who have heard about Christianity, there are not many things worse than people lacking the physical necessities for a sustainable life--coming close, however, is the disheartened individual who walks out of a church because they cannot reconcile what they heard inside of it with what they see outside of it. Harrell casually approaches the fairly 'untreaded' gap between those with Darwin bumper stickers and those with "Father God created Mother Earth" bumper stickers by providing well-informed, easy to understand and theologically sound reasons why both sides should help rebuild the unnecessarily destroyed bridge. This book was very honest and transparent and on my recommendation, any Christian struggling with the belief in evolution as a means for God's creating, I would recommend the section: Image of God on p.52 to get things percolating; and to any person struggling with the belief of God behind evolution as a means for creating, I would recommend the opening joke in the chapter that only Harrell could have titled: Believolution.
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Daniel Harrow, a pastor at Park Street Church, in Boston, accepts biological evolution as God's means of creating life on Earth, then examines the theological implications in layman's language. As you accept the reality of genetic variation and natural selection, you can either "watch your faith crumble as God is moved to the periphery" or you can "praise God for his ingenuity and creativity - even when that creativity runs counter to your expectations" (p. 133). "Natural selection need not imply godless selection . . . [It] is no more godless than gravity." (p. 78). He asks more questions than he answers, but does have many helpful insights. He is not dogmatic about his views, leaving open the issue of exactly how Adam and Eve came to be, for example. The book is an easy read and includes numerous notes and an excellent bibliography.

I recommend this book for Christians who are struggling with how to integrate biological evolution into their evangelical Christian worldview
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