- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Crossway (October 15, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1581344309
- ISBN-13: 978-1581344301
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Science and Faith: Friends or Foes? Paperback – October 15, 2003
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"Collins maps the entire interface between faithful biblical interpretation and questions of all sorts posed in the name of the sciences. Interesting, fair-minded, shrewd, and clear from start to finish, this will prove outstanding as a pastoral resource."
—J. I. Packer, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College
"There is something here for just about everyone. Science and Faith is required reading for all who are interested in the relationship between science and the Christian faith."
—J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University; author, The Soul: How We Know It’s Real and Why It Matters
"This is a highly significant book on possibly the most important subject confronting the church today-the neutrality of science. A delightful style makes it easily accessible yet the author never neglects important issues. It is the best book of its kind for decades."
—Ranald Macaulay, Speaker, L'Abri Fellowship; Coordinator, Christian Heritage, Cambridge
"Jack Collins is my kind of guy-a fellow MIT nerd. But he is much more: a brilliant scholar of biblical languages and a keen observer of the interaction between science and the Christian faith. This is a wonderful book, and I recommend it most strongly."
—Henry F. Schaefer III, Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry, University of Georgia
About the Author
C. John Collins (PhD, University of Liverpool) is professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He has been a research engineer, church-planter, and teacher. He was the Old Testament Chairman for the English Standard Version Bible and is author of The God of Miracles, Science and Faith: Friends or Foes?, and Genesis 1–4: A Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary. He and his wife have two grown children.
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Top Customer Reviews
evolution has happened. He does not distinguish methodological naturalism from philosophical evolution, but lumps them together in his refutation as if they are all taught by philosophical naturalists, which is not true to the facts. He refers to that which the scientific theory of evolution "requires" but this shows his misunderstanding. This theory is not a public law such that it can require anything of anybody. This book was published before
the Dover, Pa trial in 2005 that resulted in the federal judge ruling that Intelligent Design promotes religion and may not be taught in public schools in that federal judicial district, as it is a violation of the Establishment clause in our federal constitution. Dr. John H. Watlon, a published author, is a college and graduate school professor of Old Testament and a far better Biblical Hebrew scholar than Collins. Collins needs to stop writing for a few hours and humbly read Dr. Walton's books. Walton is a conservative evangelical and helpfully gives an analogy of a two layer cake: the bottom layer is the practice of methodological naturalism, which any one with the proper skills can do, while the top layer is the philosophy which the practitioner holds, which could be a Christian world view or it could be philosophical naturalism (atheism), etc. Judge John E. Jones, the presiding judge in the Dover case and trial, indicated that most Americans do not understand evolution, or even have a grasp of it. Collins is one of those who impress me as being in that large group. Collins does want the reader to know that he has read a lot, since he gives so many references. The problem is he did not reflect doing adequate reading in biology or of Hebrew scholars who disagree with him on Genesis 2:7. It is as if he wants his book to be regarded as the first and last reference book. Walton, in two of his books, holds that "dust" refers to Adam's mortality, and writes about 3 pages with Biblical information to support that thesis, much more than Collins does. Admirably, Walton stays focused in the Biblical text
and leaves biology conclusions to be judged on their own merits.
Collins first explains that science is controversially defined, but that it is best viewed as "a discipline in which one studies features of the world around us, and tries to describe his observations systematically and critically." (pg. 34) In his definition of faith, Collins lauds a statement by C. S. Lewis who said, "Faith ... is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes." (Quoting C.S. Lewis, pg. 38)
Finally he shows their relations and explains what each has concerning truth.
Collins also delves into the public debate, teaching his readers how to think critically about Darwinist arguments. In a chapter entitled, "Culture Wars and Warriors," he critiques the arguments of Darwinists such as Barry Lynn and Eugenie Scott. Lynn, he observes, aims to "mold your emotional reaction" to design proponents by comparing them to "fundamentalists" and proponents of "astrology." Lynn's misrepresentations draw attention to the need for "education that fosters sound critical thinking and keen awareness of rhetoric." (pg. 335) Next Collins scrutinizes the arguments of Eugenie Scott:
"First, she wants you to think that she speaks on behalf of science and scientists--you can see that from how she uses "we." Second, she wants you to think that your religious values--"whodunit" and "ultimate causes"--are safe with her version of science. And third, she uses a harmless definition of evolution that almost no one can be bothered about." (pg. 336)
Scott had defined evolution as simply "change through time" and the notion that living organisms "have shared common ancestors and descended with modification." (quoting Scott, pg. 335) But Collins had already explained that "Neo-Darwinism claims to have discovered, not just that `these [lifeforms] have transformed and differentiated,' but how they did so: namely by `an unpredictable and natural process of temporal descent with genetic modification that is affected by natural selection, chance, historical contingencies and changing environments.'" (pg. 272) Thus, if theists "believe that God `controlled' the process of evolution, they would do well to define `controlled.'" (pg. 272)
Collins' book is worth reading for any person attempting to obtain a realistic understanding of the relationship between science and faith.