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Science and Faith: Friends or Foes? Paperback – October 31, 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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Collins tackles a formidable enterprise in his endeavor to show that the Christian faith and much of what we learn as science are not in opposition with each other. The first two chapters of the book are a basic philosophical discussion of the intention of the book. Collins then undertakes to discuss the creation narratives with a scientific perspective, especially addressing his preference for viewing the days of creation as days in God's time, not ours. He has a chapter discussing the problem of man's fallenness in observing the world. He discusses the issues of God's providence and miracles in the face of the post-Hume worldview of the impossibility of miracles. He even includes a chapter on environmentalism and how Christians should view the world. Subsequent chapters deal with the age of the earth (he is in the "old-earth" camp), evolution and the development of animals. Two chapters are devoted to the defense of intelligent design. He concludes with thoughts on the social sciences. Finally, the book is ended with a discussion of the culture wars and our approach to the sciences. Though the entire book was excellent, the last two chapters were the best, and it is worth sticking with Collins to the end of the book. He especially notes how Christians have been in bitter attack against each other over minor differences in their view of the entire creation scenario. About the only thing I wished he would have discussed would have been flood theories, the tower of Babel incident (especially since Collins is a philologist), and some of the other Biblical miracles that often come under attack by the scientific community (eg., Jonah surviving being eaten by a big fish). This book is one of the must-reads for anybody strongly engaged in the sciences to help form a Christian basis for their scientific thinking.
I also recommend The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel as well as A Matter of Days and The Fingerprint of God by Hugh Ross for excellent treatments of the science/faith issues.
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