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Genomic science indicates that humans descend not from an individual pair but from a large population. What does this mean for the basic claim of many Christians: that humans descend from Adam and Eve? Leading evangelical geneticist Dennis Venema and popular New Testament scholar Scot McKnight combine their expertise to offer informed guidance and answers to questions perta Genomic science indicates that humans descend not from an individual pair but from a large population. What does this mean for the basic claim of many Christians: that humans descend from Adam and Eve? Leading evangelical geneticist Dennis Venema and popular New Testament scholar Scot McKnight combine their expertise to offer informed guidance and answers to questions pertaining to evolution, genomic science, and the historical Adam. Some of the questions they explore include: - Is there credible evidence for evolution? - Do we descend from a population or are we the offspring of Adam and Eve? - Does taking the Bible seriously mean rejecting recent genomic science? - How do Genesis's creation stories reflect their ancient Near Eastern context, and how did Judaism understand the Adam and Eve of Genesis? - Doesn't Paul's use of Adam in the New Testament prove that Adam was a historical individual? The authors address up-to-date genomics data with expert commentary from both genetic and theological perspectives, showing that genome research and Scripture are not irreconcilable. Foreword by Tremper Longman III and afterword by Daniel Harrell.


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Genomic science indicates that humans descend not from an individual pair but from a large population. What does this mean for the basic claim of many Christians: that humans descend from Adam and Eve? Leading evangelical geneticist Dennis Venema and popular New Testament scholar Scot McKnight combine their expertise to offer informed guidance and answers to questions perta Genomic science indicates that humans descend not from an individual pair but from a large population. What does this mean for the basic claim of many Christians: that humans descend from Adam and Eve? Leading evangelical geneticist Dennis Venema and popular New Testament scholar Scot McKnight combine their expertise to offer informed guidance and answers to questions pertaining to evolution, genomic science, and the historical Adam. Some of the questions they explore include: - Is there credible evidence for evolution? - Do we descend from a population or are we the offspring of Adam and Eve? - Does taking the Bible seriously mean rejecting recent genomic science? - How do Genesis's creation stories reflect their ancient Near Eastern context, and how did Judaism understand the Adam and Eve of Genesis? - Doesn't Paul's use of Adam in the New Testament prove that Adam was a historical individual? The authors address up-to-date genomics data with expert commentary from both genetic and theological perspectives, showing that genome research and Scripture are not irreconcilable. Foreword by Tremper Longman III and afterword by Daniel Harrell.

30 review for Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture After Genetic Science

  1. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I should start by saying that I came to this book already affirming a theistic-evolutionary view, despite some outstanding theological questions, because I find those questions to be more palatable - and more likely to be resolved - than the questions that are raised by denying the science. I can't speak much to the persuasiveness of Venema's science arguments, as I did not need convincing of that part. But though I didn't necessarily need that part of the book for myself (though I did learn som I should start by saying that I came to this book already affirming a theistic-evolutionary view, despite some outstanding theological questions, because I find those questions to be more palatable - and more likely to be resolved - than the questions that are raised by denying the science. I can't speak much to the persuasiveness of Venema's science arguments, as I did not need convincing of that part. But though I didn't necessarily need that part of the book for myself (though I did learn some interesting details previously unknown to me), I am happy to have found a book that takes both the science and the theology seriously, giving equal time to each topic, for those who are not yet convinced. My biggest interest was to hear McKnight's theological arguments reconciling Paul's comments in Romans 5 with an evolutionary reading of Genesis, and on that section I have mixed thoughts. McKnight draws heavily on the work of a handful of other theologians in making his points, which is quite reasonable, as some of the arguments require an expertise in a particular field - Ancient Near Eastern cosmology or Second-temple Jewish literature, for example - that the typical theologian may not have. One of the authors that McKnight cites extensively is John Walton. As this is a topic that has interested me for a while, I have read Walton extensively, and as such I was quite familiar with the arguments that McKnight was making. However, in the brief amount of time that McKnight discussed Walton's points, I felt that McKnight did not necessarily earn the conclusions that he was making, though I believe that Walton in his writings does. Thus a reader who has not read Walton may come away from McKnight's argument thinking that there is less to back it up than there actually is. The roles were reversed later in the book when McKnight discussed the many different literary ways that Second-temple Jewish literature used the person of "Adam". I was not familiar with the writers who were the main source of McKnight's argument. Here again I felt like McKnight didn't necessarily earn his conclusions, but this time I was left to wonder whether his sources had. This is not a long book, and it's hard to fault McKnight for trying to summarize an extensive amount of scholarly work to make it more palatable to the average reader, but I wonder if the book would have been better served to be a bit longer, with a bit more explanation (at least in the theology section). At times it seemed that McKnight's confidence in his conclusion didn't match the weight of the argument given. Occasionally he would state that a conclusion was "obvious" when it wasn't all that obvious to me - and I was already theologically in agreement with him! I can only imagine what a doubter would make of his arguments. For any reader who remains unconvinced by McKnight's section, I would recommend trying John Walton's "Lost World of Adam and Eve." It's not entirely the same argument that McKnight is making here, as it focuses more on proper interpretation of Genesis 1-2 (with a bonus chapter on Romans 5 by N.T. Wright), but it helps put some meat on the bones of this theological line of thought.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Landon Genry

    I’m giving this book 4 stars because it’s the only book I’ve read that detailed evidence for evolution, so I loved that! I appreciate that it was from a Christian perspective and enjoyed thinking through what this means for interpreting scripture in the second half of the book. It took me awhile to get through, so it didn’t deserve 5 stars. I would recommend this for anyone interested in the intersection between science and faith.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Great read especially for someone struggling with science and faith issues. I will not say it has all of the answers but it is very helpful. I would highly recommend reading. It is not a light read. It delves into science and into theology. It is thought provoking with some great analogies. I do have a clearer picture on some topics and more questions on others.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    I thought the science in favor of genetics and evolution was presented in a very accessible and convincing fashion. The interpretation of Genesis also was well presented - based a great deal on more recent biblical scholarship looking at Jewish interpretations of Adam and Eve from the Septuagint and Pseudepigrapha. The book is one approach to bridging the gap between Christian fundamentalism and science. It looks at difficult issues - why a single "Adam and Eve" set of parents for all humans doe I thought the science in favor of genetics and evolution was presented in a very accessible and convincing fashion. The interpretation of Genesis also was well presented - based a great deal on more recent biblical scholarship looking at Jewish interpretations of Adam and Eve from the Septuagint and Pseudepigrapha. The book is one approach to bridging the gap between Christian fundamentalism and science. It looks at difficult issues - why a single "Adam and Eve" set of parents for all humans doesn't work genetically. The authors are accepting science but also presenting an interpretation of Adam and Eve that doesn't pit science vs the Bible. The authors do accept that the bible is not science, but doesn't need to be to express the truth it represents.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bruggink

    In the first half of this book, Trinity Western University biology professor Dennis Venema makes a convincing case that human beings began from a population of around 10,000 rather than from a single couple. Then New Testament scholar Scot McKnight makes a case for this being consistent with references to Adam in the New Testament. Together, they propose “accepting the reality of genetic evidence supporting a theory of evolution along with an understanding of Adam and Eve that is more in tune wi In the first half of this book, Trinity Western University biology professor Dennis Venema makes a convincing case that human beings began from a population of around 10,000 rather than from a single couple. Then New Testament scholar Scot McKnight makes a case for this being consistent with references to Adam in the New Testament. Together, they propose “accepting the reality of genetic evidence supporting a theory of evolution along with an understanding of Adam and Eve that is more in tune with the historical context of Genesis.” (p. 173) An old earth and biological evolution are presupposed in this book. Dennis Venema begins by using helpful analogies in order to develop fresh explanations of what is meant by scientific hypotheses and theories, followed by a fresh explanation of geocentrism vs. heliocentrism, all interweaved with his personal story of coming to grips with science and Christianity. He then draws an interesting analogy between the evolution of language and biological evolution, thereby setting the stage for his discussion of population genetics. Venema then discusses the methods that geneticists use to support their conclusion that the population of human beings has never dipped below around 10,000 individuals. Science can say that “if Adam and Eve were in fact historical, they were not the sole parents of all humanity but part of a larger population.” (p. 59) After refuting several specific arguments for Intelligent Design in his final chapter, Venema suggests that biological evolution is “God’s grand design for creating life,” even though “it is not something that science can speak to.” He suggests that, in Romans 1, “Paul calls us to see God in what we know, not in what we don’t know,” paraphrasing a Dietrich Bonhoeffer quote. Scot McKnight begins his half of the book by wondering “whether traditional interpretations of Genesis 1-2 were perhaps well intended but misguided and in need of rethinking.” (p. 95) McKnight believes that science forces us to pause long enough to question our assumptions about how to read Genesis 1-3. He then clarifies what is meant by “historical” Adam and Eve, in contrast to “archetypal,” “genealogical,” or “literary” Adam and Eve. McKnight then discusses at length how Genesis 1&2 were seen in the context of Ancient Near East creation stories., followed by a chapter on the many Adams of Jewish literature up to and shortly after the time of Paul. In his final chapter, McKnight suggests that the primary issue is how Paul uses Adam in Romans 5:21-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45-49. He asks how we got to a belief in original sin (a.k.a. original sin nature, original guilt) and whether it is necessary to have a historical Adam to have the Christian doctrine of salvation. To answer these questions, McKnight focuses on Romans 5:12, starting by discussing the Latin mistranslation of the Greek text (“in whom” vs. the more accurate “because”, upon which Augustine build his doctrine of original sin. McKnight concludes that Paul’s Adam is “the literary Adam of Genesis filtered through the Jewish tradition of interpreting Adam as the archetypal, moral, and exemplary Adam who both unleashes sin into the world by his own sin and at the same time forms a model for each human being” (p. 187), but not the historical Adam. I recommend this book for any Christian who believes that they have to choose between the Bible and science, particularly because of the recent developments in genetics that question the traditional belief in Adam and Eve as the sole progenitors of the human race. This book proposes a much needed way to harmonize the Bible and science. This book would have been even better if it had been blessed with footnotes instead of cursed with end notes.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    I approached this book as an Old Earth creationist (OEC), but having read other books about evolutionary creationism (EC), I was curious to see how this book might answer both the scientific and theological questions that theory raises. I was much more satisfied with the scientific answers than the theological answers. The first half of the book, written by Dr. Dennis Venema, does a good job in laying out the genetic evidence we have for believing that humans arose through the evolutionary proces I approached this book as an Old Earth creationist (OEC), but having read other books about evolutionary creationism (EC), I was curious to see how this book might answer both the scientific and theological questions that theory raises. I was much more satisfied with the scientific answers than the theological answers. The first half of the book, written by Dr. Dennis Venema, does a good job in laying out the genetic evidence we have for believing that humans arose through the evolutionary process. Proponents of other origin theories would be wise to account for this sort of evidence in their theories, because it does seem to make a strong case. Venema spends almost an entire chapter addressing some particular arguments from the Intelligent Design camp, though he doesn't specifically address any other viewpoints (YEC/OEC) at anywhere near the same level of detail. In all, Venema's half of the book was interesting and eye-opening. McKnight's half of the book was disappointing, not because he didn't ask the right questions, but because he didn't give a particularly great answer. Critics of evolutionary origins of mankind quickly jump to Paul's passage in Romans 5 as a biblical argument for a "historical" Adam - one who is the actual ancestor of all mankind. McKnight recognizes this, but his answer is more of a deflection instead of a head-on rebuttal. McKnight goes to lengths (mostly from the OT Apocrypha) to show that 1st century Jewish thoughts on Adam were less of the "historical" Adam we think of today, and more of an "archetypical" Adam; therefore, Paul would have had this archetypical Adam in mind when he wrote Romans. I didn't think the linkage between McKnight's theological case and Venema's scientific case was particularly strong, which made for a disappointing end to this book. I would still recommend this book to others interested in the study of human origins or the debate over various creation models, not least because the scientific evidence presented in this book ought to be addressed by proponents of other creation models.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Roo Phillips

    This book is written by two Christians, one a trained biologist and the other a theologian. The first half covers organic evolution and the second half covers "historical" Adam. The two authors are extremely knowledgeable in their fields, even a little too knowledgeable. I withheld one star because both authors go a little too detailed/academic in their analysis and it gets a little boring or longwinded in parts. That said, it is interesting to read two pro-evolution perspectives from Christian This book is written by two Christians, one a trained biologist and the other a theologian. The first half covers organic evolution and the second half covers "historical" Adam. The two authors are extremely knowledgeable in their fields, even a little too knowledgeable. I withheld one star because both authors go a little too detailed/academic in their analysis and it gets a little boring or longwinded in parts. That said, it is interesting to read two pro-evolution perspectives from Christian scholars. It is particularly interesting to see how they come to the conclusion that Adam is most likely an archetypal figure (and Eve), rather than historical. It does not diminish their faith, however, and they show how science and religion can still be in harmony when it comes to evolution.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lucas G.

    The subtitle of this book is "Reading Scripture after Genetic Science," and that pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the goal of this book. It is separated into two parts that largely operate independently of one another. In the first section, Venema - a biologist - presents the scientific case for evolution. For the most part, he emphasizes the genetic evidence for common ancestry. The key point in relation to Christianity is that this requires the human population to be hund The subtitle of this book is "Reading Scripture after Genetic Science," and that pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the goal of this book. It is separated into two parts that largely operate independently of one another. In the first section, Venema - a biologist - presents the scientific case for evolution. For the most part, he emphasizes the genetic evidence for common ancestry. The key point in relation to Christianity is that this requires the human population to be hundreds of thousands of years old and have always contained greater than 6000 members. Of course, this presents a challenge to an understanding of an historical Adam and Eve. McKnight - a New Testament Scholar - picks up in the second half by presenting his understanding of what scripture says about Adam and Eve in light of this scientific evidence. In short, he takes as true everything Venema presents, and explains why it shouldn't be considered a challenge to a biblical understanding of Adam and Eve. The key point he makes is that we ought to interpret the text in the proper historical context. The bulk of his discussion is spent demonstrating how - when properly contextualized - the Bible shouldn't be understood to teach an historical Adam and Eve. Instead, Adam and Eve are largely literary and archetypal. Granted, he does admit that the biblical authors probably viewed Adam and Eve as real people, but he rejects the notion that any doctrine (such as the doctrines of sin and salvation) rely on Adam and Eve being genetic ancestors of all of humanity. Parts of this book are really good. Other parts are really frustrating. Both Venema and McKnight do a good job at being sensible to the concerns people have when it comes to science and scripture. They correctly see a problem in Christians being raised to fear science. And they both clearly lay out their main points in a manner accessible to any reader. With that said, there was a sense of condescension from both authors. Venema, when criticizing his opponents in the Intelligent Design community, dismissed all disagreement as coming from either ignorance or fear. These types of comments are distasteful (not to mention untrue) and distract from the otherwise respectful content. McKnight similarly comes off as condescending time and time again. Before presenting his preferred approach to interpreting a passage, he frequently states that it is the required result of any "honest and respectful" reading of scripture. Frankly, that type of judgment should be left up to the reader. To throw that at the reader before providing them with the justification is intellectually abusive. Now I'm sure this wasn't his intention, but it really left a bad impression on me. Even when I agreed with him, I found myself unhappy with him. Furthermore, his arguments are very brief, and generally unconvincing to anyone who doesn't already agree with him. Had he presented his positions as mere possibilities, I think his defenses could have been sufficient. But as it stands, they leave too much unanswered. In the end, I'd still probably recommend this book to anyone wanting to see how a couple of Christian scholars handle the question of evolution and Christianity. There certainly are some great insights - both by Venema and by McKnight. But it isn't the most enjoyable read on the topic, so that should be considered before reading it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    The book is written in two halves: I had hoped for more conclusions from Venema, but he had a lot of good insights about the conclusions of genetic biology about what DNA can tell us about the relationships between species, the age of the modern human race, and the size of the emerging human population at that time. 3/5 for a bit too much explanation that didn’t seem relevant. McKnight’s half of the book was excellent as he explored the different ways that Adam has been treated historically, in bo The book is written in two halves: I had hoped for more conclusions from Venema, but he had a lot of good insights about the conclusions of genetic biology about what DNA can tell us about the relationships between species, the age of the modern human race, and the size of the emerging human population at that time. 3/5 for a bit too much explanation that didn’t seem relevant. McKnight’s half of the book was excellent as he explored the different ways that Adam has been treated historically, in both biblical and extra-biblical literature, with special attention to Paul. He concludes that Adam is overwhelmingly literary and typological, also becoming viewed genealogically. The main question I was left with was why/how Adam would have moved from a literary to a genealogical figure. I saw Dr. McKnight shortly after finishing the book and asked him about this. The dissatisfying but honest answer is that we don’t know. 5/5

  10. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight join together to provide an introductory examination of a topic that has become, and will only become more, critical as we scientifically progress as a people. The mapping of the human genome was a quantum leap for genetic science, and the repercussions reverberated far beyond laboratories and the hard sciences. With such a radical reorientation of how humans interpret the book of nature, it is only appropriate to consider the impact on how we interpret the book o Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight join together to provide an introductory examination of a topic that has become, and will only become more, critical as we scientifically progress as a people. The mapping of the human genome was a quantum leap for genetic science, and the repercussions reverberated far beyond laboratories and the hard sciences. With such a radical reorientation of how humans interpret the book of nature, it is only appropriate to consider the impact on how we interpret the book of God's special revelation. The need of a work like "Adam and the Genome" is undeniable, and McKnight and Venema are up to the task. Venema spends the first half of the book examining genetic science and presenting a positive case for naturally guided human evolution. If you have been studying biology or genetics to any significant degree, there is nothing groundbreaking here. But it is a great summary of genetic science as it relates to evolution. Its greatest quality might be the manner in which Venema presents complex scientific data and theory so that it is accessible to any willing to put in the effort. More so, Venema presents the basis for the following section that investigates the epistemological and ontological implications of modern biology's greatest feat. This is where McKnight jumps in. He is admittedly no scientist, but he is a theologian with significant insight and a manner of presentation saturated with grace. I significantly disagree with McKnight on a number of theological conclusions (denial of original sin being a big one!), but the manner in which he examines these issues in light of genetic science is profitable to emulate, whether the results mirror his conclusions or totally contradict them. I have accused Dispensational theology of imposing itself with a hyper-literal reading that ignores the historical and culture context of the author and the text. I have been guilty of that myself in many ways with many Scriptural passages, and even if I remain unconvinced of the certainty of evolutionary theory, I am convinced of the necessity to remove as much as possible the cultural blinders that keep me from reading the Bible as it is intended to be read. if that is the totality of the impact this book has upon me, it will have been time well spent. But I have a feeling that its reverberations will be a bit more far-reaching. ARC provided for review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    An excellent book that identifies how data from modern genetics and the human genome project support the theory that modern humans have evolved from other primates and what this means to Biblical interpretation. The book is co-written by a geneticist (Dennis R. Venema) and a theologian (Scot McKnight). For conservative Christians the recent findings seem to be a threat to the traditional reading of Genesis, where all of humanity are descendents of a single human couple, Adam and Eve, that were c An excellent book that identifies how data from modern genetics and the human genome project support the theory that modern humans have evolved from other primates and what this means to Biblical interpretation. The book is co-written by a geneticist (Dennis R. Venema) and a theologian (Scot McKnight). For conservative Christians the recent findings seem to be a threat to the traditional reading of Genesis, where all of humanity are descendents of a single human couple, Adam and Eve, that were created de novo by God less than 10,000 years ago. Modern genetics not only suggests that human origins go back much further in time, but also, given the current genetic diversity in the human population, that we are descended from a population of ancestors comprising no less than about 10,000 individuals. Such findings clearly question the literal interpretation of the Genesis story of Adam and Eve. Once the scientific facts are established by Venema, McKnight then explores the implications for Biblical interpretation. To make a long story short, McKnight makes the argument that an "historical" Adam is not consistent with the genetic evidence, and that this can be accomodated theologically. The theological analysis of the uses of the Adam (and Eve) story by numerous Jewish writers is used to show that many of them did not seem to view Adam as a historical figure, but more as an archetype of humankind. McKnight then moves to the New Testament use of Adam, focusing mostly on Paul, where Adam is also most clearly used as a archetype. McKnight tries to make the argument that neither previous Jewish writers, not Paul, see Adam in the context of the source of original sin that was passed down (genetically) to all humanity. The theological portion of the book is quite complex and the nuanced ways that Adam is viewed by Biblical and Apocryphal authors can be hard to follow at times, but I think it is important to struggle through it. If science can definitively say the things it seems to say about human ancestry and origins, then we must find other ways of interpreting and relating to the story of Adam and Eve and how their story relates to sin and the plan of salvation. If, as the authors contend, God's book of nature is compatible with the written word of God (scripture), there must be a theological solution to any apparent conflicts between the two.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    When I was in high school I was a staunch antievolutionist. I once wrote arguments against evolution, printed them out, and put them on my classmates' desks in biology class. I got really angry at my teachers when they seemed to condescendingly treat religious belief as second-class: relegating religious belief to "what one is convinced of" as opposed to the scientific belief that one "knows." I eventually just stopped thinking about it and haven't really returned to the subject. But as I read th When I was in high school I was a staunch antievolutionist. I once wrote arguments against evolution, printed them out, and put them on my classmates' desks in biology class. I got really angry at my teachers when they seemed to condescendingly treat religious belief as second-class: relegating religious belief to "what one is convinced of" as opposed to the scientific belief that one "knows." I eventually just stopped thinking about it and haven't really returned to the subject. But as I read this book I felt that the authors are people who understand the fear that I had, and the theological issues at stake. Behind the argument within Christianity about evolution stand huge questions about the authority of scripture, and the necessity of the gospel message (primarily as understood by American evangelicalism). Because of this, the evolutionary challenge is a challenge that strikes to the core of many people's worldview stories, and has the potential to shake believers into a state of despair. The authors recognize this, and because of this they approach this issue in a pastoral as well as an intellectual way. Now, I don't think a book is sufficient to walk someone through what can be a massive worldview change like this. I'll admit personally that even though I think the evidence is there, subjectively speaking I'm not completely comfortable with the idea of evolution as the origin of our species yet. But for people who already feel the challenge, perhaps because they are involved in the natural sciences, I think this would be a very helpful book. The first half of the book lays out some evidence for evolution, especially drawing on evidence discovered through genome sequencing. To be honest, I can't really tell if the scientific discussion here is too technical or not technical enough. I worked in a lab that did genome sequencing for a few years, so I was familiar with a lot of the terminology. But for someone with little to no experience with genetics... would they have been able to follow the discussion? Not sure. In any case, the evidence is pretty striking, but I also got the feeling that this was just a high level overview. That this book was written by two authors is very apparent, as in the second half Scot McKnight mostly doesn't discuss evolution directly, but instead mostly discusses the concept of the "historical Adam" and whether such a concept is implied by Paul in his typological argument in Romans 5. Of great value is McKnight's definition of what is meant by the historical Adam- not only because the term is often vague, but also because his definition pinpoints one of the key anxieties that Christians feel towards the evolutionary challenge to the historical Adam. That is, the historical Adam is perceived as necessary to the gospel because our ancestry to Adam explains the way in which all of humanity has fallen into sin, making the redemption of the gospel necessary. McKnight concludes, of course, that such an Adam is not implied by Paul, and that indeed it would be anachronistic to expect that he would imply such an Adam. McKnight makes this move by arguing that the idea of an inherited sin nature is not actually original to the text of Genesis 1-3, and was also not an idea common to interpretations of Genesis prior to Augustine. Instead, he argues that the Genesis account of Adam functions as a literary archetype or pattern which all humanity, by sinning against God, follows. The mechanism by which this pattern of sin propagates is not a point of interest for Paul or the writer of Genesis. I think this argument is made well, but I wonder if the true source of the discomfort that evangelicals feel with evolution lies at a deeper level. Perhaps the discomfort arises at the suggestion that scientific knowledge ("general revelation") can claim to challenge an established theological doctrine ("special revelation", or an interpretation thereof) at all. Maybe this suggestion feels too close to the atheists' claim that science has made religious belief obsolete. Against this suggestion, I think that arguments about the philosophy of science and the limits of what science is able to assert (including Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism) can help assuage some discomfort. A second major discomfort may stem from confusion at what Paul's reading of Genesis means for the nature of scripture, and for how Christian community ought to read scripture. McKnight's exegesis of Paul implies that Paul and other Jewish interpreters did not read Genesis by sticking just to "the literal sense of the text" insisted on by fundamentalists today. Richard Hays in Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul argues similarly that Paul also read other parts of the old testament in "figurative" or perhaps even "mythical" ways (in the good sense) instead of "literally." What does this mean for how we ought to read scripture today? For me, this is an open question and one of great interest to me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tim Stafford

    Half on genetic science, half on Scriptural Adam (Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight). Pretty heavy reading on both halves, but quite educational.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nick Paine

    An interesting read exploring the relationship between the Biblical account of human origins with the scientific evidence from genetics. The outline of the book is a bit peculiar—it almost reads like two entirely different books as it is split exactly down the middle with the two authors each writing a respective part. The first part, authored by the scientist, Dennis Venema, is more or less a description of the genetic data relating to the human genome in particular, and it is followed by a defe An interesting read exploring the relationship between the Biblical account of human origins with the scientific evidence from genetics. The outline of the book is a bit peculiar—it almost reads like two entirely different books as it is split exactly down the middle with the two authors each writing a respective part. The first part, authored by the scientist, Dennis Venema, is more or less a description of the genetic data relating to the human genome in particular, and it is followed by a defense of the standard Neo-Darwinian explanations of human origins as the best theory for explaining those datum. The central scientific point which Venema tries to make clear is that, “Put most simply, DNA evidence indicates that humans descend from a large population because we, as a species, are so genetically diverse in the present day that a large ancestral population is needed to transmit that diversity to us. To date, every genetic analysis estimating ancestral population sizes has agreed that we descend from a population of thousands, not a single ancestral couple” (p.55). This central thesis of modern geneticists obviously rubs up against the traditional understanding of Adam and Eve as they relate to the rest of humanity. Hence, the reason for this book—to explore that rub. The second part was written by the theologian, Scot McKnight. In it, he advances several theses which are meant to lend credence to a non-literalistic reading of the primal history of Genesis 1-11 (1-3 in particular). He appeals to ancient Near-Eastern texts as well as traditional Jewish interpretations to bolster his main contention—that Paul, following the Jewish tradition before him, primarily (if not exclusively) viewed Adam as a literary figure. He argues further that even if Paul did incidentally think Adam to be the solitary historical parent of the entire human race, his theology does not depend upon Adam’s historicity. As a Protestant who does not hold strongly to Augustinian soteriology or to the broader reformed tradition, I have agreed with that second notion for some time now, so that was nothing very profound to me. But I was left wanting on McKnight’s contention that Adam was strictly used as a literary figure by Paul (and Jesus for that matter). Perhaps other authors could argue this case more persuasively? In summary, I found the first part of this book to be very helpful to me as a lay person who did not know two hoots about genetics before picking this book up. Venema presented the scientific data in a clear way and presented his interpretation of that data in charitable and light-hearted way. I also thought he did a fairly compelling job of it. The second part was less helpful for me. McKnight’s arguments were just not as philosophically tight as I like, but he did presented some interesting interpretive information that I need to think over. The following rant is for free... I feel strongly that Christians should engage the science about genetic diversity (and everything else for that matter) in an honest way, and let the evidence lie where it may. I believe with the Psalmist that God has created the universe and that it displays his workmanship (Psalm 19). The data that we collect from the observation of that universe (science) tells us about God. I also believe hat God has become incarnated as a human, and that this God-man, Jesus of Nazareth, was resurrected from death, thus vindicating his claims. Jesus claimed that the Jewish Scriptures taught the truth about humanity and God, and the first followers of Jesus continued to write in that tradition after Jesus’ departure. Thus, I believe that the Scriptures tell us about God. So, the question is, when science and the Bible seem to butt heads, should Christians foist down one source of knowledge about God in favor of the other? God is coherent and integrated, and my contention is that such a move is to be dishonest and dis-integrated. Will science raise new questions about how to interpret the Bible? Of course, it always has (remember the old geocentricism debate?). Those questions should be welcomed and pursued. Will the Bible raise new questions about how to interpret scientific data? Of course, it always has (divinely intended or blindly purposeless cosmos?). Those questions should be welcomed and pursued. To quote Venema, “If indeed nature and Scripture have the same author, as Christians affirm, then there cannot, ultimately, be any disagreement between what we “read” in one book and what we read in the other” (p. 8).

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kristine Johnson

    Adam and the Genome by Dennis R, Venema and Scot McKnight A friend of mine says that if your theology conflicts with reality, reality isn’t the problem. Throughout history, there have been examples of this as we learn new things about our universe. In Adam and the Genome, Dr. Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight look at our current knowledge of genetic science and our understanding of Scripture. Chapters 1-4, written by Dr. Venema, discuss the science. Chapters 5-8, written by Scot McKnight, address t Adam and the Genome by Dennis R, Venema and Scot McKnight A friend of mine says that if your theology conflicts with reality, reality isn’t the problem. Throughout history, there have been examples of this as we learn new things about our universe. In Adam and the Genome, Dr. Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight look at our current knowledge of genetic science and our understanding of Scripture. Chapters 1-4, written by Dr. Venema, discuss the science. Chapters 5-8, written by Scot McKnight, address the theological aspects. Chapter 1 Evolution as a Scientific Theory Dr. Venema starts with his personal journey and then addresses several frequent misconceptions about evolution. I appreciated how he explained what it means for an idea in science to be “just a theory.” It means that the idea is supported by all of the known evidence, well tested, and not falsified. He uses a couple of examples in the chapter and the way predictions of the theory of evolution helped scientists understand that some fish evolved to be land animals (tetrapods) and some land animals evolved to be water dwellers (cetaceans). Chapter 2 Genomes as Language, Genomes as Books This chapter shows how language development is an analogy to understanding that evolution is a gradual change in a population over time. I liked how he compared a well-known Bible verse from various English translations across the centuries to show how English gradually changes. Then he did the same but looked at the genomes of various organisms. Chapter 3 Adam’s Last Stand? Dr. Venema picks up on another common misunderstanding about evolution and explains that evolution is a population-level process, including the evolution of humans. This chapter discusses data related to the ancestral population sizes based on the amount and nature of diversity in the alleles. Humans have always existed in a population of at least 10,000 individuals. Chapter 4 What About Intelligent Design? Dr. Michael Behe and Dr. Stephen Meyer have been prominent voices in the Intelligent Design community, championing the ideas of irreducible complexity and information comes from a mind as defeaters of evolution. Dr. Venema addresses both of their false claims and shows how complexity and biological information can be produced by evolutionary mechanisms. Chapter 5 Adam, Eve, and the Genome: Four Principles for Reading the Bible after the Human Genome Project Scot McKnight takes over for the second half of the book. He asks what the church pastors, Bible professors, and biblical scholars should do, given the overwhelming evidence for human evolution from a population never less than 10,000 individuals. He proposes that rather than an either/or choice between accepting the scientific evidence or believing the Bible, there’s a better way: letting each discipline speak its own language. His four principles are: 1) Respect, 2) Honesty, 3) Sensitivity to the Student of Science, and 4) The Primacy of Scripture. Chapter 6 Adam and Eve of Genesis in Their Context: 12 Theses McKnight says “Let the Bible be the Bible in its interactive relationship with the ancient Near East.” He reviews four ancient near eastern stories to get a flavor for the culture at that time. Then he goes on to describe 12 theses, or considerations, in reading Genesis 1-3 in context. Chapter 7 The Variety of Adams and Eves in the Jewish World Paul’s words in Romans 5 about sin entering the world through one man are often brought to the forefront in conversations about the age of the earth and evolution. This chapter looks at the way Jewish literature would have influence Paul’s perspective on Adam and Eve. Chapter 8 Adam, the Genome, and the Apostle Paul This chapter digs deeper into Romans 5 to examine its actual teaching and claims. McKnight adds an additional 5 theses on the portrayal of Adam. In conclusion, he advocates for reading the Bible in context, letting it be prima scriptura, and being considerate of those who are scientifically inclined. I highly recommend Adam and the Genome both to better understand genomic science and to understand the context of the Bible where it discusses Adam (and Eve).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Josiah Richardson

    Genetics is a problem for Christians. At least it is a problem for concordist young earth creationists and soft-concordist old earth creationists. Genetics tells us the opposite of what we should be finding if we are looking for a consistency between our scientific understanding and our scriptural understanding. Maybe we aren't. But if we are, there is a great deal to be done in terms of exegeting Paul's epistolary writings in a way that doesn't conform to our previously held understanding of wh Genetics is a problem for Christians. At least it is a problem for concordist young earth creationists and soft-concordist old earth creationists. Genetics tells us the opposite of what we should be finding if we are looking for a consistency between our scientific understanding and our scriptural understanding. Maybe we aren't. But if we are, there is a great deal to be done in terms of exegeting Paul's epistolary writings in a way that doesn't conform to our previously held understanding of what he meant about Human Origins and death. It is often said that those who oppose a concordist view of scripture are reading science into scripture instead of the other way around. Unless you're a presuppositionalist, I fail to see why this is an issue or why it should be defended. *We do this every day*. We take our known knowledge of the world, of miracles, the cosmos, and everything else and import it into our interpretation of scripture. We all do this; the issue is whether we are doing it with correct information or not. Venema writes the first half of this book, giving the reader a background of basic genetics and how advances in this field over the last 30 years or so have transformed the way we do genetics today. We've made more advances scientifically in the last 30 years in human origins than we have in the past 1500 years combined and the information we have now must be dealt with. Both sides have to admit to the following statement: If the genetic information we possess today concerning the human genome and the ability to determine mitochondrial and chromosomal DNA throughout history, looking ad deletions and insertions in the genetic code, rewinding recombinant DNA through the years, and successfully testing models like CRISPR and DICER - If all that is false, then our view needs serious modifications. But if it's true.. then everything we knew about human origins from a creationist standpoint needs to be abandoned. The second half of this book assumed the latter case and seeks to show how scripture already coincides with this information. McKnight offers several chapters to deal with the historical understanding of origins. If you don't have a science background, this part of the book will be much more approachable. McKnight acknowledges the fact that there is still a lot of theological ground to cover in this area, and understanding which view of Adam, which view of origins, and which view of creation is most consistent with the testimony of scripture. Both the good and the bad part about this is that while McKnight covers a variety of approaches, he doesn't really stand on one view and give a defense of it which would have been helpful. Still, this book is a stepping stone. Careful walking is needed so we don't slip. Venema and McKnight are very cautious and don't make many waves other than just presenting the scientific evidence and showing how scripture is not contradicted by science, though it does not address every new finding or phenomenon that we uncover through the years.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Barry

    Divided into two parts, Adam and the Genome works to convince readers of the truth of Darwinian evolution and then works to reconcile that with the biblical view of Adam. The first part, the science part, is written by Mr. Venema, and it is well-written. Concise, conclusive, and persuasive, it rates 4 stars. The two negatives from the first half are A) it fails to address some of the larger problems of Darwinian evolution (like spontaneous generation) and focuses solely on the genetic evidence. T Divided into two parts, Adam and the Genome works to convince readers of the truth of Darwinian evolution and then works to reconcile that with the biblical view of Adam. The first part, the science part, is written by Mr. Venema, and it is well-written. Concise, conclusive, and persuasive, it rates 4 stars. The two negatives from the first half are A) it fails to address some of the larger problems of Darwinian evolution (like spontaneous generation) and focuses solely on the genetic evidence. This is fine, except B) there are spots of very dense science-speak, during which I wondered if Mr. Venema was trying to pull a fast one on readers to gloss over some difficult to explain away aspects of evolution. Still, Mr. Venema makes a humble, compelling case for the veracity of Darwinian evolution resulting in the creation of humans. After this rousing first half of the book, I was expecting an equally rousing second-half to explain - if evolution really is true - what that does to our perception of Adam, original sin, and man-as-the-image-of-God. Though Mr. McNight touches on each of these areas, he spends 3/4 of his time talking about Adam. I suppose that would be fine, except he could have addressed everything he did about Adam in one essay-length paper or a short chapter. What we got was overkill. Also what we got was the glossing over of very important concepts of sin and the image of God. If people actually evolved from apes, what does the Bible mean when it says we are created in God's image and fearfully and wonderfully made? If people have evolved from apes, then clearly death, and lots of it, happened before mankind first sinned. While this proposal isn't exclusive to pro-evolutionary thought, there are some Scriptures that need explaining if evolution is true. The result of Mr. McNight's portion is that I came away thinking that he's not really sure how to handle the idea of sin, death, and image of God in meaningful ways. It's fine to admit that you aren't sure, but just glossing over these key parts doesn't make for a compelling presentation. I rate Mr. McNight's part 2 stars. All told, this is an interesting book, and I'm really glad I read the first half. I would like to see some critical engagement of the science part, but it was well worth the read. The second half of the book could have been summed up into one short chapter and given more space to other topics, but it was interesting to read about Jewish views of Adam so it wasn't a waste of time.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Paul C.

    Dealing heavily with the “set-in-stone” dichotomy between Science and Scripture (or more specifically evolution and Scripture), Scientist Dennis R. Venema and New Testament scholar Scot McKnight have created a book which very well may challenge previous assumptions Christians have concerning science, the Apostle Paul, and the Edenic story. While both agree with the theory of evolution, they are not afraid to critique the arrogance common in those who align with the “New Atheism” (Richard Dawkin’ Dealing heavily with the “set-in-stone” dichotomy between Science and Scripture (or more specifically evolution and Scripture), Scientist Dennis R. Venema and New Testament scholar Scot McKnight have created a book which very well may challenge previous assumptions Christians have concerning science, the Apostle Paul, and the Edenic story. While both agree with the theory of evolution, they are not afraid to critique the arrogance common in those who align with the “New Atheism” (Richard Dawkin’s guild) as well as those Christians who feel themselves superior to those who hold a creationist view. Can Belief in Evolution and Belief in Christ Coexist? The book is split in two, with Venema taking the reins in the opening chapters which deal extensively with science while McKnight closes with his chapters focused on theology and the Apostle Paul. In the first half, Venema observes that once upon a time there existed no dichotomy between following where Science leads and simultaneously being dedicated to what the Christian Scriptures say; that there was a time when “science was seen as praiseworthy activity for a Christian”, faith in God acting as a motivation for scientific pursuit rather than a stumbling block to it. “Regrettably, evangelical communities seem largely to have lost these convictions for some areas of science” says Venema (p. 8). Challenging how quickly Christians disregard evolution as just a theory, Venema gets very technical (he is a scientist after all) which will make all those who love science very happy indeed (all you science nerds know who you are). Personally I was longing to get to the theological section since science was my worst subject in school. All of the science discussion was bringing me back to those days when my science teachers would speak to me in their foreign tongue while I pretended to listen and advanced in my drawing skills. In McKnight’s chapters he firstly makes a defense for the reconciliation many have made between the sworn enemies of Christianity and evolution, noting his interactions with a large number of scientists who are devout followers of Jesus and who find there to be no dichotomy between evolution and faith in God. Many, McKnight informs the reader, remain closeted due to the general attitude towards evolution held by Christians. “I found these Christian scientists to be faithful in their discipleship and humble in their knowledge of science, but clearheaded in believing that, while science didn’t offer all the answers, there was very good evidence to trust much of what was being claimed” (p. 95). With this “humbleness” by many of these Christian scientists noted, it becomes ironic when Bible-thumping fundamentalists take on a superiority of their own while accusing scientists of intellectual pride. Of course this goes both ways as I have had my fair share of encounters with Christian evolutionists who view themselves superior to those petty creationists, those literalists. Praise where Praise is due McKnight utilizes stellar scholarship and presents his conclusions with great writing skill and wit. If his conclusions are in fact correct, there are great implications and ramifications for the church and the way we view the Edenic story. I certainly don’t have my mind made up with what is presented in Adam and the Genome as it has given me much to think about (as I said in passing to McKnight in an email, this book is equally intriguing as well as mind boggling). While I’m currently not on the same page as McKnight concerning his leanings that the Edenic story doesn’t really have anything (or much?) to do with a sin transfer from Adam/Eve to the human race, I do understand the point he is pressing; that we’ve been taught (rather we’ve been programmed) to believe certain things concerning the creation narratives that are not always implicitly there. We may have more of a ‘Sunday school-inherited’ faith than we’d care to admit concerning the creation story. IN CLOSING… I recommend this book to any Christian who wants to honestly think about science in its relation to Christian faith. No matter where you stand on this issue, this book is still a great resource if you want to understand one side of this debate, giving a fair hearing to those who in fact find there to be no dichotomy. *I received my copy from Brazos Press in exchange for an honest assessment

  19. 4 out of 5

    Frank Peters

    The premise behind the book is one that I heartily agree with: God and Science are not incompatible; rather as has been believed by the many, many Christian scientists through the centuries God has revealed himself two ways: through His word (the Bible) and through His creation (thus science). The book was written by a scientist, (biologist) Dennis Venema, and a theologian, Scot McKnight. The first half of the book was the scientific part and while is started well, Venema ended up writing in the The premise behind the book is one that I heartily agree with: God and Science are not incompatible; rather as has been believed by the many, many Christian scientists through the centuries God has revealed himself two ways: through His word (the Bible) and through His creation (thus science). The book was written by a scientist, (biologist) Dennis Venema, and a theologian, Scot McKnight. The first half of the book was the scientific part and while is started well, Venema ended up writing in the style of Richard Dawkins or Jason Lisle (a young earth creationist), which is to say that he suggests that anyone who disagreed with him is an idiot. Thus, by the time I was half way through the book I was rather unimpressed with the delivery. Venema insists that it is a scientific impossibility that a historic Adam and Eve are possible based on modern genetics. Being a physicist, I cannot comment on the genetics, but note that he is being debated by a fellow named Buggs who does not agree. It will be interesting to see how that debate ends. http://www.richardbuggs.com/email-to-... http://biologos.org/blogs/dennis-vene... The second part of the book was by Scot McKnight, who I like and respect. His style was much more pleasant, humble, and gracious. However, this part of the book was unsatisfying, and I was completely unconvinced. For the best theological underpinning for theistic evolution I would recommend Walton or Schroeder. So ultimately, I am not at all impressed with the book, even as I agree wholeheartedly with the reason the book was written, as highlighted in the afterward.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joel Wentz

    An ambitious book by two "heavyweight" Christian scholars, but one that is sorely needed. In reality, this actually reads like two separate books - one on genetic science and one on the theology of Genesis 1-3 and Romans 5. However, combining them into one volume was a brilliant decision, even if it makes for dense reading. I entered this book very open to the idea of theistically-guided-evolution, and the first 4 chapters convinced me. The chapter on the problems with "intelligent design" was pa An ambitious book by two "heavyweight" Christian scholars, but one that is sorely needed. In reality, this actually reads like two separate books - one on genetic science and one on the theology of Genesis 1-3 and Romans 5. However, combining them into one volume was a brilliant decision, even if it makes for dense reading. I entered this book very open to the idea of theistically-guided-evolution, and the first 4 chapters convinced me. The chapter on the problems with "intelligent design" was particularly illuminating. McKnight's contributions - especially the chapter summarizing the various historically-Jewish approaches to Adam - were also helpful, and he goes to great pains to zero in on the precise theological conundrum that evolutionary science leaves us with. Overall, I would absolutely not recommend this to the casual reader. I have a pretty high threshold for scientific data (and Venema does a good job at making it accessible) but even I had a difficult time trudging through the explanations at certain points. Similarly, some of McKnights chapters were on the dense-heady side. HOWEVER, if you are really keyed into the debate here, and are willing to put some work into a reading experience, then this is probably the best current book you could pick up! I put this down with much more knowledge and understanding, not only of the nature of the issues we are facing, but of how to talk about them intelligently.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Chandler

    I really enjoyed this book, but it took me a while to finish it up. Bringing together Venema and McKnight works really well. Both sections (science and theology) get fairly deep into the weeds at points. Luckily, both writers are skilled enough to make the most important points clear for us. I can't speak to the merits of Venema's science except to say that it appears to match the majority of evolutionary teaching that I've read. I'm sure creationists will hate it and naturalistic evolutionists I really enjoyed this book, but it took me a while to finish it up. Bringing together Venema and McKnight works really well. Both sections (science and theology) get fairly deep into the weeds at points. Luckily, both writers are skilled enough to make the most important points clear for us. I can't speak to the merits of Venema's science except to say that it appears to match the majority of evolutionary teaching that I've read. I'm sure creationists will hate it and naturalistic evolutionists will be upset that he's using evolution to point towards a theistic understanding of the world. Still, he helps us answer common objections people have to evolution and also shares some of his own story and what it was like to go from someone who rejected evolution to someone who now uses it as a central part of his teaching and research. McKnight, as always, is able to help walk us through some difficult text and encourage us to think critically at familiar passages. His chapter on Jewish writings about Adam was exhausting, but the rest of his chapters are carefully crafted. It's clear the areas people will have disagreements about, but he makes no unsubstantiated claims about Adam. He merely makes room within Orthodox faith for people who believe in evolution and want to take Scripture seriously.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elvir

    This book was very informative concerning the discussion of faith and science. The purpose of the book was to interact with the theory of evolution evidenced and supported by science (especially through the mapping of the genome) and the Judeo-Christian faith concerning our "first parents" Adam and Eve. The book is broken up in two parts: the science side written by Dr. Dennis Venema and the theology side written by Dr. Scot McKnight (both of whom are masters in their field). The science portion This book was very informative concerning the discussion of faith and science. The purpose of the book was to interact with the theory of evolution evidenced and supported by science (especially through the mapping of the genome) and the Judeo-Christian faith concerning our "first parents" Adam and Eve. The book is broken up in two parts: the science side written by Dr. Dennis Venema and the theology side written by Dr. Scot McKnight (both of whom are masters in their field). The science portion of the book was explained so plainly and simply that even a theology student could understand and the theology portion of the book was explained so plainly and simply that even a science student could understand. No matter which side of the debate you are in agreement with, this book is worth a read for anyone who is genuinely wrestling through the science vs faith debate. I think this book will give good insights into both fields and will encourage more wrestling and more conversation between faith and science.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Martin

    I should start by saying that I came to this book already affirming that the facts of biological evolution do not have to conflict with the biblical accounts of creation. Denis Venema and Scot McKnight have added a welcome voice to those who are helping us to understand how the perspectives of science and religion mesh together. The first part of the book is Venema explaining the nuts and bolts of how evolution works (i.e. it's not just "random"). This part was the easiest for me (I'm an M.D.). I should start by saying that I came to this book already affirming that the facts of biological evolution do not have to conflict with the biblical accounts of creation. Denis Venema and Scot McKnight have added a welcome voice to those who are helping us to understand how the perspectives of science and religion mesh together. The first part of the book is Venema explaining the nuts and bolts of how evolution works (i.e. it's not just "random"). This part was the easiest for me (I'm an M.D.). The second half of the book was McKnight going through scripture and dealing with some of the most difficult passages, especially those in Paul's letters that have been unfortunately interpreted by St. Augustine and others. I really enjoyed the book. The science might be a tough row to hoe for someone without much science background, but it's worth it. And McKnight's writing is clear, even when the subject starts to get dense. I recommend it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Seale

    This book is split into two parts: the first deals with genetics and its importance to theory of evolution; the second deals with the historical Adam and a theological treatise for its impact on our understanding of human origins. The first section is highly technical and while Venema makes some interesting points I didn’t find his arguments compelling. Granted, this could be bc I don’t fully understand the scientific treatise. The second section was theological and McKnight looks at Jewish unde This book is split into two parts: the first deals with genetics and its importance to theory of evolution; the second deals with the historical Adam and a theological treatise for its impact on our understanding of human origins. The first section is highly technical and while Venema makes some interesting points I didn’t find his arguments compelling. Granted, this could be bc I don’t fully understand the scientific treatise. The second section was theological and McKnight looks at Jewish understandings of Adam and finds a literary, genealogical, moral, exemplary, archetypal Adam in Paul. McKnight goes on to reject a traditional understanding of original sin, rather he finds each person complicit by their own actions. Overall I was not convinced by this book, but I am appreciative of the conversation. The issues of science and the Bible will not go away and must be addressed with a careful reading of Scripture and a diligent ear to the scientific community.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jaymin Ewens

    This read was quite the undertaking, but I'm extremely glad I had the opportunity. Having a deep love of science and a constant curiosity about the world has meant a lot of time spent in awe of God's design. This gives a great deal more context and explanation to something I was already processing on my own: God and science do not oppose each other (I never believed they did), and there's a plenty of room (and evidence) for evolution to be God's creative and amazing way of bringing the world's c This read was quite the undertaking, but I'm extremely glad I had the opportunity. Having a deep love of science and a constant curiosity about the world has meant a lot of time spent in awe of God's design. This gives a great deal more context and explanation to something I was already processing on my own: God and science do not oppose each other (I never believed they did), and there's a plenty of room (and evidence) for evolution to be God's creative and amazing way of bringing the world's creatures (including humans) about.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Thomas C. Long

    Help for people conflicted by religion and science The first scientific chapters are just that - scientific. They are very heavy reading but lay the groundwork for the theological discussion that follows. By reading this book it is easy to see that there is no conflict between science and the Bible.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Talent

    Great science part, bad theology part, which was meandering and not really answering the question—just providing a lot of context, but to what? If you’re looking for something to synthesize science and the Bible, or answer your questions, just skim through this book. A great summary of the current state (circa late 2010s) of genetics for a layman though.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Really about a 3.5 for me. There were parts I loved, and it definitely gave me a lot to consider. But I did have to work painstakingly through some of the scientific and theological sections as much of it was above my head. There seems to be a lot of good in this, but unfortunately my brain just couldn't fully wrap around all of it. I would still recommend it to others. Really about a 3.5 for me. There were parts I loved, and it definitely gave me a lot to consider. But I did have to work painstakingly through some of the scientific and theological sections as much of it was above my head. There seems to be a lot of good in this, but unfortunately my brain just couldn't fully wrap around all of it. I would still recommend it to others.

  29. 4 out of 5

    George Parks

    An interesting look at the current best thinking from genomics that mankind descended from an initial population of around 10,000 rather than from a single couple. A scientist and theologian consider the validity of this hypothesis and its implications for evangelicals.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rocky Woolery

    Challenging, not to read but to the beliefs I hold. I must say that having Scot McKnight write from a theological point of view helps point out the possibilities of accepting Dennis Venema's accounting of current biological findings. Challenging, not to read but to the beliefs I hold. I must say that having Scot McKnight write from a theological point of view helps point out the possibilities of accepting Dennis Venema's accounting of current biological findings.

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