CT book review: Four ways of harmonizing Genesis and evolution

You got it. Just didn’t recognize it by that handle. Thanks.

I find all of that far fetched exceeded only by the idea of downloading people into software which I consider bonkers. I appreciate some sci for but not this. I think as a species we need to show we can make it work. Otherwise interstellar travel will feel like a viral outbreak.

So much of what we take for granted today, cell phone smart watches, AI software, virtual worlds… I can’t believe the level of realism I can experience on my PS5 even now… all of it would have been bonkers 200 years ago.

As far as making it work, if we can’t recognize the non-numerical value of infinity, or the coequal value of fairness and desert, I don’t have very high expectations.

1 Like

Like the voices in your head, there would still be no way to know it they are self-aware. They may claim to be, but that doesn’t actually settle the question.

There is every way. A self, whatever that is, subject to surgically or otherwise separated cerebral hemispheres, with a severed corpus collosum, shows considerable division of awareness. All manner of physical factors and psychological stress result in ‘hearing voices’, apart from in dream states. They are never transpersonal nowadays. It’s happened to me once, in a vulnerable situation.

I have companions in bluster from of old…

          Joy & Strength

This is worthy of reflection, as well: M & E, 8 April a.m.


That it is aware and unaware? Not so. It may be aware, unaware, or not yet aware.

Uh huh. I thought I was the gnomic one.


You missed one – at my age, it could be “forgotten that it was aware” or “unaware that it had been aware.” ; - )

1 Like

While I think Piper is right, his point is a great observation. But still no apology. It only make sense from the vantage point of faith.

Piper?! Right in any regard? Where?

That’s easy, duh! Two obvious things, if anyone is knowledgeable about him at all, is that desiring God (Desiring God) is a good thing and we are only impairing our own happiness if we don’t, and that looking forward to future grace (Future Grace) is great motivation!

From the vantage point of faith or an illuminated mind, it is vanity of vanities until we find our pleasure, meaning, and honor in him.

“You are great, Lord, and highly to be praised (Ps. 47: 2): great is your power and your wisdom is immeasurable’ (Ps. 146: 5). Man, a little piece of your creation, desires to praise you, a human being ‘bearing his mortality with him’ (2 Cor. 4: 10), carrying with him the witness of his sin and the witness that you ‘resist the proud’ (1 Pet. 5: 5). Nevertheless, to praise you is the desire of man, a little piece of your creation. You stir man to take pleasure in praising you, because you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”


And so, let us do just that with the Ephesians:

1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Enjoy a blessed Lord’s day!


Just got the eversion the other day and started it this evening. The introduction alone is a helpful, broad overview, like a contour map.
Chapter Headings reinforce that this is not just a list of canned views and makes no attempt to simiplify the complicated issues.:

  1. Scripture, Science and the Holy Spirit
  2. Creation, Evolution and Divine Action
  3. Suffering and Death before Humans
  4. Human Evolution
  5. The Soul, the Imago Dei, and Special Divine Action
  6. Adam and Eve in Scripture
  7. The Doctrine of Original Sin through Church History
  8. What is sin?
  9. What changed when Sin Began?
  10. Whose Fault is It?
  11. Difficult Questions for Each Type of Scenerio
    Conclusion: God’s Answer is Still Jesus

The chapter headings look very appealing.

  1. God directly created Adam and Eve, the first humans, a few thousand years ago.

Catching up on this thread.
Actually 750 ml. Whateve a “ml” is. :wink:

When did sin begin? Loren Haarsma

I finally managed to sit down for a while yesterday and finish chapter 1. I think this will be a valuable book for Christians (and particularly lay-people) who are grappling with understanding how concepts of “sin” and “original sin” fit within an evolutionary context.

Haarsma is clearly used to translating and teaching ideas to people who are hostile to them or simply don’t comprehend them. The first chapter is very thorough, setting up the background for the rest of the book. Some quotes and chapter-headings to give you a feel for this section:

Scripture, Science and the Holy Spirit
“Discoveries in science and archaeology are making the church reconsider this interpretation. The church has learned not to ignore the discoveries of science simply because they challenge long-held interpretations of particular passages of scripture. The churchhas also learned not to simply accept the first new intreptation of Scripture that fits with the new science.”
How Scripture Rightly Affects Science
“Some of the earliest scientists justified their belief in those foundational presuppositions of science because of what the Bible teaches.”
“Christians find in Scripture not only motivaton to study God’s creation but also teachiings that support the foundational principles for doint science.”
Theology, Not Science, Determines How We Reinterpret Scripture
“Science doesn’t dictate how we interpret Scripture. But science does sometimes alert us to new theological problems that we had not considered before.”
Principles for Intepreting Scripture
This section contains nothing “new” or surprising. YECers and IDers would probably agree to the very typical list of principles.
Historical Examples: Discoveries about the Earth and Solar System
“These hermeneutical methods helped the churchthrough several historical episodes in which the church’s traditional interpretation of certain passages conflicted with new scientific data.”
A painfully true quote from Augustine: “Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth,…and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, preseumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn.”
Hermenutics Informed by Knowledge of Ancient Cultures
“Because God spoke to them in a way they could understand, the theological message of Genesis 1 came through more clearly. This helped the people of Israel share their story with the surrounding cultures. They could communicate the essential truths of Genesis 1 to the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Babylonians in a way that those cultures, too, could easily understand.”
Calvin’s Principle of Accomodation: God Speaks “Baby Talk” to Us
This section provides a standard coverage of the topic. Again, nothing suprising, unless one is not already acquainted with the idea.
The “Plain Lesson” of Scripture (Not Necessarily the “Plain Reading”)
“God didn’t correct that picture [ANE cosmological picture] with modern scientific ideas. Instead, God told them what they needed to learn in a way they could understand.”
Celebrating God’s Accommodation
“We should be comforted by the idea that God communicated the authoritative message of scripture in ways that accomodate the sometimes-mistaken cultural beliefs of the original authors and audience. It’s another example of God’s grace. But this can be a scary idea at first.”
“We cannot avoid the influence our modern culture has on us as we read Scripture.”
This section includes a fictional example of how we can build doctrines based on cultural misunderstandings, which may/will later lead to conflict over how to deal with those resulting doctrines. I think it will speak to many who feel that harmonizing faith and scientific discovery is equivalant to stepping into heresy.
Good Reinterpretations Are the Work of the Holy Spirit
Haarsma includes many examples we don’t even think of, that demonstrate how we have had to reinterpret Scripture (or drop interpretations that worked their way into the church) in light of new knowledge of all kinds.

And finally, the foot notes are excellent.


This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.