Apologist Melissa reviews “God and Evolution” by Jay Richards


Book Review: God and Evolution
Book review: God and Evolution

Mysterious Melissa reviews Jay Richards’ “God and Evolution“. Jay is the editor, and there are lots of chapters by lots of different people. I am currently reading this book before bed, so this review is timely and encouraging for me.

Here’s the overview:

God and Evolution, edited by Jay W. Richards, is an essay anthology designed to explain and clarify the essential definitions, scientific claims, theological issues and philosophical problems that pervade the debate about the compatibility of neo-Darwinism and religious faith. The central question of the text, specifically, is whether or not theistic evolution is a tenable position for theists of Christian or Jewish persuasion. Each essay expands upon a different aspect of the subject, but together they have a common goal: to shed light on what Richards refers to as the God and evolution enigma. He argues that this is a gray area that sorely needs illuminating; he says, “In a sense, it touches all of the biggest questions we can ask about ourselves and the world we live in.”

So what part looks the most interesting?

This part:

Section II begins with Jonathan Witt’s essay, “Random Acts of Design,”  in which he reveals the inconsistency of Francis Collins’ argument for theistic evolution inThe Language of God. Witt points out egregious flaws in Collins’ view of intelligent design theory and problems with the rebuttals Collins makes against irreducible complexity.

Jonathan Wells picks up the case against Collins’ viewpoint in the following essay, “Darwin of the Gaps.” Specifically, he answers Collins’ claim that intelligent design is a “God of the gaps” argument. Rather, he says, it is an inference to the best explanation, given the evidence. Wells goes on to point out the failure of Collins’ past assertions about “junk” DNA and its supposed support for Darwinian evolution.

Next, Jay Richards critiques Howard Van Till’s Robust Formational Economy Principle in “Making a Virtue of Necessity.” Richards explains that the appeal of Van Till’s position is that it attempts to make Christianity compatible with methodological naturalism by claiming that the creation is entirely self-sufficient in its creative power, exhibiting no evidence of divine activity. He then points out the fundamental theological problem with the Principle, namely, that there is to reason to assume a priori that God should have or did indeed create a world that never needs his intervention.

In the subsequent essay, “The Difference it Doesn’t Make,” Stephen Meyer describes and critiques the idea of “evolutionary creation” promoted (most notably) by Dennis Lamoureux. Meyer points out the theological and scientific shortcomings of this view, which entails a purposeful “front-loaded” creation instilled with natural laws capable of producing biological complexity and diversity.

There are basically three (related) groups of people who I really cannot stand. The first group is pastors and campus club staff workers who refuse to learn and promote apologetics. The second group is people who think they are Christians but who support the political left. And the third group is theistic evolutionists. I really, really, really do not like theistic evolutionists. So any time someone is set to give them a good thrashing, count me in. Which is why I’m reading the book. There are also chapters explicitly for Protestants, Catholics and Jews in the book.

Other things that Jay does

By the way, science and philosophy aren’t the only things that Jay Richards can do. Check out the links below, he is heavily into economics. In fact, he is the one who recommended Thomas Sowell and F.A. Hayek to me back when he was writing “Money, Greed and God“. And he has a new book out that you can pre-order called “Indivisible“. I haven’t ordered that new book yet, but it might be something like this free booklet (click to download PDF) that he edited for the Heritage Foundation. All my favorite scholars are in the booklet – Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, Jennifer Roback Morse and Arthur Brooks. The funny thing about that booklet is that it is a collection of essays by fiscal conservatives and social conservatives. But all the social conservatives had to write about fiscal conservatism, and the fiscal conservatives had to write about social conservatism! Who knew?

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3 thoughts on “Apologist Melissa reviews “God and Evolution” by Jay Richards”

  1. Love Jay Richards! Thanks for the review…but what’s with all the mysterious ladies all of a sudden? I think the Wintery Knight is contagious! Thank you and thanks to Melissa — I appreciate everything you’re spreading ;)

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    1. The nice thing about these apologetics articles I am posting by women is that they are really good. Melissa has a science background, so I am really appreciative that she is there to read these complicated books and post reviews of them for me to read. I want a hundred more Melissas.

      Her profile:

      Melissa is a graduate student at Biola University, studying for the Master of Arts in Science and Religion. She is certified in Christian Apologetics by Biola, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology. She worked in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research for five years after obtaining her undergraduate degree. She has spent more than a decade studying the science, theology, and philosophy pertaining to the origins debate. She directs The Woodlands chapter of Reasonable Faith, an apologetics education ministry. She welcomes opportunities to speak and teach on issues pertaining to science and faith.

      I actually met her at the Atlanta Apologetics Conference last year. She’s nice in person, too.

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