Three Views on Creation and Evolution

17 April 2006

In Three Views on Creation and Evolution, several Christian thinkers defend differing approaches to the integration of science and theology, particularly with regards to Genesis and God’s method of creation.

Paul Nelson and John Mark Reynolds support Young-Earth Creation, which argues that the account in Genesis should be taken literally and the ‘days’ actual twenty-four hour periods of creation six to ten thousand years ago. Robert Newman defends the Progressive Creation view, which contends that the universe and the earth are very old, and the ‘days’ referred to in Genesis are not to be taken as literal twenty-four hour periods, but rather as unspecified periods of time. Howard Van Til defends Theistic Evolution (or, Fully-Gifted Creation), whereby God created the universe with the capability to develop life. Additionally, a host of commentators, including J.P. Moreland, Philip Johnson, and Walter Bradley, offer responses to the individual essays or to the exchange as a whole.

Unfortunately, while I view the topic as a worthwhile one, I simply felt that this book did not contain enough meat to be valuable. Most of the authors spend the time trying to show that their view is consistent with a solid Christian faith or that it is, for some theological or practical reason, preferable. However, this does not really resolve the debate. The authors should have spent more time analyzing the relevant Bible verses and, especially, discussing the scientific evidence. This book does establish that all of the views, including theistic evolution, are quite compatible with a Christian faith and worldview, but it does not really advance the issue much further. Moreover, the authors of each section are not given the chance to respond to their colleague’s essays. Instead, four separate authors offer responses. However, all of these reviewers are Progressive Creation advocates, which leads to a slightly biased presentation. If you are interested in the creation/evolution debate with regards to Christian theism, then Three Views on Creation and Evolution may be of some use, but is not highly recommended.


  1. I am new to the whole debate of Creation vs. Evolution, but I find it difficult to see it’s importance in terms of the message that Christ has left us with. I am not a New Testament expert but I don’t ever recall reading where Christ mentions creation. Where is the revelance? Are there so few problems in this world that we need to devote so much time and energy to this issue? How does this ease the pain and suffering of the world? Does any of this bring us closer to God?

    — Justin H.    Aug 7, 11:14 AM    #
  2. may i recommend a dvd by dr. kent hovind entitled the age of the earth. he very aptly denounces the methodology of certain scientific ways of ascertaining the age of all sorts of material creation, from plants to rocks to trees to ages of the plantets and the universe(s) and defends the literal 6 day creation theory. one of the bright spots of his analysis is the consideration of which evolution one is referring to, as there are 6 totally separate types of evolution. And may i say it does make a difference when speaking to reliability and believablity to know who says what is the truth and more importantly why one says one is the truth over the other. Now this may not disturb ones knowledge of the keys to the kingdom as handed to us by Christ, but yet truth is truth and all doctrine has to come under the scrutiny of the truth so that God be given proper glory for the information he has given us as pertains to all that is written and/or revealed.

    mr. bill    Jul 31, 08:24 PM    #
  3. Justin H.-
    for me, the relevance lies in the fact that i am a literal bible believer. and from what i’ve read in the bible, God expects us to believe the bible in its entirety and not to try to “fix it.” if you don’t believe in the beginning of the bible, why should you believe in the middle or end? it’s not just a “useful book of ideas” it’s the living breathed word of God.

    but that’s just me

    Devin    Nov 9, 10:20 PM    #
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