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Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution [Paperback]

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Pages   493
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.07" Width: 5.99" Height: 1.31"
Weight:   1.62 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2009
Publisher   Lutterworth Press
ISBN  0718891910  
EAN  9780718891916  

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Paperback $ 60.42 $ 60.42 160961 In Stock
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A provocative approach to origins that moves beyond the 'evolution' versus 'creation' debate. Arguing for an intimate relationship between the Book of God's Words and the Book of God's Works, the Author presents evolutionary creation - asserting that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit created the universe and life through an ordained and sustained evolutionary process. This view of origins affirms intelligent design and the belief that beauty, complexity, and functionality in nature re ect the mind of God. Lamoureux also challenges the scientific and historical value of the Genesis account of Creation. He contends that Scripture features an ancient understanding of origins that functions as vessel to deliver inerrant and infallible Messages of Faith. Lamoureux shares his personal story and his struggle in coming to terms with evolution and Christianity. Having lost his boyhood faith in classes on evolutionary biology, he experienced a born-again conversion and embraced belief in a literal six-day creation. Graduate school training at the doctoral level in theology and biology led him to the conclusion that God created the world through evolution. 'Denis Lamoureux has thought deeply about the intersection of the truths of the Book of Nature and the Book of the Bible. In this remarkable analysis, he describes how he has found compelling harmony between these worldviews.' - Francis Collins, Former Director of the Human Genome Project 'A book that takes both science and Scripture seriously. In his fascinating guide to Biblical interpretation, Denis Lamoureux argues that the Bible doesn't lie even if the episodes in the rst eleven chapters of Genesis never happened.' - Owen Gingerich, Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University, author of 'God's Universe' Denis O. Lamoureux is Associate Professor of Science and Religion at St. Joseph's College, part of the University of Alberta. He holds doctorates in dentistry, theology, and biology. He is co-author of 'Darwinism Defeated? The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on Biological Origins' (1999).

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
What blather  Apr 26, 2009
I am thoroughly disappointed in this work. As far as I'm concerned he gives the battle to the Young Earthers just by the shear amount of rabid repetition. Everyone of his proofs falls back on the same 4 'proof' statements, which he repeats endlessly over and over and over ad infinitum, never getting to the Biblical Proofs he keeps promising. Were the repetitive 'proofs' removed this book would be less than 1/10th it's size. The only thing I found well written was his own Autobiographical path to Evolutionary Creation. The repeated returns to 'de Novo' and such comments were so boringly oppressive and overdone that I was unable to finish the book from shear boredom. He writes as if $100 words and repetitive gobbledygook makes a point. He uses long, high sounding words like a sword, endlessly repeating and brandishing the same handful of them about like they were bullets from a machine gun. It's almost like he did massive "Copy and Paste"s with a word processor rather than take the time to produce a well thought out work. One gets the feeling that he believes that if he hammers the same 4 points over and over enough the reader will see the logic and be converted. Almost like getting a confession by putting someone on The Rack of the Dark Ages.

Better written books for this topic include "Coming to Peace with Science" by Darrel R. Falk and "The Language of God" by Francis S. Collins. At least those 2 authors present coherent and well written books that don't rely on attempting to overwhelm the reader with excess, droll and long winded wordings repeated over and over. Those 2 authors not only have a real grip on the Science/Religion world but they know how to communicate it so that even Evangelicals can grasp, see and even perhaps agree to the concept of Evolution. I'm afraid that Mr Lamoureux would lose most Evangelicals and Fundamentalists at the first attempt to call the Bible FALSE, and I daresay very few would make it past the 1oth or 12th repetition of that wording. But for bringing one of them to being a believer in Evolution, Mr Lamoureux work would be a colossal failure.

If you like long winded, repetitive dissertations and have many hours to waste trying to wade past all of that to get to the final conclusion (and he never does present all that "tons of Biblical Evidence" he continues to say he will present), this is the book for you, BUT if you want something that makes sense and doesn't waste your time, try one or both of the other books I mention.

As another aside, the number of times he admits to flipping sides and going all out on a new crusade play against him too. Any serious hard core anti Evolutionist would eat his lunch quickly for the number of flip flops of conviction he admits to in the Biography section.

Sorry but I could not recommend this book to anyone.
Your understanding of genesis will never be the same again!  Sep 4, 2008

Please excuse my English, I'm just a French guy who tries to express himself in this marvellous language!
What a pertinent and fascinating book! I got clear answers for questions I had for many years!
Even if we don't have all the answers, such a book makes me believe we are not far from understanding the main part of it, and also what we will never be able to understand!
Looking for information about evolution and Christian faith, it's by "chance" I found Denis O. Lamoureux website. Reading his articles, I already had the feeling there was something particularly accurate in his way of reconciling Christian faith and modern evolutionary science. When I read a book written by a scientist on such a subject, it's mostly pertinent on the scientific part, and the reverse with a theological study of Genesis. But such a synthetic book had to be written by someone absolutely aware of the evidence about evolution and the theological problems that are raised for conservative Christians like me. I mostly recommend it for the reader who is already convinced by this evidence, who is not ready to become a "liberal" but who is open minded and who is not afraid to walk where not many have walked before! This book made me realize it is possible to believe in the inspiration of Scripture and not to take the first chapters of Genesis historically. Before reading the book, I admit I thought it was just impossible.
The way Denis O. Lamoureux analyses ancient science in the Bible is really convincing, and his comments with New Testament passages dealing with Genesis 1-11 put a new light on these chapters. This is a book I highly recommend for people who are still looking for arguments reconciling modern science and conservative evangelical faith!
Amazing work! Had to be written! Has to be read!  Jul 30, 2008
This is an amazing work by Denis Lamoureux. With a resume which includes having been an atheist, a young-earth creationist, a dentist, and now a biologist, theologian, and North American evangelical, Dr. Lamoureux is uniquely qualified to address this important Christian topic. This book had to be written, and Dr. Lamoureux was up to the task.

As a parent, I can say this work is vital for the faith of our children. One of my children has already asked the question - when scripture and science disagree, which one is right? Much of the North American evangelical community seems to be setting our children up for a great faith collapse when they begin to explore the scientific evidence for the emergent nature of the cosmos, the earth, animals, and humans. Scientific evidence is presented so overwhelmingly by the scientific community that we risk making Scripture irrelevant in the minds of our children if we continue to keep the false dichotomy between science and faith, between creation and evolution. We must teach our children that evolution does not equal atheism. Dr Lamoureux firmly establishes a basis on which to do this.

Others have described the content of the book very well. I will only add that in addition to being a text on Evolutionary Creation, it is also a great reference on "How to read the Bible". Dr. Lamoureux describes the "message-incident" principal, which states that God delivered theological messages of faith encapsulated within the scientific and historical beliefs that were common to the ancient people who received His revelation. Their inspired writings are laced with their views of the world and written using ancient literary styles. As 21st century Christians, we should seek to separate the spiritual messages from the ancient wrapper in which they were originally delivered. He very astutely demonstrates how to make this separation, with thorough exploration of ancient cosmology, geology, biology, history, and literary practices.

For example, how many Bible readers know that Gen 1-11 is a combination of two ancient sources in a single piece of literature? Dr Lamoureux not only makes this statement, but demonstrates how the two sources were redacted by the ancient writer to create a message of faith which separated the God of Israel from her ancient near eastern neighbors.

Has anyone ever considered that in Jesus' parable of the mustard seed, the living word of God states that this seed is the smallest of any seed in the world? In the 21st century we recognize that there are indeed smaller seeds than the mustard seed. Dr. Lamoureux demonstrates how Jesus Himself accommodated to the ancient scientific understanding, further making his case that ancient perspectives on science and history weren't the point of God's revelation.

Finally, as other reviewers have mentioned, Dr. Lamoureux tackles the sin-death problem and natural suffering. These are some of the fundamental issues with resolving biological science and Christian faith. First, suffering and death preceded humans, therefore humans are not the cause of suffering and death. Second, while recognizing that in an evolutionary context, the emergence of the image of God and our sinful nature is a mystery, he softens this mystery through the analogy of embryology and child development. When exactly does do developing children become accountable for their actions, and therefore become responsible for their sin? As a parent, I can appreciate this mystery. There isn't a single point in time, and the emergent process is different for each of my children. This is a very good analogy for the evolutionary emergence of humans and sin. As humans became more "human" and more instilled with God's image - better understanding how God would have them live - they became more and more responsible for their actions and sin gradually became an option. This analogy by Dr. Lamoureux was quite revealing, and quite freeing.

By all means, take the time to read this book. It is not a quick read, so be patient. It will change the way you read Scripture, and change the way you understand God's grace - directed not only at our hearts, but at our minds as well. It will allow you to teach your children that God is the creator, regardless of the process by which he created. It will allow North American evangelicals to preserve our belief in the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture, while accepting that the "Book of God's Works" can also be understood via the scientific method.
a brilliant and unforgettable journey into evolutionary creation  Jul 29, 2008
What an amazing book! Contemplating evolutionary creation truly is quite the spiritual intellectual adventure, giving a glimpse into how little we are and how big God is, and how limited our knowledge is of His purposes. With terms and categories that are remarkably well defined, the book provides an excellent baseline for those fascinated with exploring issues in the relationship between science and Christian faith. The vital reflection on the foundations of Christianity and scrupulous discussion on the challenges in evolutionary creation also contribute to making this a must read for those seeking answers about our origins and the idea/implications of God creating through an ordained and sustained evolutionary process.

Lamoureux has quite a gift for helping people to get beyond "evolution versus creation" in the origins debate. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to take his course on Christian perspectives on the relationship between science and religion, during completion of my biology degree in 1999. I entered as a committed atheist, thinking my choices on origins were either evolution or God, but I wanted to hear what someone with PhDs in both theology and evolutionary biology might have to say. My mind was opened to a new world. I was challenged to examine my own assumptions and how I explained the part of me that seemed so sure "there was something more" to this life. I realized there was faith involved in my atheism, and I could not convince myself that Lamoureux was crazy. Both his love for Jesus and acceptance of evolution were so strong, genuine, engaging. I started a new journey, of conversion to Christ, resulting in a much needed clarification of values and complete change of career path, and the beginning of personal study in science and Christianity that continues to this day.

Lamoureux presents much substance in his Christian theology and evolutionary science. The number and depth of ideas invites a "swallow whole and give time to digest" approach to reading this book. Some chapters, like the one on human evolution, are very challenging and require time for rereading and reflection. Hermeneutics, the rules by which we interpret the Bible, are a keystone in the book--they play a central role in the recognition that how God created is incidental to the fact that He created. Unfortunately Christians create significant stumbling blocks for each other and non Christians when they confuse incidental issues with foundational messages of faith.

The most controversial idea in the book surely is that a literal Adam is not foundational to Christian faith. Lamoureux states that the purpose of Adam is to remind us that we are created by God in His Image, we have all fallen into sin, and God judges us for this sin. So sin did not enter the world through Adam and pain and death are not Divine judgement for sin. Lamoureux sees evolutionary creation's greatest challenge in this "sin-death problem", or in explaining the passages in the Bible that see Adam as the onetime event for the entrance of sin into the world. He presents much food for thought in concepts of eternal life, the meaning of Jesus dying on the Cross, and how Jesus actually develops a disconnection between sin and death. Though Lamoureux suggests viewing humans more as "works in progress" than of a "fallen world" or original perfect creation, he affirms that sin is real, thus humans are in need of redemption.

No matter what you believe when you begin reading this book, you will have the chance to exercise your critical thinking skills and reflect deeply on your views about Jesus, science, and origins, and how you put all the evidence together. This evidence (or divine revelation) comes from two sources, says Lamoureux, the Book of God's Words (the Bible) and the Book of God's Works (the physical world, as understood through the methods of science). This is known as a two books model of the relationship between science and Scripture, or a "two scrolls theology". It is foundational to Lamoureux's work and powerful in developing one's own worldview. He also describes a sense of freedom that comes with appreciating both of God's Books, a freedom I have been blessed to experience and hope I can experience more fully as I continue in my own spiritual journey. Thank you so much for this book, Denis Lamoureux!
A welcome step beyond the "evolution vs. creation" debate  Jul 28, 2008
Like Denis Lamoureux, the author of this book, I'm an Evangelical Christian and a student of palaeontology and evolution.
At one time, such an admission would have incited whispers and invited accusations of congnitive dissonance. Many see the act of trying to marry evolutionary science with Christian theology as futile, like trying fit a square peg in a round hole. And for many years I felt the same way. I felt as though there was some piece of the puzzle missing that would help me to make sense of the book God inspired and the world He created.
Lamoureux's latest contribution is that missing puzzle piece.
Having been born and raised in a conservative Lutheran church, I was taught to believe in young earth creationism and was told that evolution is a tool of the devil. Probably the most common objection to evolution was that it contradicted the sin-death connection presented in the Bible. After all, if there was death before Adam, how could Adam's sin have introduced death into the world, as Paul repeats in the New Testament? In his book, Lamoureux attempts to answer the "sin-death problem". His solution is simple: There is no sin-death problem.
We reach this conclusion by first recognizing two important categories in the evolution/creation dialogue: concordism and accomodationism. Concordism is the belief that the Bible's statements about science and history are always accurate, and that any scientific theory that contradicts the Bible must be wrong. Accomodationism is the understanding that God accomodated His message of faith, love, and redemption to the first Hebrew people using language and motifs they were familiar with (e.g., solid firmament in the sky, preformatism, numerology, etc.), and that any attempt to milk scientific insight from the Bible is missing the forest for the trees. Citing the example of Jesus' incarnation, Lamoureux sees the latter position as most in-line with God's nature, and defends this view using an inductive Bible study method, pointing to one example after another of the primitive science and history found in the Scriptures. Lamoureux is careful to defend biblical inerrancy, however, stating "... the Bible is the inerrant and infallible eternal Word of God transcending time and incarnated in the incidental imperfect words of humans within history" (p. 174).
Once we accept that the Bible does not necessarily contain accurate science, we are free to accept the conclusions of evolutionary science, regardless of whether or not they accord with the Genesis creation account. Using the analogy of human development in the womb (Psalm 139:13-14), Lamoureux presents evolution as just another natural process, ordained and sustained by God, by which the Lord achieves His good will and creates human life. In fact, Lamoureux sees evolution as the perfect creative process by which God both reveals Himself to us in the design reflected in that process (Deus Revelatus), and by which He hides Himself from us in the non-miraculous nature of that process (Deus Absconditus), thereby allowing us as His children the opportunity to truly exemplify our faith in Him. This was a key point that really struck a chord with me. After all, we wouldn't need faith if we could use science to prove God's handiwork in the world.
But how can Jesus, the Prince of Peace, make use of evolution, which involves suffering and death, to achieve His good will? Lamoureux offers a robust theodicy in answer to this question, noting that Jesus himself declared that suffering and death exist to bring glory to God (e.g., John 11:4). Strangely, this contrasts with Paul's understanding of the origin of death through Adam, as revealed by Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15. Returning to the concept of accomodationism, Lamoureux completes this puzzle by noting that the origin of human suffering and death in Genesis 3 is itself an accomodation of God to the ancient motifs of the first Hebrew people. Death isn't a result of sin, as Genesis 3 states and Paul repeats. Death exists to bring glory to God, as Jesus himself tells us.
Some of these claims will no doubt leave many Christians uncomfortable. Lamoureux's suggestions are well removed from traditional church thinking (though perhaps not as far removed as some might think). I am still not sure how to feel about some aspects of the book, but that's part of the beauty of works like this one: It forces us to engage our Evangelical minds and to actually THINK about what we believe and why we believe it. Lamoureux admits to not having all the answers, but this is something he has learned to live with. What remains clear is the author's undying committment to Christ and to understanding the world and the Word He has given us. And for that reason alone, I think Lamoureux deserves to be heard.

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