Book Review: Critiquing the theology of theistic evolution

Shadow of Oz, by Wayne Rossiter (Wipf and Stock, 2015) does something that should have been done a long time ago: it takes a direct and critical look at the theology of theistic evolution. Often the debate over intelligent design (ID) has been cast in terms of questioning the theological premises of ID, e.g., accusations of god-of-the-gaps, God making things up ad hoc, etc., but the shoe can be on the other foot: do theistic evolutionists have a coherent theology? Wayne Rossiter takes a close, often iconoclastic, look at the theological beliefs of major theistic evolutionists such as Kenneth Miller, Karl Giberson, Francis Collins, and John Polkinghorne. As a well-trained biologist as well as a Christian, he is competent to evaluate the scientific arguments involved and how they interact with the theology.

You may not agree with every one of his points, and the book may not convince you to adopt the ID position, but this book deserves to be read by everyone following the TE/ID debate. It belongs on the shelf next to C.G. Hunter’s Darwin’s God, which took a similar look at the theology of evolutionists in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. As we know, science is never done in the absence of theological presuppositions, and these two books together provide a good review of how theology has shaped the discussion of evolution over the years.

-David Snoke

One response to “Book Review: Critiquing the theology of theistic evolution”

  1. Tom Rogers
    Tom Rogers

    Thank you for your perspective, David.
    I have not read Rossiter’s book yet, so he may have covered this viewpoint.
    We, at Reality R & D, view ET/TE as paradoxical because it seems to us that one either believes, as a theist, that God made Adam from the dust and breathed life into him, or, one believes, as an evolutionist, that humans evolved from apes/hominids (or whatever their latest view of the common ancestor is) so there was no Adam…. Pick one; it can’t be both.
    For the open-minded, we are proposing a new Godly branch of science that we are calling Atomic Biology. It goes beyond Intelligent Design to the essentiality of supernaturally intelligent construction, sustenance, maintenance, repair, and replacement of all cells using the correct numbers of the correct atoms as the “building blocks”.
    The first half of our book is devoted to detailing many of the ways the triune God of the Bible is involved in the governments of the USA, the UK, Australia, and Canada, thereby providing good reason for teaching our students at least something about Him.
    The last half is about Atomic Biology that details God’s work in building and sustaining all living entities, including us.

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