A Review of Adam and the Genome

Dennis R. Venema and Scot McKnight, Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture After Genetic Science (BrazosPress, 2017). $19.99. 224pp. The aim of Dennis R. Venema and Scot McKnight’s Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture After Genetic Science is to harmonize the Bible and evolution, particularly with a view to recent genetic evidence and the challenge it poses to traditional beliefs about Adam and Eve. The first four chapters deal with the scientific issues and are authored by Venema, a professor of biology at Trinity Western University associated with the BioLogos Foundation; the next four deal with the Bible and are…

The Overcoming of Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird

When Harper Lee passed away a few weeks ago, I pulled out my copy of To Kill a Mockingbird (Grand Central 1960) and re-read it for the first time since 1999. I haven’t followed the controversy about Go Set a Watchman very closely, but I had to read To Kill a Mockingbird in 8th grade, and then again in 9th grade when my family moved. I liked it the first time, loved it the second time, and now appreciate it even more 17 years later. I was also surprised how much I remembered all these years later. How can you…

A Review of Bill Nye’s Undeniable

Bill Nye’s Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, ed. Corey S. Powell (New York: St. Martin’s, 2014) is a popularization of arguments for, and implications from, the theory of biological evolution. It is a unique kind of book, full of juxtapositions: often technical but without a single footnote, playful on one page and then heavy-handed on the next, full of Nye’s personality and style and yet written alongside an editor (and you always wonder what exactly that means). The strength of the book is the ease and simplicity with which Nye abstracts from more technical scientific discussions: in line…

The Incarnation and Union With Christ

A few weeks back I published an article on Christ’s saving work, looking at the various elements in the broader narrative arc that surround his atoning death. I’ve been continuing to reflect on how to seek out a healthy balance here, and especially as it relates to the incarnation. Is the incarnation itself saving? Is the very act by which God the Son assumed a human nature a redeeming act—or does it merely prepare for the redemptive work in his death and resurrection? I want to be careful here. On the one hand, the notion that the incarnation itself transformed…

Thoughts on Ross Douthat’s Privilege

This summer I’ve been deliberately trying to slow down and do some fun reading. I don’t have as much free time for reading these days, but its important to me that reading for fun never completely dry up, even if it becomes more of a slow trickle during certain seasons. So I recently ordered Ross Douthat’s Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class (Hyperion 2005), which I started a few days ago and found myself unable to put down until I finished it. Ross is a conservative columnist at the New York Times (do such juxtapositions exist? apparently they…

Six Contemporary Theology Books That Deserve Wider Reading

I don’t read a whole lot of contemporary theology books these days. I tend to buy more “reference” books like commentaries when I have money for books. And when I have time for free reading, I tend to like reading older “classics” (like something in the Puritan Paperbacks or Popular Patristics series) or something outside of the field of theology altogether. Of course, there are some modern day theological books that I have benefited enormously from, as many others have—books like J.I. Packer’s Knowing God or Tim Keller’s The Reason for God, or so many of D.A. Carson’s expositions of…