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…

If God Made the World, Why is it So Old?

According to standard geological timeframes, we human beings are a thing of yesterday. I remember reading somewhere (I cannot remember where) that if earth’s history were compressed into a 24-hour day, then all of human history would comprise roughly the last two seconds of that day (not two minutes). Amazing. From the perspective of sheer time, Planet Earth has had much more to do with sponges swaying in the ocean or spiders scurrying along the forest floor than human beings engaging in relationship and art and worship. As a Christian theologian, I have really wrestled with this. Sure, our relatively…

Is Animal Suffering and Death Before the Fall Bad?

Perhaps the most momentous issue involved in the debate between young-earth creationists and various varieties of old-earth creationists is animal death/suffering before the human fall. In his book A Biblical Case for an Old Earth, David Snoke writes, “in my experience, this is [i.e., whether animals died before Adam and Eve sinned] is the fundamental issue of Bible interpretation caught up in the debate.” My experience has been the same as Snoke’s. It is here, in the realm of animal death/suffering, that we push through the hermeneutical issues of how to read Genesis 1 into the deeper consequences of different…

How Did Nature Become Fallen?

My article “On the Fall of Angels and the Fallenness of Nature: An Evangelical Hypothesis Regarding Natural Evil” is now out in the April edition of Evangelical Quarterly. I hope it does not seem self-serving to share about the article on my blog, but a number of people have asked me about it since I referenced it in my correspondence with Doug Wilson on creation issues several weeks back. So I want to give a brief outline of the argument here, in hopes it might be helpful to others, and to try to open up avenues of dialogue around this…

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…

Furthering the Dialogue on Creation: Some Thoughts on Doug Wilson’s Piece

I’ve been thinking a lot about creation/science issues lately, and I have great respect for Doug Wilson, so I read his recent piece on the interpretation of Genesis 1 with great interest. I wasn’t planning on writing anything more in this area, but you know how it goes when you start thinking about something, and then you start jotting down your thoughts, and then before you realize it you’re ready to hit “publish.” This is not a thorough response, just a couple of particular thoughts generated by Wilson’s piece, and here or there they may be more informed by the…