The relationship between the natural sciences and Christianity has a long and varied history. In this history, science and Christianity have been bedfellows, enemies, and mutually exclusive aspects of human existence. Which of these is the proper relationship though? Can a Christian be faithful to Scripture and still accept the tenets of modern science? Are Christians and scientists truly siblings, both seeking the same truth, or are they enemies, with their own versions of truth? If you are asking these questions, this book can help. Editor Richard F. Carlson has compiled essays on what he sees as the four viable Christian views of the relationship between Christianity and science, with the hope of helping people to secure their own beliefs about this fascinating relationship.
The four views exposited in this book are: 1) creationism (adhering to biblical inerrancy and seeking 'effective' science), written by Wayne Frair and Gary D. Patterson; 2) independence (mutually exclusive endeavors), written by Jean Pond; 3) qualified agreement (emphasizing intelligent design), written by Stephen C. Mayer; and 4) partnership (Christianity and science as theoretical partners), written by Howard J. Van Till. Each contributor is either a practicing scientist, or a philosopher of science, and their understanding of the underlying scientific issues is truly impressive. Each view is presented, and then the proponents of the other views are given a chance to respond, resulting in a stimulating and lively debate/conversation.
You may not agree with any of the four views completely, but, as Carlson notes in the introduction, 'Perhaps one of these positions, maybe with some modification, may eventually emerge as the consensus Christian position. But for now, there is diversity.' Carlson's goal was to make sure that Christians were well-informed about the different possibilities regarding the relationship between science and Christianity. Each of the four views presented in this book are preferrable to the atheistic materialism prevalent among some scientists, or even metaphysical naturalism. This book may not answer all your questions about this important relationship; in fact, it will likely raise additional questions. It will get you thinking deeply about the relationship between Christianity and science, and that is, in the end, more important than answering all questions.