God, Evolution, and the Question of the Cosmos
Imprint: Baylor University Press
Sales Date: 2017-01-31
276 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- Published: January 2017
Rather than seeing science and religion as oppositional, in Origins: God, Evolution, and the Question of the Cosmos Philip Rolnick demonstrates the remarkable compatibility of contemporary science and traditional Christian theology.
Rolnick directly engages the challenges of evolutionary biology—its questions about design, natural selection, human uniqueness, and suffering, pain, and death. In doing so, he reveals how biological challenges can be turned to theological advantages, not by disputing scientific data and theory, but by inviting evolutionary biology into the Christian conversation about creation.
Rolnick then lets the vastly expanded time and macroscopic beauty of big bang cosmology cast new and benign light on both biology and theology. The discovery of a big bang beginning, fine-tuning, and a 3.45 billion year evolutionary process brings new ways to think about the creativity of creation. From the tiny to the tremendous, there is an intelligent generosity built into the features of the cosmos and its living creatures, a spectrum of interconnected phenomena that seems tinged with grace. By recognizing the gifts of creation that have been scientifically uncovered, Origins presents a new way to understand this universe of grace and reason.
PART I: INTRODUCTION1. A Universe of Grace and Reason
PART II: EVOLUTION: FROM CHALLENGE TO THEOLOGICAL ADVANTAGE2. Four Challenges of Evolution3. Evolution and Divine Design4. Natural Selection and a God of Love5. Struggle, Pain, and Death and the Goodness of Creation6. Common Ancestry and Human Uniqueness
PART III: COSMOLOGY AND CREATION7. The Origin and Development of an Inhabitable Universe8. A Universe Finely Tuned for Life9. Logos, the Divine Source of Reason
PART IV: CREATION’S GIFTS AND HUMAN RESPONSE10. The Given and the Earned11. The Old and the New
Having already written on grace and personhood, Philip A. Rolnick here shows how a universe of grace and rationality can lead to the emergence of something like us: embodied, embedded, and endowed creatures. This is a highly informative and well-written tale of the evolution of human personhood.~Niels Henrik Gregersen, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Copenhagen
It seems that a mind at once challenging and loving has infused clues to itself within the very fabric of nature and evolution—clues that require another kind of wisdom to explore—the wisdom of God’s self-revelation. Origins weaves together many contemporary and traditional strands of science and religion into a fascinating, inspiring, intelligible, and original vision of nature’s proclamation of the glory of God.~Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., President, Magis Center of Reason and Faith, and author of New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy
Through a very informed and readable account of the contemporary sciences of evolution and cosmology, Philip Rolnick shows in this remarkable book that science and religion are not only compatible, but mutually illuminating. Faith reveals answers to questions beyond the bounds of science, even as science becomes ‘a benefactor to the faith,’ opening a way for us, through wonder, to a deeper love of God and creation.~Michael Dodds, OP, Professor of Philosophy and Theology, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology
Philip Rolnick’s Origins is a book that deserves attention from any Christian confronted with the relationship between evolution and Christian belief.~J. Daniel McDonald, Boyce College, Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies