Science, Creation and the Bible: Reconciling Rival Theories of Origins, By Richard F. Carlson and Tremper Longman III alt

Science, Creation and the Bible

Reconciling Rival Theories of Origins

by Richard F. Carlson and Tremper Longman III

Science, Creation and the Bible
  • Length: 144 pages
  • Published: September 07, 2010
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 6815
  • ISBN: 9780830868155

*affiliate partner

Many Christians are torn between their belief in the Bible and the conclusions of science. This is especially the case concerning the creation narratives of Scripture and the rather different stories that science tells.

Physicist Richard Carlson and biblical scholar Tremper Longman address the longstanding problem of how to relate scientific description of the beginnings of the universe with the biblical creation passages found in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. Experts in their respective fields, these two authors provide a way to resolve the seeming conflicting descriptions by showing the meaning of the biblical texts as well as the meaning of scientific description.

In the process they will uncover

  • how theology and science differ, and what they both contribute
  • what the key biblical passages actually say
  • how the ancient Hebrews themselves understood the meaning of Genesis 1--2
  • how the rest of Scripture helps us understand these passages
  • what we can gain from science and what its limits are

Properly interpreting the biblical texts and clearly identifying the nature of scientific claims are key. With those in hand we can see how Christian revelation and scientific findings about the origin of the universe are not in opposition but rather work in partnership with each other.

"Carlson and Longman argue clearly and patiently for a truce in the war between science and Christianity. When taken together, they give a more complete picture of the human drama, and they can be brought together if we learn to respect the unique perspectives they each bring to the conversation. The authors guide readers in just such a quest by outlining some important principles of biblical interpretation, the nature of scientific and theological knowledge, and most importantly a faithful and contextual reading of the all-important creation stories of Genesis. This book is an excellent and irenic introduction to a timely topic where cool heads and broad learning are greatly needed."

Peter Enns, Senior Fellow, biblical studies, The BioLogos Foundation

"There are a number of good books available on reconciling science and Christian theology, particularly creation and evolution. The value of such books to various audiences depends, of course, on some shared assumptions. Carlson and Longman's book is especially important for anyone who perceives conflict between evolutionary theory and Scripture. While sharing a commitment to scriptural infallibility and a generally literalist reading, they nonetheless show that none of the multiple creation stories in the Old Testament precludes the acceptance of contemporary science. I recommend it highly."

Nancey Murphy, professor of Christian philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary

"This book is recommended for conservative Evangelicals who have no academic background in science and religion or for high school students and young college students from a similar Evangelical background. . . . the coupling of a high view of the Bible and a high respect for science and its results makes the book in itself a worthy contribution to the discussion of science and faith."

Justin D. Topp, Reports of the National Center for Science Education, November-December 2013

"I highly recommend this book, especially as an introduction to assist evangelicals in coming to terms with evolution and moving beyond concordist interpretations of the opening chapters of Scripture."

Denis O. Lamoureux, Perspectives on Science Christian Faith, September 2011

"Science, Creation and the Bible is accessible to the lay reader, and short enough that even those unwilling to wade through long arguments on this topic can find the book helpful. Carlson and Longman develop the case for their conclusions clearly, allowing the reader to see each step of their thinking. They go back to the basics in both science and theology, identify the assumptions they are making, and due to their shared scholarship can speak authoritatively about both science and biblical interpretation."

Dennis Haack, Critique, Issue 1 2011

"Overcoming the fortress mentality, with all of its fear and animus, Science, Creation and the Bible calmly, clearly, and convincingly shows that the Author of Scripture and Nature is not speaking out of both sides of his mouth."

Christopher Benson, Books Culture, December 2010

"Readers struggling with evolution will find this discussion by Carlson and Longman most helpful. The authors combine a robust respect for science in all its manifestations with a high view of Scripture. The result is a solid argument that there need be no conflict between the biblical and scientific accounts of our origins."

Karl Giberson, author of Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution and senior fellow, The BioLogos Foundation


1 Theological and Scientific Sources and Their Interpretation
2 Characteristics of Theology and Science Relevant to the Conflict
3 Biblical Interpretation--A Key Element in Resolving the Creation-Evolution Conflict
4 Creation in the Old Testament
5 Creation in the New Testament
6 Genesis 1--2:3 and Genesis 2:25
7 Genesis 1 and 2 as a Worldview Statement of the Ancient People of Israel

Subject Index
Scripture Index


You May Also Like

Richard F. Carlson

Richard F. Carlson is research professor of physics at the University of Redlands in Redlands, California, and formerly a visiting scientist in the department of radiation sciences at Uppsala University, Sweden. He received a BS (University of Redlands), MS and PhD (University of Minnesota) in physics, and an MA (Fuller Theological Seminary) in biblical studies and theology.

His physics research interests are in experimental nuclear physics, and he has done postdoctoral research at UCLA. While teaching at the University of Redlands he has continued his nuclear research at UCLA, the University of Manitoba, University of California Davis, and currently at Uppsala University. Carlson has published more than fifty articles in physics research journals.

Recently his interests have shifted to the area of science and Christian faith, and between 1995 and 2005 he taught a number of science and theology courses at the University of Redlands and Fuller Theological Seminary. His courses at Redlands and Fuller have resulted in two Templeton Foundation prizes. He is the general editor of Science & Christianity: Four Views (InterVarsity Press, 2000), as well as the author of a number of articles appearing in nuclear physics research journals and theological journals.

Tremper Longman III

Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is Distinguished Scholar and Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He is the author or coauthor of over thirty books, including How to Read Genesis, How to Read Proverbs, Literary Approaches to Biblical Interpretation, and Old Testament Essentials.