The Selfless Gene: Living with God and Darwin, by Charles Foster

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Publication date – April 16, 2009

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) If evolutionary theory is correct, what does that say about creator God?

Ever since the famous debate on Darwinism between Huxley and Wilberforce in 1860, there has been little real conversation between the scientific community and much of the Christian world. This book offers the prospect of reconciliation between what are seen as two opposing worldviews.

With remarkable insight and skill, Foster shows that most evolutionary theory and its consequences are easily reconciled with Christian orthodoxy and explores the ethical problems of natural selection in a fresh and invigorating way.

Charles Foster insists on getting to the heart of the topic and succeeds through a scientific and biblical analysis that is second to none. The Selfless Gene has the potential to become required reading for theologians and laypeople alike.

Thoughts: This books premise was simple-sounding but difficult in practice, as is evidenced by the fact that there’s still raging debate between evolutionists and creationists about how life came to be as it is. As is my observation (in this issue and others), the real answer doesn’t lie at either end of the scale, but somewhere in the middle.

This is the approach the author chose to take, and he did it well. He does not use the same old standby arguments that most people use, but instead started fresh, right from the beginning. He not only looked at what the bible has to say on the subject of life’s origins, but also compared and contrasted that to what Christianity at large says, and what hard-core evolutionists say.

I was quite impressed by this book, and the thoroughness of the research. It made me stop reading in order to have a good think more than once, and presented facts and opinions in such a way that it shot down some arguments without seeming insulting or derisive, which must have taken a lot of effort in some case. It gives respectful treatment of both sides of the debate, explores the options carefully, and offers ways that the two theories might live side-by-side and complement each other rather than competing with each other.

I definitely recommend this book for those who are Christian and having difficulty reconciling science with what the bible and the church say. Or even for those who are just interested in seeing both sides of the debate without having people scream in your face about which side is “clearly” right and which is “clearly” wrong.

(This book was a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson publishing.)

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