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THE ADVANCEMENT: KEEPING THE FAITH IN AN EVOLUTIONARY AGE by L. Russ Bush; Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville, TN; 8 Chapters, 148 Pages; $19.99, Paper

We have what might be termed a love-hate relationship with this author relative to his writings. We admired him for his position on inerrancy early in the SBC controversy. We abhorred his position on strict, rigid Calvinism. We agree with him basically in this book, although he does not approach evolution as a scientist, but a philosopher (and philosophy may explain why he is such a strong 5-point Calvinist).

Here is how he defines his subject: “Evolution is a philosophical model by which the world may be interpreted in terms of change rather than stability.” As for ‘advancement,’ he uses the term because the new worldview of today considers this age to be so (one of modern “enlightenment”), not that he does. As for this new name he has coined, “Modern” seems old-fashioned to him and he thinks “Postmodern” is surely only “a temporary name.” Since the book is based at least in part on philosophy, a background in some of the older (and present) secular philosophers whom he quotes is helpful; others may have trouble following all of his logic.

He has a helpful Table in his opening chapter that shows the difference between the thinking of earlier students (i.e., Bible believers) and many of today’s secular scientists. And we liked his quip, “What modern secular scientists believe is far more incredible than any biblical miracle accepted by the simple Christian believer.” How true that is! He was also right on target when he noted, “Somehow the assumption of evolution has become the proof of evolu-tion, and the obvious fallacy of such reasoning is ignored.”

Burr gives a good answer to Alfred North Whitehead’s process thought and he has a good, albeit brief rebuttal to the new “openness of God” theory. In chapter 5 there is a good discussion of the “seven assumptions of evolutionary biology” and his response to them. And you will be helped by his discussion, “Ten Axioms of Modern Scientific Thought.” Good too are his “Four Basic Beliefs of Modern Thinkers,” followed by “Five Simple Objections to Naturalistic Evolution.”

His conclusion? “God exists necessarily, the world exists contingently, and Jesus Christ is Lord, whether we think so or not. God sets the rules of the game. Our freedom (and thus our significance) is exclusively based on His freedom. No freedom (and no significance) comes from naturalism.”

There are a few technical problems, such as confusing Henry Morris with Richard Morris – and he thinks more highly of Hugh “Big Bang” Ross than we do. Yet elsewhere he says of theistic evolution, “These two pictures (i.e., creation and evolution) cannot be harmonized, no matter how hard one tries. …It simply can’t be both ways.” Amen to that! (We hope Ross reads it.)

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