How I Changed My Mind about Evolution (Gupta)

Evo.jpgNot long ago I grabbed a copy of the new book How I Changed My Mind about Evolution: Evangelicals Reflect on Faith and Science (ed. K. Applegate and JB Stump; IVP, 2016). The book offers short anecdotes by a variety of scientists, theologians, Christian leaders, and biblical scholars on this subject (including, e.g., John Ortberg, Tremper Longman, Scot McKnight, NT Wright, and James KA Smith).

These essays are not full-blown theological arguments in favor of (theistic) evolution. They are stories about how these scholars and leaders moved from anti-evolution towards bringing science and Scripture together and having an open attitude towards evolution.

My own personal journey involves an illuminating conversation I had many years ago with David Wilkinson, a British theologian trained as a scientist. While we were chatting, the topic turned to evolution, and David laughed about American Christians and their resistance to evolution. Until that moment, I had no idea it was different anywhere else, but David explained to me how British believers don’t struggle with this matter as much as Americans (see NT Wright’s essay in the book). That conversation made me re-think many things. Another key moment in my journey was reading John Lennox’s Seven Days that Divide the World. That book opened my eyes to a history of theologians doubting and attacking scientists and scientific findings. And, of course, more recently the work of John Walton has pioneered fresh ways of reading Genesis 1-2 that do not poise it to be in conflict with what scientists tell us about cosmological and human origins.

This book, How I changed my Mind about Evolution, will probably not move Creationists towards accepting evolution, but for those already on the journey, it is helpful to read these stories from trusted evangelical and “faith-friendly” leaders and thinkers.