Looking for recommendations for books on Christian apologetics that take seriously the reality of evolution rather than denying it in favor of the argument from design.
A little background: I was raised as a Young-Earth Creationist
so, naturally, I denied the fact of evolution and the old age of the earth in favor of believing that God made the whole earth and all life as they appear today ~10,000 years ago. Lots of the Christian apologetics
books I read growing up were written from this perspective and many of their core arguments depended on evolution being false. The argument from design
was trotted out to prove God's existence, the reasoning being that life and the universe look designed…therefore there's a designer (exhibit A: Intelligent Design
). A lot of the anti-evolution content was written in response to the "new" atheists like Richard Dawkins who argue that evolution makes belief in God unnecessary. These books also explained away the existence of pain, suffering, and death by saying that God originally made a perfect world, but since humans have free will, we rejected God, brought in death, and royally screwed things up.
I was intellectually satisfied with this way of thinking until I went to college and realized the mountain of evidence in favor of evolution and a really stinkin' old universe. However, despite this change, I still call myself a follower of Jesus because I realized that a literal interpretation (rather, application) of how
the Bible describes creation is unnecessary. (See, for example, John Walton's book The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate
.) One can believe that God is creator without having to believe he created everything in 144 hours ca. 4004 BCE.
I now reject the conflict thesis
that says religion and science are incompatible with each other. Both the fundamentalist creationists and atheists virulently push this idea that you can't follow Jesus and believe evolution is true. Instead, I take the middle route popularized by theistic evolutionists like the BioLogos Foundation
that says you can
be a Christian and accept the findings of evolutionary biology, paleoanthropology, geology, etc.
SO, I'm looking for apologetics or philosophical literature written by Christians who accept evolution as the method by which God created life, who don't use the argument from design to "prove" God exists, and who explore the implications that the theory of evolution has in thinking about death and suffering (an evolutionary theodicy
?). I'm not looking for theology/biblical studies per se (e.g., Peter Enn's The Evolution of Adam
offers a more nuanced interpretation of Genesis in light of evolutionary theory) but rather studies that go about "defending the faith" without attacking evolution or falling back on Intelligent Design.
Would works by Alister McGrath
and Alvin Plantinga
fit the order? I just don't know what's out there having grown up on the stuff by Lee Strobel
and Norman Geisler
P.S.: This question doesn't seek to start a discussion on whether or not God exists, whether or not evolution is true, whether or not Jesus is the way, etc. I'm looking for apologetics books that fit a theistic evolution point of view. Thank you for being civil and for your help!