Thursday, November 15, 2012

God and Evolution: Science Meets Faith (Book Review) @CatholicCompany

god and evolution

God and Evolution:  Science Meets Faith

  • Written by Dr. Gerard M. Verschuuren
  • 189 Pages, English Language
  • Paperback Volume
  • Published by Pauline Books and Media
  • Released on August 1, 2012
  • Foreword by The Most Reverend Carlos A. Sevilla, SJ
  • Suggested Retail Price $19.95
  • Available for Purchase Through The Catholic Company
Many of my friends are not Catholic, and some are not even Christian.  Because of this, I am often challenged about matters pertaining to what I believe.  I expect this with social issues of course, although most of the preconceived notions about what the Church teaches are extremely inaccurate.  What surprises me is how many times I am mocked because an acquaintance thinks that the Church scoffs at science.  They are truly surprised to know that the Vatican has an observatory, and that we have hundreds of priests who have been recognized for making great scientific contributions to society.  (most notably  Georges LemaĆ®tre) There are also many Catholic Universities and hospitals, nuns who teach, and much more.

The Church has declared this a Year of Faith, and with a call to a New Evangelism.  It is a good time to shore up our Apologetics, and to know what the Church really teaches about the current hot button issues.  At the root of most of these conversations is the incorrect assumption that the Church rejects science.

In this book, Dr. Verschuuren manages to deliver a lot of information, and keeps it easy enough for a layperson to follow.  It is not intensely academic, but does invoke some deep thought.

While presenting his argument, the author does not stray from Catholic teaching and cites the CCC, Pope Benedict, and Pope John Paul II throughout.

After a brief introduction, the chapters are set forth in a logical order.  First, read the position of the Catholic Church.  What does the Catechism say about faith and reason?

Each chapter concludes with what Dr. Verschuuren  calls "Delving Deeper".  In this section, read the whole story about Galileo.  Did you know that Pope Pius XII called him one of the "most audacious heroes of research"?  Pope John Paul II even commissioned a group of scholars to study the "Galileo Affair" and credits the man with leading the Church to a more mature attitude about Her proper authority as well making more clear the difference between essentials of faith and the scientific system of a given age.

Next, the book delves into creation.  What does the Bible say, and more importantly, what doesn't it say?  It goes on to provide assistance in how we read creation accounts.  Overall, this chapter is interesting to read.

Equal time then goes to "Where we Came From - According to Science".   These pages are dedicated to the theories of evolution and natural selection.  What is the evidence for these claims, and where does science lack proof?  What parts of the equation don't quite line up, and in what ways can science and religion intertwine and compliment each other?

The fourth chapter presents arguments against evolutionsim and creationism, then examines the Intelligent Design theory.

The final chapter is titled "A Fair Balance: Creation and Evolution".  It is a wonderful conclusion.  A discussion of our uniquely human traits like morality and rational thinking as well as a more spiritual examination of God's presence in His creation are presented here.

Overall, it is a very interesting read, and a wonderful source of information.  I wish I had read it sooner, as I have engaged in discussions of Church vs science several times in the past two months, and even the very day before I began to read the book!

I would recommend this one for both interesting content, and as a good Catholic resource.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on God and Evolution? Science Meets Faith . The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your family Advent activities and supplies this year, such as Advent wreaths and calendars for kids, as well as Christmas decorations such as nativity scene sets and religious Christmas gifts for the whole family.