Scientific Creationism (Reading List)

When I started this blog, I decided not to spend much time on Christian evidences. I’ve studied the topic more than most Christians, have a huge library of materials on both sides, but I really don’t have a lot to say that hasn’t already been said better than I can say it. And I really don’t want this to become a source of division.

It’s part of the perversity of Christians that we’ll divide and feud over about anything, including which evidence of God we find persuasive!

So let me be clear: if you disagree with me, you are not going to go to hell for that reason. God will gladly save young-earth creationists, old-earth creationists, Scientific Creationists, and Intelligent Design theorists. Some of us will learn that we were wrong, and we’ll have an eternity together to laugh about it.

I find myself in the old earth/Intelligent Design camp, not the young earth/Scientific Creationism camp. I think it’s the right place to be, and I think it’s the place that best helps us evangelize those with a scientific mindset.

Here are some books that anyone who wants to be knowledgeable in this area should read —

Hugh Ross. Ross is a Christian astronomer who writes largely on modern cosmology. He writes at a popular level but with a genuine expertise.

The Creator and the Cosmos

Creation and Time

The Genesis Question

If you buy only one, buy his first one, The Creator and the Cosmos.

John Clayton. Clayton, a member of the Churches of Christ, is a geologist.

Does God Exist? newsletter

Evidences of God This is a collection of essays which I have found very helpful. It predates and anticipates much of Intelligent Design theory. It answers a lot of questions.

Disproving Scientific Creationism

Abusing Science, by Phillip Kitcher. Kitcher is an atheist, and his arguments on theology are just awful, as you might expect. But he tears the major works in support of young-earth Scientific Creationism by Henry Morris and his circle to shreds.

Gerald Schroeder Schroeder is a Jew with a Ph.D. in physics from MIT.

The Science of God. Chapter 3 will blow you away!

Francis S. Collins. Collins is the biologist who headed the human genome project. He is an ardent evolutionist and Christian.

The Language of God. This is an important book, although it doesn’t break a lot of new ground, because it demonstrates how a world-class biologist can find evidence of God in science.

Paul Davies. Davies, once an atheist, has come to accept Theism (not Christianity) because of what he knows about science and mathematics. Not an easy read but deep stuff for the mathematically or philosophically minded. Davies is a professor of mathematical physics.

The Mind of God.

Thaxton, Bradley, and Olsen. These men hold Ph.D’s in chemistry, materials science, and geochemistry. This book was written for the scientific community.

The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories

They write three great chapters on the Second Law of Thermodynamics that happen to be available in full on the internet —

Chapter 7 Thermodynamics of Living Systems, p113

Chapter 8 Thermodynamics and the Origin of life, p127

Chapter 9 Specifying How Work is to be Done, p144

As you’ll see, entropy is just not a problem for living systems but makes the creation of life without intelligent intervention a virtual impossibility.

Notice that all these books are by scientists with genuine credentials. I don’t buy science books by preachers or theologians. Well, I used to, but I learned better.

Now, this is just a little piece of the much bigger topic of Christian evidences. Christian evidences deals not only with science but also with theology, archaeology, literature, history, language, and a host of other fields.

There are lots of great books on Christian evidences outside the realm of science. It’s just that, for many who don’t yet believe, science is a barrier. It shouldn’t be. Science should be a gateway to God.

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
This entry was posted in Scientific Creationism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Scientific Creationism (Reading List)

  1. odgie says:

    "Some of us will learn that we were wrong, and we’ll have an eternity together to laugh about it."

    That is true about so many things…

  2. Matthew says:

    I enjoyed Ken Miller's "Finding Darwin's God" for its discussion of how a working evolutionary biologist incorporates faith into his life.

  3. Jay Guin says:

    From an email (sender's name withheld) —

    Hi Jay,

    In reference to your blog, I love “science should be a gateway to God.”

    My children and I are at the beginning of history this year. I’m teaching the prehistory/ancient history of the bible in conjunction with secular prehistory/ancient history. We began with the creation of the universe. God used the big bang, but questioning if that could happen in a day. Did God just speak it and bang it was done or did he set the law of physics in motion over millions of years?

    Then we moved on to the creation of life presenting Darwinism and Creationism. I told them I totally believed that God created life, and humans didn’t evolve from pond scum, but wasn’t sure of the timeline. I actually told them about the Second Law of Thermodynamics also. I shared with them that I really don’t believe the earth is only thousands of years old, but I didn’t know how to reconcile it with the creation story in the bible and its timeline.

    We’ve talked a lot about the cataclysmic flood and its implications. You know, Pangaea, migration origins coming from Asia vs. Africa, Neanderthals, etc.

    Whatever we’ve talked about, I’ve tried to do it in the realm of science emphasizing that God created the laws of science and rules over them. Whenever we talk about miracles, we do it in terms of how God bends the natural laws he created to accomplish them. (if I know what the law is of course).

    I guess in saying all this, I know my knowledge of the matter is incomplete. I looked at your list and thought finally! Then reality set in, and I realized there is no way I have time to read these books, and what I really need is something written for young adults, not scholars, so that my children can understand it.

    That logic/mathematics intelligence thing is right up there for them, unlike myself, so not being on a completely scholarly level is good for me too. It helps me break it down to a level I can explain to the children, and quite frankly I just don’t want to work that hard to understand it. My mind has so many things going on there isn’t a lot of room for data processing right now.

    Any suggestions? Are there any books out there written in layman’s terms that don’t sacrifice scientific principles?

    Many thanks,

    [Name withheld]

    We figured out together than both John Clayton and Hugh Ross have published literature on Christian Evidences designed for children, available on their websites.

  4. Helez says:

    I've been reading Miller's "Only a Theory", which is a light read on the issues surrounding ID and the dover school board trial. I've been looking for books with a little more theological content, I'll have to check that one out, Matthew… thanks.

    I've made a cursory read of Thaxton, Bradley, and Olsen's work as Jay posted above. I don't see anything that sticks out a major red flag, and I'm looking forward to a complete review later! Very exciting… thanks Jay. I love that the last line of their summary is a question… those questions are what some of us live for. 🙂

  5. Nick Gill says:

    This is an interesting concept: the issue of "sacrificing scientific principles."

    This seems to suggest that the highest, most trustworthy, most REAL form of knowing is according to the scientific method.

    It distresses me even more greatly when Christians either say or imply that in a face-off between scientific epistemology and theological epistemology, it is alright to shed theological principles, but it would be a SACRIFICE to question scientific principles.

    From NT Wright's Faraday Lecture (

    "I want, rather, to finish with Peter. Epistemologies of faith and hope, both transcending but including historical and scientific knowing, point on to an epistemology of love – an idea I first met in Bernard Lonergan, but which was hardly new with him. The story of John 21 sharpens it up. Peter, famously, has denied Jesus. He has chosen to live within the normal world, where the tyrants win in the end, and where it’s better to dissociate yourself from people who get on the wrong side of them. But now, with Easter, Peter is called to live in a new and different world; where Thomas is called to a new kind of faith, and Paul to a radically renewed hope, Peter is called to a new kind of love. Here I go back to Wittgenstein once more, not this time for a poker but for a famous and haunting aphorism: ‘It is love that believes the resurrection.’ ‘Simon, son of John,’ says Jesus, ‘do you love me?’ There is a whole world in that question, a world of personal invitation and challenge, of the remaking of a human being after disloyalty and disaster, of the refashioning of epistemology itself, the question of how we know things, to correspond to the new ontology, the question of what God’s new world is like. The reality which is the resurrection cannot simply be ‘known’ from within the old world of decay and denial, of tyrants and torture, of disobedience and death. But that’s the point. As I said, the resurrection is not, as it were, a highly peculiar event within the present world, though it is that as well; it is the defining, central, prototypical event of the new creation, the world which is being born with Jesus. If we are even to glimpse this new world, let alone enter it, we will need a different kind of knowing, a knowing which involves us in new ways, an epistemology which draws out from us not just the cool appraisal of detached quasi-scientific research, but the whole-person engagement and involvement for which the best shorthand is ‘love’, in the full Johannine sense of agape. My sense from talking to some scientific colleagues is that, though it’s hard to describe, something like this is already at work when the scientist devotes him- or herself to the subject-matter so that the birth of new hypotheses seems to come about, not so much through an abstract brain (a computer made of meat?) crunching data from elsewhere, but more of a soft and mysterious symbiosis of knower and known, of lover and beloved.

    The sceptic will quickly suggest that this is, after all, a way of collapsing the truth of Easter once more into mere subjectivism. Not so. Just because it takes agape to believe the resurrection, that doesn’t mean that all that happened was that Peter and the others felt their hearts strangely warmed. Precisely because it is love we are talking about, not lust, it must have a correlative reality in the world outside the lover. Love is the deepest mode of knowing, because it is love that, while completely engaging with reality other than itself, affirms and celebrates that other-than-self reality. This is the mode of knowing which is necessary if we are to live in the new public world, the world launched at Easter, the world in which Jesus is Lord and Caesar isn’t.

    That is why, although the historical arguments for Jesus’ bodily resurrection are truly strong, we must never suppose that they will do more than bring people to the questions faced by Thomas and Peter, the questions of faith and love. We cannot use an supposedly ‘objective’ historical epistemology as the ultimate ground for the truth of Easter. To do so would be like someone who lit a candle to see whether the sun had risen. What the candles of historical scholarship will do is to show that the room has been disturbed, that it doesn’t look like it did last night, and that would-be ‘normal’ explanations for this won’t do. Maybe, we think after the historical arguments have done their work, maybe morning has come and the world has woken up. But to find out whether this is so we must take the risk and open the curtains to the rising sun. When we do so, we won’t rely on the candles any more, not because we don’t believe in evidence and argument, not because we don’t believe in history or science, but because they will have been overtaken by the larger reality from which they borrow, to which they point, and in which they will find a new and larger home. All knowing is a gift from God, historical and scientific knowing no less than that of faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love."

  6. Nick Gill says:

    Actually, the transcript is at

    That is the transcript of a later delivery of the same lecture he delivered at the Faraday Lectures at Cambridge in May '07.

  7. geochristian says:

    I'd add "The Bible, Rocks, and Time" by Young and Stearley to the list. These guys are both Christian geologists, and they do an excellent job of showing why young-Earth creationism doesn't explain the rock record. It is somewhat technical, but it is the best book on the topic from a Christian perspective.

  8. nick gill says:

    I see a ton of geologists supporting old-Earth creationism, which makes sense. Their field of expertise is in the very field of evidence that most supports OEC.

    I wonder about other schools of science, though. I haven't found a geologist yet who is interested in explaining to me why there's so much hydrogen left in the universe after 6 billion years of fusion and entropy.

Comments are closed.