Creation And Evolution

Creation and Evolution, by Jan Lever, translated from the Dutch by Peter G. Berkhout, (Grand Rapids International Publications, 1958, 244 pp., $3.95) is reviewed by Carl F. H. Henry, editor of the symposium, “Contemporary Evangelical Thought.”

The professor of zoology at Free University, Amsterdam, has given us one of the best surveys in our time of the sweep of scientific opinion on issues at the heart of the Creation-Evolution controversy. In an editorial elsewhere in this issue, the reviewer commends the positive sides of Dr. Lever’s work. Professor Lever is no mere observer of this modern debate. With an eye on the controlling importance of philosophy of science, he devotes to speculation much that is relayed as scientific fact. The theistic-naturalistic antithesis that once divided Christians and evolutionists, he notes, now has driven a cleavage within the ranks of scientists.

Dr. Lever is critical of Protestant fundamentalism for its handling of the central issues. He deplores the orthodox hostility, professedly on biblical ground (“after its kind”), to the inconstancy of species as biologically defined. Lever pleads, properly enough, for an approach, in genuinely biblical terms, to nature as a created order sustained by divine providence at every point and moment.

Evangelical scholars will join his lament because debatable and fallacious positions have been espoused in the name of biblical revelation (whereas actually drawn—as the dogma of the fixity of species—from the retiring science of the age). The primary question raised by Lever’s work is the relationship he postulates between revelation and science. How far, he asks, is the Bible of importance in thinking about origins? “Does Scripture ...

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