The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions, By Karl W. Giberson and Francis S. Collins

The Language of Science and Faith

Straight Answers to Genuine Questions

by Karl W. Giberson and Francis S. Collins

The Language of Science and Faith
  • Length: 251 pages
  • Published: February 15, 2011
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3829
  • ISBN: 9780830838295

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Christians affirm that everything exists because of God--from subatomic quarks to black holes. Science often claims to explain nature without including God at all. And thinking Christians often feel forced to choose between the two.

But the good news is that we don't have to make a choice. Science does not overthrow the Bible. Faith does not require rejecting science. World-renowned scientist Francis Collins, author of The Language of God, along with fellow scientist Karl Giberson show how we can embrace both. Their fascinating treatment explains how God cares for and interacts with his creation while science offers a reliable way to understand the world he made.

Together they clearly answer dozens of the most common questions people ask about Darwin, evolution, the age of the earth, the Bible, the existence of God and our finely tuned universe. They also consider how their views stack up against the new atheists as well as against creationists and adherents of intelligent design.

The authors disentangle the false conclusions of Christians and atheists alike about science and evolution from the actual results of research in astronomy, physics, geology and genetics. In its place they find a story of the grandeur and beauty of a world made by a supremely creative God.

"For too long, followers of Jesus have been told they have to make a choice—between science and Christianity, reason and belief, their intellectual integrity and their faith. The Language of Science and Faith is a readable and comprehensive resource for the thoughtful Christian who refuses to choose. Giberson and Collins tackle difficult topics with charity, accessibility and integrity, moving the origins conversation forward in a way that honors God and builds up the church. This is a must-read for those who want to love the Lord with their heart, soul, mind and strength."

Rachel Held Evans, author of Evolving in Monkey Town

"Collins and Giberson add a learned and engaging voice to the continuing struggle between Christian faith and scientific knowledge. The authors are central figures in advancing a true conversation between an ancient faith and modern ways of knowing, and it is hard to match their experience in dealing with the central questions covered in this volume. The Language of Science and Faith is an accessible distillation of their wisdom and I recommend it with great enthusiasm."

Peter Enns, Senior Fellow in Biblical Studies, The BioLogos Foundation

"The theory of evolution raises important questions for Christians of all sorts, but this book is the best I've found to address the concerns of American evangelicals. It is written in clear enough language to be accessible to students at a variety of levels, yet sophisticated enough to be of interest to professionals in both science and theology. It is at once intelligent and inspiring."

Nancey Murphy, professor of Christian philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Concise. Clear. Convincing. The Language of Science and Faith provides a straightforward means whereby the two sides of this contentious issue can get themselves on the same page. I recommend it as a resource for individuals and groups who want to believe that God speaks through both Scripture and nature."

Daniel M. Harrell, Ph.D., senior minister, Colonial Church, Edina, Minn., and author of Nature?s Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith

"This book is destined to become a classic for those who, with an open mind, are willing to seriously wrestle with questions about the relationship of modern science with Christian faith. It is not for the faint of heart but is a treasure trove for those willing to dig deep into this critical subject."

Dr. Tim Johnson, senior medical contributor for ABC News and author of Finding God in the Questions

"Two challenging languages, one old and wise, one modern and awesome. Two very different accounts of human origins. Can the book of Scripture and the book of nature both be true in the age of science? We need sympathetic and enlightening interpreters. Happily Giberson and Collins here offer a guide to the perplexed that is reverent, relevant and very well-informed."

Owen Gingerich, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, author of God's Universe

"As a pastor, I am constantly searching for resources that will guide people to the fullness of God. I care that my congregation be attracted toward God's artistry, moved by his majesty and intellectually challenged by his sovereignty. This book is at the top of my recommendations both as an evaluation of theories of creation and as a devotional that prompts us to revere the Creator."

Joel C. Hunter, Northland Church, Longwood, Florida

"After all the shouting in this science/religion conflict, I appreciated the calm, respectful tone that characterizes The Language of Science and Faith."

LeRoy Lawson, Christian Standard, September 2012

"We need more models like this that show us how to interact with the issues so that we will not continue to hypocritically take advantage of the advances of science while rejecting its foundational theories. Collins and Giberson are humble and gentle guides in this regard."

Amos Yong, The Pneuma Review, Summer 2012

"In this informative and accessible book, [Giberson and Collins] answer many questions about evolution and its relation to Christian faith."

The Christian Century, May 2, 2012

"This book should convince those sitting on or near the fence on questions of evolution and Christian belief. In this context, I heartily recommend The Language of Science and Faith."

Thomas Jay Oord, Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses, 40(4)

"This book will illuminate an under-exposed mind to methods of science oftentimes demonized. If nothing else, The Language of Science and Faith makes a great read and an excellence source of insight into a side of the creation-evolution debate not typically explored by evangelicals."

Cody Hamilton Nygard, The Baptist Standard, August 15, 2011

"The authors disentangle the false conclusions of Christians and atheists alike about science and evolution from the actual results of research in astronomy, physics, geology and genetics. In its place they find a story of the grandeur and beauty of a world made by a supremely creative God."

Christian News, March 21, 2011


1 Do I Have to Believe in Evolution?
2 Can We Really Know the Earth Is Billions of Years Old?
3 How Do We Relate Science and Religion?
4 Can Scientific and Scriptural Truth Be Reconciled?
5 Science and the Existence of God
6 Why Is Darwin's Theory So Controversial?
7 What Is the "Fine-Tuning" of the Universe and How Does It Serve as a "Pointer to God"?
8 Evolution and Human Beings
9 The Grand Narrative of Creation
Annotated Bibliography
Name Indexes
Subject Index
Index of Questions


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Karl W. Giberson

Karl Giberson (PhD, physics) is an internationally known scholar, speaker, and writer. He has written or coauthored nine books and lectured on science and religion at the Vatican, Oxford University, London´s Thomas Moore Institute and many prestigious American venues including MIT, The Harvard Club, and Xavier University. Dr. Giberson has published more than two hundred reviews and essays, both technical and popular, in outlets that include the New York Times,, The Guardian, USA Today, LA Times, and He is a regular contributor to the public dialogue on science and faith, and has appeared as a guest on NPR´s Morning Edition and Talk of the Nation as well as other radio programs. He blogs at The Huffington Post where his articles have generated thousands of comments and are frequently featured. From 1984 to 2011, Dr. Giberson was a professor at Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) where he received numerous recognitions and awards. From 2007 to 2010 he headed the Forum on Faith and Science at Gordon College. For three years, ending in 2009, he was the program director for the prestigious Venice Summer School on Science & Religion. Dr. Giberson now teaches writing and science and religion in the Cornerstone Program at Stonehill College.

Francis S. Collins

Francis S. Collins (MD, PhD) is a world-renowned physician-geneticist known for his discovery of the causes of many human genetic diseases. He is also known for spearheading the Human Genome Project, which produced the first complete sequence of human DNA in 2003. In 2006, he published The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, which spent fourteen weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. In 2007, he founded The BioLogos Foundation to respond to the many queries he receives about science and faith. Since August 2009, he has served as the director of the National Institutes of Health. His most recent books, all authored prior to his current government position, include The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine and Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith.