Friday, March 7

The Adam Quest by Tim Stafford



Normally I would’ve passed over this book, but after the recent debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, the title caught my eye. Tim Stafford (writer for Christianity Today) interviews eleven scientists who profess Christianity. He specifically speaks with them about their view on human origins to see what they believe and why. His point of the book is to be objective, and let the reader decide (though he does include a chapter with his beliefs at the end). Not all of the scientists agree with each other. He interviews young earth creationists, intelligent design creationists (which he labels as those who belief the earth is billions of year old but was influenced by a creator), and evolutionary creationists (who believe God used evolution to form life over millions of years).

Each chapter focuses on different scientists. Stafford covers a brief bit of their history, especially how they became Christians and how they became scientists. He then goes into their reasoning for their respective views


On the whole, The Adam Quest was quite interesting. While there were times that the chapters actually seemed light on the issue of origins, the short bios still held my interested. While it would’ve been great to have each chapter go a little bit more in depth, everything is presented in a respectful way so that those on the fence can have information to chew on. I especially appreciated Stafford’s intent to remain object during the interviews. While he does make it clear what his position is at the end, I didn’t feel that he negatively presented those who would disagree with him.

There are two main weak elements in the book.

The first is that too often Stafford seemed to summarize the interviews. While he included quotes from the scientists, I would’ve loved to hear more of their own words instead of just being given the gist of it. While Stafford does a fine job in telling these viewpoints, hearing from the actual person could give a much better sense of what they believe.

Second, the book seemed overly constrained by focusing on origins. While a topic that would surely interest many, my favorite part of the book were the elements where the scientists had to figure out how their faith should interact with science. While a lot of this does have to do with origins, I would’ve loved a deeper look at this. I felt that the last interviewee, John Polkinhorne, was the strongest in this regard. In fact, Polkinhorne left the science field to become an Anglican Priest! I found this to be much more interesting than his views on origins.

If questions about the origin of life interest you, or if you are just interested about Christians working in scientific fields today, The Adam Quest could be a good one to pick up. If you are looking for in depth arguments regarding a certain position on origins, this might not be the book for you.

4/5 Stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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