Charles Prince is not the first author with hopes of stirring discussion between scientific folks and people of faith. That was also the goal of Dr. Francis S. Collins, eminent scientist, atheist-turned-evangelical believer, now retired head of the Human Genome Project, and author of the 2006 book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Free Press). Collins writes as a top-tier scientist who became an evangelical Christian. Prince, who in semi-retirement at age 80 still teaches advanced Bible and Koine Greek at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, writes from the vantage-point of a conservative evangelical theologian with a background in science.
Prince and Collins alike disagree with some popular doctrines on either side of the traditional divide. Both men reject the evolutionary vision of random selection working in conjunction with the survival of the fittest. Both also reject the so-called “young earth” theory, which they finds biblically unnecessary and scientifically unpersuasive. Both authors acknowledge the progressive complexity seen in the fossil record and attribute the progression to divine control. As a scientist, Collins speaks in terms of theistic evolution, for which he prefers the term “BioLogos.” As a theologian, Prince talks about “progressive creation” or “continuous creation,” terms used by late evangelical giant Carl F. H. Henry.
The first step toward unnecessary conflict occurs, according to both Prince and Collins, when believers go to the Bible for answers to questions that it never intended to address, and when scientists return from observing nature with declarations which nature cannot possibly provide. If that were all one took home from either man’s book, the time spent reading would be thoroughly justified. (For ordering information on Prince’s book, contact him here or write to firstname.lastname@example.org .