Book: New theology of evolution

Author argues for a new theology of evolution in his latest book

BOOK REVIEW: Darwin’s theory of evolution is a “cold bath” for theology. It is a stimulus to Christian theologians to think bold and enlivening new thoughts about God. While evolutionary atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Jerry Coyne claim that Darwin’s science has destroyed any basis for religion, and especially Christian faith, John F. Haught argues that evolutionary science and a robust faith in God are not mutually exclusive, but, in fact, go quite well together. In Making Sense of Evolution: Darwin, God, and the Drama of Life, just published from Westminster John Knox Press, Haught suggests evolution makes sense both scientifically and theologically when we connect the idea of God to the drama of life rather than to the question of whether life is intelligently “designed.” At the same time, he demonstrates that only after evolutionists such as Dawkins, Dennett, and Coyne “realize that Darwinian science has no business in answering ultimate questions will biology be fully liberated from the clutches of theology (p. 20).”

Haught believes Christians who find evolution contrary to faith often do so because they are focusing mainly on the issue of life’s adaptive design and the notion of the gradual descent of all life from a common ancestry. In doing so, he argues, they overlook the significance of the dramatic narrative going on beneath the surface of life and the entire universe. Haught offers a compelling focus on evolution as an ongoing drama and accepts the possibility that we simply cannot—perhaps need not—make complete sense of it all until it has fully played out.

John F. Haught is a Senior Fellow specializing in Science and Religion at the Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University, and Professor of Theology Emeritus, Georgetown University. A leading voice in the emerging field of science and religion, Haught is the author of eighteen books, including God and the New Atheism: A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens, published by Westminster John Knox Press. For more information, visit

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