Book review: Worshiping with Charles Darwin
by Robert D. Cornwall
I’m a fan of Robert Cornwall’s writing. It’s hard to overrate brevity, common sense, and simple honesty. Last year, one of his books made my Top Ten for 2012: See Faith in the Public Square.
In this book, Cornwall tackles the sticky subject of evolution. He writes as a theologian, not a scientist, but as one who recognizes his limited expertise and therefore respects and appreciates the contribution of scientists. Cornwall believes evolution is true not only because our greatest minds have offered convincing explanations, but because they have made great strides in medicine by building atop this biological knowledge. Cornwall believes the war between science and religion harms both sides, and that truth can best be approached by leaving the experts on each side to do their jobs without interference.
Cornwall is not alone in this opinion. A few years back, Dr. Michael Zimmerman penned a letter encouraging the compatibility of religion and science, and this letter has now garnered over 10,000 clergy signatures. “Evolution Sunday” was born, marking the closest Sunday to the birthday of Charles Darwin (February 12th), and at last count nearly 600 churches celebrated this day by using their worship service to address the issue, declaring that evolutionary science and faith are compatible.
Worshiping with Charles Darwin is a series of non-technical sermons and essays to that end. Many of the points and themes repeat in multiple sermons/essays, so there’s a bit of redundancy, yet I believe this book fills an important niche, with the theologian side of the war respectfully reaching out to make peace.