We are getting ready for the next BioLogos Book Club set to begin September 12! Though Christians share a common belief about who created the universe, they can believe very different things about how it happened. Our next Book Club will focus on the book, Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design, written by current BioLogos president, Dr. Deborah Haarsma, along with her husband, Dr. Loren Haarsma. This book lays out the various Christian perspectives on origins in a way that is approachable and clear. Each chapter includes:
- An in-depth look at each topic
- Questions for reflection or discussion
- A list of suggested resources for further reading and study
A new 6-session DVD also provides an easy way to spark group discussion. Each 10 minute video can be accessed for free with topics that include: “It’s Not Science Versus Scripture”, “Genesis and Geology”, and “Human Origins and Adam and Eve”.
In a culture that often plays up an “us vs. them” mentality when it comes to potentially controversial matters like this , our authors embrace a refreshing approach which shows respect to all brothers and sisters in Christ, thus helping to build a welcoming and safe context for exploring the topic.
Are there friends, coworkers, students, church groups or others that may be interested in engaging the many issues Christians face when it comes to the origins discussion? We encourage you to invite them into a BioLogos Book Club beginning this fall.
Blog posts focused on the Book Club will once again be featured. These Origins posts will begin on September 12 and run every other Friday, through November 21. Plan to check in as various blog authors share their thoughts on Origins. Also, take the opportunity to contribute your questions and comments through the online discussion forum. A webinar with the authors of Origins is also being planned.
We look forward to hearing from all corners of the BioLogos community! Please contact us with any questions you have by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to start a book club
Begin by inviting people– start with 3 friends who are all devoted readers and ask them to invite 1, 2, or 3 others, also devoted readers. It's not important to know everyone at first but after a couple of meetings, you will know each other and you can grow the club at your own pace (or not). Typically a book club with 8-16 members are best; big enough for a discussion but not too big to make the discussion unwieldy.
Decide on a meeting schedule and location– When we post our schedule online, this will assist you in deciding how often you want to meet. Most clubs meet during the week: mid-morning, lunchtime, dinner, or early evening. You can decide the location with your immediate group of friends, possibly your church, a near-by cafe, or someone's home. We also recommend to send out meeting reminders and possibly giving yourself a name. A name makes people feel like they are really a part of something big.
Keep journal and memories– Keep a club journal - a scrapbook or 3-ring binder - to keep track of the book selections, discussion highlights, and members' opinions. It's especially helpful to bring new members up to speed. And if you think about it - take some photos of your group and send them to email@example.com. Your photo would be a great addition to the BioLogos Book Club page and would be a great encouragement to others to join in the conversation.
Join the larger BioLogos community– During your book club sessions be sure to log in to the BioLogos Book Club Forum (forthcoming) where you can a part of the conversation with others across the country. Learn from what others have to say and possibly spin a new conversation based on feedback and comments.
Origins chapter details
- Chapter 1: “God's Word and God's World” – The relationship between the study of God's word and world is investigated and the sovereignty of God over both is upheld.
- Chapter 2: “Worldviews and Science” – Scientific practice is consistent with a Christian worldview. God's governance over four areas is considered: explainable natural events, unexplainable natural events, supernatural events, and random events.
- Chapter 3: “Science: A Process for Studying God's World” – Three methods used in the process of gaining scientific knowledge are discussed: experimental, observational, and historical. Reliability of these methods is discussed.
- Chapter 4: “God's Word and God's World in Conflict?” – Science and theology are human interpretations of God's revelations in nature and Scripture. Factors that influence these interpretations are discussed and the story of Galileo provides some important lessons.
- Chapter 5: “Genesis: Concordist Interpretations” – What is the geological evidence for an old earth and what are "concordist" interpretations of Genesis 1?
- Chapter 6: “Genesis: Non-concordist Interpretations” – Five "non-concordist" interpretations of Genesis 1 are given and all interpretations are discussed in light of sound biblical interpretation practices.
- Chapter 7: “An Ancient and Dynamic Universe” – A look at the evidence for an ancient universe that had a point of beginning and how the universe appears fine-tuned for life to develop.
- Chapter 8: “Competing Views on Evolution” – This chapter sorts out the meanings of the term "evolution" and includes descriptions of the progressive creation and evolutionary creation views.
- Chapter 9: “Evidence for Plant and Animal Evolution” – Evidence for common ancestry and evolution is presented from fossils, anatomy, geography, and genetics. Christian positions in light of the evidence are analyzed.
- Chapter 10: “Intelligent Design” – What is the position of Intelligent Design in the current landscape on origins? Details about how complex biological life developed are considered.
- Chapter 11: “Scientific and Theological Issues on Human Origins” – Scientific evidence on human origins is considered along with related theological topics like original sin and the image of God.
- Chapter 12: “Adam and Eve” – Five scenarios for Adam and Eve are examined in light of the issues discussed in Chapter 11 including the pros and cons of each.
- Chapter 13: “But What About…?” – Discussion of some of the main questions Christians have when it comes to origins and advice on how to live in unity with believers who hold differing views.
- Chapter 14: “Wonder and Worship” – It is important to pause and praise the Creator in the midst of these kinds of debates.