How I Changed My Mind About Evolution: James K.A. Smith

| By (guest author) on Faith and Science Seeking Understanding

INTRO BY JIMFor many of us, entrance into issues of science and religion came through people who genuinely showed an interest in us. That was the case for James K. A. Smith, who is now Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College. His latest book is You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit. See below an excerpt from his contribution to How I Changed My Mind About Evolution. The book is available now from the IVP website and very soon at retailers everywhere. 

Perhaps surprisingly, it was at Bible college that I was first taught to care about science. That might strike some as odd, since we often perceive Bible colleges as anti-intellectual zones of hostility to science. But that picture needs to be corrected a bit. In my Bible college experience, I was energized by a new interest in science bequeathed to me by the energy and passion of my apologetics teacher. A former naval engineer with a PhD in chemical engineering, “Dr. Dave” had experienced a radical conversion and also sensed a call to ministry. . . His passion and knowledge were infectious. . .

Dr. Dave noted my curiosity and began to express personal interest, taking me under his wing as a kind of apprentice. Indeed, while the intellectual component fostered my curiosity about “creation science,” I think it’s crucial not to underestimate the personal and pastoral factors at work here as well. In significant ways, I cared about creation science because Dr. Dave had clearly demonstrated that he cared for me. I was open to being intellectually convinced precisely because I had already sensed that I was being pastorally cared for. My mind was open to creation science because Dr. Dave had expressed love and concern for my soul. . .

Not until later did I realize that, in my Bible college education, science was primarily of interest as ammunition in a culture war. . . Science was of interest insofar as it contributed “evidences” that would help win an argument, defeat an opponent and shore up a “position” in the culture war. Science was not entertained as a vocation or calling for Christians. . . I started to get an inkling that maybe I hadn’t gotten the whole story.


Read the rest of Jamie Smith's story, and 24 others, in How I Changed My Mind About Evolution. Available now at IVP and retail outlets.




Smith, James K.A.. "How I Changed My Mind About Evolution: James K.A. Smith " N.p., 31 May. 2016. Web. 16 February 2019.


Smith, J. (2016, May 31). How I Changed My Mind About Evolution: James K.A. Smith
Retrieved February 16, 2019, from /blogs/jim-stump-faith-and-science-seeking-understanding/how-i-changed-my-mind-about-evolution-james-ka-smith

References & Credits

Taken from How I Changed My Mind About Evolution edited by Kathryn Applegate and J. B. Stump. Copyright (c) 2016 by Kathryn Applegate, James Stump, and BioLogos Foundation. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426.

About the Author

James K.A. Smith

Dr. Smith is a philosopher and theologian. He is Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College, as well as a Senior Fellow of The Colossian Forum. He writes and speaks frequently on philosophy, theology, and cultural criticism. He is the author of numerous books, including Desiring the Kingdom and Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works. His latest book isHow (Not) to be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor.

More posts by James K.A. Smith