How I Changed My Mind About Evolution—Richard Mouw

| By (guest author) on Endless Forms Most Beautiful

INTRO BY KATHRYNHow I Changed My Mind About Evolution is a collection of 25 personal stories about working through implications of science and faith. Richard Mouw is now retired from a long career in Christian higher education as a professor and administrator. In this excerpt from his chapter, he makes a plea for “safe spaces” where we can work together toward greater understanding.

The book is available now through the IVP website and retail outlets.

Between ages fourteen and sixteen I worked summers at a fundamentalist Bible camp, where there was an older student who was already studying at Wheaton College. He discovered a book by Bernard Ramm called A Christian View of Science and the Scriptures published in 1954. Ramm was one of the great leaders of the post-World War II neoevangelical movement. In that book Ramm discussed, in a way that I had never heard anyone discuss before, the problems with believing in a universal flood… This friend of mine read the book the way other kids our age were reading Playboy. We kept it in a paper bag and sneaked off into the woods to read passages out loud to each other. This book and the experience forever formed my own understanding of these issues.

Much later, when I was a professor at Calvin College, I invited Bernard Ramm to the college to speak. We spent several hours together, and after telling him how much the book had influenced me, I asked him—since this book was very controversial, and there were many attacks and many people questioning whether he was a real Christian—”Do you ever regret writing that book?”

“Oh, no,” he said. I’ll never forget what he said next: “All the criticism I ever received was worth it, just to know that there would never be a student of mine who, after studying with me, went off to Harvard and lost his or her faith because I never allowed them to wrestle with the kinds of issues that I raised in that book.”

We face a younger generation that’s wrestling with these issues, and we need to wrestle with them ourselves. . . I still haven’t settled on a plausible answer to the historical Adam question, for instance. . . I’m struggling with it, but I need safe places in which to explore with other Christians who are also willing to explore.




Mouw, Richard. "How I Changed My Mind About Evolution—Richard Mouw" N.p., 28 Jun. 2016. Web. 17 January 2019.


Mouw, R. (2016, June 28). How I Changed My Mind About Evolution—Richard Mouw
Retrieved January 17, 2019, from /blogs/kathryn-applegate-endless-forms-most-beautiful/how-i-changed-my-mind-about-evolutionrichard-mouw

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

Richard Mouw

Richard J. Mouw is professor of Christian philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he also served as president from 1993 to 2013. Before coming to Fuller in 1985, he served for 17 years as professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. A graduate of Houghton College, Richard received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago. He is the author of 19 books and has served on many editorial boards, including currently Books and Culture. In 2007, Princeton Theological Seminary awarded him the Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life. Mouw is a member of the BioLogos Board of Directors.

More posts by Richard Mouw