Rereading The Language of God

Jim StumpJim Stump 
on February 7, 2020

    I got my copy of Language of God from the bargain rack at Barnes & Noble in June of 2008. I know this because the $5.98 sticker is still affixed to the dust jacket, and because I developed the habit of writing when and where I acquire books on the inside cover (a habit that was much more interesting in the pre-Amazon days!).

    I didn’t finish reading the book, though, until April of 2014. I know this because I also developed the habit of writing the date I finish a book inside the cover. What makes that interesting is that my book also has a personal note from Francis Collins himself, dated March of 2014. That was still my first year of working at BioLogos, and he had stopped by the office when he was in town. Before then I had sampled the book (like I do many books) and knew what it was about, but meeting Francis inspired me to give it a complete reading. I then read it all the way through again in 2018, putting it into an even more elite status among the books I come across.

    It’s hard to overestimate the influence this book has had on BioLogos. Our origin story is deeply connected to it and the response it generated. (You can hear Francis tell the story of the book and his subsequent founding of BioLogos in our second podcast interview with him.) It was a breath of fresh air for many people who had only ever heard that being a Christian meant you had to turn a blind eye toward the obvious success of current scientific theories. Here was one of the most prominent scientists in the world, who had just led the massive Human Genome Project, and yet he could also describe his faith with unmistakable authenticity.

    book open to the front cover to show someone's written inside

    But it is not just the content of the book that led to its success. It is Francis’s humility and graciousness that comes through so clearly in his book (and even more in person), and that has been very attractive to many, many people. In the podcast interview, Francis said that he knew he didn’t have all the answers, but thought it was important to start a conversation. How refreshing!

    The stereotypical story we hear from people about how they found BioLogos, is that someone gave them a copy of Language of God. We’d like to perpetuate that stereotype. This month we have some signed copies of the book to give away!

    You can enter below, and there are multiple ways to earn entries. We will be choosing one winner per week for the remainder of this month!

    Signed Language of God Book Giveaway!

    I’m about halfway through reading #3 of Language of God. There are places in it that could use some updating, and Francis has said he hopes to have the time someday soon to put out a second edition. Even so it remains a model of clear and compelling narrative about science and faith.


    Jim Stump
    About the Author

    Jim Stump

    Jim Stump is Vice President at BioLogos. He oversees the editorial team, participates in strategic planning, and hosts the podcast, Language of God. Jim also writes and speaks on behalf of BioLogos. He has a PhD in philosophy and was formerly a professor and academic administrator. His books include, Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design; Science and Christianity: An Introduction to the Issues; How I Changed My Mind about Evolution; and The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity. You can email Jim Stump at james.stump@biologos.org.  
    25 posts about this topic

    Join the conversation on Discourse

    At BioLogos, “gracious dialogue” means demonstrating the grace of Christ as we dialogue together about the tough issues of science and faith.