UPDATE: The End of Christianity
|August 13, 2009||Posted by William Dembski under Atheism, Culture, Evolution, Intelligent Design, Philosophy, Religion, Science, theistic evolution|
Yesterday I met with the literary publicist hired by Broadman & Holman to promote The End of Christianity when it is released November 1st (for the Amazon.com listing, go here). This book will do much to create further conceptual room for ID. It is also being positioned to go face-to-face with the neo-atheist literature.
The initial print-run and expectations for The End of Christianity far exceed anything for my previous books (even for my best-selling book to date, Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology, which has sold about 80,000 copies). I learned yesterday that Costco and Wal-Mart have placed orders for over 10,000 copies. An immediate Spanish translation will have an initial print-run of 15,000. Paternoster will be handling printing and distribution in the UK. Preorders at Amazon.com have been doing great.
The official launch begins soon and the literary publicist has some exciting ideas for promoting the book online (stay tuned!). For an overview of the book, along with the introductory material and first chapter, go to www.designinference.com. Below are the endorsements:
Endorsements for THE END OF CHRISTIANITY
When Bill Dembski employs his characteristic brilliance and boldness to illuminate one of theology’s thorniest problems, as he does in The End of Christianity, the result is a book that deserves a wide readership and serious attention from the experts.
–Phillip E. Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial.
As groundbreaking as his work on Intelligent Design, this new book from Dr. Bill Dembski provides us with a timely epiphany that could resolve the young-earth old-earth debate (I wish I had thought of it!), and it offers enlightening insights into God’s purposes for allowing evil. Keep in mind that The End of Christianity is not a book about Christianity’s demise. Quite the contrary—It’s about Christianity’s ultimate victory. Dr. Dembski helps us better understand God’s game plan and what we can do to help achieve that victory. Outstanding book!
–Frank Turek, co-author of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist
In The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World, William Dembski demonstrates his ever persistent willingness to follow evidence wherever it leads. On one hand, he follows scientific evidence pointing to a universe billions of years old. On the other, he follows Scriptural evidence demonstrating natural disasters and animal death to be consequences of the Fall. Through an astonishingly accessible exploration of science, philosophy, and theology, he harmonizes the paradigms while bringing healing to the process. Dembski’s insights may well prove to be a Copernican breakthrough.
–Hank Hanegraaff, host of the Bible Answer Man broadcast and author of The Complete Bible Answer Book: Collector’s Edition.
In The End of Christianity, William Dembski, one of the most gifted Christian thinkers addressing Christianity and science today, tackles one of the most vexed issues facing the Christian worldview: the problem of evil. The result is a clear, challenging, and profound treatise that is equally at home in the Bible, science, theology, and philosophy. Dembski’s ingenious approach to explaining natural evil (particularly animal pain and death before the fall) will not convince everyone, but all who read it will benefit from a mind crackling with intelligence, insight, and expertise.
–Douglas Groothuis is the author of On Pascal and Professor of Philosophy, Denver Seminary
[Shorter endorsement] In The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World, William Dembski defends what he takes to be the classic view of Christian theodicy, namely that all evil in the world ultimately traces back to human sin at the Fall. His kairological reading of the early chapters of Genesis in support of this doctrine merits serious attention by those who think it can no longer be rationally defended in light of scientific knowledge regarding the age of the earth and the development of life.
[Longer endorsement] In The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World, William Dembski defends and develops the claim that all evil in the world ultimately traces back to human sin at the Fall. His exposition of this view is an intellectual tour de force fully cognizant of, and responsive to, the latest developments in scientific, philosophical and theological thought. His kairological reading of the early chapters of Genesis, and his carefully constructed argument that the effects of the Fall are retroactive, merits careful consideration. His work in this book presents a serious challenge to those who maintain that the view that human sin is the proximate cause of all evil in the world is outdated and can no longer be rationally defended in light of scientific knowledge regarding the age of the earth and the development of life.
–Robert Larmer, Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of New Brunswick
The problem of evil is the toughest challenge to the Christian view that God is all-good and all-powerful. In this very insightful treatment of the subject, leading Christian thinker Bill Dembski wrestles with the relevant philosophical and theological issues that call for a coherent theodicy and presents a solution that is both careful and fair. This book is a “must read” for those interested in the problem of evil in general and how it relates to biblical creation in particular.
–Michael Licona, Ph.D., Apologetics Coordinator, North American Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention
For many years, Bill Dembski has been the pacesetter in philosophical discussions of Intelligent Design. In this volume, he applies his talents once again, suggesting an exceptionally creative, honest, and thought-provoking theodicy that analyzes the presence of evil prior to the Fall. Whatever your position, this work will stretch and challenge you to think carefully through a variety of crucial issues in an attempt to avoid the perennial problems that confront each major interpretation of the biblical data.
–Gary R. Habermas, Distinguished Research Professor, Liberty University
With characteristic breadth of scholarship, William A. Dembski lays out a fresh new model of creation, fall and redemption. Readers cannot fail to be enriched by this intellectually provocative and insightful book, which demonstrates than an information-theoretic theology has come of age.
–Peter S. Williams, author of A Sceptic’s Guide to Atheism (Paternoster, 2009)
Inevitably, it is the pernicious problem of pain and evil that the atheists and agnostics refer to as an excuse for not believing in God. Bill Dembski clears away this stumbling block and offers readers an original way of dealing with the problem which fits with an orthodox view of God’s good creation and fits with scientific facts.
–Chuck Colson, Founder, Prison Fellowship
The End of Christianity is innovative without being contrived, clear without being obvious, and, even at its most speculative, deeply committed to remaining biblically sound. Dembski has given us an important and exciting contribution to the discussion of the problem of evil.
–Doug Powell, apologist (selflessdefense.com), author of the Holman QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics
William Dembski seeks to uphold the traditional view that natural evil is the result of human sin, in the face of the massive scientific evidence that suffering and death were prevalent in nature long before the advent of humankind. His answer to the problem is embedded in far-reaching theological and philosophical speculations. In spite of his sometimes harsh dismissal of opposing views, Dembski’s proposals are ingenious and thought-provoking, and deserving of careful consideration.
–William Hasker, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Huntington University
[[No editing of this endorsment is allowed.]]
This is a thought-provoking and well-worth reading book by a brilliant evangelical thinker on the perennial and puzzling problem of how to explain physical evil in the world before the Fall. I could not put it down. It has so much intellectually stimulating material in it.
–Norman Geisler, Distinguished Professor of Theology and Apologetics, Veritas Evangelical Seminary, author of many books on Christian apologetics
The most telling argument presented by non-Christians against the existence of the God of the Bible is the claim that the evils in our world are incompatible with the existence of a good, all-powerful, and loving God. This “argument from evil” turns up again and again, for example, in the writings of English atheist John Mortimer, author of the Rumpole stories. Believers have badly needed the kind of compelling case for biblical theodicy provided in Dr Dembski’s new book—grounded, as it is, not in traditional philosophical arguments (often not merely obtuse but irrelevant in today’s scientific climate), but in intelligent design, of which Dr Dembski is the world’s foremost academic proponent.
–John Warwick Montgomery, author of many books, Distinguished Research Professor of Apologetics and Christian Thought, Patrick Henry College, and Director of the International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism & Human Rights in Strasbourg, France
By brilliantly wrestling with a range of scientific, theological, and philosophical challenges to the conservative Christian world view, William Dembski is establishing himself as the C. S. Lewis of this generation. Dembski blazes a new trail of thought through the morass of the Problem of Evil, and leads us to a powerful and inspiring view of God, His Creation, and of our purpose in God’s Kingdom. This is a must-read book for everyone who has wondered how a good God fits with an evil world, be they conservative, liberal, or atheist.
–John A. Bloom, Ph.D., Ph.D., M.Div., Professor of Physics, Academic Director of the Science and Religion Program, Biola University
It is striking how frequently “scientific” arguments about the origin of life are motivated by moral issues. Bill Dembski masterfully dissects the convoluted logic surrounding modern thought about the problem of evil, and crafts a compelling resolution which honors the historic Christian faith and scientific reasoning. This book will infuse purpose into our understanding of the world.
–Paul Ashby, Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Once again, Bill Dembski has broken new ground. The End of Christianity is a novel, fascinating, and profound reflection on the problem of evil in a world created by a beneficent God. Dembski has an uncanny ability to combine deep reflections with clear and persuasive prose. We have come to expect deeply thoughtful and path breaking work by him. In The End of Christianity he does not disappoint. This tour de force weaves together science, philosophy, and theology to generate profound insights on an old problem. No one thinks more deeply about the implications of science for philosophy and theology than Dembski. In The End of Christianity he makes yet another profound contribution to the reconciliation of modern science and the deepest truths of Christianity. In The End of Christianity, Dembski again displays the fiercely independent spirit of inquiry that made his earlier works so important and influential.
–Joseph M. Bessette, the Alice Tweed Tuohy Professor of Government and Ethics at Claremont-McKenna College
For much too long, theodicy has been little more than a boutique topic in theology, a justification for the world’s misery that lets God off the hook. William Dembski’s new book goes a long way to restoring theodicy’s original claim to be a master science of intelligent design. It is arguably the most worthy successor to Leibniz’s own Theodicy, which artfully showed how a rational theology, properly understood, could retain its role of queen of the sciences in the modern world. No doubt the book will stir controversy among both the religious and the secular, as Dembski intertwines quite specific interpretations of Scriptures with equally specific interpretations of an array of physical and biological sciences, all in clear prose and with a deft philosophical touch. However, Dembski is no dogmatist, and all along he suggests alternative lines of thought that readers might pursue. Here we finally see in open view the full potential of intelligent design theory to put an end to the intellectual segregationism that has limited science-religion relations for much too long.
–Steve Fuller, Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick, UK. Author of Dissent over Descent: Intelligent Design’s Challenge to Darwinism.
As his books prove with monotonous regularity, Bill Dembski’s brain runs circles around my own (and just about everyone’s, I naturally like to believe), but like all the others, The End of Christianity is also intellectually honest, generous, and respectful—and not, I’m convinced, as merely a gambit. Christian readers will find Dembski’s theodicy devotionally worthwhile, all of us intellectually so. Nice combination, not easily achieved.
–Mike Bryan is the author of, among other books, Chapter & Verse: A Skeptic Revisits Christianity, and The Afterword, a novel about a new deity
The End of Christianity is very different from William Dembski’s previous books, most notable of which were the academic classic The Design Inference and the popular best seller Intelligent Design. The present book deals with perhaps the most profound question to challenge humankind, the problem of evil. Like everything else Dr. Dembski has written, this book will be controversial. However, the readers of The End of Christianity will be greatly rewarded with a rich intellectual/philosophical/theological feast.
–Henry F. Schaefer III, Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry, University of Georgia
I am deeply grateful for Dr. Dembski and his work. Theologians have long known that the problem of evil is one of the biggest threats to traditional Christianity. Here Dembski boldly tackles the problem and offers a thoughtful and clearly written approach to it. His overall argument, that all evil can be traced to the fall of man (even in a trans-temporal way), deserves serious consideration. Even if you might find particular points on which to differ with his judgments, you will do well to incorporate his insights into your own thinking. And the final two chapters, on thankfulness and purpose, show that this book supports a vigorous love for God in daily life. Thank you, Dr. Dembski, for using your talents so well!
–C. John (“Jack”) Collins, Professor of Old Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary
William Dembski is a first-rate scholar who has focused his attention on the perennial challenge to Christianity: Why does God allow such evil and cruelty in the world? While staying well within the bounds of Christian orthodoxy, Dembski offers fresh insights that can truly be described as ground-breaking. Whether you end up embracing his solution or not, The End of Christianity is a book all Christians—and even non-Christians—need to wrestle with. We enthusiastically recommend it.
–Josh and Sean McDowell, co-authors of Evidence for the Resurrection and More Than A Carpenter
William Dembski’s profound interdisciplinary expertise in writing about the most contested terrain at the intersection of science, philosophy, and religion is enormously impressive and valuable and puts him in the exalted company of contemporary authorities such as Stanley L. Jaki and Alister McGrath. He knows, and shows, that “the only way to avoid metaphysics is to say nothing,” and his work is a noble, tightly-argued protest against both reductive scientism and premature fideism in the interest of reason, truth, and ethics.
–M. D. Aeschliman, Ph.D. (Columbia), author of The Restitution of Man: C. S. Lewis and the Case Against Scientism, Professor of Education at Boston University, Professor of English at University of Italian Switzerland
This book is an example of philosophical theology at its best. It contains fascinating and even exciting new perspectives on the problem of evil. While I am not convinced of every point that the author makes, The End of Christianity should be read by anyone who is interested in a Christian approach to natural and moral evil.
–Stephen T. Davis, Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College
William Dembski’s latest book, The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World, shows how the traditional Christian doctrine that sin entered the world through humans is not refuted by the evidence that natural evils (earthquakes, storms, disease, death, etc.) are chronologically much older than humans within the universe. Because time within the created universe need not follow the same order as the logical process of God’s creation of the universe, human sin could have caused earlier evil. There are many aspects of the problem of evil left mysterious by this book (and indeed by all other attempts to solve the problem), but I strongly recommend The End of Christianity as a refreshing approach that maintains the traditional theistic doctrines of God’s omniscience and omnipotence.
–Don Page, Professor of Physics, University of Alberta, Canada
Addressing the problem of a perfect God in an imperfect world, this book offers the most coherent answer to this question I’ve ever read. William A. Dembski has given us a bold and uncompromising theodicy that both confirms Christian orthodoxy and makes peace among our family of believers. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path.” This book eschews the “negative path” by launching a peace offensive offering a positive solution that meets the demands of natural and revealed theology. Reconciling the many points of an issue that has confounded generations, this is the most important contribution to the question of God and evil since Leibniz defined it nearly 300 years ago.
– Michael A. Flannery, Professor and Associate Director for Historical Collections, University of Alabama, Birmingham
Happily, there are many good books being written today. But it is rare, indeed, to find a book that towers over the others in profundity and quality. William Dembski’s The End of Christianity is such a book. It is so interesting and well-written that I could not put it down. But more importantly, I have read very few books with its depth of insight, breadth of scholarly interaction, and significance. From now on, no one who is working on a Christian treatment of the problem of evil can afford to neglect this book. It is vintage Dembski and I highly recommend it.
– J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University and author of The God Question