I’ve been ridiculously bad at letting Mere-O’s readers know of my writings elsewhere, which I plan on remedying here.

For instance, I reviewed America’s Four Gods,  a sociological treatment of how American’s think about God, at Christianity Today.  An excerpt:

Consider evangelicals’ views on science and its relationship to the Bible. In what is probably the strongest section of the book, Froese and Bader point out that the basic question for Christians is not whether the Bible and science are ultimately reconciled, but how. For the most part, only atheists think an intrinsic conflict exists between science and religion. Everyone else is working to make sure their worldview fits with science. This includes the dissenters from Darwinian orthodoxy. They want to teach competing accounts of human origins in science classes, the authors claim, to show a firm commitment to remaining properly scientific.

Despite Christians’ nearly unanimous endorsement of the scientific enterprise, significant differences remain. Some argue about whose research should be trusted, others over what role science should play in society. Not surprisingly, those who believe God is highly engaged in the world—an authoritarian or benevolent God—often think he manipulates circumstances and the physical order in small and big ways. As we might expect, they registered significantly more skepticism about whether humans evolved from primates than those who believe God is critical or distant—that is, disengaged from the world.

The skepticism doesn’t stop at specific claims. Believers in a benevolent or authoritarian God were far more likely to think that we rely far too much on science and not enough on faith. Additionally, twice as many believers in a distant or critical God were willing to affirm that science would eventually provide solutions to most of society’s problems. The evidence, the authors conclude, suggests that “the evolutionism-creationism debate is premised not on religious faith but on differences of opinion about the role of God in the world.”

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

One Comment

  1. […] Matthew Lee Anderson at Mere Orthodoxy mentions his review of America’s Four Gods by Paul Froese and Christopher Bader at Christianity Today.  The book is a review of a Baylor University study that shows how Americans view God as one of four basic types:  authoritarian, benevolent, critical and distant. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)ONE GOD OR FOUR? THE US ACCORDING TO PAUL FROESE AND CHRISOPHER BADER […]


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