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APOL 500


Bush, Russ L. The Advancement: Keeping the Faith in an Evolutionary Age. Nashville, TN:
Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003.



(ID# 25513126)
APOL 500-D04 LUO
November 23, 2014

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SUMMARY .......1

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The book, The Advancement: Keeping the Faith in an Evolutionary Age, presents two
opposing worldviews: The modern worldview and the Christian worldview. The purpose of the
book is to provide an apologetic that is both against the naturalistic modern worldview and for
the Christian worldview. Bush argues for the rationality of the Christian Worldview and classical
theistic thought as the answer to current modern thought rooted in Darwinian naturalism. The
Advancement is Bushs take on contemporary thought that permeates western society and
rejects theological or metaphysical evidence of creation and intelligent design in preference to
the scientific method. The primary thrust of advancement thinking is the illusion that all areas of
humanity are evolving into something better.
Chapter 1: Bush describes the shift from classical thought which embraced theology,
toward a more secularized theology.1 Western society began to reject the authority of scripture
and turn toward subjective and personal thinking and understanding of the world during the
eighteenth century. The secularization of history and science continued through the nineteenth
century and has grown into current modern thought.2 Classical thought defined progress as a gift
from God; however, modern thought suggested the inevitable progress of man. Modern thought
changed the view of humanity from divinely created beings made in the image of God to evolved
beings created by happenstance and mutation.

1 Bush, Russ L. The Advancement: Keeping the Faith in an Evolutionary Age. Nashville, TN:
Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003, 7-8.
2 Ibid., p. 8

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Chapter 2: Prior to the scientific revolution, early scientists found common ground between God
and science. During this time, God was still the creator of all things. The universe was believed
to be regular and orderly because it was created by a God who is a rational being.3
However, the concept of God in scientific explanation diminished significantly by the nineteenth
century.4 The formation and age of the earth were questioned by uniformitarian theory while
Darwinism and theories of natural evolution challenged biblical claims of creation.
Chapter 3: Bush tells us that the modern worldview contains an often overlooked shift in
epistemology.5 The very definition of truth and reality had to expand in order to warrant new
scientific knowledge. The differences between knowledge and truth became a matter of
pragmatic value. To clarify, Bush points out the Christian worldviews unique relationship
between humanity and nature along with the dependence of both on God. The modern worldview
removes God, leaving the relationship between humanity and nature.
Chapter 4: Although naturalism has permeated current philosophical and scientific thought, many
contemporary thinkers have attempted to harmonize naturalistic thought with theistic thought.6
Process theology infers that God and the sub-atomic process creates the structures of
reality.7 Open theism places limits on Gods knowledge, leaving infinite future possibilities

3 Ibid., 20
4 Ibid., 21
5 Ibid., 37
6 Ibid., 53
7 Ibid., 55

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unknown to God.8Bush demonstrates the failure of both process theology and open theism, while
standing firmly on the existence of God and intelligent design.
Chapter 5: Since naturalism is the prevailing worldview in scientific thought, naturalistic
evolution is considered factual rather than theoretical. Bush outlines seven basic assumptions
that provide the structure and interpretation of biological data.9 It is noteworthy that these
assumptions cannot be proven experimentally. Bush explains that each of these seven
assumptions must remain intact in order to support biological evolution, if one fails, they all
fail.10 Additionally, what have followed are ten axioms that encompass all areas of scientific
Chapter 6: Our society disregards biblical evidences and propagates the following four beliefs of
modern thinking in our schools and through media: 1) Humans evolved from animals. 2) The
human mind and behavior are directly related to animal ancestry. 3) Reality is subject to
naturalistic scientific investigation. 4) Truth must be confirmed by the naturalistic scientific
Chapter 7: Bush tells us that a proper worldview must conform to both truth and reality. Simply
put, The correct worldview is the one that does not contradict, misunderstand, or deny any part
of reality.12 The idea of inevitable progress is not all inclusive of scientific and historical
8 Ibid., 63
9 Ibid., 71
10 Ibid.
11 Ibid., 78
12 Ibid., 85

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advances. Scientific advances can be used for good or evil. Additionally, history itself has been
reinterpreted to consider modern man progressively advances compared to ancient man.13
However, humanity itself is not improving because sin has stained the hearts of man.
Chapter 8: Clearly advancement thinking fails in many areas, but knowledge alone is insufficient
to adapt to an alternative worldview. The naturalistic worldview and Christian worldview are at
odds. Christianity and other world religions indicate God is greater than man; however,
Naturalistic evolution claims humanity is greater purely by accident. Bush completes his
argument with three fundamental truths. 1) God exists. 2) The world exists. 3) If the world
exists, then God exists and vice versa.
Critical Interaction
Genesis 1:1, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (NIV) This
profound statement, along with Genesis 1:27, So God created man in His own image, in the
image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (NIV) was undisputed in
scientific thinking through the dark ages and into the seventeenth century. Bush tells us that early
scientists believed that the universe and nature could be studied and understood by man because
man was created in His image. Additionally, because the world was created by a rational God,
order and stability were believed woven into creation by God. The scientific method did not
discount the supernatural.
I believe that the fallen nature of man, combined with mans finite understanding, began
to distort and twist the truth of God. Human nature was present in the Garden and in place prior
to the fall of Adam. Human nature rebels against submission to God and desires control. The
gaps in the fossil records combined with the big-bangs unknown cause of the universe and

13 Ibid., 90

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seven basic assumptions of biological evolution have created mans illusion of control. As
pointed out by Bush, the theories of uniformitarianism and biological evolution have become
today's scientific fact, replacing previously held truth. Truth has now become relative and
subject to individual opinions and beliefs. The problem is that once a person is invested in a
belief, whether rational or irrational, that belief is quite resistant to change.

I believe that Bush did an excellent job defining and explaining his theory of
advancement. The historical context of science and theology were well covered, as well as the
rise of Darwinism and natural selection. However, there were parts of the book that went so far
into the realm of science I found it difficult to follow. Additionally, it seems as though the book
was written primarily for a Christian audience because of the presumptive nature of the Christian
worldview. I believe that Bushs apologetic rested primarily on destructive criticism of
naturalism, yet did not provide as in-depth an apologetic for the Christian worldview.

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Bush, Russ L. The Advancement: Keeping the Faith in an Evolutionary Age. Nashville, TN:
Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003.
Zondervan NIV Study Bible: New International Version. Zondervan, 2002.