LIBERTY UNIVERSITY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
A Book Critique of The Advancement: Keeping the Faith in an Evolutionary Age
Submitted to Dr. C. Fred Smith, in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the completion of the course
APOL 500 – B01
Introduction to Apologetics
In L. Russ Bush’s Christian apologetic work, The Advancement: Keeping the Faith in an Evolutionary Age, he details the development and apparent fallacy associated with the modern naturalist worldview. Bush, a professor at Southeast Baptist Theological Seminary, focuses on the idea of inevitable progression within the modern worldview and provides an overview of this view’s promulgation within epistemology. Bush asserts Christians are no longer socially the majority in their beliefs regarding a world created by God and thus the civil authorities are no longer there to protect their beliefs, as in centuries past. Therefore, it is critical to have a Christian response to modern naturalism. Bush approaches this evolutionary worldview from a philosophical perspective and not as a scientist. The goal of his thesis is not to convince the reader of the scientific merits of Christianity, but to expose the erroneous beliefs found in the modern naturalistic worldview when compared to Christianity. Summary
Bush’s overall purpose in this book is to show the failings of the modern naturalist philosophy, especially when compared to the truths found in biblical Christianity. Bush organizes his exposition into eight chapters, which sets out to dismantle the modern naturalistic worldview. Early on within the book, Bush adopts the phrase “Advancement” which he uses to describe the naturalistic philosophy for inevitable progress within the modernist worldview. Advancement, as Bush explains, is an applicable term for both modernist and post-modernist philosophies. The modernist worldview blends natural historic development with inevitable progress and Bush describes this view is moving into uncertainty, because of its relativistic nature that only lead to chaos. Bush traces these worldviews throughout human history and details the development of modern naturalistic thought. The book reveals humanity’s view of epistemology has changed from the view of a world created by an all-powerful creator God to a random creation brought on by a series of happenstances, which lead to the creation of all life that inhabits the world. The author defines the modernist worldview through the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, and up through the enlightenment philosophers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Furthermore, Bush compares the significant differences between the Christian and modernist worldview. This comparison reveals instability is found in the relative naturalistic worldview, and stability is present in Christianity. The Advancement focuses on the unchanging God of the Bible who offers stability unlike naturalism, which only offers inevitable chaos. Bush details the rise of the scientific method and Darwinian evolution within progressive society, which inaugurates the decline of the Christian majority in modern society. The result of the advancement thought process created a theme within society that God was no longer in existence or that God had died. The process of events within the history of the world began to be viewed as the results of accidents within a complicated process. Bush details under the modernist worldview there is no objectivity because the mind is merely a result of random processes. Moreover, Bush notes the turning point from a dominion Christian worldview to the naturalistic worldview began with the introduction of Deism within the church. The author presents the theological ramifications of blending the Christian faith with naturalism in an attempt to reconcile the two worldviews. According to Bush, the fallacy in the modern worldview is exposed through his presentation of the “Ten Axioms of Modern...