This work focuses on a rarely noted side of the Protestant reformer John Calvin: the theologian as a man appreciative of the details of God's creation, an admirer of those who investigate nature, and a leader that accepted their discoveries and conclusions. John Calvin and the Natural World explores the content of Calvin's scientific outlook by reviewing his views on the structure of the cosmos; the nature of matter and motion; weather; the age, shape, place, and history of the Earth; and the behaviors and characteristics of animals, plants, the human body, and disease. Also drawn out, are the classical, biblical, and medieval influences on Calvin's ideas about nature. Professor Davis A. Young concludes the work with a discussion of Calvin's attitudes, practices, and ideas with respect to science in comparison to how these ideas are carried out in the contemporary church. Professor Young surmises that the judicious application of Calvin's principle of accommodation would help the church to deal in a more thoughtful and balanced way in respect to science and nature, and to defuse some of the rancorous debates surrounding the age of the Earth, flood geology, and evolution.
Davis A. Young is Professor Emeritus of Geology at Calvin College. He received his Ph.D. in geological sciences from Brown University. He is the author of numerous books and articles spanning four decades. Some of his most notable publications include Christianity and the Age of the Earth (1982); The Biblical Flood: A Case Study of the Church's Response to Extrabiblical Evidence (1995); and Mind over Magma: The Story of Igneous Petrology (2003).
Part 1 Preface Chapter 2 Calvin on Science, the Arts, and Learning Chapter 3 Calvin on the Heavens Chapter 4 Calvin on Physics and the Atmosphere Chapter 5 Calvin on the Earth Chapter 6 Calvin on Living Things Chapter 7 Calvin on the Human Body, Medicine, and Origins Chapter 8 Calvin, the Natural World, and Scripture Chapter 9 Calvin and Contemporary Science Part 10 Index of Names and Subjects Part 11 Index of Scripture Text Commented on by Calvin