SYNOPSIS1. IntroductionSummarizes the conflict between faith and science and highlights the three target audiences of this book: (1) practicing theists struggling with this long-standing conflict, or the religious leaders to whom they turn for answers; (2) people who have given up any religious faith that they once had because of the cognitive dissonance engendered by their reading of the Bible; (3) people who are opposed to theistic thinking (atheists, agnostics, and adherents of other world religions).2. The creation story Presents several interpretations of Genesis chapters one and two (the origins of the universe, life and species), beginning with a traditional, literalist “Young Earth” view and then progressing through several more recent accommodative viewpoints which attempt to reconcile the Biblical texts with modern science. Conclusion: none of these fully explain the discrepancies, and we need further dialogue within the Christian community (chapter three) as well as between the theistic and atheistic viewpoints (chapter four).3. The battle lines within the Christian community Seven rebuttals that the traditional, literalist “Young Earth” Christians frequently present against the accommodative “Old Earth” re-interpretations, and the counter-arguments against those. Also presents a couple “messy problems” for the former viewpoint. Conclusion: a YE view is seriously problematic; acceptance of some form of OE view is much needed.4. Theists versus atheists Atheists need to recognize that they also exercise a substantial amount of faith in their worldview. Theists tend to make three major errors when they argue with atheists: “God-of-the-gaps”, “fine-tuning” and “Intelligent Design”. Conclusion: neither faith nor science need to be the points on which theists and atheists divide themselves. 5. The human family tree and our attempts to find God Humans have been searching for some kind of “Great Being” for several hundred thousand years, leading to a wide diversity of world religions which attempt to explain that “Great Being”. The impact that this has on traditional Christian thinking is explored in detail, particularly with respect to how Christians respond to other beliefs, as well as a complete re-interpretation of the Biblical “Adam”.6. The Fall and Original Sin A central tenet of Christianity is that all people inherit sin simply by being descendants of the Biblical Adam and Eve (because of the “biting into the apple” story in Genesis three). I present an entirely different way to view that Biblical story, and a re-definition of “Original Sin”: the latter is symbolic of our natural tendency to be inwardly focussed. Christianity calls us to fight against that selfish nature.7. Other stories of Genesis Looks at other stories in Genesis which have long been divisive because some Christians take them as literal history while other Christians look for a more liberal interpretation, and atheists scoff at both because of the bizarre or even offensive nature of those stories. Also explores the possibility that those stories are better explained as myths from an ancient patriarchal Middle Eastern society.8. Putting Genesis into context Explores the origins of the Bible. Puts a spot light on several claims about biblical texts which have been battlegrounds within the Christian community, including its inspiration, authorship, inerrancy and infallibility. The major conclusion is to promote a less stringent reading of those texts, and to see it more as the “diary” or “notebook” of mankind’s search for God.9. Conclusion Reinterprets the creation accounts, the position of Christianity within all of world history, and even the mission of Jesus Christ himself. The chapter concludes with a consideration of the reaction – both positive and negative – that this new viewpoint will undoubtedly elicit.