My Rating: Must read
Level: Parts can get fairly technical, but Collins does a good job keeping it understandable; medium length (300+)
The book is broken into three parts, with two to six section in each. There is also an introduction and an appendix on bioethics. The three parts are: The Chasm Between Science and Faith, this is mostly autobiographical; The Great Questions of Human Existence, he starts with the physics of the beginning of the universe, then evolution, then his work on the Human Genome Project; and Faith in Science, Faith in God, which is the best part of the book and goes into what he calls the reactions to the evidence of science – Atheism/Agnosticism, Creationism, Intelligent Design, and BioLogos.
I appreciate what Collins has done with this book. I think it serves as a great intro for either people who are familiar, on the theological side, with the other ‘views’ of creation or as an intro to the science aspect of evolution, as understood by an evangelical Christian. The last section of the book serves as a mini ‘four views’ type book where we briefly reviews other positions and then states the issues he sees in them. If you are interested in this topic (creation/evolution) I think this book is a great place to start and then you can move on to deep dive type books such as Four Views on Creation (my review) for a better understanding of the different views (a mix of theology and science) or Four Views on the Historical Adam (my review) for more of a Biblical/Theological understanding.
The strength of this book is probably the science aspect of it, and how well Collins explains and helps you understand it, especially on the DNA/Genome side of things. He also does a good job of using church history to explain the various views of Genesis over the last two thousand years (which is not a monolithic ‘literal’ only understanding, as many Young Earth would have you believe). This book can also contribute to the discussion of the so called ‘science vs. faith’ controversy. Collins has both a PhD and a MD, so his science credentials are pretty solid, while also being a devote and steadfast in his belief in historical orthodox Christianity. I would hope that many people with many views (especially non-religious) would read this book and try to gain some understanding. Overall, anyone with any interest in evolution, creation, or Christian beliefs, this book is a must read.