The Fool and the Heretic: How Two Scientists Moved Beyond Labels to a Christian Dialogue about Creation and Evolution

Darrel R Falk (Author) Todd Charles Wood (Author)


The Fool and the Heretic is a deeply personal story told by two respected scientists who hold opposing views on the topic of origins, share a common faith in Jesus Christ, and began a sometimes-painful journey to explore how they can remain in Christian fellowship when each thinks the other is harming the church. To some in the church, anyone who accepts the theory of evolution has rejected biblical teaching and is therefore thought of as a heretic. To many outside the church as well as a growing number of evangelicals, anyone who accepts the view that God created the earth in six days a few thousand years ago must be poorly educated and ignorant--a fool. Todd Wood and Darrel Falk know what it's like to be thought of, respectively, as a fool and a heretic. This book shares their pain in wearing those labels, but more important, provides a model for how faithful Christians can hold opposing views on deeply divisive issues yet grow deeper in their relationship to each other and to God.

Product Details

Zondervan Academic
Publish Date
February 05, 2019
5.4 X 0.6 X 8.3 inches | 0.45 pounds
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About the Author

Darrel Falk (PhD [genetics], the University of Alberta) is professor emeritus at Point Loma University and a senior advisor to BioLogos, an organization he helped start aimed at contributing to the discussion of the relationship between science and religion from a Christian evolutionist point of view.

Dr. Wood earned a B.S. in biology from Liberty University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Virginia. He is the founding president of Core Academy of Science, a nonprofit ministry dedicated to helping Christian students navigate the challenges of science and faith. He lives in Dayton, TN, with his wife, Stephanie.


In an increasingly polarized world, the Christian community often seems as riven with fractious debates as society at large. This wonderful book offers a refreshingly different model of respectful dialogue and a vision of what really matters in these discussions. To those struggling with issues of creation and evolution, it is a godsend.--Dr. Peter Harrison, director, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Queensland
I came to this book with much trepidation, even suspicion, and, indeed, reading it was an unsettling experience. But I also found that the stories unfolding within its pages were compelling, fascinating, and often deeply moving. And perhaps I was able also to discern the Holy Spirit of God at work in the lives of these two men, who, despite their profound, seemingly intractable differences on origins, were willing to make themselves vulnerable to engage with one another at more than a superficial level. Reading this book certainly didn't change my mind about origins, but perhaps that was never the point.--Paul Garner, researcher and lecturer, Biblical Creation Trust
In The Fool and the Heretic, Rob Barrett carefully guides an informed conversation between and among Todd Charles Wood and Darrell R. Falk that results in helpful and constructive dialogue. I learned much from Barrett, Wood, and Falk, and I am sure the same will be true for other readers as well as we all seek to learn how to maintain biblical conviction while practicing genuine kindness toward those with whom we have disagreements about the important theological and ethical issues of our day.--Dr. David S. Dockery, president, Trinity International University/Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
This book is a rare gem. Nowhere else will you read a conversation like this---an honest dialogue between two Christian biologists who disagree about evolution. They have opposing views on an issue that is deeply important to them, yet they choose to keep talking---because of Christ. This book shows the hard work needed to love one's enemy and seek the unity of believers. This is the authentic dialogue that our churches need today.--Dr. Deborah Haarsma, president, BioLogos
This book is not going to help you decide whether evolution is true. It does something far better! Jesus calls us to a cruciform life, and with vulnerability and candor, Wood and Falk model for us how to be Christlike in the face of serious differences that really matter. While contemporary society knows only polarity and conflict, this book points to a countercultural way of being together in Christ.--Dr. John W. Hilber, professor of Old Testament, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
I remember how often in my childhood I relished listening to a good, solid debate among my elders. The sort that looked hard into a matter, took its time to develop, and evaluated the consequences of each position. Standing at opposite ends of the current debate in evangelicalism, Todd and Darrel present us with their take on this vital and, at times, difficult debate. They do so with conviction and forcefulness coupled with humility, love, and a commitment to the Lord and his Word. The result is a serious (and very personal) dialog among respected leaders in this field. Gather round, kids. The adults are talking.--Dr. Marcus R. Ross, professor of geology; director, Center for Creation Studies, Liberty University