Book Notice: WHAT IS MAN?: ADAM, ALIEN, OR APE?, by Edgar Andrews

Published on December 14, 2018 by Joshua R Monroe

Elm Hill, 2018 | 339 pages

A Brief Book Notice from Books at a Glance


In 1906, American humorist Mark Twain published a sixty-page essay entitled “What is man?” Consisting of an interminable dialogue between a senior citizen (who believes that man is just a machine) and a young man (who believes nothing in particular but is open to persuasion), it wasn’t one of his finest books. But at least he tried. Authors since then seem to have avoided the subject like the plague, often tackling the respective roles of men and women in society but seldom asking deeper questions about what it means to be human. When the psalmist asked, “What is man?” (Psalm 8 v.4) he was, I think, seeking an altogether more profound answer.

Avoidance of the subject is all the more strange because there has never been a time like our own when curiosity about human origins and destiny has been greater, or the answers on offer more hotly disputed. It’s a safe bet that any attempt to give the “big picture” on the origin, nature and specialness of mankind will be contentious —which might explain why writers have generally fought shy of it. Yet at heart it is the question most of us really do want answered, because the answer defines that precious thing we call our identity, both personally and as a race.

In this book we are going to consider the alternative solutions on offer by considering what it means to be human against the backgrounds of cosmology (man’s place in the universe), biology (man’s place in the animal kingdom), and psychology (man’s consciousness and mind). Finally, we return to the biblical context, arguing that the Psalmist got it right after all. Don’t let the science-sounding stuff put you off. Like its popular prequel, “Who made God? Searching for a theory of everything”, this book is written with a light touch in a reader-friendly and often humorous style. It is intended specifically for the non-expert, with homely verbal illustrations designed to explain and unpack the technicalities for the lay-person. As Dr. Paul Copan (Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University) says, “Edgar Andrews has a way of making the profound accessible. His scholarship informs the reader about key questions of our time, offering wise guidance and illumination.”

Read our Review of What is Man? Adam, Alien, or Ape? here.


About the Author

About the Author


Michael Haykin, Professor of Church History, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY.:

This winsome new work by Professor Andrews provides a cogent answer to one of the most pressing questions of our day, “What is Man?” It demonstrates the utter failure of the worldview of Darwinian naturalism and why we must turn to an ancient source, the Bible, to find the ultimate answer. Based on solid scholarship, both scientific and theological, and robustly argued, I highly recommend it.


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What is Man?: Adam, Alien, or Ape?

Elm Hill, 2018 | 339 pages

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