Monday, March 23, 2015

Book Review: 40 Questions About Creation and Evolution

Kenneth D. Keathley and Mark F. Rooker present a biased set of questions and answers in 40 Questions about Creation and Evolution. They are biased because they are both creationists who take seriously the creation account in Genesis. This book deals with questions that often arise within the context of a literal understanding of the opening chapters of Genesis. The questions are grouped in 6 categories: Questions About the Doctrine of Creation; Questions About Creation and Genesis 1-2; Questions About the Days of Creation; Questions About the Days of Creation;  Questions About the Age of the Earth; Questions About the Fall and the Flood; and Questions About Evolution and Intelligent Design.

In 40 Questions about Creation and Evolution, you will find that many of your questions will go unanswered. In fact, you may finish the book with more questions than you had before you began. For example, does the Bible teach a young earth or an old earth? The authors admit that they are divided on the issue, one being an Old Earth Creationist, and the other a Young Earth Creationist. In fact, they identify four major positions that fall under a “creationist” umbrella: young earth creationism, old earth creationism, evolutionary creationism, and intelligent design. They candidly state that, “none of the four views… are without serious problems.”

Keathley and Rooker address topics that have become shibboleths for conservative and fundamentalist Christians, including the influence of Whitcomb and Morris and the work of Archbishop Ussher. Young Earth Creationists, in particular, have been impacted by these works.

The authors are not concerned about converting the reader to a young or old earth position. They do convincingly demonstrate the problems inherent with the evolutionary model and show the reasonableness of the doctrine creation (which they helpfully distinguish between creationism). They devote a section to questions about the historicity of Adam and Eve and the implications that this has regarding one’s view of the New Testament.

I appreciate the Christian humility and charity shown by these authors to those who may disagree with them. For some of us, a particular position on the age of the earth, the length of the days of creation, and a particular view of creationism have been tests of genuine faith. This book lessens the heat of discussion and lets in the light.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book Review: 30 Events

Alton Gansky selected 30 events that impacted the Christian church in his book titled, 30 Events That Shaped the Church – Learning from Scandal, Intrigue, War, and Revival. Of course, there are many more than 30 events that shaped the church; these 30 are, however, the ones chosen by the author.

Some of the events chosen are no-brainers. The Edict of Milan, The first Nicene Council, Gutenberg’s Press, The Reformation, and the Great Awakening in America would undoubtedly show up on most lists of church shaping events. Gansky includes some surprising events – surprising in that they do not rise to the level of The Reformation or Edict of Milan, but are influential nonetheless. Among these are the publication of Ussher’s Chronology, the publication of the Scofield Reference Bible, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Jesus Movement, and the rise of movements like the Religious Right and the New Atheism.

This book was easy and delightful to read. It will inform the reader of movements that have gone little noticed in larger treatments. I recommend it.  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Baker Books as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising