Treadmill notes

Uncovering hidden or forgotten stories

Issue: "Reining in the UN," Feb. 17, 2001

A lot of the books piled up by my treadmill recently seem to be about things we don't see, sometimes because they're too small but other times because they've been covered up or forgotten. Here are ones worth noting.

Richard Swenson's More Than Meets the Eye: Fascinating Glimpses of God's Power and Design (Navpress, 2000) provides fascinating details of God's creativity. The ear has a million moving parts. The eye is so intricate that it gave Charles Darwin a "cold shudder." The liver has an amazing ability to regenerate. Photons, gravitons, gluons, leptons, and other particles we can't even see make the world go round.

Signs of Intelligence: Understanding Intelligent Design (Brazos Press, 2001) is a fine introduction to the "intelligent design" attack on evolution. Readily understandable essays by Phillip Johnson, John West, Jay Richards, Michael Behe, Steve Meyer, and others illuminate the logical and evidential fallacies of evolutionary faith, providing in the process a lot of specific detail that true believers in "time plus chance yield complexity" prefer to overlook.

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J.F. Baldwin's The Deadliest Monster: A Christian Introduction to Worldviews (Coffee House Publishers, 1998) is one of the good books published by little publishers-this one is located in Eagle Creek, Ore.-that most readers never hear about or see. Author Jeff Baldwin illuminates a useful apologetics path as he shows in a style interesting to high-school and college students that Christianity is the only religion that comes to grips with the nature of man.

John Perry's Unshakable Faith (Multnomah, 1999), tells the intertwined stories of Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver, pioneers who sometimes don't get adequate attention even during Black History Month. (Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X receive much more play.) Washington and Carver both were born into slavery and did great deeds that are now largely forgotten, perhaps because both became truly free not through legal action but through an internal change. Both men, instead of falling into bitterness or humiliation, had faith that right would make might because they had faith in God.

Richard John Neuhaus served as editor of The Eternal Pity: Reflections on Dying (University of Notre Dame Press, 2000) and wrote for it a splendid essay. The book includes some classic pieces by Leo Tolstoy, Flannery O'Connor, and others, but overall it reflects well our cultural confusion about how to react to something that cannot be smoothed away. It's been said that 19th-century Americans and Europeans dealt with death and covered up sex, while the 20th-century tendency was the opposite.

Thad Cochran's Stubborn Things: A Decade of Facts about Ballistic Missile Defense (United States Senate, 2000) is a document that I hope will never be an "I told you so" report dredged up after some great disaster a decade hence. Senator Cochran's report shows how the Clinton administration repeatedly frustrated efforts to develop and deploy an effective missile defense, and how we need one to combat threats now smaller than a hand-sized cloud but potentially as big as a mushroom cloud.

Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel's The Venoma Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and American Traitors (Regnery, 2000) shows that some anti-Communists during the late 1940s and early 1950s did accurately expose some deeds of darkness. The secret Soviet documents that became available to American historians in 1995 show that Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, and other icons of the left were Soviet agents. Sadly, the exaggerations and lies of Senator Joseph McCarthy helped the left to attack all anti-espionage efforts.

Chuck and Donna McIlhenny, along with Frank York, have provided another act of exposure in their book When the Wicked Seize a City (, 2000). The gutsy McIlhennys took a stand against aggressive homosexual activists in San Francisco; after receiving numerous death threats, they and their three children barely escaped when their house was set on fire. This new edition of a book first published in 1993 shows the need for Christians to be bold and courageous, and the hazards.

Michael L. Brown's Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vols. 1 and 2 (Baker, 2000) is a great quarry for evangelists facing general, historical, and theological opposition from either religious or nonreligious Jews. With proselytization now a dirty word in the press, evangelicals are supposed to remain silent about the reasons why Judaism without Christianity is incomplete, but Mr. Brown uncovers (among other things) the Talmudic understandings of atonement that shout the need for a Savior.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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