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Creation accounts

Books | Authors tackle the theology and science of origins

Issue: "Biblical callings," Dec. 4, 2010

Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science, edited by William Dembski and Michael Licona (Baker, 2010), has handy and brief essays that provide useful answers to questions about God's existence, theodicy, creation and evolution, the reality of Christ and resurrection, biblical inerrancy and pseudo-gospels, and more.

God and Evolution, edited by Jay Richards (Discovery, 2010), includes a series of terrific essays by John West, Casey Luskin, David Klinghoffer, and others. Richards himself critiques Francis Collins' complaint that Intelligent Design "portrays the Almighty as a clumsy Creator, having to intervene at regular intervals to fix the inadequacies of His own initial plan." Richards replies, "Perhaps He desires a world that is more like a violin than a self-winding watch, an instrument he can play." And what of those who complain about God's providence? Klinghoffer writes, "ask God when you meet him."

Origins: A Reformed Look at Creation, Design, & Evolution, by Deborah and Loren Haarsma (Faith Alive, Grand Rapids) summarizes various views but tilts away from classic Reformed understanding and ends up with theistic evolution. The authors ask, "How can our significance depend on whether we share a common ancestor with apes?" The parallel question should be, "How can our significance depend on whether the biblical account of Adam and Eve's creation in Genesis 2 is accurate?" Answer: If the Bible isn't trustworthy, yet the apostles (and Jesus!) trusted it, why should we trust them?

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David Livingstone's Adam's Ancestors: Race, Religion, and the Politics of Human Origins (Johns Hopkins, 2008) shows that even before Darwin some thought that pre-Adam or non-Adam hominids roamed the earth: Belief in evolution depends more on faith (or faithlessness) than on questionable science. Jim Black's The Death of Evolution (Zondervan, 2010) is a quick look at Darwinian myth.

Davis A. Young and Ralph F. Stearley's The Bible, Rocks and Time (2008) lays out the geological evidence for an old earth. The third edition of Phillip E. Johnson's Darwin on Trial (IVP, 2010) is the 20th anniversary edition of the book that started the Intelligent Design movement; it has a new introduction by Michael Behe. Johnson and John Mark Reynolds have a new short book, Against All Gods: What's Right and Wrong About the New Atheism (IVP, 2010), that thanks atheists Dawkins, Harris, and company for making belief in God an issue again for public debate.

Gordon J. Glover's Beyond the Firmament: Understanding Science and the Theology of Creation (Watertree, 2007) argues that "God must have created life by the continuous operation of the laws of nature." He offers some nifty metaphors, such as "If the universe were a giant game of pool with 1,080 balls, and the laws of physics were designed and operated by God alone, shouldn't He be able to sink every ball on the break without changing the rules during the game?"

Glover praises evolution and adds, "You can even put a 'theistic' qualifier in front of it if it makes you feel more spiritual." That nails it. A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down: "Theistic evolution" is a sweet term for evangelicals not wanting to wear a scarlet D, but it's still evolution. Glover acknowledges that "the proposed evolutionary mechanisms can stretch the imagination. . . . If the evolutionists didn't have such good poker faces, they would probably admit that these theories stretch their minds as well."

And if you want your mind stretched completely out of shape by string theories, multiple universes, and so forth, dive into Shing-Yung Yau's The Shape of Inner Space: String Theory and the Geometry of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions (Basic, 2010) or Marcelo Gleiser's A Tear at the Edge of Creation: A Radical New Vision for Life in an Imperfect Universe (Free Press, 2010). I'm not recommending these, just noting the 10 or more dimensions of reality.

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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