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At just about any home school convention in the 1980’s or 1990’s, you would be able to attend a workshop or main session on creation vs. evolution, and more specifically, why young earth creation (the universe being something less than 10,000 years old) was the correct belief. The home school market has been dominated by young earth speakers and books. While there is evidence to support this view, a young earth is not the only possibility for a created universe. Indeed, in centuries gone by, theologians from the Christian church tended to believe in old earth creationism. This book gives us a broad overview of some of the aspects of the debate and looks at evidence presented by various factions during different eras, with their relative strengths and weaknesses. Not even the co-authors agree. Mark Rooker is a young-earth creationist, while Kenneth Keathley leans toward old earth creationism.
Part of the debate hinges on looking at scientific evidence in light of biblical and religious understanding. The first few chapters of the book are devoted to summarizing the primary beliefs and theories that are held, both scientific and religious, ancient and modern, Christian and non-Christian. I liked a couple of points that the authors made here. In the Genesis account of creation, God states several times that His creation “was good,” with the summary statement in Gen. 1:31 of “it was very good.” Compare this to Eastern religions that consider the physical world to be an illusion, or that the physical world is something to avoid or escape from. The authors also make the point that whether a person comes down on the side of creation or evolution depends on his view of design vs. age; if one believes that the universe is well-designed, he tends to believe in creation, but if one believes that the universe is very old, he tends to believe in evolution.
While the first part of the book lays out the basic beliefs, the rest of the book is divided into five parts that get into more specific issues. Part 2 delves more deeply into the creation account in Genesis 1 & 2. Part 3 discusses possible meanings of the days of creation. With that background, Part 4 delves into questions about the age of the earth and evidences for them. Next comes a section on the Fall and the Flood. The last section deals with evolution and intelligent design.
I must say that parts of the book presented evidence that conflicted with my point of view. I believe this will be true no matter what your point of view may be, since the goal of the authors is to discuss the evidence for the various theories, not to promote any specific one. I applaud their ability to openly discuss evidence and to be honest about the fact that not all evidence supports any one theory. This reminded me of a presentation I attended some years ago by a woman who is an astrophysicist working for NASA on the Hubble Telescope project. She said of evolution/old earth creationism/new earth creationism debate that at one time or another, she had personally been in all three camps. This book will broaden your horizons to the scope of the debate and give you a good handle on its main ideas. 430 pgs, sc. ~ Bob