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Origins: A Reformed Look at Creation, Design, and Evolution Paperback – October 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Faith Alive Christian Resources (October 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592552277
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592552276
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #963,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This book is an absolute must-read book for every young-earth creationist speaker before he steps into the pulpit of another church with non-scientists in the pews. The authors are well-trained scientists, and passionate about their view of the inerrancy of Scripture. --Dr. Ken Wolgenmuth

More About the Author

Deborah B. Haarsma is a professor of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she has been on the faculty since 1999. She earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and undergraduate degrees in physics and music from Bethel College. Deborah studies galaxies and the universe using telescopes in New Mexico, Hawaii, Chile, and earth orbit. Her work on gravitational lenses and galaxy clusters has been published in "The Astrophysical Journal" and "The Astronomical Journal." Deborah often speaks and writes on astronomy and Christian faith, equipping pastors and churches to engage science.

Customer Reviews

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I must admit that I found their case extremely persuasive.
Kyle A. Dillon
This book is recommended reading for anyone interested in the debates in contemporary Christian circles over the origins of the cosmos.
Fly Fishing Philosopher
This book is aimed squarely at that reader, and presents a dialogue on the issues in a very non-confrontational tone.
Photographer, Mac user

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Kyle A. Dillon on November 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book summarizes the various positions that Bible-believing Christians take on such questions as creation, evolution, common ancestry, Intelligent Design, human evolution, and Adam and Eve. The authors attempt to present an unbiased survey of all sides of the debates, but it becomes clear by the end what their positions are on certain issues. They are "evolutionary creationists," referring to the belief that God worked through ordinary, natural means to produce the diversity of life (including humans) on earth.

They establish very convincing arguments for an old earth, common ancestry, and (perhaps most controversially) the evolution of humans from primate ancestors. I must admit that I found their case extremely persuasive. As a Christian, I was initially reluctant to entertain the possibility that we humans have descended from apes, since it goes against centuries of theological teaching. But the science that the authors present--including such evidences as hominid fossils and genetic comparisons--is solid enough to make me change my mind.

My one reservation about their position is over how evolutionary creationism would affect natural theology. The Bible teaches that God's existence and power are clearly and inexcusably evident in creation (Rom. 1:20). In other words, on the Day of Judgment, no one can plead ignorance, because there is sufficient evidence for God in the natural world. Evolutionary creation seems to undercut that biblical teaching by presenting a view of creation that looks indistinguishable from an atheistic view. Although the authors address that very question (pp. 234-236), their response is rather unsatisfying. They almost make it sound as if we Christians have no choice but to retreat into fideism.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Paul R. Bruggink on November 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is for Christians who are seeking a better understanding of the spectrum of views that Christians hold on how to relate the findings of science with interpretation of the Bible. In presenting and discussing the spectrum of views, "Origins" makes a useful distinction, not often seen, between "Interpretations of Genesis" and "Views on Origins," and includes nice summary tables of each.

Under Interpretations of Genesis, the Haarsmas (professors in the Physics and Astronomy Department at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan) present and discuss Young Earth, Gap, Day-Age, Appearance of Age, Visionary Day, Proclamation Day and Ancient Near East Cosmology interpretations, along with "Creation Poem" and "Kingdom-Covenant" interpretations. The latter two interpretations both seem to be virtually identical to the Framework Interpretation of Meredith Kline et al., yet there is no reference to the Framework Interpretation, either in the text, the table or the bibliography, which I find surprising and unnecssarily confusing.

Under Views on Origins, the Haarsmas present and discuss Young Earth Creation, several flavors of Progressive Creation, and several flavors of Evolutionary Creation, as well as Intelligent Design.

The book has questions for reflection and discussion and a brief bibliography at the end of each chapter, but no index. It contains numerous references to short supplemental articles or additional examples located on a particular web site. Personally, I would have greatly preferred that this material be included as sidebars or additional appendices.

Overall, I found "Origins" to be a good introduction to the wide spectrum of Christian views, although, compared to other books on the same subject, it does have a relatively weak treatment of the implications of original sin on the various views presented.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Fly Fishing Philosopher on March 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is recommended reading for anyone interested in the debates in contemporary Christian circles over the origins of the cosmos. It is highly readable, informative, and gracious. The authors have managed to touch nearly every view and not be vacuous. Indeed, any reader should be able to appreciate their deep commitment to Theism and science, and their desire to harmonize a clear and articulate reading of Scripture (the book of Revelation) with what 3500 years of research and investigation have given us (the book of Nature). Step aside Ken Ham, you have met your dialectical better.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie L. Maslin on May 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
ORIGINS is a refreshing and thought-provoking look at the often controversial topic of how the cosmos began. Being written by two physics professors, who are scientists and Christians, gives the book a hefty helping of validity. The book gives both science and Scripture the respect they deserve and, using scientific and scriptural examples, builds a logical case for the reconciliation of the two.
We found the text to be well written, but dense, and almost too scientifically technical for our adult ed. class. There are discussion questions at the end of each chapter, but it would be very helpful to have a leader's guide that could help the leader guide the class through the material.
All in all, excellent book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Serious Reader on June 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
I wish this book had crossed my path years ago!

The authors' standpoint is clear: God, the Creator of this universe, world and man, reveals himself through his Word as well as his world (creation). Therefore, God CANNOT contradict himself in his Word and his world - their revelation of God MUST be in harmony: man's interpretation of the Bible and man's study of God's creation (the outcome of the scientific process) must eventually say the same thing. And, no, it does not mean we have to compromise God's word, and that "science must win" - in fact the authors warn against such reasoning. The authors are first and foremost followers of Christ and God's Word, although they are scientists in their own right.

The book categorizes and puts every worldview and model on the theme of biblical "origins" in the right place, explains what they all mean - as well as why some are more viable than others - and then leaves you to come to your own conclusions. It does not attempt to "lead you down a garden path", and even suggest that you take time to make up your mind. It also contains a lot of additional reading on its web site, as well as a comprehensive list of additional reading material - from all ends of the scale.

There are so many contradicting Christian views and literature on the theme of biblical origins today, and all of them have their academics or so-called intellectuals who try to convince why their view is correct. From Young Earth Creationists to proponents of Intelligent Design to Evolutionary Creationist. Even I, as a technically-minded, reasoning and logical person (I am a graduate Electronics Engineer), struggled to find my way through this Christian quagmire.
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