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Origins: A Reformed Look at Creation, Design, and Evolution Paperback – October, 2007
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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.Read more ›
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.
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.
The conclusion they seem to come to is that human beings probably have come about as the theory of evolution says they did (ie. by strictly material processes). There are a number of Christians, myself among them, who disagree with this conclusion for reasons not discussed in the book. That we disagree is fine, but it is unfortunate that the broader reason of why we disagree is left unaddressed.
I believe the authors underestimate the role that the worldview of naturalism plays in the background assumptions of evolutionary science, and are unaware that its rules have been changed to suit this anti-Christian worldview. Naturalism is the belief that nature is a closed system of natural causes and effects, and that if there is a God we know from the outset that he was not involved in the history of nature in any way that is empirically (scientifically) detectable. The authors seem to believe that naturalistic influences on science are external to the essence of modern science itself, and thus that the illegitimate pronouncements of "evolutionism" are easily distinguished from the honest, rigorous conclusions of science.
We agree that God's revelation in nature is truthful.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great way to study just how man got here - it includes discussion about evolution and shows why many scientists are now leaning more toward a version of creationism after... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Corine Ann Barnes
This book is a MUST read for Christians who are also evolutionists or want to know more about science and evolution. Read morePublished on July 23, 2013 by Bruce Wayne Catlett
Item as described,arrived quickly. Happy with purchase and vendor.Published on February 9, 2013 by Steve
My daughter - in college - thinks this book is quite useful. Glad she does - as the professor gave her little choice about it as her textbook.Published on February 3, 2013 by Ralph Strickland
I've read several books on Christian faith and science and I can say that this is one of the most thoughtful approaches to the subject. Read morePublished on August 24, 2011 by Photographer, Mac user
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... Read more
This is a very good book to introduce yourself to the various ways Christians think about origins and creation. Read morePublished on March 12, 2011 by Donald Byron Johnson
I recently gave a talk at church on the relationship between Faith and Science, and was asked afterwards if I had read the Haarsmas' book. Read morePublished on December 16, 2010 by Sheila Deeth