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The Bible, Rocks and Time: Geological Evidence for the Age of the Earth Paperback – August 18, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 510 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (August 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830828761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830828760
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This deeply learned book by two committed Christians is the best of all proofs that science and religion properly understood are coworkers and not antagonists. It is fair-minded, it is sincere, it is informative, and above all else it is fun to read." (Michael Ruse, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science, Florida State University)

"The basic geology in The Bible, Rocks and Time is 'rock solid.' Despite my background of over a half-century of geologic teaching and research, I could find nothing with which to argue. The book represents a most welcome change, an authoritative and well-documented major work combining solid science and religious history to stand in sharp contrast against the vast religio-scientific literature by those with little sophistication about either or both. This book could and probably should be used as a geology text for Christian colleges, or it might well be the basic text for an innovative 'pro and con' geology course in more traditional colleges and universities." (Donald U. Wise, Professor Emeritus of Geology, University of Massachusetts--Amherst)

"The Bible, Rocks and Time is a thoughtful book by Christian scientists for anyone interested in reconciling Genesis and geology. Planet Earth and life on our planet have long, complex and deeply interesting histories written in rocks and fossils that will never go away. Here professors Davis A. Young and Ralph F. Stearley lead us through a timely and constructive synthesis of religion and science." (Philip D. Gingerich, professor of geology and paleontology, University of Michigan)

"What an enjoyable tour of the history of geology, the interaction between geological study and biblical exegesis, and the current field of geology itself! Professors Young and Stearley have shown us why the geological evidence for the age of the Earth is persuasive. Their love for the Bible and for the world that God made, their commitment to a biblical worldview, and their patient explanations of scientific principles are exemplary, as is their respect for those Christians with whom they disagree. Thank you, Professors, for writing such a helpful book, which I will be glad to have people read." (C. John Collins, professor of Old Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary)

"This book is a masterful, scholarly, engaging and readable defense of the claim that standard geology's dating of the Earth is consistent with a high view of Holy Scripture and sound Christian doctrine. Its challenge to young-Earth creationism is daunting--not only scientific but biblical, theological, philosophical and apologetical as well. It is the best book I know on this topic." (John W. Cooper, Ph.D., professor of philosophical theology, Calvin Theological Seminary)

"The long-awaited return of Dave Young's Christianity and the Age of the Earth has finally come and in a wonderfully new version. Young and coauthor Ralph Stearley present us with a unique scholarly treatment of geology's relationship to a key issue of biblical interpretation. They relate well the historical engagement of theology and geoscience with comprehensive support for the establishment of Earth's great antiquity. Every church library, Christian high school and college, seminary and bookstore should have this volume available as an essential reference." (Dr. Jeff Greenberg, professor of geology, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois)

About the Author

Davis A. Young (Ph.D., Brown University) is Professor of Geology Emeritus of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His books include John Calvin and the Natural World, The Biblical Flood: A Case Study of the Church's Response to Extra-biblical Evidence, Portraits of Creation: Biblical and Scientific Perspectives on the World's Formation and Science Held Hostage: What's Wrong with Creation Science and Evolutionism.

Ralph F. Stearley (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is professor of geology and chairman of the department of geology, geography and environmental studies at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His current research interests include the history of paleontology and stratigraphy and Christian reactions to evolutionary thought.

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Customer Reviews

Overall I thought the book was very informative.
Brian Murphy
It is not true that the Bible insists that Earth is young, as the easy majority of Christian Bible scholars can tell you.
Jeremy Royal Howard
I recommend this book for Young Earth Creationists.
Paul R. Bruggink

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

122 of 132 people found the following review helpful By Peter Enns on October 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
An issue that is very important to me, both apologetically and spiritually, is for Christian theology to be in honest conversation with scientific research, particularly as it affects our understanding of Genesis and origins. Young and Stearley have produced a hefty volume aimed at demonstrating that "several purported scientific claims advanced by young-Earth creationists do not stand up to scrutiny and fail to establish a young age for the Earth. These claims are generally based on incomplete information, wishful thinking, ignorance of real geologic solutions, selective use of data and faulty reasoning" (475). Despite this blunt assessment of young-Earth creationism, the authors' treatment of their opponents' views are characterized by great patience and charity. If simple dismissal of the young-Earth view were their aim, they would hardly have spent 500 pages (small font) establishing their case, nor would the authors have gone out of their way so often to strike such a wonderfully pastoral tone.

Our authors are both associated with the geology department at Calvin College, Young as Professor Emeritus and Stearley is professor of geology and department chair. Young will be particularly known by a broader Evangelical audience as the author of Christianity and the Age of the Earth (1982) and Creation and the Flood: An Alternative to Flood Geology and Theistic Evolution (1977). The present volume is a rewrite of the former, spurred on by Davis's colleague Stearley. Young should also be known to many of us as the son of the late Westminster professor of Old Testament, E. J. Young.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By B. F. Mooney on June 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you are interested in the age of the earth controversy, read this book. it is a good examination of the issues and the proof.

Actually, I almost wrote "supposed controversy" as the young-earth argument is so weak as to be practically non-existent.

The single, one-star review is honest in its intent, but fully off the mark on this book and topic, and simply wrong. The review is not about the book, and is a tiresome rehash of old arguments. I do not doubt the author's intelligence, but it is clear that the Bible has been badly misread here - misappropriated as a book of natural history. The words of Genesis which refer to the time involved in the creation of the earth are commonly mistranslated/misinterpreted (the original Hebrew words do NOT support a young earth hypothesis).

Also, while mechanical engineers certainly have considerable, solid scientific training/education, and perform scientific research in their areas, they are NOT biological or geological scientists; just as I would not extend my scientific education as a biologist and chemist too far in trying to make statements about mechanical engineering, so I think the author of the one-star review should realize his limitations. I have studied a lot if physics and chemistry, even some biomechanics, but that hardly qualifies me to judge a bridge, building, or an engine on technical grounds. He should not suggest his engineering and associated qualifications bear on the question at hand. Make his argument, sure, but don't claim special technical expertise. As an evolutionary biologist, I have spent decades accessing the overall biological and geological evidence for evolution, and for the age of the earth.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Jeff O on December 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
As a public school teacher who teacher Earth science and Physics I highly recommend this book for everyone who is interested in the antiquity of the Earth and how it connects with the Bible.

I found that the book was organized very well because the authors didn't come right out exposing the faults of young-earth creationism. The history of modern geology gives a great basis for understanding the authors throughout the book and how geologists do science.

In Part II: Biblical perspectives bought up some theological points that bring out the historical context of the book of Genesis in a way that is truthful and insightful.

When Young and Stearley bring up the geologic perspectives, they are able to explain the geology in way that people who have never taken a geology course could understand the text without much help. I found many of these examples the authors talk about to be very easy to understand. The nice thing about a few of the examples they discuss is that I have been to a few of the sites and even if you haven't you would be able to picture it.

As an Earth science teacher who teaches about the geologic record, I will be using many of these examples in class to show the antiquity of the earth. Every year in every one of my classes there are many students who can't believe or are confused about the antiquity of the Earth. Young and Stearley talk about students being shocked by the overwhelming evidence for the antiquity of the Earth and not knowing how to process the information.

This book needs to be read by all people who speak, discuss, or who are interested in the topic of the age of the Earth before more damage is done separating people of faith from understanding how God has magnificently revealed his power and creativity through the world that we continue to study.
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