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The New Creationism: Building Scientific Theory on a Biblical Foundation Paperback – March 1, 2009
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For those needing an up-to-date and comprehensive introduction to the science and issues surrounding biblical origins this book stands above the rest. --Dr JOHN H. WHITMORE, Associate Professor of Geology, Cedarville University, Ohio, USA
This book ... introduces the reader to the best contemporary creationist models in astronomy, geology, biology, and so on and at a level the layperson can understand. --KEN HAM, President, Answers in Genesis U.S. / Creation Museum
Paul is one of the few creationist speakers and writers who are qualified in the two key areas of science geology and biology... His study of the various topics is thorough and I can detect no scientific or biblical flaw in his arguments... I am very happy to commend this publication and trust it has a wide readership. --J. H. JOHN PEET, B.Sc, M.Sc, Ph.D, C.Chem, FRSC, The Biblical Creation Society
About the Author
PAUL GARNER is a researcher and lecturer with Biblical Creation Ministries. He has a degree in Environmental Sciences (Geology/ Biology) and is a Fellow of the Geological Society. He is married with two children and resides in Cambridgeshire, England.
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In this book, Paul Garner has sought to demonstrate that the narrative provided by the Biblical book of Genesis is indispensable if one is to understand correctly how the universe, the Earth, living things and humans themselves came into being: The Christian Transcendental Argument (Carpenter 2014): Everything about Jesus Christ can only be understood in the context of God’s revelation, i.e. the inspired sacred record written in the Bible. Specifically, the Triune God (in the person of the Holy Spirit) provides the structure of logic and knowledge that allows human reason to understand this record. Finally, without God, understanding is not possible.
As writer Van Til (1969) explains, “A truly transcendental argument takes any fact of experience which it wishes to investigate, and tries to determine what the presuppositions of such a fact must be, in order to make it what it is (a fact).” Note that this argument is clearly different from either inductive or deductive reasoning. Explicitly, (as Martin Luther professed) it is only by the power of the transcendent Holy Spirit that I believe in Jesus Christ or in the life and words He says. Thus, we argue that the words of Holy Scripture can be grasped by human reason. Jesus Christ lives, and rules in the present and the Kingdom of God is imminent (likely to occur at any moment).
Let this be Garner’s Transcendental Argument. The first eleven chapters of Genesis, are full of genealogical, geographical and cultural detail—Furthermore, the historicity of Genesis is affirmed time and again by the rest of Scripture. There are 200 quotations from, or references to, Genesis in the New Testament. Let these references be the Presuppositions upon which his Argument depends. More than half of these references are to Genesis 1-11, and 63 are from the first three chapters. Twenty-five are from the lips of the third person of the triune God, the Lord Jesus himself. The characters of Genesis 1-11 – including Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Enoch, Noah and Shem – are referred to in the New Testament as real people; the events of Genesis 1-11 – including Creation, the Fall and the Flood – are referred to as real events. This surely has implications for our understanding of the origins and development of the world in which we live. If we do not take these statements of Scripture seriously, and seek to build upon the insights they give us, we will surely fail to glorify God in our thinking. We need to be those who seek to cultivate the mind of Christ in every area of life and study – including in the realm of origins.
Secondly, we have also seen that the book of Genesis provides us with the framework for good science. In order to study the world by the scientific method, we must presuppose three things: first, that the universe really exists and is not an illusion; second, that the universe can be understood because it operates by regular laws and principles; and, third, that the human mind is able to come to an understanding of the way in which the universe operates. None of these things can be proved to be true, but in order to “do” science we must accept them by faith anyway. What is significant is that the Bible’s account of origins uniquely provides us with the basis for accepting these above three presuppositions of science. …..
…..There is one other thing that the book of Genesis provides for us. ….This most important thing is the fact that Genesis provides us with the foundation to the Christian gospel. This transcendental argument is ultimately why the question of origins is so important – because it has enormous implications for understanding who we really are, our relationship to God, the nature and consequences of our sin, and God’s plan of salvation. Kudos to Paul Garner for his excellent book: The New Creationism!
Like all young earth creationist works this one depends on a particular interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis irrespective of its historical, literary, and cultural backgrounds. The author attempts to argue in favor of his viewpoint and why he rejects the others, but it boils down to a particular approach centered in literalism and inerrancy as starting assumptions and a disregard for contemporary scholarly approaches that take the ancient Near Eastern cosmogenic views into consideration.
Each chapter attempts to lay out the distinction between the contemporary views of science and the young earth view and then give reasons for that position. Many references are listed in the endnotes for further research, unfortunately most of those references are to other young earth creationist sources.
Like most works of this type it's frustrating to read. For example, the chapter on radiometric dating which the author admits is probably the most difficult chapter in the entire book starts off arguing that the evidence of radiometric decay is "consistent with an Earth whose age is 4.6 billion years, but inconsistent with an age much younger." He then proceeds to argue that the decay was greatly accelerated during creation week and the global flood of Noah and then admits that there are difficulties that need to be resolved with future research. Those difficulties are accelerated heat and radiation such that if the acceleration happened to the degrees that are suggested the Earth's oceans and crust would be vaporized. These problems aren't secondary, but go to the heart of young earth creationism, you can't simply ignore them with the hope that one day future creationists can resolve the issues.
As a representative of young earth creationism I think this book does about the best that can be done, but ultimately it fails.
Evolutionists will criticize it for purely philosophical reasons. For a book that exposes the fatal flaws in the evolutionary axiom I would recommend starting with Dr. Jonathan Sarfati's "Refuting Evolution" which would be a good companion with this book for giving a good overview of the creationist side to this debate.
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