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Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design Paperback – August 2, 2011

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"The Haarsmas approach this very controversial topic with a perfect mix of scientifically and biblically accurate information, theological depth, intellectual modesty, and a charitable spirit toward views they do not share themselves. Pastors, laypeople, and scientists will all find much to value here." --Edward B. Davis, Distinguished Professor of the History of Science, Messiah College<br \><br \>"Origins, Revised presents a perspective on origins of the universe, the earth, life on earth, and of humans that is faithful to the Bible and to science. In an easy to understand style of writing, the Haarsmas' provide a valuable resource for schools, churches, and anyone interested in origins." --Randall D Isaac, Executive Director, American Scientific Affiliation<br \><br \>"The Haarsmas provide a comprehensive perspective on science and its challenges viewed through a lens of firm belief in God, which illuminates the issues and offers straight ways forward. Christians will be encouraged by their faithful and convincing approach." --Daniel M. Harrell, PhD, Senior minister of Colonial Church, Edina, Minnesota, Author of "Nature's Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith"

"Origins, Revised presents a perspective on origins of the universe, the earth, life on earth, and of humans that is faithful to the Bible and to science. In an easy to understand style of writing, the Haarsmas' provide a valuable resource for schools, churches, and anyone interested in origins." --Randall D Isaac, Executive Director, American Scientific Affiliation

"The Haarsmas provide a comprehensive perspective on science and its challenges viewed through a lens of firm belief in God, which illuminates the issues and offers straight ways forward. Christians will be encouraged by their faithful and convincing approach." --Daniel M. Harrell, PhD, Senior minister of Colonial Church, Edina, Minnesota, Author of "Nature's Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith"

From the Inside Flap

When it comes to the history of the universe, many believe that science and faith are mutually exclusive. But in this revised version of Origins, physics professors Loren and Deborah Haarsma explore what God's Word and God's world teach us about creation, evolution, and intelligent design.

Clearly explaining the science, the authors focus on areas where Christians agree. They also present the strengths and weaknesses of areas where Christians differ.

Origins helps you develop a deeper understanding of the origins of the universe and sort out your own views on faith and science. Small group discussion questions follow each chapter.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 315 pages
  • Publisher: Faith Alive Christian Resources; 2nd edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159255573X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592555734
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Frank Peters on April 15, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As the title says, this book seeks to present and contrast the various Christian perspectives on Origins. The authors cover both scientific and theological ramifications of various views. All told, the structure of the book was outstanding and the authors have succeeded really very well in achieving their purpose. In fact, this is the best book I have yet read that makes this attempt. The difficulty with the book is that even if it the best example, it is still not what I was looking for. The bias and opinions of the authors are very clear, and some of their commentary on other views is not as gracious as I would have hoped for. I had hoped that this was a book that I could give or recommend to university students who are thinking about this topic, but I am not convinced that it is quite good enough. While I agree for the most part with the views of the authors (i.e., my criticism is not because I disagree!), they seemed to be occasionally blinded by their (and my) views. It is a shame that they were not able to bounce their arguments off those who would disagree as this could have strengthened some of their arguments and softened others. So, while I cannot really recommend it to those who are searching, I can certainly recommend it to leaders who would like good reference material.
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Got this book to help answer some questions I was trying to work through. Helped a lot! Get this if you're seeking after the Lord, pretty firm in your faith, but otherwise unsure how to understand current scientific principles and revelations from a biblical perspective.

I used to be an ardent young-earth creationist, but after some pre-med courses and one genetics course in particular, I realized that it just wasn't correct. By the grace of God the foundational shift that came from that realization didn't break my faith or cause me to stumble. I worked along with a hodge podge understanding of evolution and the Bible, but didn't have any sort of coherent theory or understanding that tied everything together. I knew that God's word and the truths he reveals through his creation didn't (and couldn't!) conflict, but that was about it.

A conversation with a guy at my church who reminds me a lot of myself earlier on recently made me realize a lot of the gaps in my own understanding. After a brief thought that I would try and write a small paper on the topic myself to help organize my thoughts, I came to Amazon looking for and hoping that someone else had beat me to it. And they had! Praise the Lord!

The Haarsma's are demonstratedly capable scientists, teachers, and Christians. Very hard to find all three of those things in the Church these days. They humbly, gently, intelligently, and skillfully work their way through the different beliefs that Christians have regarding where humans (and the world, for that matter) came from.

Again, this is an excellent book. It requires a good bit of careful consideration, Bible reading, and reliance on God to work through, but it's well worth it!

God bless!

- Chris
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This book helps debunk the idea that all Christians must be anti-evolution. It reminds us to listen to each other as Christians and to listen to our Christian brothers and sisters who are Scientists. The well reasoned arguments help expand our thinking about questions of Origins. The science is simple enough to understand yet complex enough to be compelling. Thanks to the authors (Haarsma)and publishers.
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While both authors are scientists, they have here stretched across many scientific disciplines, and it occasionally shows to the detriment of their arguments, though not fatally. They do a reasonably good job of surveying and succinctly describing the various viewpoints re the many topics covered. Both scientists and theologians will be disappointed in the superficial nature of the discussion at times, but it serves all well to recall that the arguments need not be in complete depth, but only adequate for basic understanding. All, and perhaps esp. young-earth creationists (on the basis of the strong arguments recognized in favor of an old earth and older universe), will be annoyed at times, but a calm and considerate reader will recognize that the authors have done their best to be fair and reasonable to all positions. Recommended for all educational leaders in the church.
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If you have time to read just one or two books on the subject of the intersection of Christian faith and science (particularly biological evolution), I would suggest this one, or Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose? by Denis Alexander.

I understand that this book is used as a textbook at many Christian schools. Both authors of this book are professors at Calvin College. The authors use clear, non-confrontational language to describe the many varied positions that Christians have taken on creation over the centuries, along with the history of each approach. For each one, they guide the reader through an examination of his or her own beliefs and whether they are truly founded on what the Bible teaches, or what various schools of Christian religion teach.

God is active in the world and in our lives. Sometimes He works in a miraculous way and sometimes He chooses not to. Can he cause events to occur without breaking the laws of physics? Of course! Almost a thousand years ago, St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica made the distinction between God acting as a first cause and God working through secondary causes in nature. The primary cause (of everything!) is God. God certainly can invoke a miracle directly as a primary cause. But when God caused the earth and waters to bring forth life in Genesis chapter 1, does the diversification of this life into thousands of species on Earth require the miraculous, sudden appearance of each one? Charles Darwin wrote, “To my mind, it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes.
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