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Origins: A Reformed Look at Creation, Design, and Evolution Paperback – October, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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 ›
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.
This book is aimed squarely at that reader, and presents a dialogue on the issues in a very non-confrontational tone. For this reason I can highly recommend it as a "first read" on the topic. That said, I learned a few things, even after having studied science and various theological positions for many years.
I found it especially interesting that the authors are professors at Calvin college and include quotes from John Calvin (the Reformer) throughout the book. Why? Many of the most hard-core six-day creationists today follow the teachings of John MacArthur, himself a Calvinist. So this may be an eye-opener to some of them who aren't actually familiar with Calvin's own writings.
It's short -- you can easily read this in a day or two. It's a good book to pass along to friends or family.
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 16 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 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
This is a bold and necessary foray into the complex and contentious subject of science and faith, tailored to a discussion group format. Read morePublished on November 8, 2010 by Randy A. Stadt