Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

It's important to point out that this is not a book arguing for creationism, as throughout this is presumed to already be the reader's existing stance. Rather, this book is arguing for creation to be recognised as the foundation of Christian evangelism.

And there it makes a robust case. It doesn't seem so much that the theory of evolution is a bad thing, more that its inconsistency with the book of Genesis cannot be ignored by Christian evolutionists for very long.

For example, without the context of mankind's fall from perfection in the garden of Eden, going on to offer forgiveness for our completely unforeshadowed shortcomings can easily seem irrelevant.

"In other words, one cannot really understand the good news in the New Testament of Jesus' death and resurrection, and thus payment for sin, until one understands the bad news in Genesis of the Fall of man, and thus the origin of sin and its penalty of death." [p. 24]

Throughout this book Ken catalogues in some detail the cracks that emerge in Christian theology, as tensions between modern evolutionary Christianity and the ancient book of Genesis are realised, uncertainty develops, and problems emerge.

There are a few points in here that I would question. One would be page 79's emphasis that Jesus endorsed creationism, which later appears trumped on page 108 by the argument that Paul would sometimes begin by looking at a group of people's existing beliefs. So surely Jesus could have been doing that too?

Another would be chapter nine's assertion that merely discussing surface morality issues won't attract new Christian believers, as I reckon that common ground between people is quite widely regarded to be a good starting point.

Most of all though I found myself disagreeing with the book regarding the sheer enormous numbers of Christians who believe in evolution (a popularity which I wish a few more non-Christians would acknowledge). For while this book agrees that the old Earth theory is now endorsed throughout the church, the assertion that this is a bad thing strikes me as a self-defeating argument. While evolution may prevent some from becoming new believers, and even cause a few Christians to presently give up on their faith, the enormous number who can and do reconcile, or at least live with, the disparity might just have discovered something there…

On the other hand, such a contradiction is hardly exclusive to just the Christian evolutionists. There also seem to be enough atheist evolutionists out there who manage to balance the tension between the impossibility of intelligent design vs. using intelligent design themselves, eg. when they write their own book.

As I say though, I can't really challenge an argument built upon another guy's beliefs. The author of this book is convinced of the inerrancy of the Bible, and is a creationist, and it's that foundation upon which the reasoning of this book is constructed. I might as well try to tell an Aussie how to be Australian. I'm in favour of Australia, but I don't know what it's like to have grown up looking at the rest of the world from that perspective.

I do still have the creationist book Refuting Evolution 2 by Dr Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D on my list of books to read, so I may have a bit more to type in response to that. After all, I do think that evolution is a more delicate theory than creation, (eg. it requires millions of years of further unknown events to not trump the tiny amount that we can observe in the present) hence my sympathies lying more with the young Earth theory. I just find thousands of years less of an ask than millions.

Perhaps this book should drop that question mark from its title though, and instead just call itself 'Why They Won't Listen'.

(available here)

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