Book Review – 40 Questions About Creation and Evolution (22/4)

My church studied the book of Genesis last year. Knowing the controversies involved in the book of Genesis, I armed myself with books that I would read to keep myself updated with the issues raised in Genesis. But if I only have one book to recommend about the issue of creation, I would certainly recommend this book.

40 Questions About Creation and EvolutionEver since Darwin, evolution and creation has been debating about how man and the world has come about. And since then Genesis 1 and 2 has been re-interpreted several times over. Crucially the questions about creation lies in the way we understand Genesis 1 & 2. While I appreciate the amount of scholarship done in this area. I must say the scope of it has been rather staggering. There are at least 6 views to the days of creations, 3 views to the age of the earth, 2 views on Noah’s flood.

For one to be able to be thoroughly acquainted with all the nuances would mean one would have literally read through stacks of books. But now, this pertinent issue can be resolved by reading this book. Within this book, authors Mark F. Rooker  and Kenneth K. Keathley presents all views as fairly as they can, and examine each of them against what the bible has to say. They raised the strengths and weaknesses of each view. Given the complexity of this topic, both authors also urge readers not to make quick judgement or be too dogmatic about their views.

While this book will not be a walk in the park, I have found this book to be very edifying in helping me understanding the different views and issues within Genesis 1 and 2. For another who intends to dive into the issue of creation vs evolution, the age of the earth, the days of creations or just wants to be familiar with the arguments within the book of Genesis, I would recommend them to turn to this book first. This will be an excellent introduction for anyone working on these topics.

Rating: 4.75 / 5

If you are interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping).

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Book Review – Biblical Portraits of Creation (11/9)

It used to be that Genesis was a really simple, straightforward book to study, no big controversies maybe other than the JEDP documentary hypothesis (and if the pastor doesn’t want to talk about it, it’s still relatively fine). Now however, the tide has turned. It’s one of the few books of the books that has been contested and even contested fiercely within the Christian and evangelical circles. Due to that, books that have appear on the shelves on Genesis have sometimes gone rather technical. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for such books. But it has created a barrier that Genesis is a difficult to study, when in reality it shouldn’t.Biblical Portraits of Creation

Although this is not a book on Genesis, it is however a book centred on creation, it might seem strange and indeed felt a little weird when I first started to read them. However, the authors’ intention for this book is to ensure the church is not so lob-sided that we stay away from it due to the current controversies regarding it. And I agree there has been a lack of teaching on Genesis meant for the layman.

This book is really a series of sermons each expounding on one portion of passage with regards to creation. Overall I felt that the passages selected had a great spread, although sometimes we might only be able to think of 2 to 4 bible passages that are linked to creation, Walter Kaiser and Dorington Little are able to use some not-so-familiar passages to deliver on this topic. This is to be commended, they have helped me to that creation is not just a few passages linked only to creation, but the bible has many more passages that talks about it!

Having said that, I do have to say that there was one particular chapter that I thought didn’t fit in this book, and that was about the genealogy of Jesus, sure, I’m aware that the greek word comes from genesis, yet, I do think it’s a bit of a stretch to make that point in this book.

Overall, I felt that the sermons by Little was slightly better, Kaiser’ ones were sometimes more technical and had more pointers and sub-pointers. However, located at the appendix is an essay by Kaiser, and that is a superb article! I felt that particular piece should be well worth the price of the book. You really ought to read it. Kaiser and Little have also very wisely added in discussion questions for each and every chapter, anticipating, in fact encouraging readers to use them in conjunction with their sermons.

In summary, if you want to have a book that speaks particular on the topic of creation, yet not too technical, this is the book to go. You’ll be able to learn not just biblical teachings from them, but also pick up some relevant application points along the way.

Rating: 3.75 / 5

Disclaimer: I was given this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

If you’re interested, get it here, and here (free international shipping).

Book Review – Why God Created the World – A Jonathan Edwards Adaptation (12/8)

This is a question that every christian would have asked, ‘Why did God create the world?’ The young asks in curiosity and the old asks in bewilderment, their advances in years have seemingly not helped them much on this question!Why God Created the World

But, Jonathan Edwards has done A LOT of thinking in this question, and has even written a book on it! But, sometimes people have complained about how difficult it is to read Jonathan Edwards. So what can these people do? (Other than persevering on and reading it!) A good alternative is now available, Ben Stevens has paraphrased and modernised Jonathan Edwards’ ‘A Dissertation Concerning the End for Which the World Was Created’ into this easy to read work.

To be honest, I’m not a fan of abridgement or paraphrasing or anything of that sort. To me, if you really want to know what someone has written, you should be prepared to work hard at trying to understand what he’s actually saying! But alas, some works prove to be really tough, and only those who are already well-motivated to read that particular work/author would be prepared to work through it. Most would be turned off and would never again go back to such wonderful works. (John Owen would be one such example)

As I read this book, I was quite marvelled at how well and systematic and comprehensive Edwards was in thinking through this question. No doubt, being able to read this text at such a fast and easy pace made it easy for me to follow the argument that Edwards was making. (I doubt I would have been able to if I was reading the original work, you can try it yourself too! The 1st chapter of the original work is found at the appendix)

Ben is highly commended for the excellent job he has done especially with this very tough assignment. He is really able to allow Edwards to speak to us, in no way does he tries to interject his ideas into the readers but really allows the readers to come away with a deep appreciation of Edwards, and to spur readers to then dive into Edwards’ own writing.

I foresee this work will spur even more readers to be exposure to Edwards, and also encourage them to read Edwards’ in his original form. This book is really a good primer for anyone who wishes to have a feel of how Edwards is, and will act like a ‘hook’ to hook others to read Edwards even more after they’re done with this book and I look forward to future such adaptations!

Rating: 4.5/5

If you’re interested, you can get it here, and here (free international shipping), Kindle.

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Heavens Flimed For 7 Days (5/6)

This was filmed over the course of 7 days at El Teide, Spain’s highest mountain. It’s a beautiful time lapsed video of how wonderful God’s creation is.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
  the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
  and the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:3-4)