Sunday, July 05, 2009

Christians Who Disagree?

The story of Creation related in the Bible is a study in brevity. It doesn’t give some of the details I wish for. It doesn’t lay out ground-rules, telling us this is symbolic and this is literal. It begins with a faith statement of astonishing breadth in just four words: “In the beginning, God. . .” It lays a foundation that seems from a surface reading to lack solidity, yet embedded within that foundation are countless bits of evidence that stand up to the toughest scientific scrutiny.

Two fascinating books look at many of those bits of evidence. They both carefully and skillfully articulate their viewpoint. They both anchor their arguments on scientific and biblical evidence. They both claim that evidence points with incontrovertible weight towards a designer of super-intelligence. They both dare to name that designer the God of the Bible. They invite the reader to better know that God. Yet they disagree strongly with each other.

Ken Ham argues for a young universe, literal 24-hour days of creation and a global flood that accounts for much of the fossil record around the world. Hugh Ross argues for an ancient universe. Perhaps most fascinating though, both detail an intricacy of design so incredibly fine-tuned that the possibility of it arising from random accidents of nature is outside the realms of mathematical possibility.

In his book, More Than a Theory, Hugh Ross suggests 13.5 billion years since the dawn of creation. He argues for a local flood and each “day” of creation as an age. He points to detail after detail after detail that must fall within incredibly narrow tolerances for life to exist. He argues that those tolerances are so fine-tuned that the probability of finding any other habitable planet in the known universe is statistically nil. He chronicles step after step in the development of our globe so that it could be prepared for life, yet makes the claim and backs it with overwhelming evidence, that the fine-tuning of each of those steps could not have happened by accident.

Ken Ham in The Answer Book points with compelling arguments to creation at 10,000 years ago or less. He believes, and supports his belief with scientific and biblical evidence, that death was unknown before the fall of Adam and Eve. He argues that all animals were vegetarian before Adam’s sin, and that Noah carried juvenile dinosaurs with him on the Ark. His arguments too, draw on a multitude of fine-tuned details that fall within such narrow boundaries as to stretch credibility beyond the breaking point to have happened as a result of random accidents.

Ken Ham writes with slightly less scholarly language, but both authors articulate their arguments with skill and solid science. Both authors have done a great deal of in-depth study. I will not consume months in researching which author has the most compelling presentation, but I will strongly recommend that people interested in this subject read both.

As strongly as they disagree with each other, both authors are fully convinced God is the one and only creator. Both authors point out an intricacy of design completely outside the realms of random possibility. Both authors draw the reader to a deeper appreciation of the majesty of creation and the wisdom of the God behind it.

I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to disagree as Christians, if we can do so respectfully, and still somehow draw people to a deeper grasp of the majesty of God.


Peter Black said...

Wonderful reviews Brian. Not that I've read either of these books; however you've provided a very interesting reflection.
Thank you.

Donna Mann said...

Thank you Brian. This welcomes questions with an invitation to explore further. Very interesting. Donna

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