Item description for Origins: A Reformed Look at Creation, Design, and Evolution by Deborah B. Haarsma & Loren D. Haarsma...
Overview Scientists Deborah and Loren Haarsma present a Reformed perspective on the many competing understandings of the origins and history of the universe. Includes discussion questions for group study.
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Studio: Faith Alive Christian Resources
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.05" Width: 6.07" Height: 0.52" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2008
Publisher Faith Alive Christian Resources
ISBN 1592552277 ISBN13 9781592552276
Reviews - What do customers think about Origins: A Reformed Look at Creation, Design, and Evolution?
Essential reading for Christians interested in origins Nov 16, 2008
This book summarizes the various positions that Bible-believing Christians take on such questions as creation, evolution, common ancestry, Intelligent Design, human evolution, and Adam and Eve. The authors attempt to present an unbiased survey of all sides of the debates, but it becomes clear by the end what their positions are on certain issues. They are "evolutionary creationists," referring to the belief that God worked through ordinary, natural means to produce the diversity of life (including humans) on earth.
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.
On the other hand, their critiques of the Intelligent Design theory are valid. We need to be careful not to fall into "god-of-the-gaps" arguments, which try to prove God's existence from everything that science can't yet explain. But I still think that a strong case can be made for ID, if it is framed appropriately. After finishing this book, I find myself mostly in the "progressive creationist with common ancestry" camp.
Christians--especially those in preaching/teaching positions--need to read this book. Science had radically changed our understanding of origins over the past several decades, and theologians need to keep up with these developments, so that we can reach a coherent and integrative understanding of God's Word and God's world.
HIghly recommended May 2, 2008
ORIGINS is a refreshing and thought-provoking look at the often controversial topic of how the cosmos began. Being written by two physics professors, who are scientists and Christians, gives the book a hefty helping of validity. The book gives both science and Scripture the respect they deserve and, using scientific and scriptural examples, builds a logical case for the reconciliation of the two. 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.
One of the best overviews of the issue Feb 9, 2008
I've read recent books by Behe and Ross, Demski and others. This book is a great overview - it's up to date and seems fair. Well worth getting to keep current on the issue
Presents the spectrum of Christian views on Genesis and origins Nov 8, 2007
This book is for Christians who are seeking a better understanding of the spectrum of views that Christians hold on how to relate the findings of science with interpretation of the Bible. In presenting and discussing the spectrum of views, "Origins" makes a useful distinction, not often seen, between "Interpretations of Genesis" and "Views on Origins," and includes nice summary tables of each.
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.