Item description for The Fourth Day: What the Bible and the Heavens are Telling Us about the Creation by Howard J. Van Till...
Tries to combine the biblical and scientific views of the universe's creation, and looks at how perception of the world has changed from biblical times to the present.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Fourth Day: What the Bible and the Heavens are Telling Us about the Creation by Howard J. Van Till has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 07/01/1986
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.56" Width: 5.49" Height: 0.75" Weight: 0.84 lbs.
Release Date Oct 19, 1986
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN 0802801781 ISBN13 9780802801784
Availability 0 units.
More About Howard J. Van Till
Howard J. Van Till is professor of physics at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Fourth Day: What the Bible and the Heavens are Telling Us about the Creation?
the best theology and best science i've read so far Mar 18, 2003
Like the German Green's motto " neither Right nor Left but OUT IN FRONT" this book takes on both sides of the CED debate. and in doing so moves the whole discussion into a new higher level: ---quote--- "It is my contention that neither the scriptural nor the scientific view of the cosmos is complete in itself, despite the fact that each view contributes an essential perspective on the complete reality. Through the spectacles of scriptual exegesis, we Christians see the cosmos as Creation: we see where it stands in relationship to God the Creator,who is its Originator, Preserver, Governor, and Provider. Through the lens of scientific investigation, natural scientists are able to observe the internal affairs of the material world--its coherent properties, its lawful behavior, and its authentic history. Both views are integral parts of what I call the 'creationomic perspective,' the view of the cosmos that is gained when natural science is place in the framework of the biblical doctrine of creation." preface pg ix ---end of quote---
The take home message is simple enough:
God is Creator, Sustainer, Law-Giver, and Provider.
The best way to read the book is to xerox the chart on pg 198 and keep it at your elbow. It summarizes the entire book!!!
To Scripture you address questions of external relationships: Status Origin Goverance Value Purpose To Science you address questions of internal affairs: Properties Behavior History
This in a single table is the argument of the book, but to understand the critical component: the categories of questions you need to hear the example he uses. Holding up a piece of paper, he asks you to describe it, one voice answers GREEN, another offers SQUARE. pg 204-5 The paper is in fact, both. Is these two pieces of information contradictory, of course not, it is complementary, coming from two different viewpoints. The extend the example in a way that the author does not, to which person do you address the questions concerning shape, to which do you address questions concerning color?
The first part concerns Scripture and how to build a correct hermeneutic to interpret it by. Again he introduces a good illustration, i suspect from his years of teaching this has proven to be a good memory technic and organizing principle: good illustrations. It is the vehicle model of Scripture, pg 14ff, a caravan of vehicles carrying packages with things inside the packages, think a bunch of UPS brown vans. (looks remarkably like the compiler theory train) The vehicle is the cultural historical context as expressed in the literary genre the passage is written in. The packages are the specific story, particular symbolism in a poem, specific cultural patterns. The contents are God's message to His people, in all places, throughout all time. And from pg 83, "In either case, if we attempt to consume both the content and the packaging, we may encounter significant difficulty in chewing, swallowing, and digesting the combination. Those who want to feed on the truths of Scripture must take care to differentiate between food and packaging." The two cases to distinguish are a journalistic account of the actual events of creation(think video tape) from the primeval history account that we have in Genesis.(think metaphorical origins story- mythos)
Scientism and YEC(young earth creationists)- chapter 11, " more heat than light, the creation/evolution debate" and the real battle with unbelieving scientific naturalism as a religious doctrine. Van Till makes it clear throughout the book that the YEC position of apparent age is nothing more than bad science and bad theology, for it denies the coherence of creation. It denies that God created the universe with sufficent thought to have inside it the things it needs to build up the complexity we see around us. By more importantly it denies the value of creation as an arena for the providence of God, to operate through the use of physical means.
I finished the book with a touch of sadness. For the time, energy, and people the false debate of CED is consuming in the Christian community. While good frameworks like Van Till's are neglected for want of people to work on them. If AiG or ICR did not exist, and that energy and talent was used to advance Van Tills type of arguments the Church would be far along the way to competing with the real enemy. Scientism, the world and life view that we are nothing more than sophisticated machines, the result of mindless and random meanderings through the genetic space of living beings. This is a religious, a metaphysical battle, not scientific. For science rightfully limits itself to the things of this creation, the things we see and the forces we can theorize behind them. The YEC have diverted an enormous amount of energy into bad science, trying to fight a battle at the level of facts, denying the clear evidence for an old earth, while misinterpreting the preamble of the Great KIng of Genesis One as a scientific how-to-do book on the manufacture of us. Sadly we are all the weaker knowing that good ideas like this book have been around since 1986 and are yet to be discovered.
I hope you discover this book as a result of my review. It will well worth the time to read, and i didn't even try to tell you the gems in the astronomy section--part 2.
Committed Physicist and Christian Mar 7, 2001
In college I took Howard Van Till's course in Advanced Astronomy and observed first-hand some of the research that went into this book. In person, Van Till is one of the most committed physicists and christians that I know. He takes a substantial amount of talent, integrity and faith and spreads the light for all. The Christian world has given him mixed reviews because many of them are strict "six day" creationists, which Van Till is not. You will be hard pressed to question his physics and he shows the flaws in many simple-faith approaches. I have read dozens of books on creation and cosmology -- this is one of the best.
An excellent read Mar 31, 2000
It's a shame this book is out of print. The book is divided into three parts: The first describes what the Bible tells us about Creation and the Cosmos. The second details evidences gleaned from the study of the Cosmos, in particular, astronomy. The third section offers a new perspective on the relationship between science and religion, in constrast to a traditional young-earth creationist perspective.