Item description for Portraits of Creation: Biblical and Scientific Perspectives on the World's Formation by Howard J. Van Till, John H. Stek & Robert Snow...
Drawing on both scriptural evidence and scientific investigation, Van Till constructs a theologically sound and scientifically coherent perspective on the nature of the cosmos. Since evolution and creation deal with distinctly different questions, he argu
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.06" Width: 6.01" Height: 0.72" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Aug 19, 1990
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN 0802804853 ISBN13 9780802804853
Availability 96 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 24, 2017 12:07.
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More About Howard J. Van Till, John H. Stek & Robert Snow
Howard J. Van Till is professor of physics at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Reviews - What do customers think about Portraits of Creation: Biblical and Scientific Perspectives on the World's Formation?
Scientists view of formation Jul 30, 2007
Howard J. Van Till, Robert Snow, John H. Stek, and Davis A. Young were Fellows of the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship. All are professional scientists.
Each chapter begins with an abstract; scholars often use this form to outline the thesis and main points of the article. The scientists outline the limits of science and give a logical critique of both Darwinism and creationism. There is often misuse of the term origin, and they suggest formation. They explain scientific concepts clearly, such as luminosity. They believe "the Christian community ... gains nothing by closing its eyes to the results of scientific cosmology... The natural sciences in no way deny the existence of other realms or aspects of reality, but their attention is confined to physical entities alone."
The book is scholarly and well documented. There are useful maps and beautiful photography, both terrestrial and celestial, throughout the book. It contains two indexes, one for scripture references, the other for major names.
This book will be important for members of churches and synagogue to be aware of. Churches with scientists and/or college students will find this a welcome source.
Great in parts, bad in others May 14, 2006
I found this to be a very helpful book about Genesis, geology, cosmology, etc. I do not agree with all of Van Till and the other editors' conclusion (theistic evolution), but there was much helpful discussion nontheless.
The first section detailed the history of geology from the ancient world until the present time. He traced the rise and fall of diluvianism and neptunism, and the rise of modern geological views. I was very surprised that a 75 page chapter on the history of geology was so interesting.
The second section was about the history of cosmology/astrophysics. He detailed how we know things about stars, distances in space, the big bang, etc. Also very intersting.
The third section was an extended critique of the contemporary creationist movement (by this Van Till means literal seven day, young earth creationists, not simply those who believe in creationism). He gives the history of the movement, then raises a number of issues with it. He goes over a few of the main arguments used by creationists (i.e. the shrinking sun and the human footprints in dinasaur foorprints) and shows the lack of integrity on the part of leading creationists when it comes to these issues. He shows that people like Henry Morris continue to use such arguments for popular level books and conventions even through they have been refuted and even high up creationists acknowledge that the footprints thing is false. He also notes the complete lack of actual scientific accomplishment by the ICR (Institute of Creation Research) whose main accomplishment has been a failed search for Noah's Ark. He also details the extreme twisting of Scripture by Henry Morris in his books. He notes that there are some honest creationists, but he rails on those like Henry Morris who purposefully ignore evidence that does not support his theories and continues to use arguments when they no longer have any empirical support.
The fourth section is about the interpretation of Genesis 1. Van Till goes over the meanings and uses of various Hebrew words relating to the subject. I do not agree with his evolutionary conclusion, but it is very helpful anyway. Towards the end of this section he tries to show that the theistic evolution position has backing from major theologians, and this was probably the worst section of the book. He tries to claim the support of John Calvin, and does so by citing B. B. Warfield who made the same claim. Unfortunately, he notes that Warfield "could not quote Calvin directly to this effect," but decided that he is probably right anyway. I also noticed that EVERY theolgian he claims as a supporter is a Calvinist.
In all, this is a very helpful book for understanding the relationship between Christianity and Science. I had not come across much of the information given here in other books. Some of his conclusions are not perhaps merited by the evidence he gives (he tries to equate the creationist movement with a sect at one point), but its good parts far outweigh the bad parts.