Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Creation and Evolution

I grew up attending public schools.  I read the Bible, but didn't give much thought to whether or not evolution was true.  I had only a little interest in science, so I learned what I needed to know to pass my classes and then I moved on.  I took Biology 101 in college and that was the extent of my science studies in college.

When we began homeschooling, I knew I would have to figure out what I think about Old Earth and New Earth theories of Creation, as well as the theory of intelligent design.  I would also have to dig into evolution and understand the flaws in the theory.  I have to admit that I haven't dug into all of these yet, but it is on my radar and I see it coming!

Yesterday, I was confronted by my lack of a clear perspective when I picked up a book I received for review.  It is titled Marvels of Creation:  Breathtaking Birds by Buddy and Kay Davis.  This book was written with the help and assistance of the staff of Answers in Genesis, Ken Hamm's Ministry.

The first three pages of the book are the introduction.  This introduction essentially mocks evolutionists and paleontologists.  I did like some of what the authors wrote such as this thought:
"This book is different from most nature books in that it seeks to honor God as Creator and give all glory to Him...Even the world in its cursed state (because of the fall of Adam) can still show beauty, design, and purpose." p. 9
But, much of what they wrote in the introduction grieved me.  When I wrote my review of What is God? by Apologia, I expressed this concern.  When we paint what much of the world believes as stupid, we can do much harm to our children.  Yes, they need to know that evolution is wrong, but not that it is stupid or ridiculous.  The Bible does not call us to ridicule or scorn those who believe differently than we do.  We are to speak with love to all and respect them because they are God's creation, too.  I can only imagine if someone who wasn't a believer had read this introduction over my shoulder how they might have then reacted to me for reading it.  I think the person reading over my shoulder would have assumed that I would then judge them if they didn't believe in God.  I believe the intention of the authors was to alarm the reader and impress upon the reader how important it is what he or she believes about creation and evolution.  But, the language pushed me away from their thinking rather than towards it.  

The introduction aside, I liked the rest of the book.  The font is small, but the pages of the book contain interesting information about the birds included.  There are a few mentions of God and wonder of God's creation, but not as many as I would have expected.  I would have actually liked to read more mentions of the Lord and marvel of his creation.  The birds included are ones from all around the world.  They are both common and unusual.

After reading the book, I realize that I need to dig into evolution and creation.  I believe in creation and not evolution, but I am not in favor of disparaging the other side.  I find that as people we feel that we must make the other side look bad in order to feel good about the side we're on.  But, that's not true.  I think we can build a logical, constructive case and contradict the case of our opponents respectfully and without being alarmist.  When we disparage, criticize, and alarm many people stop listening.

Setting the introduction of the book aside, the rest of the book was nice.  I enjoyed What's that Bird?  by Joseph Choineiere and Claire Mowbray Golding more.  Though What's that Bird? is not a Christian book, I think that as parents we can talk to our children about the marvel of birds and what the Bible says about birds.  God created them and we want our children to know that.

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book from New Leaf Publishing for review.

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