The New Creationism has been reviewed in the latest edition of Grace Magazine (December 2009, p.21). The reviewer is Dr J. H. John Peet. Grace Magazine‘s editor, Colin Grimwood, has kindly given me permission to post the review here. You can find out more about Grace Magazine, including subscription details, on its website.
Paul Garner is well known amongst the Grace Baptist constituency as an able creationist speaker. This book will be welcomed by those who have heard him and appreciated by even more.
This year has been noted as the anniversary of Darwin’s birth and of the publication of his book ‘On the Origin of Species.’ This has caused a spate of new books and this one will probably head the booklists of those interested in the subject. The title may surprise some: what is new about creationism? It reflects the fact that the creationist position has come of age. It is not simply an anti-evolution approach. It has a positive biblical position and, as this book shows, a mature approach to the scientific data.
The book is marked by its readability: the reader does not need to be a scientist in order to understand the subject. On the other hand, the scientifically-minded will find it satisfying and a basis for further study. The end-notes (30 pages) and bibliography will provide [sic] valuable for research. It divides into four parts. In the first, Paul explores the origin and nature of the universe, showing the clear signs of its divine creation and maintenance. The Earth stands out as a unique planet, made specifically for mankind.
But what of the time element? This occupies several chapters in Part 2. Firstly, Paul looks at the biblical evidence for a young universe/young Earth. He goes on to examine the geological evidence for a catastrophic history. This leaves the ‘problem’ of claims that radiometric dating methods establish unambiguously that the world is very old. Paul describes some outstanding creationist research of the last decade which demonstrates an alternative interpretation favouring a short geological history. In the last chapter of this section, he describes other processes (cosmological, earthly and human) that suggest the beginning of all these things must be relatively recent. Readers will appreciate the caution that Paul introduces into his arguments showing their limitations.
The third part deals with the biological evidence which supports the creationist position. Paul tackles the underlying issues arising in the debate about the miraculous creation claimed by the Scriptures: the origin of life itself, diversity by design, biological classification (first developed by creationists!), defects and degeneration and embryology. A section full of fascinating facts presented again in a very readable format.
Finally, the Flood and its consequences. This is the field in which Paul is active in his research; this is reflected in the thoroughness of his account. He acknowledges views other than his own held within the creationist community. He begins, rightly, with a careful look at the biblical record of the Flood and then demonstrates how the evidence accords with this. The formation of fossils is not recorded in the Scriptures and so we have to examine Scripture and the fossil record carefully to see where they fit in. Evolutionists see the fossils as a record of appearance of different plant and animal types; the evidence points to their disappearance – in biblical terms, judgment.
The Ice Age is an area where creationist studies have a strong lead over the uniformitarian (evolutionary) approaches. The chapter on this makes very interesting and exciting reading. This leads directly into the concluding chapter on Stone Age Man and where he fits into the biblical record.
Paul closes his book with a brief gospel message. This is appropriate as many of us will be pleased to pass a copy of this book to non-Christian friends. But, in any case, read it yourself and be blessed.