This week a friend sent me a review of my book, The New Creationism, from Horizons (No. 173, September/October 2009). Horizons is the magazine of Melbourne Hall Evangelical Free Church in Leicester. The reviewer is Tim Oldridge.
In my opinion this is a ‘must read’ for all Christians. The title might suggest that the book is about ‘the new heavens and the new earth’ referred to in the book of Revelation. But this is not the case. Paul Garner, in an easy-to-read style, presents a comprehensive, understandable overview of the origins issue. This he does by an up-to-date survey of current scientific thinking that supports the biblical account of the origin of our universe. He systematically works through the claimed major scientific evidences that are today arrayed against those Christians who desire to be faithful to God’s Word. He starts with an unwavering commitment to the plain reading of the opening chapters of Genesis, and presents his detailed case in support of the Bible-believing position against the backdrop of what those chapters clearly teach.
The chapter titles cover the key issues in the origins debate, and many of the questions most asked by Christians and non-Christians alike. The opening chapters deal with the creation of the sun, moon, and stars with a reminder of how well designed is our earthly home. The pivotal questions of time are next treated – the biblical case for literal creations [sic] days and 6,000 or so years for earth history are resoundingly established; the present-is-the-key-to-the-past philosophy is shown to be contrary to the evidence of catastrophic formation of sedimentary rock layers; the radioactive clocks in rocks have run fast and therefore cannot yield absolute ages of millions of years; and yet there is robust evidence that the solar system, the earth and mankind are young. Paul Garner then goes on to discuss the origin of life, diversity by design, similarities and relationships, defects and degeneration, and embryonic recapitulation and vestigial organs. The global Flood catastrophe is defended biblically. The book then goes on to describe how the fossil record is explained by the Flood. Furthermore only the Flood can explain the single ice age that occurred as an immediate consequence of it.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The scientific facts concerning the macrocosm and the microcosm are both astounding and ‘mind blowing’. For instance the temperature at the core of a star is sixteen million degrees Kelvin (room temperature is approximately 300 degrees Kelvin). Stars like our sun ‘burn’ their nuclear fuel at a staggering rate, transforming five million tons of mass into energy every second. Our sun is one of about 100 billion stars that make up our galaxy, the Milky Way. Our galaxy is one of about thirty galaxies in a cluster called the Local Group. This cluster is about ten million light years across. Astronomers use the word ‘local’ in a different way from its normal use! A large and famous cluster, containing many thousands of galaxies of different types, is the Virgo Cluster, about forty million light years away…and so on. Truly ‘mind blowing’!
In one sense, as Christians, we do not need any other book than the Bible to read of how the world was created. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3). But ‘The New Creationism’ is a fascinating, useful up-to-date text book which deals with the complexities and origins of our world and gives strong and robust answers to those people who hold to evolutionary processes and ‘Big Bang’ theories. I put the book down marvelling at the wonders, beauties, and diversity of creation and worshipping our great creator God who is blessed for ever (Romans 1:25).
‘O LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.’ Psalm 104:24
‘Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.’ Revelation 4:11