25 May 2013

A case for a creator

  • Who Made the Moon?: A Father Explores How Faith and Science Agree by Sigmund Brouwer
  • The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis S. Collins
  • Redeeming Science by Vern Poythress
  • Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution by Michael Behe
  • The Case For A Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God by Lee Strobel
  • When Faith and Science Collide: A Biblical Approach to Evaluating Evolution, Creationism, Intelligent Design, and the Age of the Earth by G. R. Davidson
  • Belief in God in an Age of Science by John Polkinghorne
  • Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology by Darrel Falk

It's a sad truism that many young Christians lose their faith when they begin to study science in depth. For some of them, the science has far more evidence that the creation myth their out-of-touch parents taught them. Others are deceived by the dogmatic way evolution is presented as 'proof' that God can't exist. Some take theory as fact. Some study the evidence themselves and take it as more reasonable than the God of their youth.

For me as a young science student, the solution was to always look at things through the filter of my Bible. If a theory was compatible with my beliefs then I could consider it. If not, then I didn't. And then I didn't question any more. Since those days, many years ago, my plan has been to not consider these things too deeply. If I did then I would begin to question and doubt, and that, for me, was not a good thing. There were just too many gaps and inconsistencies. I know that doesn't work for everyone, but it did for me.

Being a mum, though, particularly a homeschooling mum, is different. Here I am at nearly 50 back considering those things that I've studiously ignored for so long. Like the evolution/creation debate. Theistic evolution. Evolutionary creation. Old earth /young earth. The compatibility of God with modern science.

I am becoming more and more aware of the importance of raising a child who can read material from a variety of sources and who is able to separate the gold from the dross. I want Jemimah to be able to read modern science without the fear that I sometimes hold that the science might turn me away from God. I want her to be able to watch educational science shows on TV like David Attenborough and National Geographic and find the content substantially compatible with her faith and not a stumbling block. I am convinced that good science and good theology will eventually be found in agreement, much as they were over Gallileo's discoveries. Eventually the gaps in our knowledge of the universe will be filled in in a way that makes God's words in the Bible true, and his existence to be irrefutable. I want Jemimah to believe this too.

As I work out our science curriculum for the coming years, I will be taking the worldview of the books we study into consideration. They will certainly not all be Christian, but I don't want books that are antagonistic to our faith, especially if that bias is covert and difficult to see. I will also be looking at books written from a Christian point of view.

Which is where the list at the top comes in. It's a list of books that I believe contain good science written by Christian authors. I've only read the top two, but I've heard good things about the rest.

I'm asking you to help me with this list. Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts? Do you have any young earth books that you consider have excellent science that you think I could include? Which authors resonate with you? What level is the book aimed at? Have your kids read any of these? What are their thoughts?

Have any of you looked at Test of FAITH?

Thank you for your help, folks. You're the best. I know I can depend on you.



  1. From a Christian standpoint & an academic standpoint the Apoligia texts are very good. I believe they are the only Christian curriculum that hasn't upset the proper science community. I know they teach scientific formula.

    We struggled with them as we didn't like the hands on aspect [I loathe doing experiments; just tell me what I need to know! ☺] & they are very rigorous in the upper grades. Far more so than Cait & I wanted to go. I got frustrated ~ but you're a scientist so they may be worth considering.

  2. Two books that I found useful : "When Science Fails" www.amazon.com/When-science-fails-Hudson-Tiner/dp/156265005X not true science, but what generally is believed by scientists. It points out that just because it was believed by scientists it is not necessarily true. For young teenagers. The other surprisingly enough was "River out of Eden" by Richard Dawkins www.amazon.com/River-Out-Eden-Darwinian-Science/dp/0465069908/ref=la_B000AQ3RBI_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369465667&sr=1-13 for older teenagers. My Children started reading it and said, "He doesn't even try to prove evolution He just says how great it is over and over again". We also have had contact with John Mackay www.creationresearch.net and Creation Ministries International creation.com/

  3. My girls peruse through this book, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2598

    There is so much scientific evidence about dinosaurs coexisting with humans, and the evidence found by evolutionists, could be also fitted under a creationist view.

    A fact, that we, humans, and animals, have similarities, when viewed by an evolutionist will make him exclaim, "we come from the same organism, we evolved from a same origin", while a creationist can rightfully claim, "we have the same Creator".

    I am saving your posts on science. I believe if we expose our children to a feast of books, both by creationists and evolutionists, like slowpokeau says, they will see where the weight of evidence is.

    I plan to read Darwin, he is the best example that evolution is not what they pass for "evolution" today, which they equate to atheism. Plus most scientists simply say, blah blah blah, we believe in evolution, just to get a go, and then they research, work, and live, assuming intelligent design.

    There is a non question assumption that science, true science, is incompatible with Faith, and there are many books, scientists, and facts, that say the opposite. We just have to go a bit beyond the accepted and not questioned affirmation that evolution is proved, and creation is a myth.

  4. The first bit of Case for a Creator--can't remember if it was a prologue or the first chapter--was really, really interesting as it raises some of the same questions. The author describes the school science text that cited certain aspects of evolution and cemented his atheism, as a teenager. Later he found out that, even at the time he was in school, even the evolutionists were no longer using some of the "evidence" that his text cited. One example was, even then, known to be a hoax, yet it was in his textbook as a fact. I always thought that part of the book would make a great discussion starter for science class.

  5. I very much appreciate this honest post, Jeanne. I, too, have taken the same approach with respect to entertaining or investigating theories that seem counter to my beliefs. Initially I attributed it to sticking my head in the sand and wishing to avoid conflict, but deep down I knew that wasn't all there was to it. It is too easy for us to start to doubt what we know and believe to be true when we toy with what we know is false. It is a stronghold for Satan to use to hack at our faith and flame the fire of doubt. Still, I recognize that this approach is not approved by many, and I greatly respect that you shared this on your blog. I found it very encouraging. Thank you!

  6. I love Silvia's succinct phrasing here: A fact, that we, humans, and animals, have similarities, when viewed by an evolutionist will make him exclaim, "we come from the same organism, we evolved from a same origin", while a creationist can rightfully claim, "we have the same Creator".

    I tried to read Michael Behe's book but ran out of time and had to return it - very demanding. I probably need to build up to it. He begins by explaining in layman terms why microbiology is ignored by evolutionists, later chapters get down to the nitty gritty.

    Glad that you're exploring this topic and anxious to join you in reading.

  7. "I want her to be able to watch educational science shows on TV like David Attenborough and National Geographic and find the content substantially compatible with her faith and not a stumbling block."

    AMEN! I get so angry at parents who think their children are too stupid to do this! Children, even very young children, can think things thru very intelligently WHEN ALLOWED TO.

    You're so on the right track here, Jeanne!

  8. We've got A fine-Tuned Universe by Alister McGrath on our shelf, but I'm not sure if either of us has read it yet - I'll add it to my pile and get back to you on it :)
    I've read Black Box and really enjoyed it. I think it'd be quite accessible to older kids (perhaps grade 8 and up? but its a long time since I read it) - it's quite technical but he really explains things from the ground up, as it were. Not *exactly* a Christian book, though - Behe is a Christian (catholic, I believe) but he's writing to a general audience - ie, he 'infers' a Designer, but doesn't feel it's his job *as a scientist* to say Who that is. And on the whole, I agree with him. My biggest beef with Dawkins is his tendency to talk as if theological problems were scientific problems.
    That said, or on the other hand, we also have Who Made God? by Edgar Andrews, which is quite refreshing in its approach. This one is not *exactly* a science book, it's philosophy/apologetics, but takes the unusual approach of starting with the hypothesis that the Bible is true, and testing it. But through the eyes of a scientist and with quite a bit of science and science history in it... and well-written and humourous. I really enjoyed it. Probably would be better for older students, though (y11-12?).
    And we have The Language of God but I think you said you've read that...

    why yes, we are science nerds around here, why do you ask?
    - Subversive Gardener


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