Monday, April 17, 2017

Top 5 Books on the Bible, Creation, and Science

Scientific Challenges to Christianity

Challenges to the Christian worldview come from many different directions, but one of the most common that I see is from the direction of the sciences. Many skeptics see the claims of creation in the beginning pages of the Bible and dismiss all its contents. It is important that we, as Christian case-makers, defend the proper view of these first chapters to remove the stumbling block from the scientifically-minded skeptic. Unfortunately, there is a heated controversy among Christians on the proper interpretation of these initial chapters and the proper interpretation of scientific discoveries. This list of books that I recommend is targeted at those Christians who are interested in the sciences and/or often speak to skeptics who raise scientific challenges against the Christian worldview. They will help think through the controversy and help remove scientific stumbling blocks when challenged by skeptics. Combined, they provide the Christian with a consistent view of creation that takes into account the sciences and remains faithful to the original intentions of the biblical authors. If you have never read these books, I do recommend reading them in the order presented. For your convenience, I have linked the book titles to my chapter-by-chapter reviews and provided a short reason why I chose the books for this list, but if you really want the details and wish to be blessed by the content of the books, you will need to pick up a copy (remember to check your local library!). Now, on to the list!

Top 5 Recommended Books on the Bible, Creation, and Science from Faithful Thinkers (Luke Nix(

Top 5 Books for Discussing the Bible, Creation, and Science

  1. Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation/Evolution Controversy- Norman Geisler
  2. The Bible Among The Myths: Unique Revelation or Just Ancient Literature- John N. Oswalt
  3. Peril in Paradise: Theology, Science, and the Age of the Earth- Mark S. Whorton
  4. Navigating Genesis: A Scientist's Journey Through Genesis 1-11- Hugh Ross
  5. A Matter of Days: Resolving A Christian Controversy- Hugh Ross

Why Did I Choose These Books?

Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation/Evolution Controversy

Top 5 Recommended Books on the Bible, Creation, and Science- Origin Science: A Proposal for the Creation/Evolution Debate by Norman Geisler and J. Kerby Anderson

Science is the interpretation of raw observations of the natural realm. The sciences discover things that happen regularly and things that happen singularly in the past. It is important that the Christian understand the proper distinctions between the types of events that scientists attempt to discover and the different ways that these different types of events are established. Authors Norman Geisler and Kerby Anderson describe the history of the scientific method and describe a proper philosophy of science and how it is applied properly. It is quite common to misrepresent the distinction between observational science and historical science, which causes numerous misinterpretations of the data and incorrect conclusions to abound. They address this misunderstanding by clearly laying out differences to help the reader understand. Another common misunderstanding among Christians is the conflation of uniformitarianism and the principle of uniformity. This conflation causes many accusations among Christians toward other Christians of being "closet atheists" or "closet evolutionists." The authors clear up this misunderstanding with detailed differences as well. This book is a necessary beginning text for any Christian involved in scientific discussions because it gives them a proper philosophical and epistemological (knowledge) foundation by which to evaluate claims and challenges to discoveries in the sciences. 

The Bible Among The Myths: Unique Revelation or Just Ancient Literature

Top 5 Recommended Books on the Bible, Creation, and Science- The Bible Among The Myths: Unique Revelation or Just Ancient Literature by John N. Oswalt
Many discussions with skeptics about the Bible, in general, involve whether the stories in the Bible are records of actual historical events or if they are merely myths written by an ancient people- this includes the accounts of the creation of the universe and earth. While the first book that I recommended establishes a proper philosophy of science, this book establishes a proper philosophy of history. Since origin science (the discovery of past, singular events) looks at historical events, having a proper philosophy of history is also necessary. John N. Oswalt argues from the theistic worldview of the authors of the Bible that they believed what they recorded to be accurate historical accounts. Theism is purpose-driven, meaning that the God of theism has a goal for his creation, and it is important that His people be able to evaluate if they are on the proper trajectory to meet that goal; however, in order for a proper analysis to be made, what has happened in the past is a necessary requirement of such an analysis, so the accurate recording of history was of utmost importance to the theistic authors of the Bible. When Moses penned the creation accounts in Genesis, he believed them to be historically accurate. It is important that the Christian understand that the idea that the Genesis accounts of origins record actual, historical events is necessary of the theistic worldview of the author. Thus it is incumbent upon the Christian to find an interpretation of the Genesis accounts that recognize that they are historically accurate and is consistent with the discoveries of nature following the proper philosophy of science established in my first recommended book

Peril in Paradise: Theology, Science, and the Age of the Earth

Top 5 Recommended Books on the Bible, Creation, and Science- Peril in Paradise: Theology, Science, and the Age of the Earth by Mark Whorton
As we defend the truth of the Christian worldview in general and in the details, it is important that one detail we defend does not inadvertently undermine the whole of the worldview. One of those details involves God's purpose for the creation. Many Christians hold to what Mark S. Whorton has termed the "Perfect Paradise Paradigm." This paradigm posits that God's original purpose for this creation was that it be a perfect paradise for humanity. This paradigm is extremely popular among many Christians, and it has numerous implications for the debate around origins- specifically about animal death before the fall of Adam and Eve and the meaning of "very good" in Genesis 1. However, this particular paradigm also undermines the Christian worldview in numerous ways. Whorton goes through the theological and biblical problems with this paradigm to show that it is not compatible with Christianity and encourages Christians to avoid it. However, he does not merely leave the Christian without a paradigm for the purpose of the creation. He offers the "Perfect Purpose Paradigm," which posits that God has created this universe for His perfect purposes. He demonstrates how understanding God's purpose for this creation is to accomplish other purposes (it is a means not an end) all of the theological and biblical issues are avoided. He also addresses hermeneutical (biblical interpretation) challenges often raised against the paradigm by those who support the "Perfect Paradise Paradigm." When you read my review, please pay close attention the one critique in my conclusion. Despite that, though, this book is necessary not only from an apologetic point of view (we do not want to undermine our entire worldview in one of our details), but if we have the incorrect paradigm, we will naturally read the creation accounts incorrectly and come to the wrong conclusion about what the author meant to communicate about the historical events (establishing in the second recommended book) of our origins, and those incorrect conclusions will cause us to reject scientific discoveries that have been well established using the proper philosophy of science established in the first book.

Navigating Genesis: A Scientist's Journey Through Genesis 1-11

Top 5 Recommended Books on the Bible, Creation, and Science- Navigating Genesis: A Scientist's Journey Through Genesis 1-11 by Hugh Ross
In the first book, we saw a philosophy of science put forth that can be used to defend the truth of big bang cosmology. In the second book, we saw a philosophy of history put forth that requires that the Genesis accounts of creation are historically accurate. These are often seen to be at odds with one another because many Christians believe that the proper interpretation of Genesis 1 is that the universe is merely 6000 to 10,000 years old. In the third book we saw that a wrong paradigm will force such an interpretation of Genesis, but the correct paradigm allows for other interpretations that remain consistent theologically, historically, and scientifically. However, there must also be another level of consistency- biblical. Is there an interpretation of the Bible that is consistent with the philosophy of science (and its implications for discoveries of God's creation), the philosophy of history (and its implication that Genesis is an historically accurate account), and the "perfect purpose paradigm"? Astrophysicist Hugh Ross offers an interpretation of Genesis that maintains all those feature consistently, yet remains faithful to proper hermeneutical practices. In "Navigating Genesis" Ross takes the reader through each day of creation, explains the hermeneutics behind the interpretation, and shows how the events of each day have been verified independently by secular scientists ("enemy attestation," anyone?). In the second book that I recommended, Dr. Oswalt demonstrated that Moses believed that he was recording history. In this book, Dr. Ross shows that Moses actually DID record history accurately. Further, he shows that Moses recorded accurate history that NO one except God knew at the time, thus Dr. Ross argues powerfully that the accurate account of Genesis 1 is evidence of the divine inspiration of the Bible (further solidifying Oswalt's conclusion in his book about the historical accuracy of the rest of the Bible). In this book, he begins to bring the content of the previous three books together into a consistent picture of the Bible, creation, and science. But this interpretation, as was seen in Whorton's "Peril In Paradise" does have its critics, especially from fellow Christians.

A Matter of Days: Resolving A Christian Controversy

Top 5 Recommended Books on the Bible, Creation, and Science- A Matter of Days: Resolving A Christian Controversy by Hugh Ross
For the purposes of this post, Dr. Ross' "Navigating Genesis" only spends a little over one hundred pages, because he does not spend much time addressing critics. That is where my fifth recommendation comes in. In "A Matter of Days" by Dr. Ross focuses the entire book addressing Christian critics of his interpretation of the Bible and nature. In this book, though, he does not go into the details of the events of each of the days of creation like he did in "Navigating Genesis," but he does not limit the discussion to Genesis either. Dr. Ross goes into much more detail of the biblical hermeneutics and addresses alternative interpretations that are often proposed. One of the great tests for the truth of a worldview is whether or not it is internally consistent. Dr. Ross builds his case from all the passages of scripture that speak about the creation, from both the Old and the New Testament. He addresses the most common biblical, theological, philosophical, and scientific challenges to his interpretation to show how his interpretation remains faithful to the original intent of the authors (and Author) of Scripture, maintains consistency with scientific discoveries, and remains logically consistent throughout the view. 

Many Christians accuse other Christians who use the big bang as evidence of God (via a beginning and incredible fine-tuning) of "compromise" in their interpretation of the Bible, but I believe that these books establish that such a view is far from compromising anything, including the Bible. These books will help you establish and defend a coherent and all-encompassing view that holds the testable accounts of creation in the Bible to be true. And these will help remove one large stumbling block between the scientific skeptic and his or her Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ.


Okay, so those five books focus primarily on philosophical, biblical, and theological issues. The last three cover science where necessary, but the authors do not really have the space to cover the juicy details of God's creation that inspire discovery and worship (of its Creator). Because of that, I have decided to add a sixth book to my list of recommendations. It not only describes God's patient, intentional, and meticulous creation, but it does so in the context of God's perfect purpose for the creation: the salvation of millions of His Image Bearers to live with Him for eternity through the work of the second person of the Trinity becoming incarnate and dying and rising bodily from the dead. If you are prepared to have your mind blown by what secular scientists have discovered about God's care and power, please click (or tap) here.

1 comment:

  1. I've already spent a significant amount of time going over numerous posts on your site in addition to many posts on the Dr. Hugh Ross website. In addition, I also subscribe to both websites. Last week I got involved in a discussion with a gentleman from who is of the YEC persuasion. The inference was put forward that scripture should be the prime agent used when interrupting scripture and to deviate from that principle was akin to to moving out of faith. I find the YEC/OEC topic to be very interesting and a critical component of understanding my Christian faith. While I found the OEC explanation put forward by Dr. Ross and yourself and numerous other Christian Apologists more than satisfactorily answered my questions and appealed to my logical mind approach, the discussion I had with the YEC gentleman made me realize that I needed to invest significant more time to this complex subject. I am a Christian that publishes a layman's apologetic website at (Reasoned Cases for Christ) and have posted a small number of articles advocating the OEC viewpoint. Needless to say, this post couldn't have come along at a better time. Thank you for taking the time to methodically map this out, sincerely appreciated.


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