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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: The Answers Book

A while back, I compiled a list of books as my "Book Reading Priority List," (henceforth known as the BRPL) books that I knew I needed to read to get a better handle on issues pertaining to my faith. In this case, that meant studying both sides of the Creation/Evolution debate as part of a challenge from a friend of mine. This bit of reading has led to past reviews such as The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis S. Collins and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science by Tom Bethell. In hindsight, neither of those two were particularly thought provoking or engrossing to me. However, the BRPL has spawned a new book for me to review: The Answers Book, written by various authors, including Ken Ham and Don Batten, Ph.D.

Published by the guys the organization Answers in Genesis, the guys behind the Creation Museum, from the collective knowledge of several scientists, theologians, and other experts, this book seeks to answer twenty common Biblical head-scratchters. Note that is is the expanded and revised edition, answering some very hard questions such as, "Does God exist?" and "What happened to the dinosaurs?" and "What about carbon dating?" These questions are all answered in harrowing detail and clarity, and I guarantee you that you will put it down with those questions answered and then some.

I loved this book mainly because it isn't afraid to take on even the most esoteric and seemingly unanswerable questions, including "Who was Cain's wife?" and "Were the nephilim extra-terrestrial?" and "How did bad things come about?" The answers here aren't simply hand waves that summarize the problem and say, "It's not important." Rather, the books spends a great deal of time discoursing on each question and related topics, and if there's a question they don't know the definite answer too, such as the one about the nephilim, they do their darndest to lay out a robust and evidenced theory. That, my friends, is just the sort of thing I look for in Christian apologetics books.

But now you may be asking, "Levi, it's all well and good that they take time to talk about the problems, but is their reasoning actually sound?" To answer that, this book (and by connection, its authors) shows its (or their) work when it comes to all things scientific, logical, and theological. It cites reliable science facts, it stays within the bounds of solid reasoning, and it firmly espouses the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy. If this book made any errors, I can't say that I recall a single one. The chapter on whether Noah's flood was global or something else was particularly enlightening. One of the reasons it gave in support of it being global in nature was that if it were merely a localized flood, why didn't God simply tell Noah and his family to leave the area of the flood? Furthermore, why collect all the animals if it was just a localized flood? It's this kind of sharp reasoning that makes me quiver with excitement over apologetics books.

The Answers Book is without a doubt a fine primer to basic questions about the Christian faith, primarily related to origin of life and early Earth stuff. I can't say enough how much I recommend it! It's one of those books that reminds me that with the proper equipment, I can successfully defend my faith. Knowledge is one of those tools, and this book provides plenty of it. It gives outstanding arguments on the most pressing (and some slightly less pressing) issues that Christians face today, is written in easy to read language which refuses to get bogged down in scientific jargon, and it's by all accounts a joy to read. It certainly is by my account.

RATING: 10/10

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