Book Review

John W. Burgeson (johnburgeson@juno.com)
Fri, 18 Dec 1998 10:04:08 -0700

Here is a brief review on a little book
I was given recently. Appropriate, at
least in some situations, for gift giving. I am
crossposting it to the SCICHR and ASA LISTSERVs.

Burgy

THE RETURN OF CREDIBILITY by Joe T. Ator. New
York, NY: Vantage Press, 1998. 102 pages, index,
footnotes. Softcover; $9.95.

The subtitle of this book, "Scientific Discoveries
Support Belief in the Bible's Creation Account,"
at first led me to believe it was yet another "the
earth is young and evolution is fraudulent"
diatribe. But, at the urging of an elder at our
Durango, Colorado, Presbyterian church, I agreed
to give it a read.

I am pleased I did. The author, a physicist,
accepts the time scales and other well understood
findings of physics and geology, and spends little
time rehashing tired old "creation/evolution"
arguments. His writing is fresh, clear and
readable, much in the style of Hugh Ross. His goal
is to persuade the reader that being a Christian
is wholly compatible with a scientific career. The
target audience appears to be the serious and
inquiring high school or undergraduate college
student.

The good news is that the author has done a very
credible job with his thesis, and on that basis I
have no hesitation recommending it as a Christian
apologetic. It does not answer every question, of
course, but those that are discussed are explored
clearly, without excess "polysyllabic profundity."

The bad news is that the book is incomplete. Most
issues are discussed only to one level, and, in
several cases, authors (Denton, for instance) are
quoted as if no credible counter arguments exist.
Armed only with this book, a person will get cut
to pieces on the internet LISTSERVs and other
discussion groups!

The book's flavor can be seen by this quotation
from the last chapter. Ator writes:

"One of the most pathetic images this author has
seen in recent years is the scene in a PBS
television program where the brilliant and highly
acclaimed English physicist and popular author
says, 'From the age of thirteen or fourteen, I
wanted to know how the universe worked, and why it
is what it is. But now that I have some idea of
HOW the universe works, I still do not understand
WHY.' Ironically, Stephen Hawking currently holds
Isaac Newton's chair as Lucasian Professor of
Mathematics at Cambridge University. When Isaac
Newton held that chair, he knew the answer to the
question of WHY the universe exists. he hadn't
discovered it from scientific experiments and
mathematical formulae; he knew it because it was
revealed in a book that was credible."

Most ASA members will have seen all this material
before. It is worth giving as a gift, but do so
with a warning. Origins issues are complex, and
this book is, at best, a primer.

John W. Burgeson
BURGY@COMPUSERVE.COM
Durango, Colorado

___________________________________________________________________
You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com/getjuno.html
or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]