Friday, January 07, 2005

Book Review: Refuting Compromise

Astronomer, Hugh Ross, has promoted a view of creation called Progressive Creationism which, essentially, argues for the days of Genesis 1 being equivalent to billions of years. In his view, his model brings about resolution of the alleged conflict between the Bible and science. Jonathan Sarfati is a young-earth creationist who understands Genesis 1 to teach a literal, 7-day creation approximately 6,000 years ago. In this book Refuting Compromise: A Biblical and Scientific Refutation of "Progressive Creationism" (Billions of Years), as Popularized by Astronomer Hugh Ross Sarfati provides a comprehensive and detailed argument against Ross's model and a number of others (such as the framework hypothesis). In more than 400 pages, Sarfati covers an amazing array of biblical and scientific arguments in favour of a literal, 7-day, recent creation and against any other view. In a very readable manner, Sarfati deals with such issues as death, bloodshed, and disease before Adam and Eve; the extent of Noah's flood; the translation and interpretation of the Hebrew word for 'day' in Genesis 1; the Big Bang theory of origins; and much more. The depth of the material varies across the book. Some of it is very densely argued and technical in nature. Sarfati has been kind enough to put the most complex and technical discussions in shaded boxes throughout the book. Even so, there is enough of interest in the book for all levels of readers. No matter what side of the debate a person comes from, this is an important book to read. Many creationist books are simplistic and condescending and don't fairly treat the opposing views. From what I can tell, Sarfati quite accurately describes views different to his own and aims to be scholarly and rigorous in his discussion (I don't know enough about Ross's work to know if Sarfati fairly treats Ross's position). The book seems to take a verbal inspiration position on Scripture with which some will disagree. Overall, though, an interesting, informative and comprehensive statement of the young-earth creationist argument and a penetrating critique of Hugh Ross's work. It will be interesting to see if, and how, Ross responds to Sarfati's criticisms. If you want a good survey of the issues in the creation vs evolution debate from a young-earth creationist perspective then this is a good book to start with. Related Links Reasons to Believe (Hugh Ross's website) Answers in Genesis (Jonathan Sarfati is associated with this organisation and has a large amount of anti-Ross material) Radio broadcast with Sarfati discussing Hugh Ross's theories (RealPlayer) The Dubious Apologetics of Hugh Ross (Danny Faulkner) Buy Refuting Compromise from Amazon.com

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