Who Was Adam?
There are two basic approaches to science and faith from a religious point of view. One approach is to take what you believe or what your denomination teaches, and accept and interpret scientific data and discoveries in a way that conforms to your data. The second approach is to take all evidence and create a model that includes all of the scientific evidence and understand and interpret what you believe religiously in a way that fits that evidence. There are dangers in both approaches. The first approach assumes that your religious teachings are 100% true and that anything that contradicts what your denomination teaches is 100% false. If you are misinformed religiously, then scientific truth may be discarded. The second approach can compromise religious truth due to scientific error. The only way to avoid that problem is to constantly be changing your religious views as new discoveries are made, and for many religious people that kind of process is unacceptable. Most young earth denominational creationists are of the former view, and our book of the month represents the latter view. We would suggest there is a third method and that is to look at both science and faith at the same time as complementary disciplines and form your understandings of both on the assumption that they work together and cannot conflict. That however, is not the subject of this book review.
Hugh Ross and Fazale Rana are the president and vice president respectively, of a mission outreach called "Reasons to Believe." Both men hold PhDs in science and the program challenges atheism on a very academic level. You can learn more about their program on their web site at www.reasons.org. In this book, they take all current scientific data from genetics to anthropology and fit the biblical account to that data. This is done through what the authors call the RTB Model. This is a step of 13 predictions which have points that can be tested with future scientific discoveries to see its truth. Some of the predictions have already been fulfilled and in fact have been known for a long time (such as "the seeds of human civilization and agriculture had their birth in or near the Middle East.") Some will probably never be really fully testable--like "Human life spans became progressively shorter after the flood." Some will be hotly contested by young earth creationists, and some hotly contested by atheists. What Ross and Rana do is offer a wealth of current scientific discoveries and understandings to back their model.
The problem with a book like this is that it gets dated very quickly as new discoveries and understandings are made. The positive side of this book is that it updates you on what has been discovered recently and how it might impact understandings of science and the Bible. I doubt you will agree with everything in the book, but for an open-minded reader--atheist or believer--the book is interesting, current, and worth reading.
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, MayJun06.