One of the more active denominational programs in the area of Christian evidences is a program called Reasons to Believe. Dr, Hugh Ross heads up this group which operates out of Pasadena, California. Dr. Ross holds a Ph.D. in astronomy, his science knowledge is very good, and he is an excellent writer. We have reviewed several books by Ross in previous issues of this journal.
This is a book dealing with controversy between those Bible believers who believe the Bible teaches the earth is of very young age and those Bible believers who believe the Bible teaches the earth is of very old age. Unlike our Does God Exist? program which suggests that the age of the earth is not a biblical subject and cannot be determined from the Bible, Ross believes the Bible must be understood as teaching an old earth-in terms of millions and billions of years. The young-age-earth advocates that Ross criticizes are millennialists (for the most part) who hold to an earth of up to 10,000 years old.
Ross begins the book with a historical development of the controversy in the two points of view. He then spends five chapters showing the evidence that biblically and theologically the days of Genesis must be long creation days, followed by a chapter debunking claims of evidence for a young earth. Two chapters are used to show evidence for an old earth, followed by a demonstration of the fact that the design of the physical cosmos demands a definite timed sequence for events. The last four chapters give an interpretation of Genesis 1 and a model which could give unity to all Bible believers.
This is an excellent book to use if one is trying to see the weaknesses in young-earth evidence claims. The book is primarily written toward those who believe in God--unlike Ross' other books which were written predominantly toward unbelievers. The science of the book is very well done, and the criticism of most of the youngage arguments is valid. Ross' discussion of Genesis 1 and how to match it with the scientific evidence is interesting and useful, but not very complete. His proposal for reconciliation of the young-age/old-age positions involves basically a religious council to draw up a unification statement. This interviewer is pessimistic about anything happening along these lines, but this book is a useful one to anyone interested in the time and Genesis question.
We have had a few articles and several News and Notes items in this journal over the years that have dealt with the question of homosexuality. The authors of this book--Bob Davies, executive director of Exodus International in San Rafael, CA, and Lori Rentzel, a counselor for Love in Action--both work with people struggling with homosexuality, and this book is advertised as "a practical guide for people struggling with same sex desires."
This is the most useful book that we have seen on the homosexual issue. It is not a "gay bashing" book, but rather a book that deals in practical terms with why people are gay and what to do about it. It does not attempt to analyze in depth the genetic questions about homosexuality, but uses cases to show that a major trigger, if not the cause, of homosexual behavior is experience and environment. It is this writer's viewpoint that Davies and Rentzel are right in their approach. Those who believe that gay behavior is genetically programmed in such a way that a person cannot overcome it or those who believe homosexuality is a preferred lifestyle will not like this book. The experiences described and the causes identified are correct in the experience of this writer as well as the authors of this book.
Davies and Rentzel begin by encouraging the reader to realize that they can overcome homosexuality and that they can take control of their life. By talking about methods of identifying the causes of same sex desires and by talking about forming good self images and healthy relationships, the authors offer practical foundations to begin moving out of the gay lifestyle. The book moves on to dating and romance, marriage, in long-term life goals. The treatment is compassionate, practical, and sensitive to the difficulties of change and the pain that is involved in dealing with one's deep feelings.
At the end of the book is a set of very useful appendices. The first
is a list of passages used by pro-gay Bible readers and responses as to
why these passages cannot be used to condone homosexuality. The
second is a list of sources. The third is a resource file of sources to help
the person struggling with homosexuality. This book will be very
helpful to the homosexual trying to overcome his/her lifestyle. We
recommend it highly for that purpose. It is not a theory book, but a
practical book and should not be used as a primary source to debate
the causes of homosexuality.
Back to Contents September/October 1995