God of the Big Bang

Let’s face it almost everyone would like an answer to the question of how we got here. An elementary answer would state either creation or evolution. An answer with a little bit more stickiness to it would say “a little bit of both.”

God of the Big Bang: How Modern Science Affirms the Creator took me a bit by surprise. I expected a treatise on creation ex nihilo from a conservative point of view. I received the ex nihilo but not the conservative. God of the Big Bang

God of the Big Bang written by Leslie Wickman, Ph.D. is a further affirmation that faith and science are not at odds. Dr. Wickman, a former Lockheed Martin corporate astronaut, certainly has her hand on science. She is literally a rocket scientist, but more importantly she is a Christian. With this in mind she should be able to provide us with a unique perspective on faith and science.

God of the Big Bang is filled with science so if you’re the science type, you will enjoy this volume. And if you’re the faith type, you will probably enjoy it also.

But here’s the cautionary note: My deduction is that Dr. Wickman is not a literal creationist. Rather she fall somewhere in the middle of the two extremes that she presents in Chapter 6: “Genesis and Origins: A Spectrum of Views.” On one end of the spectrum are the strict evolutionists spurred on by Charles Darwin and at the other end are Christian apologists like Dr. Henry Morris (Institute for Creation Research). Thus, the truth falls somewhere in the middle.

So, here’s my recommendation: If you’re interested in a definitive answer to the Big Bang you won’t find it here. If you’re interested in a little research into the compatibility of faith and science, read this volume. If you’re not sure what you believe, you will probably be swayed to some position involving theistic evolution. If you are already a literal creationist, you will most likely not be impressed.

Disclaimer: I was provided this book by Worthy Publishing for purposes of an honest review.

(This review was originally posted on 4.6.2015 at Eye on Christianity.)

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The A to Z Guide to Bible Signs & Symbols

In a world of Biblical literature that is overflowing with reference books, you would think it would be a monumental task to produce a volume that is unique, informative, practical and just plain fun to hold in your hands and peruse. But not so with The A to Z Guide to Bible Signs & Symbols; Understanding their Meaning and Significance by Neil Wilson and Nancy Ryken Taylor and published by Baker Books. A to Z Guide

Wilson and Taylor have endeavored to catalogue and explain 131 signs and symbols found within the sixty-six books of the Bible. All 131 are arranged alphabetically for ease of access. (Thus the lack of need for an index.) The book is printed on glossy paper with illustrations included for every entry.

Entries range from Altar to Zion/Jerusalem with items like Fire, Light and Salt sprinkled in between. Each entry also contains a short practical application/devotional just to get you thinking. There are even several “numbers” – forty, one, seven – that are included.

Sure they may have omitted one or two of your favorites but they do not claim the list to be exhaustive. This volume is not written for an ivory tower inhabitant who dabbles in the minutia of this fascinating topic, but rather for the busy pastor or the die-hard Bible student who seeks to glean all he or she can out of scripture.

And a note about format: You’ll want to get this is the paperback style. Baker Books is very adept at producing glossy books with great illustrations – Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary/Dictionary/Handbook. This one you’ll want to hold in your hands to more easily enjoy the layout of the book and the illustrations.

The end of the matter is this: if you are at all serious about Bible study, this book will enrich your endeavors.

(This review was originally published on 2.20.2015 at Eye on Christianity.)