Another Review of the BECB

Another day, another review of of the Big Evolution/Creation Book. This time it's Matt Young over at The Panda's Thumb. His verdict?

Among the Creationists is well written, well formatted, and well organized (though I thought that most of the content of the endnotes should have been incorporated into the text). It has a good list of references and a good index. It is barely 230 pages long, and it is a pleasure to read. May I recommend that anyone with an interest in creationism go straight to your local independent book dealer, buy a copy, and read it through?


As with yesterday's review, however, I do feel compelled to reply to one point. Young writes:

Speaking of theodicy, Rosenhouse devotes an entire chapter to theodicy and takes on quite a spectrum of theologians with moderate success. One solution he does not discuss is to discard one of the three O’s - omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence.

Ahem. I certainly do discuss it. You will find it on page 142. It is true that I don't dwell on it, but that's because the problem of evil as I understand it is precisely the problem of reconciling the existence of the tri-omni God with the existence of evil. That is the view of God taken by the people whose work I was addressing in that chapter, at any rate. To discuss the consequences of discarding one of the omni's would be to change the subject.

There are a few other points in the review that merit discussion, I think, but I shall save that for future posts.

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I'm interested in reading your book, Jason. But I'm not sure I'm $25 interested. I might wait for the paperback.

Alas, it might be some time before a paperback version is available. Oxford University Press doesn't do paperbacks until the hardcover stops selling. My book on the Monty Hall problem is three-years old but there is still no paperback. If you have an e-reader let me suggest the e-version of the book.

I'll check from time to time to see if a used copy is available. Though since my interest in YECism has suddenly spiked, I might decide to splurge.

I just finished the book & enjoyed the thoroughness thoroughly :-)
I just wanted to ask you about the chapter Movies and Television (ch. 13). Since you suggest that High Plains Drifter (pages 69-72) could be cast as a Christian parable I wonder why you did not further your case by mentioning that the Eastwood character was somehow not entirely of this world -- that he was the sheriff in the backstory that the townspeople not only watched being killed but also buired. Somehow nobody recognized him. This motif culminated at the very end as the Stranger (Eastwood) is about to ride out of town & the character Mordecai exclaims that he never did know his name. The Stranger responds, "Yes, you do." Then, if that isn't enough to establish his otherness, as the Stranger is riding out of town he disappears (as in, now he's here & now he's not).
Perhaps he was a demonic angel with God's permission to teach these people a lesson...I don't know. In any event, although a spoiler, I thought that detail would have more completely driven your point home.

GeoJim --

I'm glad you liked the book. You make a good point abut High Plains Drifter, but I was already worried that section might be too long and I didn't want to belabor the issue. I think what you're saying fits well with the point I made about the wages of sin and not being able to run indefinitely from our sins.

But the really important thing is that it's a great film, and deserved better treatment than it got in the creationist presentation.

Point taken.