4 out of 4 stars
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When it comes to the origin of our universe, are you a creation proponent, an evolution proponent, or do you care less? Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to proclaim an end to this ‘origin’ divide. According to Daniel Friedmann and Dania Sheldon in The Biblical Clock, the Bible doesn’t tell us that everything happened supernaturally. God used the laws of nature (evolution) to do almost everything. He made something from something. The big-bang theory and its consequences can actually be viewed as the getting something from something. The two authors go further to give input on the initial making of something from nothing, which must have provided the stock from which the different something emerged.
Daniel Friedmann, an author, and student of religion embarked on the book in order to show how scientific facts and the Bible complement each other in describing the development of our universe. The author also combines the Bible and historical accounts in trying to give a glimpse into how the future will unfold for our species. Through extensive research and scriptures, he reformulates and explains the timelines for Creation and that of the End of Days (Messianic Era). This calculation makes up the Biblical Clock formula.
The description of this book appealed to me, so I chose to review it. However, as I read its introduction, I couldn’t help the sinking feeling that I had made a mistake in judging the book by its description! I braced myself for abstract scientific arguments and boring, textbook historical facts. Fortunately, I was spared this by the authors’ unique presentation style, which took the approach of Friedmann explaining relevant past occurrences and future trajectories to his nephew Seb, in an engaging, conversational manner. This resulted in the book taking the readers through an incredible medley of the lives and works of renowned mystics, prophets, sages, philosophers, scientists, and biblical commentators, from 800 years ago to the present day. The narration used the key thinkers own life experiences. I especially enjoyed Isaac Newton’s sunset year’s journey.
The Biblical Clock is divided into three parts: Part one deals with analyzing creation/evolution events and their timelines as described in both Genesis and the latest scientific literature. Part two extrapolates the new understanding from part one to examine the concept of the End of Days. The authors present a possible scenario on how and around when this will come to pass. Part three deals with - surprise, surprise – the authors’ perspective and interpretation of the beginning or the story of creation in the book of Genesis! I found this ironic because usually, we are urged to start explaining anything complicated from the beginning! From known to unknown, so to speak. Nevertheless, the authors present their arguments in a logical, flowing manner. This proves that, if the beginning appears controversial, one can very well start his/her defense in the middle, so long as it will be tied well with the beginning!
Dania Sheldon is a professional writer, editor, and researcher with a doctorate in English language and literature from the University of Oxford. She superbly combines an engaging writing style with impeccable grammar. This brings a spark of life to a narration that would have otherwise been dull. I was captivated by her mastery of sentence construction. Her sentences were generally long, but never awkward or run-on. Her comma usage, instead of reducing readability in such instances, greatly improved clarity. Take a look at the sentence below, where a character is reminiscing about his family:
Despite the book’s glowing tribute so far, I found one major setback, which falls in the ‘personal belief’ area. Despite the title, the book is Judaism-based and very silent on Christianity. Because the perspective on the Messiah is different in the two faiths, I found the book's discussions on the same amiss. The dispensation of grace was also another glaring difference. I thus thought the book’s title misleading.Time had, mercifully or otherwise, slightly lessened the sharpness, but he kept this testament to his grief as a reminder— not of them (as if he would need such reminding!) or of his pain, which he inhabited like a second skin, but of his faith, which said he would be reunited with them eventually, albeit not in this life. (Kindle Locations 1480-1483).
All the same, the book was informative and gave me many bones to chew on. I, therefore, rate it 4 out of 4 stars and don’t hesitate to recommend it to everyone wishing to read more on the middle ground between evolution and creation, presented in an interesting, non-academic manner.
The Biblical Clock
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