4 out of 4 stars
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Evolution vs creationism is one of the biggest debates in existence. The winner has always seemed clear - the idea of the entire world being made and set up with plants and animals and even humans (Adam and Eve) in just 6 days is absurd, right? And not only that, evolution is clearly all around us. Evolution is taught at schools and creationism isn't even given consideration. Even Christians often write the book of Genesis off as a euphemism or as a work of fiction.
While The Voice of Creation by J. Hudson Mitchell discusses much of the bible to some extent, a major focus is right there in the title: creation. As someone who was one of those aforementioned Christians who didn't take creation literally (along with a lot of the Bible, actually), Mitchell really changed my mind. Using scripture and additional resources as reference, she gives a fantastic explanation of not only how evolution is flawed but how creation is the truth. There are numerous quotes and references to famous scientists and inventors who were Christian as well who not only refute evolution, but who claim the Bible as a foundation of science. I'd never understood why science and religion have to be enemies, and Mitchell makes me realize I'm certainly not the only one who thought so.
As I mentioned, the book discusses a large part of the rest of the bible as well. It does a rather thorough job going through the books of Genesis and Exodus (including all those generations of names that I could never keep straight originally), as well as the birth through resurrection of Jesus and touches on references throughout the rest as well. One thing I found particularly wonderful was just how much more I understood the Bible as Mitchell discussed it. I was raised Catholic and went to church as well as Catholic school until I was nearly 17, so I had heard much of the Bible many times, yet this was incredibly enlightening! I also really appreciated that when Bible passages are referred to, they're actually quoted! So many books simply list the book, chapter and verse(s), leaving the reader to look things up themselves.
My favorite parts of the book absolutely had to be the scientific bits. It's really fascinating to see how science and religion work together! For example, as part of Eve's punishment for eating of the Tree of Knowledge, the process of giving birth was made very painful. Mitchell points out that women do in fact have very painful births (not new knowledge), but then points out how much easier it is for most mammals. I was at a zoo once when an elephant gave birth, and it was WAY easier and quicker than human childbirth. Also as Mitchell points out, if evolution was real, one would think that humans would have evolved into much easier childbirth if other mammals can do it! There are other stories as well, like how US Navy commander Matthew Fontaine Maury was always criticized for his beliefs, and at one point when he was sick his daughter read to him from the bible. She chose Psalm 8, which refers to "paths of the sea". When he recovered from his sickness he went out looking for those paths and actually discovered two between New York and England, and was later given the title of "Father of Modern Oceanography"!
While most of the book really had me hooked and drawn in, it's worth mentioning that the book does get a bit repetitive at times. There are a few passages that are referred to repeatedly, as is one of my favorite points in the book: "One has to either believe the Bible or make God a big liar. God cannot be both the truth and the liar." This is really minor in comparison to the excellence of the rest of the book, however, and in the long run didn't lower my enjoyment of it at all.
There was a little hesitation for me in deciding how to rate this book. On the one hand, it changed my beliefs in a monumental way, something that years of school couldn't even do. On the other, closed-minded atheists definitely won't get anything out of the book. Despite that, I personally found this book to be transformative and magnificent, totally worthy of 4 out of 4 stars. Those who are already solid believers may enjoy the insight behind the scripture here, but I wholeheartedly recommend the book to those who are on the fence - those who at least sort believe in God, but maybe have some questions or doubts. If you don't believe in God but have an open mind, give it a shot too!
The Voice of Creation
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