Ross is a Christian astronomer who doesn't want to avoid issues of origins. He tackles them head on. “What is needed is a strategy of engagement,” he writes. “Christians who take the Bible as a trustworthy revelation from God need to study science and engage with scientists at the highest academic and research levels.” (12) He encourages Christians to “demonstrate how a creation model provides a more productive stimulus for ongoing research than does naturalism.” (12) In this book, Ross turns to Job, probably the oldest book in the Bible. “Job helps us resolve nearly all the Genesis creation controversies,” he writes. (13) That is a tall order and I am not sure he fulfills it. Ross addresses several issues as he goes through Job and here are a few. One of the most divisive issues among creationists is whether there was animal death prior to Adam and Eve's sin. Ross suggests there was carnivorous activity, based on Job, before Adam's sin. Ross challenges naturalistic evolutionary models. He argues that soulish animals, with their innate capacities to serve and please humans, are of supernatural design rather than natural process. He defends the uniqueness of humans among animals, citing scientific studies.
Ross is an “old earth” creationist. Of papers delivered in 2009 (“year of Darwin”), Ross notes, “They reported, for example, that the scientific case for a long history of life on Earth is now beyond doubt, and so is the historical record of life's progression from simple, small-bodied life-forms to more complex, larger-bodied life forms. How many people realize, however, that this scenario exactly parallels what the Bible teaches? The crucial difference … The Bible credits God's creative involvement, not just natural processes, for the big changes scientists observe in the record of Earth's life.” (124)
As with prophecy, I am disturbed when the Bible is seen to reveal a concept, after that concept has happened (prophecy) or been discovered (science). I see Ross doing that. An example is dark matter. Ross looks at Job 38:19-20. “God treats darkness as if it is something that resides somewhere in the universe.” (61) Ross goes on to write of dark stuff, comprising, scientists say, some 99.73 percent of the universe. Ross finds dark matter referenced in the Bible after its discovery. I would rather see a Christian astronomer predict what will yet be discovered, based on a biblical model.
Ross has certainly provided material for discussion. He describes himself as a “public advocate for fact based faith.” (168) In this era when people of faith are forced to address scientific discovery, Ross's work is very valuable.
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Review 2 for Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job: How the Oldest Book of the Bible Answers Today's Scientific Questions - eBook
Dr. Hugh Ross, well known old-earth creationist and president of Reasons to Believe, has given us a gem of a book with "Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (Baker Books, 2011). The subtitle of the book explains its purpose: "How the oldest book in the Bible answers today's scientific questions."
Dr. Ross is as well versed in the creation debate today as anyone, and he has devoted time and effort in combating godless, Darwinian evolution and countering the arguments of new atheists. With this book, he unpacks the myriad of ways the book of Job speaks to the question of origins and the meaning of life on earth.
Job 38 describes God's creative activity directly, and Ross focuses in on this chapter. Yet he also discusses whether leviathan was a dinosaur, and what Job has to say about the extent of the Flood. Suffering, death, unique attributes of humans, the soulish nature of animals, the order of creation-these topics and more are covered.
As Ross writes, he blends scientific insight (like just why Hurricanes are so beneficial to the climate of Earth), personal anecdotes and devotional thoughts from the book of Job in a fascinating and well-written way. The book is not so much an extended defense of Ross's scientific positions, but a manual filled with interesting tidbits that will get you thinking and encourage you to keep studying, and to mine the book of Job for treasures yourself.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Reasons to Believe. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.