As much as I enjoyed this book, I debated about whether or not to share it here. Though I do occasionally review books I know will be controversial, I tend to pass over titles on topics that might widen already wide schisms between Christians. I find plenty of excellent, gospel-focused books to share here without reviewing books on baptism, or educational philosophies, or particular denominations.
My own opinions on those things sometimes show through as I write, I know, and I don’t mind that—I want you to get to know me and where I’m coming from so you can factor that in as you read my reviews. But I don’t choose books because they support my stance, just books I found interesting and helpful and that I think you’ll find helpful, too.
All of which is to say: I wasn’t sure at first if I’d share this one, because I’m confident that we hold a variety of views on this subject. But you know what? I think that’s a good thing. That’s a discussion worth having. And I think Lawrence O. Richards addresses those differences of opinion well in this book by laying out multiple views on things like the old earth vs. young earth debate, or macroevolution and microevolution.
I ultimately decided to share this book because the author took such care to present the material in a respectful way (though those committed to evolution may disagree). Also, I looked so hard for one like it and was so happy when I found it that I figured at least one of you out there is going to sigh with relief and say, “Finally!” because this is the book you’ve been looking for. For that one of you, here you go.
It Couldn’t Just Happen is, essentially, an introduction to a Christian perspective on science and the theory of evolution. Lawrence O. Richards lays out both sides (or, in cases where there are more than two perspectives, all sides) of the debate, holding them up to scrutiny and showing readers how to ask good questions of the things they read. But he also spends a wonderful amount of time reveling in and discussing the wonders of our world, exploring everything from termites’ towering houses to the specialized tongue of the woodpecker. (I still think about the section on bees when I work in our garden.)
This is not a book that tells the reader what to think but how to think. By encouraging readers to look behind a headline to the assumptions a writer begins with, Richards strives to equip readers with tools that will benefit them as they study a variety of subjects, not just evolution.
It Couldn’t Just Happen: Knowing the Truth About God’s Awesome Creation
Lawrence O. Richards (Reprinted 2011)