Book Review: Footprints in the Ash

Cover of

It’s big, 7″ x 9″ [c. 18 x 23cm]

One of the books I got with my birthday money was this one by  John Morris and Steven A. Austin. I was especially looking forward to reading it because I’ve heard bits of how much evidence the Mount St. Helens explosion gave us.  I’ve even heard a story of a scientist finding Jesus as his Savior and Lord following the study of this volcano (he hasn’t posted his testimony online yet).

Cover of

I’m actually going to start with a mini review of the book, Grand Canyon: A Different View.  There was a copy of that book at the retreat center my writers conference was held at, so I stayed up late one night to check it out.  It looked beautiful (all the hard covers I’ve seen from Master Books do), and had some amazing pictures.  But it didn’t take long before I started noticing a very defensive tone in their writing.  They were always saying things like, “although main stream science claims… we believe it happened much faster.”  The tone almost sounded whiny with frustration at not being accepted.

I did not order that book for my personal library.

Mount St. Helens eruptingSo, just a bit concerned, I cracked open my lovely edition of the book Footprints in the Ash last week. I shouldn’t have worried.  The style and voice of this book couldn’t have been more different.  Drs. Morris and Austin ooze with confidence and excitement.  They spend very little time talking about “millions of years,” and “slow and gradual geological change” and get straight to the facts.

Everything they share from their first hand experience is backed up with amazing pictures and diagrams.  I especially liked the maps showing the drainage patterns before, shortly after, and several years after the main explosion.

I’m not going to cover their evidences in detail today (I might draw out some interesting bits at some point in the future), but here are their main points:

  • Stratification (rock layering) can happen very quickly (in seconds to minutes)Mount St Helens - 20060901
  • Canyons can erode in a few hours
  • Uprooted trees still often end up being buried upright, but not where and how they grew
  • Peat layers (like coal is made from) can form very quickly
  • Recovery from a disaster happens much faster than scientists predicted

One of the things I was most impressed by with this book was their awareness of the reader.  This is not a book that requires you to have already accepted the authors’ claims before you can bear to read it.  It would be excellent to give to a geology lover who has never considered the possibility of a world-wide catastrophe before.  They’ll get the point, but not by having it stuffed down their throats. The book does end with a gently stated call to choose eternal protection in Jesus.

You can check out more reviews at the publisher’s page.

The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.
He looks on the earth, and it trembles: he touches the hills, and they smoke.
I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Psalm 104:31-33

My kids (9 and under) couldn’t care less about this book, but have really enjoyed the video Noah Justice did on Mount St. Helens.

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