Mount St Helens, photo credit: SD4ever

Book Review: Footprints in the Ash

 

Mount St Helens, photo credit: SD4ever

Cover of

It’s big, 7″ x 9″ [c. 18 x 23cm]

One of the books I got with my birthday money [in 2012] was this one by John Morris and Steven A. Austin. I was especially looking forward to reading it because I’ve heard 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 to my knowledge).

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 a few months ago, 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 erupting, photo credit, NASASo, just a bit concerned, I cracked open my lovely edition of the book Footprints in the Ash last week. I needn’t have worried. The style and voice of this book couldn’t have been more different. Dr. Morris and Dr. 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, but here are their main points:

Stratification (rock layering) can happen very quickly (in seconds to minutes)

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

PS 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.

Recommended Resources: Persuaded by the Evidence

With the help of family and friends, I’ve been collecting Creation resources to check out and sort based on importance for you. This is one I’ve been wanted to share most. It’s going in the top-tier spot, aka “your family needs this!

Why? Because Persuaded by the evidence is all about people. It has enough eye-crossing science-speak for me to hold off giving my kids until they’re about 13 or so, but that’s just part of the focus. This book is about how these scientists and others came to dedicate their lives to Jesus and recognize Him as the Creator God. Which means a lot of people who don’t care much about science will connect to this book.

Being a lady, I found this book much better than a romance story. You have the same tension wondering how they will find their Savior: What did it take? What held them back? How did God break through to them in the end? What most attracted them to Jesus? And the best part is, I have the same Lord and Savior! Ahhh, the wonder of it! 🙂

So, for girls, this is especially good. For guys: well, it’s all written by guys, so there’s nothing mushy about it.

Teen Book GroupFor young people, It addresses a lot of the questions and doubts they experience now, or will when college starts. A few stories were of men who stayed firm about the Bible their whole lives, but the rest came out of the Evolutionary worldview.

For parents, some tell how they strayed from the Bible’s account and came back later; which is particularly important as their stories can serve as warning for us to avoid the same mistakes.

Some had never been exposed to anything but Evolution. Some became Jesus’ followers first and then struggled with the Bible’s claims about origins. A few accounts are from the early 20th Century when very little Creationist material was available. Their stories are all over the map in every way.

Questions?

Large parts of this book are filled with the science leading them to doubt the Evolutionary storyline and turning them to the claims of the Creator God. The subjects range from “why are there still continents if the world is as old as claimed?” to “how can we know right from wrong if everything is random?” Lots of people saw the impossibility of Evolutionary changes producing the order and complexity we see in living creatures.

The last section of the book is a treasure in itself. It is accounts of some founders of the modern Creationist movement. Did you know Dr. Henry M. Morris rose on the shoulders of other outspoken men of God and science? Dr. Duane T. Gish, Dr. Gary E. Parker (who has a particularly poignant story), and Dr. Andrew Snelling are all in here. Morris, Gish, and Snelling are names you can’t avoid in our field. How delightful to know their stories of God leading and preparing them for the places they fill!

I recommend this book for every home which has teenagers or older living in it (yes, that means you, parents). 🙂

If you appreciate what I do, please use my affiliate link to purchase this from Answers in Genesis. Thanks much!

In the same way, my words leave my mouth,
    and they don’t come back without results.
My words make the things happen that I want to happen.
    They succeed in doing what I send them to do. Isaiah 55:11

 

The Institute for Creation Research has another review to check out as well.

Dire Dragons book cover

Book Review: Dire Dragons

Dire Dragons book cover

Click to buy and support this website! Affiliate link to Creation Ministries International’s product page

This review is being pulled from the archives because I’m excited to share the book has a new sibling. Somehow I’m going to get my hands on Untold Secrets of Planet Earth: Fossils, ’cause if it’s anything like as good as the first book, I want it!

I told you yesterday I picked this book up straight from Creation Today (who also gave me a great fellow-helper discount, so when you buy your copy, please get it from them so they can recoup their losses.) When we were all settled into our rooms that evening I finally had a chance to look it over. It took quite a while before I was finished!

The author, Vance Nelson, is a bona-fide fact-checker guy. I don’t know if you are aware of the basic personality gifts the Holy Spirit has handed out to everyone, but I can usually spot a “teacher type” within a few seconds. This guy oozes carefulness and thoroughness, yet I didn’t find his writing dull or dry (a pitfall of a lot of us teachers).

Here’s the premise of the book:

  • Examine a historical artwork that could be showing a dinosaur.
  • Double check to be sure it’s not a forgery
  • Locate a known dinosaur that looks similar
  • Have an artist do a rough position sketch from the artifact
  • Have another artist who’s never heard of the artifact do a CG model of the dinosaur in that position for comparison

The book is gorgeous. It’s not published by Master Books, but a brand new group called Untold Secrets of Planet Earth. They’ve done just as good a job of presentation as Master does, even including a book mark ribbon. If you go to Vance Nelson’s WEBSITE, you can have a look at a number of spreads from inside to see for yourself.

After explaining his technique for ensuring unbiased dino portrayals, Nelson goes back to the roots of paleontology. He shows documents of the first scientific studies which freely use the word “dragon” to describe finds in the mid-1800s.

Then he does something I found absolutely brilliant. He completely dismantles the modern notion that ancient people knew about dragons because they were paleontologists, too. There are some people who have been forced to recognize the ancients knew about dinosaurs, but they want to cling to the “dinos died out millions of years ago” line, too. Adrienne Rogers has written a couple of  books to keep such people’s brains from tearing apart: The First Fossil Hunters and Fossil Legends of the First Americans.

Turns out you have to be pretty devoted to the consensus storyline to fall for those ideas. They just don’t fit the facts. My favorite point Vance Nelson makes on this debate is the examples of early dinosaur reconstructions from the 1850s. Here’s what modern models show with our study of muscle connections and stuff:

Megalosaurus ('Great Lizard', from Greek, μεγα...

Megalosaurus (‘Great Lizard’, from Greek, μεγαλο-/megalo– meaning ‘big’, ‘tall’ or ‘great’ and σαυρος/sauros meaning ‘lizard’) is a genus of large meat-eating theropod dinosaurs of the Jurassic Period of what is now southern England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s how they showed them in the 1850s:

Reconstruction of Megalosaurus and Pterodactyl...

Reconstruction of Megalosaurus and Pterodactylus by Samuel Griswold Goodrich from Illustrated Natural History of the Animal Kingdom (New York: Derby & Jackson, 1859). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nuff said!

Then, the rest of the book is filled with examples of authentic artwork from around the world. Everything is arranged by country with a beautiful map spread before starting in. Nelson usually opens with some info on how he found out about the site, had trouble getting there, or just the history of the artwork. By the time you actually see the comparison between art and dino, the tension has already built up, so you really want to know how the two compare.

A few of the art pieces I recognized from other creation sites, but, as he points out, most of the examples he uses are new to the dino/dragon debate. You will not be disappointed.

The last thing I’ll mention is that I learned about a lot of dinosaurs I didn’t know in this book. He also shows several baby dinos which I’d never seen before except in Land Before Time. It seems the artists on that film were fairly accurate. 🙂

It’s not a cheap book, but one every family with at least one dino or art lover in it should save up for!

And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen. Psalm 72:19 

Kudos to Nelson’s graphic designer, Jeff Chiasson. His work makes this book a pleasure to look through even before the information starts to flow!