Monday, October 11, 2010

Book Review: Taking Back Astronomy

book cover

Taking Back Astronomy
by Dr. Jason Lisle

ISBN-13: 9780890514719
Hardback: 128 pages
Publisher: Master Books
Released: 2006

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
"This book is meant to be an introduction only—a starting point to a biblical view of the universe…”

People have been fascinated by the stars for centuries, looking to them for guidance and in awe. Unfortunately, modern evolutionary thinking in astronomy has caused many people to disconnect from the Bible's account of history as they are taught that the universe is millions or even billions of years old. Taking Back Astronomy is written for the layperson and shows how what we see in the universe confirms the biblical account of the origins and workings of the universe. This book:
  • Contains over 50 full-color, rarely seen photos of stars, nebulae, and galaxies.

  • Is filled with facts that challenge secular theories and models of the universe.

  • Explores numerous evidences that point to a young universe: magnetic poles of planets, the spiral shape of galaxies, comets and how long scientists think they can last, and much more.
Dr. Jason Lisle discusses and debunks popular evolutionary concepts such as the big bang and answers biblical questions like how the speed of light affects the Bible's account of history. With a doctorate in astrophysics from the University of Colorado, Dr. Jason Lisle is a qualified guide to the universe beyond our world. Experience the truly awesome power of God through this glimpse of His vast creation.

Taking Back Astronomy gives Christians a biblical view of astronomy. It's written in a clear fashion that teens and adults can easily understand. Some technical language was used, but the terms were explained in the text and in the glossary in the back. While the book was mainly an overview of astronomy, there were in-depth explanations on a number of topics, like Hubble's Law, gravitational attraction, the horizon problem for the Big Bang model, and so on.

The book was filled with beautiful full-color photographs of nebulae, star clusters, planets, stars, and galaxies. Most of the pictures were fairly small (a couple inches across) but some were full page or even a two-page spread. All were clear and beautiful. Overall, I felt the book was well-written and very interesting. I'd recommend it to any Christian interested in learning more about astronomy and how it confirms a biblical worldview.

The introduction explained how worldviews (starting assumptions about the world) influence how we interpret the evidence. Chapter One surveyed the universe and our solar system to show just how big it is. Chapter Two explained what the Bible says about the universe and how modern science has confirmed much of it even though ancient astronomers didn't accept what the Bible stated on the topic.

Chapter Three talked about the age of the universe, why secular astronomy gives billions of years instead of the biblical ~6,000 years, the many ways that the Big Bang doesn't match the biblical account of the origin and end of the universe, the distant starlight problem versus the horizon problem, problems with the day-age compromise, evidence that confirms a young universe (moon recession; the magnetic field of the earth, other planets, and the sun; spiral galaxies, and comets) and why explanations as to how these evidences can be explained in a billions-of-years time-frame are unsupported.

Chapter Four talked about modern astronomy (with its commitment to naturalism) and the problems with the Big Bang origins model (anti-matter, solar system formation, star formation). It also described how unique the earth is and touched on the subject of UFOs and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Chapter Five explained the conflicts between the biblical and secular worldviews and pointed out which one best fits the evidence found in astronomy.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
Read (and see the illustrations) from chapter one.

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