The Answers Book 4 Teens [AB4T] Volume 2 once again answers 15 relevant questions that teens of this decade [or any other] are asking about the Bible, God, the origins debate and morality without dumbing everything down as so many well-intended resources do:
- Did creation really take just 6 days or did God use the big bang?
- Noah’s ark… Really?
- What about cavemen and missing links?
- But the Bible is full of contradictions… isn’t it?
- Don’t fossils prove evolution?
- Isn’t natural selection evolution? My textbook says they’re the same.
- Mutations are good for evolution, right? I mean, X-Men can’t be wrong, can it?
- But the Bible was written by a bunch of men, right? What makes it so special?
- How should I interpret the Bible?
- But doesn’t the Bible support slavery?
- Unicorns and the Bible… you’ve got to be kidding!
- How can we be sure the 66 books of the Bible are the only ones from God?
- What about abortion, cloning, and stem cells? At school I’m taught that these things are good for society!
- What about going to college?
- “Going through the motions”… is that saving faith?
My favorite question in the entire book is the one that mentions the X-Men. The subtitle to this chapter is, aptly enough, “Professor Xavier wrong? Say it ain’t so!” Through movies and comic books, our young folk are acclimatized to the notion that evolution produces beneficial mutations. AB4T2 mentions not only the X-Men, but Spider-Man, Ninja Turtles, and shows like Heroes, but we could mention far more. Evolution has become the favored explanation for super powers, eclipsing more traditional causes such as alien ancestry, radiation, advanced technology, and so on. Reboots of favorite comic book heroes almost always exchange their original origins for an evolutionary explanation. This chapter explains that most mutations are actually harmful and shows why commonly quoted examples of beneficial mutations like sickle cell anemia and antibiotic resistance are just natural selection rather than goo-to-you evolution [see chapter 6]. The chapter appropriately concludes that “while the X-Men movies are fun to watch, we should remember that real mutations do not produce new and better individuals. Mutations cannot provide the raw material for evolution to a more advanced kind of human or a more advanced kind of anything else” [p. 47]. The only problem with Of course, pretty much everyone knows that super-powered heroes don’t exist, but the sustained popularity of the genre and its power to influence ideas and attitudes are very real. That’s why I’ve just finished writing a book called Johnny Came Home that explores the world of super-powers from a Biblical creation worldview instead of the assumption of evolution.
As a comics fan, I have to point out that the eye-catching illustration for this chapter is suggestive of Superman, whose powers come from his alien physiology rather than mutations. Of course, the question of whether aliens exist is an issue all of its own… maybe one they’ll address in the Answers Book for Teens – Volume 3? [hint, hint]
Other favorite chapters include the one on Noah’s Ark [which is chock-full of information to combat the wave of misinformation about this point of history, the one on unicorns [which aptly refutes the snarky straw men of men like Barry Lynn], and the final chapter on saving faith. One of the things that struck me about that final chapter was an update to the familiar Romans Road dubbed the Genesis-Romans Road. Evangelists, pastors and everyday Christians once used the Romans Road with great effect, but this is because we were speaking to a generation who was familiar with the claims of the Bible. In the post-Christian America we currently live in, I think the Genesis-Romans Road to Salvation lays a better foundation for understanding the Greatest Story Ever Told.
I was not disappointed with Volume 2 of the Answers Book for Teens. I recommend it to anyone who loves their teens and wants them to have solid answers to their questions about science, culture and the Bible.
You can find out more about the AB4T2 [including where to purchase this great resource!] from the publisher or by watching the book trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwtBxwIWk-A&feature=player_embedded
-Rev Tony Breeden, from the Bookwyrm’s Lair
Read our review of the first volume of the Answers Book for Teens!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the New Leaf Publishing Group Book review program on CreationConversations.com <http://www.creationconversations.com/group/bookreviewersfornewleafpublishinggroup>. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”