23 Mar Who Made The Moon? – Book Review
Who Made The Moon?
A Father Explores How Faith and Science Agree
Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson, 2008
232 pages, $18.99, cloth
Reviewed by Bridget Erickson
Assistant Director for Doctor of Ministry Program,
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, MA.
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When looking at the existing literature on the subject of science, and specifically on creation, one will find a wide range of experts writing from their perspectives.
Scientists write from the perspective of what they can prove or deduce through experiments. Theologians write from the perspective of faith and what they understand the Bible and other theologians to say about creation. Sigmund Brouwer, a novelist, writes from in between these two perspectives in Who Made The Moon?
Who Made The Moon? makes the average Christian think differently about what modern science and the Bible assert about the origins of Earth. The author divides the book into four sections: Faith, Science, Conflict, and Harmony. Within each section, the author provides content to explain a problem or argument, then goes on to explore various viewpoints. Aspects of technical theories are interspersed with everyday analogies so that the reader doesn’t need a Ph.D. in physics or astronomy to understand the main arguments.
The first section, “Faith”, poses the title question, “Who made the moon?” The author asks this question based on a conversation with one of his young daughters. Instead of giving his daughters an answer that would satisfy even the most basic Sunday school teacher, the author aims to give his daughters, and us, answers that would satisfy public school teachers and peers. In the first three chapters, the author does not ask us to suspend our faith, but to open our mind to the possibility that faith and science are looking for the same answers and can come to the same conclusions. He also asks the same thing of those who shun faith in God for faith in science. The four chapters in the second section, “Science”, discuss some of the theories behind how the universe was created. While the author does not get into the ‘nittygritty’ of each theory posed (quarks, string theory, anthropic principle, etc.), he does provide enough illustrations and detail for us to gain an appreciation not only for the research that has gone into the theories, but also for the immensity of Creation. This section of the book takes on a feel that is just scholarly enough to lose you, with a balance of colloquialisms and practicality to help you get through to the next section, “Conflict”.
Starting with one of the most notorious examples of splitting church and science, the author walks us through why the conflict between faith and science has been so polarizing. He explains that Galileo was a man of faith and science and his faith never wavered even through his days of Inquisition. The author even hypothesizes that the split between faith and science did not need to exist. He then moves the readers through three more chapters, pointing out areas where science has been close-minded and areas where those who are dogmatic regarding the traditional faith-based mindset have set up roadblocks to any other possible way of thinking (especially where science seems to truly support other ways of thinking in regards to creation). The author makes this argument by saying: “We in the church need to learn from Galileo’s persecution, acknowledge the damage done by well-intentioned but misguided theologians who have opposed the big bang theory, and gain the sound scientific knowledge needed to respond intelligently to skeptics who use science to question the biblical claims of a supernatural Creator” (94).