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Genesis-Rock Solid: A Biblical View of Geology Review by Melanie Reynolds

Patrick Nurre
Northwest Treasures
18421 10th Drive SE
Bothell, WA 98012

If you are looking at geology from a Christian perspective, would you describe yourself as someone who believes the universe and the earth evolved over billions of years (the “old earth” theory)? Or would you hold instead to more of a “young earth” perspective, placing the age of the earth in thousands of years instead? Did you know that each of these represents a worldview? 

Patrick Nurre has spent his life in the study and pursuit of geology, and during his career as a geologist, has been on both sides of these worldviews. However, when he became a Christian he noticed the enormous gap between the Biblical account of creation in Genesis, and the “old earth” theory held by most scientists today. His thoughtfully-written book Genesis-Rock Solid (subtitled A Biblical View of Geology) explores both these positions, and which ones were embraced over the years of the Christian church, and why. It is suited for readers in junior high through adulthood, and would be an excellent subject for either earth science courses, small-group studies, or even book groups. The softcover book is available at Northwest Treasures and is priced at $15 (shipping included). 

In Genesis-Rock Solid, Patrick Nurre explains crucial information on the Christian Church and its varying beliefs on geological age since the 1700s. Apparently, the “old earth” perspective became firmly established by the end of the 1700s, then was a widespread scientific view by 1830.  Darwin’s Origins of the Species, published in 1859, simply built upon the prevailing views of the times. These views were helped along, interestingly enough, by famous and influential churchmen, such as Charles Spurgeon, C.I. Scofield, and Charles Hodge. Modern geologists like James Hutton and Charles Lyell furthered these views and came up with their own origins theories (like uniformitarianism), which they believed explained the earth’s formation yet sharply contrasted with the creation account in Genesis. Lyell’s personal philosophies strongly influenced his scientific beliefs; he was apparently enormously prejudiced against the Genesis 1 and 2. These theories discounted both the Bible’s creation account and a worldwide flood. Eventually, the scientific community discarded any creation viewpoint that included a creating God, or any worldwide “catastrophe” like a flood in their theories. However, the two worldviews (the “young earth” creation by God and the “old earth” evolutionary theory) are completely opposite in their theorized record of how the universe and earth came about. They cannot be reconciled in any way.

Mr. Nurre explains uniformitarianism (that the earth’s geological changes occurred over vast periods of time, without the changes being due to a catastrophic, Biblical flood or God as Creator). He contrasts the various studies influenced by this belief (such as anthropology, astronomy, archaeology, radiometric dating, etc.) with the Biblical account and its own corresponding geology (Creation Event, Pre-Flood Period, Flood Period, Post-Flood Period), plus gives short geological conclusions on each. He also shares the remarkable story of J Harlan Bretz, a 20th century teacher, researcher, and uniformitarian geologist. Bretz conducted a seven-year study of the eastern portion of Washington State, particularly eroded areas (which are now the Channeled Scablands National Monument). To his utter surprise, he found that, from his own observations, the geological features were most likely caused by a huge outpouring of water. Naturally, this was met with great skepticism and mocking by his own scientific community. (I don’t want to tell you the end of this part of the story; you need to read it for yourself!)

Genesis-Rock Solid closes with scientific evidence to consider which can enable us to side with the current scientific worldviews or a Biblical worldview which aligns with Scripture. He restates: the original stated purpose for a worldwide flood; the evidence for it; the geological implications of a catastrophic flood; and the results produced by receding floodwaters. At the end of the book, you’ll also find a page of study questions, a bibliography, picture credits and a short author biography.

Why would Genesis-Rock Solid be a helpful book for your homeschool? First, it presents actual historical and current evidence for a “young earth” model with a catastrophic flood event. Second, Mr. Nurre methodically (not emotionally) recounts the reasons that Christians and students of geology can question the current scientific community and its worldview. Third, it’s an intelligible, interesting, well-written addition to any earth science study. This book will either enable you to clearly articulate why you hold to a “young earth” viewpoint, or cause you to investigate why you don’t. I recommend it highly.  (In fact, I’m planning to investigate more of Patrick Nurre’s books!)

-Product review by Melanie Reynolds, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2016