“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” -Psalm 19:1
In 2021 I was honored to read and review the book Baby Dinosaurs on the Ark? The Bible and Modern Science and the Trouble of Making It All Fit. I recall the joy with which I read every word from Janet Kellogg Ray’s work, which enlightened my continuing journey to better understanding biblical and scientific truths. Through Ray’s brilliantly woven tapestry, I was able to wrap my mind and soul up in a more robust faith that was informed instead of threatened by science. Now with her newly released study guide, I am better equipped to answer objections and lead others to discover these beautiful truths. Every chapter of the study guide is full of resources, highlights, and questions to guide the reader and students to discover the ways in which science and the Bible serve to complement one another and do not necessarily have to compete when it comes to the foundational questions of origin.
As I reflected previously while reading Baby Dinosaurs on the Ark? I was raised in a Christian tradition that insisted on a literal six-day creation narrative and outright rejected any ideas of evolution, dismissing them as “lies of the Devil.” I was slow to come around to the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution because I was convinced that by doing so, I was betraying my faith and my Lord Jesus. For years I lived with this dissonance, refraining from the liberties of critical thought because I feared where they might lead me. But Janet Kellogg Ray has strategically crafted arguments for reconciling, what at first glance may seem like opposing positions, by remaining true to the scientific record and the Christian faith. The greatest gift of the book, and now the accompanying study guide, is that the work isn’t preachy, or dogmatic, but rather invites the reader and students to examine the evidence and to think through the implications of a biblically robust faith that isn’t at odds with scientific facts. As Ray observes, “Acknowledging the reality of science did not destroy faith but instead prompted conversations about what it means to have faith in a modern scientific world.”
The study guide companion serves as a wonderful guide to those who are looking for answers, not the easy answers of platitudes that dismiss the findings of science, but answers that lead students to wrestle with the biblical text and the facts as presented by science. By doing so we are all enriched by this work. With so much of society splintering into irreconcilable binaries, Janet Kellogg Ray’s work invites us to consider alternatives that doesn’t put us at odds with our faith in the biblical texts, but rather informs that faith considering the gifts of scientific discovery.
I enthusiastically recommend the work of Janet Kellogg Ray to anyone who wants to be better informed about the origins of humanity without sacrificing their faith in God. Because as Ray powerfully demonstrates; it doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition but can and should be a both/and proclamation of the handiwork of God.
The “Heavens declare the glory of God.” Indeed.