Every Christian should know what they believe about the origins of our universe. Every child should know about the loving God who brought it all into being. Our latest book review, Purposeful Design: Understanding the Creationby Jay Schabacker is a wonderful place to begin in your quest for understanding our origins and communicating them to your children. Brought to you by Purposeful Design, this is more than a book. It is a study of the love and purpose of a Masterful Designer.
Jay Schabacker is a former aerospace scientist (he worked on the Apollo Moon Program at NASA), a MBA businessman working in investments and a church theologian. Now he has turned his attention to creating a book that explores the wonder of the the universe and how it came to be.
Purposeful Design: Understanding the Creation is full of stunning photographs and engaging graphics that bring the text to life. Each chapter takes a scientific look at a the literal days in the Creation week:
Chapter One - The First Day - Creation of the Heavens and the Earth - Foundation of it All
Discusses what keeps the Universe spinning and why it doesn't screech to a halt
Chapter Two - The Second Day - Creation of the Atmosphere and Water
Discusses such things as water and the rain cycle
Chapter 3 - The Third Day - Creation of Dry Land and Vegetation
Discusses the creation of and need for plants - both edible and inedible
Chapter 4 - The Fourth Day - Creation of the Sun, Moon, and Stars
This is a bigger chapter. It covers such things as the Earth's tilt, the seasons, the earth's rotation and equinox, climate, sunrise and sunset times, ways the precision of the sunrise has been used in history, phases of the moon, ocean's tides, and the stars. Like I said, it is a bigger chapter.
Chapter 5 - The Fifth Day - Creation of the Birds and Fish
Discusses why the birds and fish were created, instinct, how fish swim, why ice floats and how it relates to fish and even humorous fish that you just have to see to believe.
Chapter 6 - Creation Day Six - Creation of Land Creatures and Humans
Discusses why we need animals, takes a closer look at camels and cows, and the uniqueness of humans. In this chapter, we see that everything has a purpose, including body parts that we once thought were useless or carryovers from evolution - like the Appendix. We look at blood, mother's milk, cells, the brain and the different parts of the head. Obviously, this is an overview not an anatomy class, but there is enough information here to get those brain juices flowing.
Chapter 7 - The Seventh Day
Discusses the need for rest in the creative process.
This is a beautiful book and would be a wonderful way to introduce Creation Science to children. Although it is geared to children of all ages, our family dynamic is a little weird (we are sort of science junkies around here). I had my children read one chapter a day (I broke the larger chapters into multiple days.) My 3 oldest kids have already spent a lot of time studying Creation Science and science in general, so for them, there wasn't really any new material. Even so, they enjoyed reading the book anyway. My youngest is only 4 years old, so she wasn't quite ready for this as a science curriculum. I plan to use this with her in a couple years. I think I would like to take each Chapter (or day in the creation week) and turn it into a unit study. I would read the chapter with her (or have her read it) and use the information there as a springboard in experiments, studies and observations of things that God made on that day. It would be a wonderful, gentle way to do science with a younger child.
There is a Young Explorer's Club workbook available for free when you purchase the book. It has fill-in-the-blank questions to review the material learned in each chapter. There are also verses for reflection and to memorize, and questions to get your child to think more deeply about what God was doing when He created the Earth. Each Chapter closes with a short prayer. The workbook ends with a crossword puzzle for kids. There is a Teacher's Key to the workbook the includes the answers, a certificate to award for the completion of each chapter and talking points to help you interact with your kids around the material in the book.