A Review of
It Couldn’t Just Happen, by Lawrence O. Richards
(Tommy Nelson: A Division of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 2011)
In some ways this book is excellent: it is brimming with fantastic facts, gorgeous photography, and sound argumentation against the Theory of Evolution. It is organized and argued clearly so that the advanced ten-year-old or the average teenager would have little difficulty following or understanding. From Part One, which deals with the origins of the universe and Earth as the “Odd Planet,” right through Part Four, which deals with the special creation and status of human beings, the author weaves the Biblical view like a brilliant, red thread. Part Five, The Book That Didn’t Just Happen, deals with the historicity and believability of the Bible and Christian faith. More on that in a moment.
Young Christians and their parents will find affirmation and ammunition aplenty in this book. For instance, in Chapter 11, “The Wonders of Design,” the author points out that no one who examined a modern car would argue that the car had not been designed, that it had “just happened.” Not a chance that the air conditioning, radio, the Global Positioning System had come about by accident. All of its integrated features reveal a carefully planned design and suggest one or more designers. And a car is nowhere near as complicated or integrated as plant and animal life on Earth, let alone the vast, interrelated systems that operate all over the globe and throughout the cosmos.
Another example is the argument from the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that any physical system left to itself will decay. Yet (and especially if, as Evolutionists claim, the earth is millions of years old) the earth’s systems, such as the processes in the oceans and the atmosphere, aren’t decaying. On the contrary, says Dr. Richards, they constantly readjust themselves; they reorganize. Evolution can't explain that.
Even though I myself am a believing, professing Christian, I could have done with less of what you might call Biblical polemics, inserted and repeated in every chapter and every major division. Children and teens are smart enough to know when they are being “sold.” They want to discover things, to think things through for themselves, and this book doesn’t allow for much of that.
It Couldn't Just Happen has some faults, most of them minor—like far too many exclamation points!—and I have disagreements with Dr. Richards’s theology in places (recognizing that he has theological credentials and I don’t), but all in all, this book is a wonderful addition to the Christian soldier’s arsenal.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com