HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: In the Beginning: A Study of Creation Versus Evolution for Young People
Author: Rita Rhodes Ward
Illustrator: Charles Valentine
Publisher: Baker Book House, fourth printing published in 1970
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Ward, Rita Rhodes. In the Beginning: A Study of Creation Versus Evolution for Young People (published in 1965 by Sentinel Publishing Company; republished in 1968 by Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI). When I was a teenager, the young people’s class of the congregation where I attended spent a quarter studying the subject of evolution, taught by the local preacher and using this book. According to the Preface, “This series of lessons was written that young people might have a basis for resisting evolutionary philosophy and holding firmly to their faith in God and the Bible. The book is being published at a time when public schools are being flooded with evolutionary teaching both in the classroom and in general reading. It is the hope of this writer that these lessons will help young Christians to resist that teaching.” How much worse it has gotten since then!
In the Beginning starts with an introductory chapter that talks about the history of evolutionary theory, the kinds of evidence available, and how to distinguish fact from theory. After that, there are chapters on the origin of the universe, the origin of life, the origin of man, how evolutionists establish dates and time, classification and the evolutionary tree, fossils and the ages, geology and the flood, some physical evidences, heredity and evolution, adaptation and natural selection, and some miscellaneous considerations. Author Rita Rhodes Ward has a B.S. from Abilene Christian College and an M.A. from Texas Western College working in the field of science and was a teacher of biology and physiology in the El Paso, TX, public schools.
Ward writes, “The Bible is the inspired Word of God. Science is a search for truth about the universe. Sometimes there are supposed contradictions between the Bible and science. This course is designed to show the student that the Bible is dependable and that the proposed theories of science that conflict with the Scripture have no valid basis.” The book is actually a workbook, each chapter having questions and suggested activities at the end, and the last chapter is a review. Through the years, I have often used the information in this book while developing material to preach and teach on the topic of evolution. Unfortunately, the book is no longer in print. Some of the specific date may be outdated, but the general line of argumentation is still valid.