Nov 12, 2014

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Purposeful Design

As Young Earth Creationists, it can be challenging to find quality materials to support our worldview. Since I am always on the lookout for them I was happy to be asked to review the book Purposeful Design: Understanding the Creation from Purposeful Design. Written by Jay Schabacker, a former aerospace scientist and businessman, this book is a beautifully illustrated showcase of a multitude of scientific facts that support the idea of Intelligent Design.

Intended for all ages, it is based on the seven days of Creation (yes, even the day of rest is mentioned) and each day has its own chapter. So the first chapter discusses the universe and how the lack of chaos and the presence of order points strongly to an intelligence that put it all together and set it in motion. The second chapter details the water cycle and its intricacies. The third chapter tells of the importance of plants. The fourth chapter takes us into space with the importance of the earth's tilt, seasons, the moon, and how necessary stars are for us. The fifth chapter talks about some little details of birds and fish that don't seem possible to have "just happened". And the sixth chapter discusses land creatures and the amazing complexity of the human body. Finally, the seventh chapter talks about the day of rest.

Each chapter is upheld with Bible verses, illustrated with graphs and tables, and filled with beautiful
photographs that reinforce not only the text but the breathtaking grandeur of God's creation.

Although I personally didn't encounter any new information in this book, I didn't find the book to be overly preachy or weakly stretching for evidence, rather it was an enjoyable science journey for all of us.

Along with the book, we had access to an ebook that is a workbook called The Young Explorers Club. This is a companion to Purposeful Design and facilitates discussion and further learning. It is simply a bunch of questions, (open-ended, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank) Scripture verses, places to draw, and photographs to help the kids solidify and retain what they learned in the book. It's a PDF so you can print it or just read off your screen. Included is another ebook that contains not only the questions but the answers as well.

I read the book aloud to all the kids during our usual Creche Conference time. I intended to read a chapter a day, but some of the chapters got a little long and we needed to break them up into two sessions. We chatted about the book as I read and then at the end of each reading we went over the workbook questions orally. None of my kids enjoy the physical act of writing, so when we work as a group, we almost always work out loud.

While I enjoyed Purposeful Design I don't feel that it was intended as a read aloud. The website calls it a "coffee table" book and I fully agree. The kids engaged with it much more when they were able to pick it up and peruse it at their leisure. I do feel that it clearly declares the wonder and awe of creation and expresses the declaration of all the universe of an intelligent, loving, purposeful Creator. It is definitely a book that I will keep available for the kids to look at and re-read and that I am sure they will engage with again and again.

Kaytie: I liked it because it was factual. It has a lot of pictures and shows us how God designated everything just right.  There wasn't anything I didn't like. 

Nate: It was interesting. I didn't know that if we had 72% water in the oceans it would constantly flood or that if we had 70% water then the entire world would dry up. I liked the pictures, especially the one of the galaxy... and the nebula, too. I liked the nebula.

Daniel: I liked it because it told us about the world's creation and what God said. It told us about the Bible. It told us what would happen if God didn't create the world with care and if God didn't make ice freeze from the bottom up. It taught me the answer to one of the major questions I've been asking: Why does ice float? 

Abbie: It told us about God and how He created the earth. I liked it. My favorite part was the map of what goes on in the cell.

You can buy Purposeful Design for $18.95 and you will also get a free download of the Young Explorers Club Curriculum.

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