"The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood" is an examination of earth's geologic history that poses some interesting questions on how to best interpret Scripture. Is there a conflict between true biblical understanding and honest science? After all, both come from our Creator.
Many Christians and many scientists still fuel the conflict between science and religion. Yet, if both are honest with the facts, a new appreciation for the Bible and for science emerges. They are not in conflict but merge gracefully and offer an increased understanding of our origins. Science can be a friend, not a foe, of divine revelation.
David R. Montgomery spends 13 chapters and more than 250 pages exploring the history of our planet and how our Earth came to be what we see today—from both a scientific perspective and the biblical interpretation. He introduces us to the mainstream beliefs of scientists and religionists throughout history. Over time, as more evidence has emerged and been discovered, the beliefs of both scientists and theologians has been challenged, and those who are willing to look at the facts honestly, have grown in their faith and in their understanding of our planet’s vast history. The facts bear out that our terra firm is very, very (even unimaginably) old—much older than 6,000 years for sure. So, how can religion and science together explain our world?
This particular work by Montgomery focuses on the story of Noah’s flood. Do “the rocks” support the biblical story of catastrophic loss of life at the hands of immense floodwaters? Does the geologic record indicate how widespread such a flood could be or was? How do we explain the many stories from antiquity, by civilizations around the world, of destruction by giant floods? The book makes an honest attempt at answers and is well worth the read.
Montgomery is a geologist, not a theologian. As a result, I do take exception with some of his interpretations of Scripture—particularly in chapter 9 of his book. I don’t believe that some verses even say what he says they say. For example, he sees contradictions in the creation accounts between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. But a more careful reading does not indicate a contradiction but two supporting accounts. He also sees contradictions in the biblical record about the animals going onto the ark in pairs of seven of each “clean” kind in Genesis:7:2-3 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.  Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. , versus one pair of every kind twelve verses later. But, once again, an easy explanation for the difference can be made. I might add that the few items I take issue on with Montgomery, mostly in chapter 9, do not overly take away from the overwhelming geological evidence he presents in making his case about Noah, his Ark and a great deluge.
Here’s something for us all to consider: It’s hard to see evidence for what you’ve been told cannot exist. It’s hard to change our mindset. Perhaps the evidence is there and our understanding of what exists and what came to be needs expanding. As a result, Montgomery says he has come to see the biblical story of Noah’s Flood as rooted in truth. The discoveries of science have revealed the world and our universe to be far more spectacular than many of us have ever imagined. We must not minimize the wonder of creation.
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