Books Read in October

The Cell’s Design (Reasons to Believe): How Chemistry Reveals the Creator’s Artistry
by Fazale Rana
Top Amazon Review:
When Darwin contructed his theory of evolution by random mutations and subsequent “survival of the fittest”, which included the emergence of new body forms which led to new species, genera, etc.up to even new phyla, he and his followers where under the impression that the cells in an individual of each species were very simple, consisting of a cell wall which enclosed a “glob” of undifferentiated protoplasm in which floated the cell’s nucleus in which the material that controlled reproduction and inhertitable characteristics (called ‘genes’) resided. Reproduction of a cell was a simple process in which first each of the genes divided in two and then the cell (by reason of some unknown signal) split into two cells, each with its own portion of the genes.

The author of this text leads the reader through a precise, detailed description of actually how incredibly complex an indiviual cell really is, and how that complexity, both in the multitude of diverse components that a cell contains, and the exacting diverse functions that these individual components each must perform on schedule for the cell to remain alive, makes Darwin’s premise about a cells ability to mutate and thereby create new cells with new functions incredibly naive, and, more importantly, extremely improbable.

Rama carefully documents the detailed descriptive journey through the cell with a continuous stream of references to supporting citations for published studies by a host of international research scientists working in the relevant fields of cellular biology, physics, and chemistry, including those engaged in the evolutionary aspects of those sciences. As one makes one’s way through the material, it soon becomes very apparent that Darwin’s theories about how evolution proceded are far from universally accepted in the scientific community. And as modern research has increasingly revealed the complexities of the cell, it is also apparent that science has yet to satisfactorily explain how life itself first came into existence, and how new species and new body forms (genera, families, orders, classes, phyla) arose in the relatively short time (geologically) that life has existed.on earth.

One aspect of the book will undoubtedly blind those who have an unalterable (and, perhaps, irrational) personal bias against any hint that something other than scientific materialism (as it defines itself) may be involved in the formation and function of the universe. That is the author’s stated belief that a Supreme Being is the only rational explanation for how the complexities of all living matter, from the simplest one celled organism to humans, that science has now uncovered have been able to come into existence and survive. To denigrate the author and reject the unarguable validity of the contents of the book detailing the complexities of living cells, complexities that science itself has revealed, and which raise real questions about their origin, because of the author’s personal beliefs, would be the mark of a very small mind, indeed.
2 star Amazon review: Book best for use in bible studies
ByDanielon March 9, 2017
Book is at the high school level. Not much philosophy. Alot of graduate lvl sources. Book best for use in bible studies, but wont help teach anything else

My review: Honestly, it doesn’t look to me like any of the negative reviews are by people who read the book, so I couldn’t give them any weight.  Take the above.  I just did a high school biology course with my son, and while I recognized some of the terms, the content of this book was much more complicated and complex.

I only read to chapter 9 of this 14 chapter book, {page 168 of 283 pages, with another nearly 100 pages of footnotes and index). I stopped because I was mainly reading it to see if I could recommend it to others for high reading, and I can’t.  It was very, very stiff, loaded with technical terms and advanced biology. It’s not at the high school level. There’s plenty of philosophy and science and not any Bible to speak of in the first nine chapters (which is fine, that isn’t the kind of book it is). I really wanted to love it but it’s for people with more heavy hitting science background than I have.

Culture Shock! Philippines (a guide to customs and etiquette, Alfredo and Grace Roces)- my copy is about 20 years old and so a bit outdated, but the one at Amazon is updated and pretty recent. I’ve now read two Culture Shock! books- the Philippines and Korea editions, and I highly recommend them. Many other travel books these days focus on dating culture and nightlife, and these books are about living in the culture without giving too great offense, understanding and appreciating the country, people, and culture. If you’re looking for something to include in your studies of other countries, this series is highly recommended.

And The Word Came With Power, by JOanne Shetler with Patricia Purvis- Joanne Shetler was a missionary and translator to a remote tribe in the PHilippines in the 70s. This is her story (and the story of the Balangao people), and it was and is a remarkable story. Suitable for probably ages ten and up (possibly younger as a read aloud, although the opening chapter of the horrible helicoptor crash is pretty gruesome reading). 5 stars as long as you keep in mind a younger reading audience.


Walking from East to West, Ravi Zacharias- I like listening to him speak.  I haven’t read any of his books.  I will see if I can find another one to give him a fair shake.  I found this one somewhat rambling and not as compelling as his speaking.  I also had hoped for more ‘east to west,’ information on Indian vs western culture.  there was some, but not as much as I’d hoped for.  Parts of it moved me to tears, parts of it felt like just name-dropping.  3 stars, but it’s possible that it’s just the right book for you or somebody you love.  He does talk about the emptiness he felt in his life as a child and young man and of a suicide attempt he made when he was around 20, and those portions of the book were particularly poignant.  I was also deeply moved by the story of his 17 year old translator when he was evangelizing in Viet Nam during the Viet Nam war.

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer- a lovely, moving little book for private devotional reading.  5 stars.

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One Comment

  1. Cindy
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    I love anything by Tozer. Pursuit of God is wonderful. Gonna try the cell book as soon as I have some book money.

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