Book Review: the Creationist Notebook

by Todd Elder.

I know it’s plain, but your kids can always recover it

I’m extra thrilled to introduce you all to what I think is a great resource for all families, including mine!

Some time back I ran into a new creation website run by Mr. Elder. He hadn’t finished pulling things together, but the pictures were great, and his photo especially caught my attention. He looks like he does a lot of Biblical or American Civil War reenactments with his long brown beard. So, I plugged his link into my collection and forgot about it.

Then, last month, I was wandering around Google+ and recognized Mr. Elder right away. I added him to my “circles” and shortly afterward was pleasantly surprised to see an announcement he put up about a new book he’d written.

Of course, I asked him about it and he volunteered to let me have a look at it (on PDF) in exchange for a review. His ploy worked: I’m going to fork over the (little bit of) money it costs to get some paper copies ASAP. 😀

When I sat down with the book, I was expecting a long, careful read through like usual. I guess I should have read the title more carefully. It took all of 20 minutes to review the whole thing cover to cover.

Why? Because this isn’t a book he wrote for us to study, it’s a book he outlined for us to write.

The Creationist Notebook is divided into sections covering the major areas of Creation studies. They open with a brief paragraph on the topic and a Bible passage that ties in. Then, most of the pages are filled with key phrases followed by several blank lines for us to fill in with the definition and/or short thoughts on the subject.

He starts with the Bible’s teachings on creation and the nature of God, etc. It then moves to general scientific terms we need to understand in order to discern between what can be known vs. what must be assumed. And that’s just the beginning.

Every section is well marked in the index so you won’t have to search around for the area you want to work on next. It’s a good thing, too, since there are 79 sections, not counting the extra “resources” at the end. (I’ll forgive him for skipping me, he didn’t know CS4K existed at the time.)

For us as parents, the list of terms and subjects alone is worth purchasing a copy. If we and our kids have a basic understanding of even half of what he covers, we’ll be well ahead of average. Plus, at the end of each scientific section, Elder has a list of recommended resources. Many of them are books, but he also lists a number of DVDs. It’s a great place to collect a wishlist of materials (or contact Midwest Creation Fellowship to borrow from their extensive library).

For kids, it’s an awesome place to collect your thoughts on science and what God has to say about it. Some of the topics are simple enough you could start writing things in as soon as you can handle college-ruled paper. Other topics are complex or “mature” enough to keep you busy through high school.

Personally, I’m looking forward to having his list of keywords to help me think of new areas to cover. Some of the terms he used I’d never run into before- what is “juvenile water” anyway? Although I’m sure the resources he recommends are top notch, you can find huge amounts of info online if you have the right search terms to plug in. This book provides a wealth of them!

In the light of complete honesty, there were a couple phrases he used which I found more limiting than I could have wished. If you spend much time in Creationist circles, you’ll know there are differences of opinion on dozens of issues. This book presents things as Todd Elder sees them. Nothing stood out to me, but as your kids mature, they might plug in alternate views as they run into them.

Overall, this book gets a five star, top priority to purchase on my list. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Book Review: the Creationist Notebook

  1. creationclues

    I enjoyed meeting Todd Elder and his family at Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum where I work a few months ago. Keeping a study journal like this is a very good idea for creationists. I tried to keep a journal about my studies in creation science and experiences as a creationist student of geology at a secular college. It has been very helpful when I needed to cite my sources of information. However, I haven’t exactly kept it up like I should since I did not make it one of my top priorities. There are many things I wish I had recorded.

    1. Cheri Fields Post author

      The book here makes it as easy to keep up with notes. I would imagine having assignments from parents might help, if you can hang on to your enjoyment at the same time.
      Having a place to keep track of where you heard things is highly valuable. That’s one of the reasons I like having this website to remember things for me! 😀


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