Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job: How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today’s Scientific Questions [Hardback] by Hugh Ross
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool,” observed Richard Feynman. And God has graciously given us His revelation. He has revealed His nature and character to us through Scripture. And Scripture not only reveals truth, it helps the reader avoid self-deception. Since it’s easy to fool oneself, mankind is blessed that God has given us answers we need in His Word. The atheist author Ayn Rand was asked by a reporter, “What’s wrong with the world?” She replied, “Never before has the world been so desperate for answers to critical questions, and never before has the world been so frantically committed to the idea that no answers are possible.” And in Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job: How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today’s Scientific Questions Hugh Ross demonstrates that Scripture reveals the truth concerning key concepts such as: creation, wisdom, inductive tools, and suffering. He contends that many God-given answers to modern difficulties are found in the ancient Book of Job. We have a sure and true confidence that God created the cosmos and has given humanity a Redeemer in Christ Jesus.
One vital message in this volume is that believers never need to be fearful of “irreconcilable differences between the book of nature and the book of Scripture” (p. 13). He observes that Job can “suggest areas of research and avenues of inquiry that will lead to beneficial breakthroughs” (p. 16).
Dr. Ross is a knowledgeable scientist (astrophysicist) and exhibits a degree of competence as a well-read exegete of Job. In Hidden Treasures he shapes and assimilates his often controversial interpretive models using both the truth of Scripture along with the data of the natural world. Likewise he aims to integrate creation details from the Book of Job, the Psalms, the Prophets, and the New Testament with them conjoined to the accessible relevant scientific data. Thus Ross’ ambitious project in this volume is to incorporate numerous relevant passages of the Bible with one another to form a unified creation model to assist in rightly interpreting the facts of science. Additionally he shows that “certain statements in Job can help elucidate some of the more difficult to interpret verses of creation found elsewhere in the Bible” (p. 17).
Dr. Ross demonstrations that Scripture is an accurate forecaster of important findings from modern science; furthermore it is a reliable source of natural data, and that truths from Scripture are consistent with the truths discovered in nature.
Ross, who recently underwent cardiac surgery, then lost his father, discusses the essential topic of suffering with personal insights built upon the valuable observations found in the Book of Job.
Topics included in Hidden Treasures are:
• The formation of the Cosmos and its age (Ross is an old-earth advocate)
• The commonalities and dissimilarities between soulish animals and humans
• New insights in cosmology
• The Book of Job is likely the oldest book in Scripture
• What the Book of Job reveals regarding dinosaurs and the fossil record
• The proper manner one should view the claims of global warming and the appropriate stewardship of creation
• The debate between Job and his philosophical friends (“the greatest debate of all time,” p. 28)
• The pre-picture of Mosaic truths within Job
• Job as a preface to Genesis (“The gaps in Genesis creation accounts … are not really gaps at all if the content of Job was familiar to the original recipients of Genesis,” p. 32).
• and much more.
Ross shows that Job describes “the continuous expansion of the universe” (Job 9:8) thousands of years before “twentieth century … scientists even hint at the possibility of an expanding universe” (p. 56). And this expansion is at “a finely tuned rate” (p. 57) which opens the door wide for theism.
The author discusses new inquiries into dark stuff in relation to the Book of Job. He notes: “Within the last few years … researchers discovered that God’s question in Job 38 reveals an astonishing truth about the nature of darkness. … The latest research tells us that the dark stuff gives impressive testimony to God’s handiwork in designing the universe for the benefit of all life” since the right type and correct density of dark stuff has to be in place for life to begin and to be sustained (pp. 60-63).
Ross supplies numerous arguments that support his model over antithetical models offered by other Christians and atheists. Moreover he offers thought-provoking critiques of rivals without resorting to sweeping or hasty dismissals relating to controversial foci. Ross attempts to employ the data of nature in compliance to Scripture in forming his model. Ross affirms the inerrancy of Scripture and as a scientist upholds the doctrine of divine creation of life including mankind as described in Genesis and Job. He clearly sides with the old-earth view in the ongoing skirmish between young-earth and old-earth creationist interpretations. He holds his position on the basis of the qualified reliability of the varied models; the reliability is discerned by their analytical, explanatory, and extrapolative power in relation to the truth of Scripture.
There are significant disputes concerning the idea that Ross takes selected positions that lead to what many view as dicey conclusions. Many Evangelicals consider these objections (the earth is young in contrast to Ross’ old-earth view; the meaning of the Hebrew words Yom and Nephesh; the correct time when light was created; etc.) quite sound, but affirm some of Ross’ views regarding the evidence for Christian theism.
This volume also provides a useful exposition regarding the uniqueness of humans including the following:
• Men are created in the image of God (pp. 106-108)
• The social cognition of humans is much greater than animals (Ross employs fascinating research on chimps, pp. 108-109)
• Humans have an awareness of God (“humans alone … carry a certain reverence for the divine,” pp. 109-112)
• People have a compulsion to worship (pp. 112-113)
• and men are concerned about the coming Judgment (pp. 114-115).
“One basis for concluding that the Book of Job must be supernaturally inspired is the relevance of its content to the questions, challenges, and controversies of later generations, including our own. Another mark of divine inspiration is the book’s successful anticipation, or prediction, of some of humanity’s most important discoveries…” (p. 68-69).
The author goes on to discuss things men have in common with animals and the lessons that men can learn from various creatures (pp. 167-173). In this distinctive chapter Ross opines that “soulish animals shine a spotlight on humanity’s capacity for both greatness and wretchedness, a most humbling view if we fully take it in” (p. 173). He then proceeds to provide answers regarding dinosaurs (pp. 175-185). Ross writes that “dinosaurs suited God’s plan to fill the Earth with as great an abundance and diversity of life as conditions allowed. The presence of those creatures meant that when humans arrived they would have at their disposal the best atmosphere for their needs and the richest supply of biodeposits” (pp. 184-185).
Ross closes with a fine discussion on suffering and the need of a Redeemer: Jesus Christ. He professes that all men sin, all men suffer, and Jesus died for the lost as the ultimate healer and Savior (pp. 187-213).
”For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27).
Ross is not only a renowned apologist; he is widely recognized as an important Christian thinker. The Hidden Treasures of Job includes, in concise and accessible form, some of the most stimulating ideas within the vital areas of Christian cosmology revealed in the Book of Job. Interesting, cogent, and relevant; Ross demonstrates that central Christian beliefs concerning creation, miracles, and the Redeemer are reasonable and built upon firm evidence. In the end, Ross is careful in pressing the actuality that one must trust in God’s Word to help one avoid falling into self-deception. I recommend this volume and I advise the reader to use proper biblical discernment reading it as well as any other book.
Robinson has written 14 books including Truth, Knowledge, and the Reason for God