Understanding the Times


Some books can forever change the way you see the world. Dr David A. Noebel’s popular book Understanding the Times is a rare life-changer. Below you’ll find excerpts showing some of the great insights from this work.

“This is, in my opinion, one of the finest books to come off the press in this century.”
—D. James Kennedy, honorary chairman for AiG’s Creation Museum Reference Board

Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis—US, has spoken with David Noebel at Bible conferences, including “Worldview Weekend”1 and “Steeling the Mind of America”2 (a play on “gird up the loins of your mind” in 1 Peter 1:13). Dr Noebel offers a powerful message about the Christian’s need to have “understanding of the times” (1 Chronicles 12:32).

Book excerpts

Introduction to Biblical Christian Biology (p. 314)

“Perhaps no other aspect of Christianity has troubled believers more in the last century than the question of origins. Because many biologists treat evolution as a scientific fact, Christians have struggled to reconcile their faith in the Bible with the ‘fact’ that man and all living things evolved from a single speck of life.

“… If evolution is true, then the story of the Garden of Eden and original sin must be viewed as nothing more than allegory, a view that undermines the significance of Christ’s sinless life and sacrificial death on the cross. Why? Because the Bible presents Jesus as analogous to Adam. The condemnation and corruption brought on us by Adam’s sin are the counterparts of the justification and sanctification made possible for us by Christ’s righteousness and death (Romans 5:12-19). If Adam was not a historical individual, and if his fall into sin was not historical, then the Biblical doctrines of sin and of Christ’s atonement for it collapse.

“…the theistic evolutionist’s predicament: ‘If evolution happened, then a tremendous amount of death occurred before man evolved. But if death preceded man and was not a result of Adam’s sin, then sin is a fiction. If sin is a fiction, then we have no need for a Savior.’ Of course, this conclusion is unacceptable for the Christian. Thus, it is our contention that the proper Christian worldview requires a belief in the Creator as He is literally portrayed in the book of Genesis. …”

Spontaneous Generation (p. 328)

“For the atheistic evolutionist’s belief to be rational, the major problem biology must overcome is the impossibility of spontaneous generation. In order for life to have arisen due to random processes, at some point in time non-living matter must have come alive. Yet this postulate of atheistic evolution runs contrary to everything science has discovered about life. Spontaneous generation …has never been observed. …

“The further science progresses, the more unlikely spontaneous generation seems. Dean Kenyon, a biochemist and a former chemical evolutionist, now writes, ‘When all relevant lines of evidence are taken into account, and all the problems squarely faced, I think we must conclude that life owes its inception to a source outside of nature.’ He bases this conclusion on four premises: (1) the impossibility of the spontaneous origin of genetic information, (2) the fact that most attempts to duplicate the conditions necessary for chemical evolution yield non-biological material, (3) the unfounded nature of the belief (necessary for the chemical evolutionist) that prebiotic conditions encouraged a trend toward the formation of L amino acids, and (4) the geochemical evidence that O2 existed in significant amounts in the Earth’s early atmosphere (organic compounds decompose when O2 is present). …”

Genesis (p. 801)

“The Bible, of course, declares that God is eternal and that He created the physical universe and its inhabitants (Genesis 1). It goes on to say that the physical universe was well thought out in the mind of God before creation ever took place (John 1:1-3). The Marxist and the Humanist deny the very possibility that Scripture accurately accounts for the beginning of the universe. They therefore must hold that matter is eternal and has moved from a state of disorder to an ordered state as guided by chance. That is, matter previously packed into a mathematical point and scattered by an incredible bang ordered itself into such remarkable entities as supernovas, diamonds, electrons, DNA—and the mind of man.

“Further, the non-Christian worldviews believe that the universe was once dead and yet brought forth life—that inorganic matter, given enough time and the proper recipe for primordial soup, brought forth amoebas and hummingbirds, squid and prairie dogs. Further still, the Marxist and Humanist believe that dead, disordered matter eventually organized man, a being capable of inventing bicycles, jokes, and Hamlet. The Christian’s faith pales in comparison to the credulity required to believe that such diversity and complexity arose by chance. …

“Secular worldview adherents would like to ignore the unmistakably unique character of man, because their ideologies cannot adequately account for it. A worldview that asserts the primacy of matter has a difficult time explaining this unique creature so distant from the rest of the animal kingdom. …”

The Evolution of Evolution (p. 809)

“In examining mankind’s changing attitude toward evolutionary theory, it becomes obvious that evolution has been reduced to an insupportable dogma embraced by secular religions. But it wasn’t always this way. Evolution began as just another scientific theory. Darwin even treated his theory as subject to falsification, believing that unless numerous transitional forms appeared in the fossil record, his theory broke down. He wrote, ‘The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on the earth [must] be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.’

“Darwin’s embarrassment over his theory’s conflict with the fossil record is evidenced by the fact that, in The Descent of Man, ‘Darwin did not cite a single reference to fossils in support of his belief in human evolution.’3 Despite Darwin’s own reservations, however, Humanists and Marxists and atheists everywhere found that this theory allowed them to avoid the uncomfortable concept of God, so they proclaimed evolution to be fact. Julian Huxley declared around 1960 that Darwin ‘rendered evolution inescapable as a fact … all-embracing as a concept.’”4

Along with the main text, Understanding the Times has an abridged version for younger students (grades 7-12), a teacher’s guide,and a student workbook, all available at special discount prices from AiG’s bookstore. Dr Noebel can be contacted through <www.summit.org>.


  1. Note that Ken Ham will be a guest speaker at the upcoming Worldview Weekend in Hampton, Virginia, USA, 1–2 November 2002, and in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 22–23 November 2002.
  2. Note that Ken Ham will be a guest speaker at the next “Steeling the Mind” conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, 23-24 August 2002.
  3. Ferguson, M., The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s, J.P. Tarcher, Los Angeles, p. 192, 1980.
  4. Cited in Smith, F., Out on a Broken Limb, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, USA, p. 33, 1986.


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