Dr Carl Wieland’s new book Beyond the Shadows uniquely addresses both intellectual and emotional issues

In stark contrast to the early days of the modern biblical creation movement about half a century ago,1 there is now a gratifyingly large number of books authored by biblical creationists to help meet the pressing and ongoing need for accurate origins literature.2 Some books are weighted towards technical/scientific matters, others deal more with biblical/theological aspects, while a proportion are pitched at a level suitable for children. (The number of good creation books for children is lamentably still small, but thankfully growing.)

But there’s one new book that I would say is in a creation literature class of its own, with unique content, easy readability and “can’t-put-it-down” appeal. It’s the newly released Beyond the Shadows: Making sense of personal tragedy, by Carl Wieland. As the title indicates, and the foreword explains, the book answers the paramount question (i.e. both in the minds of many Christians and from the mouths of skeptics taunting them) of: “Why do bad things happen to Christians, if there is a God who loves them?”

But the book is much more than that. Via the twists, turns and sometimes drama of his personal testimony, Dr Wieland shares a swag of lessons learned in his journey from atheism to walking with Christ. I’d like to share with you here three of my personal favourites. I have found these very helpful, as have other people, too.3

‘Strange’ things happen

If evolution were true, then everything we see happening in the world around us ought to make sense in the ‘light’ of evolution. But it doesn’t. Sometimes things occur which defy materialistic explanations and which point so strongly to the supernatural that even diehard atheists, forcibly confronted with the reality of the spirit realm, have converted to Christianity. Carl Wieland is one of those, and he speaks of ‘sinister’ occurrences that happened in the leadup to his conversion.

For instance (Beyond the Shadows p. 33), Dr Wieland and a friend were practicing a card trick, the sort that young people like to show off at parties as ‘mind-reading’. In reality, Carl and his friend had worked out a code in advance which told the other person which card it was. But Carl’s wife didn’t know this, and naively believing that Carl and his friend could indeed read minds, asked if she might try it herself. So Carl pulled a card from the deck, saw it was an ace of spades, and asked his wife which card he was holding. She got it right! However, as Carl says in Beyond the Shadows (p. 34), “That was the natural first card for anyone to think of—so, no big deal.”….

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