I remember when these books were released: they were advertised heavily at my youth group (which I was coming to the end of attending because I was getting way to old, not that I let my age define who I am) and the camps that I attended, but that is not surprising considering that my church was heavily connected with the Sydney Anglicans and in turn Matthias Media (through which this book is published). Sure, Kirsten Birkett has a PhD, as do many of the other writers for Matthias, and sure she writes in a very accessible way, but it is not so much the author that I have concerns with, but rather with the line that the Sydney Anglicans expect their adherents to follow.
The thing with the Sydney Anglicans is that they have a very strict doctrinal line that the expect their members to tow (especially if you are in leadership), and while it differs from that of the American Evangelical Movement, it is quite restrictive in a sense as well. I have given a hint at it above with my comments regarding not letting people define me by my age. The reason I say that is because it is a very top down organisation and the leadership goes out of its way to define you and to force you into a mould rather than letting you come to your own understanding of who you are. Only when I actually to break away from them have I come to understand who I am as a human being, however I will leave it at that because I will have a lot more to say once I finish A Sickness Unto Death.
Now, I want to say a few things about Darwinism. The Sydney Anglican line with regards to Darwinism (and I found it pretty quickly when trying to find some of the details of this book to update it on Goodreads) is that 'evolution is the modern creation myth, with its proponents as its priests'. That is a statement that I am willing to accept, however that does not mean that the creation account in Genesis isn't a myth – it is, and the writer originally wrote it with that intention in mind. Genesis was written to stand against the creation myths of the Egyptians and the Babylonians, and worked to put God, and man, front and center.
Charles Darwin was not an atheist, and his writings were not designed to disprove God. That came much later. Rather, Darwin was writing based upon what he had seen in his explorations and did what scientists pretty much do: attempt to answer the question as to why there is so much variety among the animal and plant kingdoms. Unfortunately people have taken Darwin's writings and have gone much further with it and added his name to a theory on which he only speculated. That is basically what scientists do – they speculate and then come to conclusions based upon observation and repeated experiments. The problem with evolution, and the way a small segment of Western Society take it, is that they assume that this speculation is fact based upon sound logic.
However, the Church, as can be expected, fears these new ideas and believes that if people were to be able to think for themselves they would decide that they don't need God. The problem with that is that people came to that conclusion pretty much before they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. As such, the church is actually not just denying people the ability to think and to reason (a gift, by the way, given to them by God) but to also control they way they think, what they believe, and the way they behave. In a way it is a form of censorship.
Which leads me to another topic that has nothing to do with this book, but I thought I might throw a few things into it as well, and that is that debate regarding Goodreads censorship. Look, we are going to encounter censorship where ever we go, even in this society. In fact, we will find a law that pretty much defines censorship, and that is called defamation. I suspect that the reason that these reviews were taken down was probably because of defamation proceedings brought about against Goodreads. Amazon, who owns Goodreads, also owns IMDB, and out of my 645 reviews on IMDB, only one has been deleted (and apparently it is because somebody thought it was abusive), and as far as I know none of my Goodread's reviews have been deleted. However, with over 904 reviews, porting them to another site (and there are other sites) would be incredibly time consuming (and I haven't even finished uploading all of my movie reviews yet). Still, the idea of using another site to reach another audience is tempting, but as I said, also time consuming.
I suspect that there is a lot of politics involved though, and with a site as big as Goodreads, which is now in the hands of a multinational corporation, this is going to happen. There has been some research done on this, but as far as I am concerned, I am going to keep on uploading my reviews, and also writing them the way I have been writing them. Anyway, I have no worries about losing content because Goodreads has deleted them, since I write all of my reviews in a word document beforehand and then copy them across.