Coming to Grips with Genesis

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In November Coming to Grips with Genesis will be made available by its publisher, Master Books. I am excited about the publication of this book for a couple of reasons. First, the content of the book is aimed to provide a readable, academic defense of key biblical subjects related to the age of the earth. This book is made up fourteen chapters written by scholars from various ministries, all of whom share a commitment to young-earth creationism. The book is targeted for seminary and Bible college professors and students.

Second, the purpose of this book is to provide a collection of essays to honor Dr. John C. Whitcomb, Jr. With the publication of the Genesis Flood in 1961, Dr. Whitcomb and co-author, Dr. Henry M. Morris, became catalytic figures in reviving young-earth creationism. The fourteen different authors who contributed to this book have made other contributions to recent creationism and have been influenced by the ministry of Dr. Whitcomb. Because I had Dr. Whitcomb as a professor at Grace Theological Seminary and have also done some writing on biblical creationism, I was asked to contribute the chapter that evaluates the framework interpretation of the creation account. Because I have read so much of Dr. Whitcomb’s material as well as having a great appreciation for his instruction as a seminary professor and godly example (check out DBTS‘s 2007 William R. Rice Lecture Series), I am delighted to be able to dedicate my chapter to him.

Here is the arrangement of the content of Coming to Grips with Genesis.

Editors

Terry Mortenson

Thane H. Ury

Publisher: Master Books

Chapters and Authors

Foreword

Henry M. Morris

Foreword

John MacArthur

Prologue

The Editors

1. The Church Fathers on Creation, the Flood, and the Age of the Earth

James R. Mook

2. A Brief Overview of the Exegesis of Genesis 1-11: Luther to Lyell

David W. Hall

3. “Deep Time” and the Church’s Compromise: Historical Background

Terry Mortenson

4. Is Nature the 67th Book of the Bible?

Richard L. Mayhue

5. Contemporary Hermeneutical Approaches to Genesis 1-11

Todd S. Beall

6. The Genre of Genesis 1:1-2:3: What Means This Text?

Steven W. Boyd

7. Can Deep Time Be Embedded into Genesis?

Trevor Craigen

8. A Critique of the Framework Interpretation of the Creation Week

Robert V. McCabe

9. Noah’s Flood and its Geological Implications

William D. Barrick

10. Do the Genesis 5 & 11 Genealogies Contain Gaps?

Travis R. Freeman

11. Jesus’ View of the Age of the Earth

Terry Mortenson

12. Apostolic Witness to Genesis Creation and the Flood

Ron Minton

13. Whence Cometh Death? A Biblical Theology of Physical Death and Natural Evil

James Stambaugh

14. Luther, Calvin, and Wesley on the Genesis of Natural Evil

Thane H. Ury

Epilogue

The Editors

Appendices:

1. Biography & Bibliography of Dr. John C. Whitcomb, Jr.

Paul J. Scharf

2. Affirmations and Denials on Creation and the Age of the Earth

3. Recommended Resources for Further Study

Indexes

Subject

Author

Scripture

About the Authors

To find out more information about ordering Coming to Grips with Genesis, go to the New Leaf Publishing Group. If you live in the Allen Park area of Michigan, a copy of this this book may be purchased at the Inter-City Christian Bookstore, 4635 Allen Road, Allen Park, MI 48101 (phone number: 313 383-6110).

John Frame’s Critique of Peter Enns’s Inspiration and Incarnation

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Peter Enns’s 2005 Inspiration and Incarnation has created quite a stir in the evangelical world, which included his suspension from Westminster Theological Seminary (for Enns’s response, go to his blog). John Frame has recently written a theologically informed critique of Enns’s book. Frame’s conclusion is worth noting: “So though I find much to agree with in this book, in the end I would not recommend it as a basic text on biblical inspiration to a seminary-level reader (let alone for the less mature). Seminarians need to study biblical inspiration in a way that motivates both humility and confidence in God’s word. The present volume says much (both legitimately and illegitimately) to motivate humility. It says nothing to promote confidence in the truth of the biblical text. That, I think, is a serious criticism” (see also the other reviews that Frame cites in his first few endnotes). It is well worth your time to read the entire critique: “Review of Peter Enns, Inspiration and Incarnation.”

What I Am Reading on the Book of Psalms

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Today was the first day for my summer class on Understanding the Psalms. In doing research for my class, John Goldingay’s two volumes on Psalms 1-89 are a welcome addition to the growing number of commentaries on the Psalter. Psalms, vol. 1: Psalms 1-41 and Psalms, vol. 2: Psalms 42-89 are the first two installments of a projected three-volume commentary on the book of Psalms (Psalms, vol. 3: Psalms 90-150 is scheduled to be released by Baker in November of 2008). This three-volume work is part of Baker Book’s projected six-volume series, Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms.

After a 58-page introduction to Psalms, Goldingay’s first volume treats Psalms 1-41. With each psalm in both volumes, he provides his own translation, followed by a section on interpretation and theological implications. Each volume is concluded with a glossary, bibliography, indices referencing subjects, authors, scripture and other ancient writings.

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In this multi-volume work on the Psalms, John Goldingay, a prolific Old Testament scholar, combines thorough exegetical work with an ability to communicate the message of each psalm. The inherent substance of this multi-volume set is his exegetical interaction with the Hebrew text. However, while providing thorough exegetical insight, Goldingay writes in such a way that the message of each psalm is assessable to seminary students, pastors and scholars. Dr. Goldingay’s first two-volumes on Psalms is a refreshing acquisition to the exegetical resources I have collected on the Psalter. Whether you are preparing a Bible study on Psalms 1–89 or a sermon, both of these volumes will be a valuable asset to your study. I look forward to the release of the third volume in November.

What Makes Humans Distinct from Animals?

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What makes man distinct from animals? To state the question another way, what is the basis for human dignity? According to the worldview of secular humanism with its Darwinian foundation, there is no ultimate reason for a distinction between mankind and animals. The various criteria used (such as, ability to use tools, emotions, morality, personality and language) are now eliminated, according to Christine Kenneally’s “So You Think Humans Are Unique?” (May 24-30, 2008 issues of the New Scientist). According to this worldview, though people are more sophisticated than animals, there is no fundamental distinction. However, the Christian worldview is antithetical to the secularist’s worldview and ties human dignity to Adam and Eve having been created in the imago Dei, “the image of God.”

On Friday, May 30, Al Mohler provides a critique of Kenneally’s article and answers the question what is the basis for human dignity. He effectively argues that any attempts to ground human dignity in the secular view of humanity is doomed for failure and that “the Christian worldview offers the only sustainable foundation for human dignity. The Christian truth claim, grounded in the Bible, claims that human dignity is ontological (based merely in the human being’s existence) rather than functional. According to this worldview, every single human being is equally created in the image of God. The other creatures are wondrous and each reveals the glory of God in its own way, but no other creature is created in the image of God. To be human is to be a bearer of God’s image. Thus, every single human being possesses full human dignity.” To get Dr. Mohler’s full response, continue reading “Are Humans Unique? — The Question Secular Science Can’t Answer.”

9 Marks Interview: Mark Dever with Mark Minnick

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I just listened to Mark Dever‘s interview with Mark Minnick, Pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church and Professor at Bob Jones University, about the Fundamentalist doctrine of separation. To listen to this, go to 9 Marks Interviews. What is captivating about the interview is that both Mark Dever and Mark Minnick are obliging in their presentations. Besides being marked by a genuine humility and respect for each other, both Dever and Minnick provide an interesting discussion of areas where they both agree and disagree on this subject. Though not all the issues and questions about the doctrine of ecclesiastical separation are addressed in this interview, the overall discussion provides something of a framework on some issues related to this subject. Additional links for both speakers are available at Andy Naselli’s blog.

R. C. Sproul’s Literal Interpretation of Genesis 1

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After my conversion in the late 1960s, I remember hearing Dr. R. C. Sproul speak on a number of occasions. Back in those days as a Freudian Psychology major in college, Sproul’s Calvinistic teaching was something of a theological electroshock therapy for my man-centered perspective on life. Since then, I have profitably read a number of Dr. Sproul’s books. For many years, I was under the impression that he was sympathetic to the framework hypothesis. However, my impression was corrected in 2001 when I read the July issue of Tabletalk, which focused on the subject of creation. In an article entitled “Galileo Redux,” Sproul stated that, after reading Douglas F. Kelly’s Creation and Change, he became convinced that God recently created the universe in the literal creation week described Genesis 1.

If you are interested in a summary of R. C. Sproul’s interpretation of biblical creationism and how he became convinced that God recently created the heavens, the earth and all things therein in the space of six days, I highly recommend that you read Tas Walker‘s “Famous Evangelical Apologist Changes His Mind.

The Disappointing Nature of the “Evangelical Manifesto”

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Is last week’s “Evangelical Manifesto” a theological disappointment? I must admit that this document’s call for civility among evangelicals is not appealing when I see who did not sign the document and that a theological definition of evangelical is minimized by the actual document (to read the full document, go here). For an analysis of the “Evangelical Manifesto,” check out the following responses: “Come On, You Call This a Manifesto?” by Alan Jacobs, “An Evangelical Response to “An Evangelical Manifesto” by Albert Mohler, and “The Latest Evangelical Manifesto” by Jesse Johnson.

Worldview Anomalies, Recalcitrant Facts and the Image of God | The Scriptorium Daily: Middlebrow

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What is involved with our worldview? And, does our worldview provide an adequate explanation of reality? Or, are there facts of reality that are incoherent with our worldview? Does the postmodern worldview provide an adequate explanation for the fact that a person is in the image of God? J. P. Moreland‘s post answers these questions and argues that rival explanations to the Bible’s view of the image of God in man, such as naturalism and postmodernism, cannot adequately explain a person’s rationality and dignity. According to Moreland, “The Bible teaches that human beings are made in the image of God. This implies that there are things about our make up that are like God is. Among other things, this implies that the make up of human beings should provide a set of recalcitrant facts for other worldviews.” Do not neglect reading “Worldview Anomalies, Recalcitrant Facts and the Image of God.”