What We’re Reading – Coming to Grips with Genesis


Terry Mortenson and Thane H. Ury, eds. Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2010.

Although written from a creationist point of view, this work is not a book on science. It  is a hermeneutics and theology book, centered on understanding primarily the meaning of Genesis 1-11. The contention of the book is that if the first eleven chapters of the Bible are not taken literally or are viewed as a non-narrative genre, then the rest of the Bible cannot stand.

The first three chapters look historically at the church’s understanding of creation, the fall, and Noah’s flood. Several following chapters are critiques of various evangelical approaches to Genesis 1-11 — the equating of natural theology with biblical theology, various interpretations of the “days” of creation, the inclusion of “deep time” in Genesis 1, and the argument that massive gaps  in the genealogies of Gen 5 and 11 can extend the creation of humanity back millions of years. This book does not take on non-theists or liberals as much as it does evangelicals with a non-literal view of all or part of Genesis 1-11.

Two chapters focus on how Jesus and the New Testament writers viewed the earth’s age and the connection between the creation of the universe and the creation of humanity. A helpful chapter inserts creationism into apologetic theodicies, demonstrating how ignoring creationism diminishes the theodic arguments.

Overall, this book is easy to read, but filled with helpful material for the preacher, teacher, and scientist. I highly recommend anyone interested in biblical and theological reasons to accept creationism to read this. Buy your copy from Amazon by clicking here: Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth.

Larry Oats