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Genesis for today (THE RELEVANCE OF THE CREATION/EVOLUTION DEBATES TO TODAY'S SOCIETY),


Andy McIntosh


Day One (Creation Points)

 

I bought this book, along with a few others, after listening to a talk by the author at a local Baptist church. The author is an Emeritus Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory at the University of Leeds and is also a visiting professor at Mississippi State University. He has a website that shows his many speaking engagements and his involvement with various Creationist organisations. I listened to two talks, one on the human ear and the other on the migratory patterns of birds. In both of these talks he spoke at length, in a most engaging fashion, with little in the way of any notes about the irreducible complexity of these systems and how they pointed to a designer. I left them thoroughly enthused and deeply appreciative of the way that the talks had an academic scientific basis and had always concluded by drawing the hearer to the broader message of the gospel itself.


This book is essentially an overview of some of the key messages with Genesis. It begins by noting the prevailing acceptance of the evolutionary theory across much of science and the secular media. He challenges the perspective that argues that the accuracy of Genesis is not really important to a Christian and that our time would be better focussed on spreading the gospels.


In the second chapter, he focussed on the order within our universe. The logic and structure with many mechanisms, both on a miniscule DNA scale and a huge macro interplanetary level, point us to our maker. This question on logic is one that I push with my own students, is mathematics a human invention or a discovery? He points out the impact of evolutionary thinking on our view of the purpose of life and guides you back to the necessity of a Christian worldview if we are to see a change in a decadent materialistic world.


The third chapter, looks directly at the historicity of Genesis and the time scales involved. He is controverting the view of ‘theistic evolution’ and arguing for a position that accepts the authority of the Bible and its account of six 24 hour days of creation and a relatively young earth. He layers up the narratives of the ages of the Biblical characters and how these lives overlayered. The author the idea defends the account of a flood dating around 4500 years ago, pointing to a range of similar accounts across world cultures.


In the fourth chapter, we turn specifically to the idea of marriage. He explains the Biblical model for marriage and the lessons around its basis. He examines the effects of the fall on the marital relationship. Following, this we see in chapter five the lessons for family life. It looks at male headship within the family, the effect of the fall on the first family and then a series of practical implications, including abortion and the use of time within the household.

I was pleased to see that he didn’t dodge the content of the sixth chapter around the Sabbath. He defends the need for a weekly day of rest and the abiding necessity of the Sabbath. He explains the change of the day and the reasons for it. The chapter concludes with some thoughts on how we should keep the Sabbath, that are practical and restrained. There are aspects in this last part of the chapter that I feel are perhaps omitted, that might have been included, but equally he has avoided the pitfalls of some within FP circles who have strayed towards a different error and want to prevent the perfectly lawful use of modern technology for the broadcasting of the gospel on the misguided rationale that it will improve Sabbath keeping.


The seventh chapter, follows the pattern of his talk and takes you from the practical to the bigger picture. The remaining chapters are really fulfilling the subtitle of the book and looking at the relevance of the evolutionary debate to the needs of our society and in so doing he directs the reader to the Saviour. He looks at the Biblical teaching on death and then redemption.  This is followed in chapter eight by a look at the use of Genesis as a spur for gospel outreach, that Spurgeon and others saw that Genesis is not a stumbling block but forms the opening of our witness for the Bible. The ninth chapter takes up the issues we face with various national sins and the need for a return to national Sabbath keeping and a resurgence of interest in the Bible. Chapter ten looks at various contemporary trends, such as, the rise of Islam within the West, the growth of postmodernism and how these impact on both Science and the Church. He ends with a chapter that is specifically focussed on how Genesis is guiding us to the Saviour.


From a personal perspective, I liked the heavy use of references with each chapter being full of end notes guiding the reader to further material. Equally, there are some very lengthy

and useful appendices looking specifically at areas of science and the Biblical narrative.

This is a book I would heartily recommend and it comes from an author that I feel could be warmly welcomed into various of our churches to deliver talks that would engage the local community and assist our own young people in being able to defend the Christian position in their places of academic study.

 

 

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