Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Christian Interpretations of Genesis 1 by Vern S. Poythress

Christian Interpretations of Genesis 1Christian Interpretations of Genesis 1 by Vern S. Poythress
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a short book from a really good author.  Poythress does a great job briefly looking at the various interpretations of Genesis 1 and diagnosing what he sees as their weaknesses and strengths.

Poythress encourages the reader to look into varying explanations of disputed subjects, including how to interpret Genesis 1, because "it helps to be familiar with the possibilities so that we do not too quickly adopt one explanation without considering alternatives."

Poythress is unashamed in his view that to be a Christian, you have to believe the Bible.
"A person who wants to be a genuine Christian must be a disciple of Christ, and being a disciple of Christ implies submitting to the teaching of Christ the Master.  So accepting the Bible as the Word of God is an integral part of Christian faith and living."

Yet, his point is not a Bible vs science, us vs them, sort of mentality.  While he is explicit on the Bible being "infallible" and "modern scientific claims being "fallible", he is equally adamant that "even though the Bible is infallible, however, we as interpreters of the Bible are not."  I appreciate Poythress making clear that our interpretations are not equivalent with God's revelation and while God's revelation has no room for error or correction, our interpretation most certainly does.

You may not come to the same conclusions that Poythress does on Genesis 1, but you will have to agree that this little book is well worth your time and does a fairly good job of presenting the differing positions well.


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