A review of Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth by Terry Mortenson and Thane H. Ury (Eds.)
Reviewed by Andrew S Kulikovsky
This book is a festschrift (tribute) to veteran YEC theologian Dr John C. Whitcomb Jr. The editors, Terry Mortenson and Thane Ury, have assembled a team of ten evangelical scholars willing to defend the traditional young-earth interpretation of the genesis account of creation. There are two Forewords—one by the late Dr Henry Morris (who co-authored the pioneering The Genesis Flood with Whitcomb), and one by Dr John MacArthur, President of The Master’s Seminary—as well as a biographical tribute to Whitcomb by Paul Scharf. The book also contains a set of articles of affirmations and denials relating to a Christian worldview concerning creation, and has an extensive set of recommended resources, a subject index, and a name index.
In the prologue, the editors make it clear that belief in the traditional young-earth creationist (YEC) interpretation of the Genesis account is not a necessary condition of salvation. Failure to accept the YEC view, however, does raise some major issues in relation to biblical authority and hermeneutics, and has implications for our understanding of death as well as the nature and character of God. Thus, the chapters in the book seek to highlight and expound these issues.
Contributors and contributions
James Mook (Capital Bible Seminary) opens with a chapter on the church fathers’ interpretation of Genesis, the Flood, and the age of the earth. Mook gives a good account—including many direct quotations—of what the fathers actually believed, and concludes that although some did not interpret the days literally they all held to a young-earth view of creation. However, Mook’s treatment of the fathers view of the Flood is quite brief and cursory, amounting to just over a page of discussion. A much more thorough survey and analysis should have been done.
David Hall (pastor, Midway Presbyterian Church, Georgia) gives a brief overview of the history of exegesis of Genesis 1–11 from Luther to Charles Lyell. Hall examines the views of the Protestant Reformers, the Puritans, and the Westminster assembly up until the triumph of Lyellian uniformitarianism, and concludes that they all understood the early chapters of Genesis as straightforward literal history. It was the influence of Lyell’s uniformitarian geology that allowed the likes of Warfield, Shedd and others to incorporate modern evolutionary thought….
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