Lost World of Genesis One – A visual introduction (Video Resource)

This week I had the opportunity to present the main ideas of John Walton’s The Lost World of Genesis One: ancient cosmology and the origins debate to my Old Testament Theology classmates.  I had a wonderful time talking about Genesis 1 and evolution issues and thought I’d share some of the slides with you.  I will also include my notes.  Then, those of you who want to read the book will have a ‘head start’ so to speak.  I cannot emphasize enough how helpful this book is when it comes to reading the Bible faithfully and particularly to interpreting Genesis 1 for all its worth!

Here is my summary of the book.

Here is a pdf of all my notes from the presentation containing notes and insights from The Lost World of Genesis One, notes, Kurt Willems.

If you use this material (except the quotes, which belong to Walton) please point folks to the source :-)

Here is the Video…

  • http://jmsmith.org JM

    Great job, Kurt!

    I forget, did you say you'd read C. John Collins' "Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary and Theological Commentary" yet? If not, it's a PERFECT follow-up to Walton's and does a great job in expanding and filling in some things that Walton overlooked or chose not to discuss. The approach is complementary to Walton's and both books are two of the best books on Genesis and origins that I've read in a LONG time…which is why I used them so much in my Bible & Science DVD seminar (shameless plug alert! http://jmsmith.org/store/the-bible-science ) ;)

    • Kurt

      I did purchase it. No time to read at the moment. Is he a framework theory guy?

      • http://jmsmith.org JM

        Not really; though he allows for it. He's much closer to Walton. His view is called the "Analogical Days" view where the days are literal days, but are analogical and illustrative rather than scientific or rigidly-historical.

  • Brad Thomas

    I've not read this book. Could it be argued this is simply analytical gymnastics, or is it a dialectical approach to the issues of Creationism vs. Evolution. Scot McKnight conveys the view of Oneness in his book The Blue Parakeet (play on the word paraclete [did I spell that correctly?]). I don't find any conflict between evolution and creationist stuff because I don't see that there is a conflict (Bell talks a little about this in Everything is Spiritual – Genesis 1 as poetry, etc. – a way to explain the beginings OF TIME). From your pp presentation I do see the reconciliation between being a human DOING vs. a human BEING. In the West we tend to be DOINGS more than BEINGS I think. The Modern perspective (the culture of reductionism – materialism) HAS infiltrated church culture, which seems to be the same as the Pax Americana culture. Your pp pres implies what I'm looking at right now in my own life: the paradoxes that pervade Christ's teachings and the truth that is found somewhere in the middle of those paradoxes. Currently teaching A Prayer for Owen Meany by Irving to my Senior Students (I teach hs). Powerful book about paradox and faith and truth: Institution vs. the Individual as played out in religion, education, and governement/military. Thanks for Pangea – It makes me think and feel as I move toward oneness/wholeness!

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  • http://www.ecksermonator.com/ Jason Hess

    Interesting stuff. Definitely have to pick this book up. Thanks for sharing.

  • Juli

    Very interesting. I will definitely read the book.

  • Jaymes

    Kurt,
    Great job… I probably agree. But I think the biggest issues weren't raised and am wondering if the book goes into them.

    Why does Genesis 1 (poetry, functional ontology, etc…) move so quickly into history? We have all these great elements of a parable, story. Adam means man. God is setting up his temple figuratively. But then Adam has children. Those children have children. And although I am currently wrestling with original sin, Adam seems to play an important historical role, especially if Jesus is the second adam. Scripture is clear that death does not come before sin. Jesus defeats sin and, soon, death as evil which are not apart of the good that God created.

    Where is it history and where is it figurative?

    I too am an M.Div student wrestling with all these things. Like you, I desire to remain faithful to scripture but also see an issue with the way these types of things can be handled.

    Blessings and Peace in your studies!

    • Kurt

      Jaymes, you are asking the right questions. Here are some thoughts…

      The fall of Adam and Eve, when viewed as a historical reality, yields two major theological perspectives in relation to the issue of death. The passage in Romans 5 clearly links Adam’s disobedience with… the power of death being unleashed in humankind. Some believe that the kind of death that is at stake in the Garden was not physical in nature (as death was a reality physically in every organism prior to the Fall and Genesis itself is silent on the issue), but was a “spiritual death.” Having failed to properly steward God’s world as image-bearers ought to, by clinging to the forbidden fruit of desire, spiritual death occurred for the first time in history as God’s image was fractured. John Walton represents another perspective. He believes that physical death was at stake in the disobedience of the Garden, because for the first time ever a human (Adam) was given an antidote to death: the Tree of Life. After the Fall, they were blocked from access to the Tree and therefore were “doomed to the natural mortality of their bodies,” a sentence which was handed down to all of Adam’s contemporaries and their decedents.

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  • Jayne

    Just curious if you've done any serious study from the young earth perspective. I realize it isn't considered truly scientific by many, but the article found at the following link could either give you some more ammo for your current perspective or open some new avenues of thought.
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v2/n


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