The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate

John H. Walton

The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate
The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate

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In this astute mix of cultural critique and biblical studies, John H. Walton presents and defends twenty propositions supporting a literary and theological understanding of Genesis 1 within the context of the ancient Near Eastern world and unpacks its implications for our modern scientific understanding of origins.

Ideal for students, professors, pastors and lay readers with an interest in the intelligent design controversy and creation-evolution debates, Walton's thoughtful analysis unpacks seldom appreciated aspects of the biblical text and sets Bible-believing scientists free to investigate the question of origins.

  • Prologue
  • Introduction
  • Proposition 1: Genesis One Is Ancient Cosmology
  • Proposition 2: Ancient Cosmology Is Function Oriented
  • Proposition 3: "Create" (Hebrew bara') Concerns Functions
  • Proposition 4: The Beginning State in Genesis One is Non-Functional
  • Proposition 5: Days One Through Three in Genesis 1 Establish Functions
  • Proposition 6: Days Four Through Six in Genesis 1 Install Functionaries
  • Proposition 7: Divine Rest Is In a Temple
  • Proposition 8: The Cosmos Is a Temple
  • Proposition 9: The Seven Days of Genesis 1 Relate to the Cosmic Temple Inauguration
  • Proposition 10: The Seven Days of Genesis 1 Do Not Concern Material Origins
  • Proposition 11: "Functional Cosmic Temple" Offers Face-Value Exegesis
  • Proposition 12: Other Theories of Genesis 1 Either Go Too Far or Not Far Enough
  • Proposition 13: The Difference Between Origin Accounts in Science and Scripture is Metaphysical in Nature
  • Proposition 14: God's Roles as Creator and Sustainer are Less Different Than We Have Thought
  • Proposition 15: Current Debate About Intelligent Design Ultimately Concerns Purpose
  • Proposition 16: Scientifice Explanations of Origins Can Be Veiwed in Light of Purpose, and If So, Are Unobjectionable
  • Proposition 17: Resulting Theology in This View of Genesis 1 Is Stronger, Not Weaker
  • Proposition 18: Public Science Education Should Be Neutral Regarding Purpose
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • FAQs
  • Notes
  • Index


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5 out of 5 based on 1 user ratings
Warren Truesdale September 19, 2017 5 5
John Walton has written a fantastic little book (170 pages) on Genesis 1 that has transformed how I now understand this text. Essentially, Walton sets out to interpret Genesis one through the lens of “ancient cosmology.” He argues quite convincingly that we have misread and imposed our modern ideas of creation on the text and he seeks to correct this reading. The book is formatted by 18 “propositions” which Walton then defends, giving one chapter per proposition. The first 11 propositions were best in my opinion... [Full Review]

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