Skip to main content

Seven Glorious Days

Seven Glorious Days: A Scientist Retells the Genesis Creation Story




Seven Glorious Days:  A Scientist Retells the Genesis Creation Story by Karl W. Giberson

This new book by Karl Giberson, professor of religion and science at Stonehill University is another look at the creation story from scientific lens.  Giberson writes, “…I am bringing modern science to bear on the story of creation.  I have also reshaped the scientific story of our origins as if it was the story of how God created the world, and not merely an account of natural history” (4).  He goes onto indicate that in the book he divides up the “Days of Creation” into cosmic and geological epochs.  The end result is a story about scientific inquiry into the beginning of the creation and forming of it inspired by the biblical creation account.  I would add at the onset that the book is loosely inspired by the biblical account and heavily attuned to contemporary scientific ideas.

Quite remarkable in this book is Giberson’s telling of the mysterious new star that Tyco Brahe found in 1572.  The combination of fascination with stars, astrology, and discoveries was commonplace in Europe at the time.  Yet, “A new star was a theological puzzle.  If God created the heavens “in the beginning,” what was this new star?  Perhaps it was some kind of message.  Speculation began to mount about its astrological significance and the message it contained” (65).  The star had existed all along but was in fact seen by Brahe because it was at this point an exploding star.  Giberson helpfully goes onto explain that stars ‘are nuclear explosions that last for billions of years’ (68).  The overwhelming gravity pulling inward causes the star to burst like a balloon and bounce around like a the multiple waves of light at  a fireworks show.  Brahe’s discovery was the beginning of a growing knowledge of stars, their origin, and how they react to their own gravitational pull.

I appreciate Giberson’s willingness to examine how simple-life forms function without jumping to rash conclusions.  He writes, “The myster of the origin of life is the mystery of how to cross the barrier from nonlife to life.  We can readily explain how the early earth came to be rich in the necessary building blocks of life….But we cannot see exactly how these blocks managed to arrange themselves into the living, metabolizing, reproducing cell” (100).  This kind of honesty is where the divine intention is seen in the work of his creation, and yet, we are not even told in Genesis 1-2 how exactly things were formed, other than by the spoken word of God.  I think Giberson’s honesty is welcomed because he seeks to gather the necessary geological and scientific reasons for the origin of the universe without stepping into mere conjecture when knowledge is not available.

This book is more a scientific understanding of life’s origins, including the Earth, than anything related to the Genesis creation story.  Finding purpose, a higher purpose, in the developing creation is part of Giberson’s purpose, yet I don’t find much of this in his writing.  If you are interested in scientific explanations for the life’s origins and discoveries that have been made along the way, this book is for you. 


Thanks to Paraclete Press for the review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Growing up with the NIV, the NKJV was not a bible I was familiar with.  This new NKJV Study Bible takes all of the features of the Thomas Nelson Study Bible and makes them better.  Right out of the box I noticed that the Bible was considerably lighter than most study bibles I have read.  Further, the text font was much larger than most study editions, although I’m not quite sure of the size. The aquamarine color was a great touch and the Bible was finely put together, enduring the wear of many coming years of use.
Why is this Bible worth the purchase?  First, the study notes were great for extra handling of particular confusing and messy areas of Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments.  Yet, the study notes aren’t an obstruction to the reading of the biblical text.  Clearly, the editors have taken great care in making the text stand out and the notes illuminate certain themes and areas of Scripture.  Second, the NKJV takes into account all t…