40 Questions about Creation and Evolution by Kenneth D. Keathley and Mark F. Rooker
Single cell organisms, Darwin, 24 hour creation days, what do all these phrases have in common? All of these ideas are related to the creation/evolution controversy that still rages on in the academy and in the church. How as Christians are we to uphold that God created all things and that God has given common grace to scientists who write and teach about human origins? In their new book, 40 Questions about Creation and Evolution, Professors Keathley and Rooker draw out all you ever wanted to know on the debates concerning creation and evolution.
In Question 8, the authors take up the relationship of Genesis 1 to Genesis 2. For many years since the Enlightenment, critical scholarship has divided up the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2 by supposing that there are two sources behind the chapters, therefore two different creation accounts. The authors counter this approach by positing that the ‘unique importance of human beings is clearly seen in Genesis 1 and in Genesis 2 (88).” Further in their argument, the authors state, “…we posit that Genesis 1 gives a general description of the creation of humankind in the framework of creation of the entire world while Genesis 2, on the other hand, gives a detailed description of humankind and their immediate context on the earth in the garden of Eden (90).” In other words, we get more of a cosmological view in Genesis 1 and in Genesis 2 we get a first beginnnings story of how man relates to the created order.
In the chapter on evidence for an Old Earth, the authors bring together 4 pieces of evidence; large-scale, layered, complex, and independent. Geological and astronomical evidence relate to the large-scale arguments, geological phenomena and living things relate to the layered view, the Sierra Nevada range relates to the complex argument, and independent evidences span the range from lava on the Atlantic Ocean floor to plate tectonics (202-206). The chapters in the book also present a Young Earth Creation point of view and offer many evidences.
What was most enjoyable about the book was that the authors were given the room to be precise about evolution, Darwinism, and original sin in such a way as to not muddy the waters with terminology. For instance, the authors describe the theory of evolution in three ways; as a descriptor of biological change, as a theory that all life descended from one common ancestor, and an overarching explanation of how biological change occurs (313). The first point concerning biological change is uncontroversial (313). The other ideas need more explanation and this is where this book really is helpful.
Thanks to Kregel Academic for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.