The Creation Account: A Review Article -- By: Jerry M. Hullinger

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 20:60 (Summer 2016)
Article: The Creation Account: A Review Article
Author: Jerry M. Hullinger


The Creation Account:
A Review Article

Jerry M. Hullinger

Piedmont University, North Carolina

In the Beginning . . . We Misunderstood: Interpreting Genesis 1 in Its Original Context by Johnny V. Miller and John M. Soden. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2012. 220 pp., paper, $13.20.

Should Genesis 1 be interpreted in light of science, or should science be interpreted in light of Genesis 1? The conclusion of the authors is: neither. Can a godly Christian who believes in the absolute authority of Scripture hold to an old earth in which the days of Genesis 1 are not interpreted as 24-hour days? The conclusion of the authors is: yes. Both Miller and Soden hold terminal, academic degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary and are thus qualified to deal with the Old Testament text. The book is divided into three major sections.

  • Part 1: Past and Present Issues in Interpreting the Creation Account (chs. 1-6).
  • Part 2: The Creation Account in Light of Its Ancient Historical and Cultural Context, (chs. 7-11).
  • Part 3: The Significance of the Creation Account for Theology Today (chs. 12-15).

The “right” question in this discussion is examined in the first chapter because (in that section) the writers established the basic hermeneutical principle that the initial concern in studying a passage is to determine what the original author intended when he wrote the passage. When it comes to Genesis 1, was

Moses acquainted with Charles Darwin? Or Henry Morris? Or Hugh Ross? Was he writing to discredit any modern theory of evolution? Were his readers troubled by calculations of the speed of light and the distance of the galaxies from earth? Were they puzzling over the significance of DNA? Were they debating a young earth versus an old earth? Would they have any inkling about a modern scientific worldview? If you agree that the answer to these questions is obviously no, then the logical question is, what was on their minds? How would they have understood Genesis 1 [p. 21]?

The writers assert that Genesis is not concerned with 21st century inquiry, but with the character and rule of the one who created, and this understanding does not require a “‘seven-day, twenty-four hour’ answer to our modern question” since this is not the purpose of the text (p. 22). Therefore, importantly, the burden of the book is neither to change S...

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