where do I get my crackpot ideas about Genesis?

I think it might be about time to come clean on this — and admit that as whacky as they sound, my ideas about Genesis aren’t even particularly original. Check this out:

[T]he emphasis of Genesis 1.31 that what was made was “very good” reminds us that creation perfectly corresponded to the divine intention. This need not mean an absolutely perfect world stemmed from the actions of Genesis 1. It is possible that the world outside the garden setting of chapter 2 … needed to be brought completely under human control, since it may have contained all the difficulties which we experience in our natural world today. This suggestion raises difficulties, but the direction of biblical eschatology as well as the facts of human experience point to a consummation of history that is more than a mere return to the beginning.

Know who wrote this? Former Moore College Old Testament doyen, Bill Dumbrell — in The Faith of Israel (Second Edition, p 17).

He’s dead on. Even though the details of Genesis 1-2 provide the springboard, the decisive factor has got to be eschatology. If anything, it’s where the whole story God tells about his grace towards the world is headed that should push us in the sort of direction I’ve been exploring (although a few cameo appearances by ‘the facts of human experience’ won’t go astray either).

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8 comments

  1. Chris,

    I have W’m Dumbrell’s book right to hand myself, it is your American Baker Academic, 2001. A nice one volume OT survey, note Adam in the Garden, pages 20-21. Not sure I remember how I got hold of this book? I have, yes too many! lol

    1. Yeah. I love the way Dumbrell picks up the hints in Genesis 2 of Adam’s priestly as well as kingly role (reading it in light of Ezekiel) — something even more clearly true of redeemed humanity: first in Israel (Ex 19) and then of believers in Jesus (Rev, 1 Peter, etc).

  2. Indeed good stuff! Right now I am reading Kaiser’s book, The Promise-Plan: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments. He also has his, Recovering the Unity of the Bible. I have moved from the A-mill, and even Post-Mill (older position), to the Historical Premillennial position. Yes, I am pro- Modern Israel! Theological change is good even when ya are older like me, lol. The process and thought really of several years. In reality, I am very concerned about the nature of the Church, in our post-modern time. Everywhere we turn we see the nature also of apostasy in the Church!

  3. I love theology, but we must never let it take the place of the relational, mystical and spiritual reality of God In Christ! As St. Paul said biblically and revelationally… “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21) For the most part, the early Christians were ready to step off into death because of Christ!

  4. Hi Chris,

    Just wrote an essay on Barth’s idea of why Christ came and especially his suggestion that Christ would have come even if man had never sinned…was a tough essay but I think for Barth creation is kind of like the canvas on which Christ is to work his masterpiece. Creation is good because it corresponds to the divine intention (as per Dumbrell) which means it is fit for salvation in the coming of Christ. Creation has no meaning, and no fulfilment, apart from its telos in Christ.

    Hope you and Nat are well
    Matt

    1. Hi Matt,

      We are well. Great to hear from you. Sounds like a fascinating — and stretching — essay. What a helpful way to express what it means to say that all things were created by Christ and for Christ (Colossians 1.15-20)!

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