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Posted December 11, 1999
<p align='justify'> The main thesis of Dr Kelly¿s book is that the author of the Hebrew text of Genesis 1:1¿2:4 can only have intended to write a straightforward, historical account. Although many modern theologians claim that Genesis is poetry, it has none of the hallmarks of Hebrew poetry, such as parallelism. Dr Kelly backs this up by sound linguistic analysis. He quotes an earlier authority as saying:</p> <dir><p align='justify'> <FONT COLOR='#800080'>`the man who says</font> <FONT COLOR='#008000'>¿I believe that Genesis purports to be a historical account, but I do not believe that account¿</font><FONT COLOR='#800080'> is a far better interpreter of the Bible than the man who says, `I believe that Genesis is profoundly true, but it is poetry.¿</FONT></p></dir> <p align='justify'> Also, Dr Kelly painstakingly documents the history of interpretation of Genesis, and shows that the almost uniform view throughout the church era was that it was intended to mean what it said. Long age and theistic evolutionary interpretations were invented only after long ages/evolutionary views became fashionable. That is, the interpreters were trying to read things from outside Scripture into the text. So they ceased to regard Scripture as authoritative, so were effectively if unwittingly contradicting Christ, e.g. John 10:35. Instead, they regarded man¿s (fallible) interpretation of nature as authoritative. How can anyone be a consistent follower of Christ if he denies what Christ believed about Scripture, including Genesis 1 and 2 (see Matthew 19:3¿6, Mark 10:2¿9)?</p> <p align='justify'> Dr Kelly quotes not only evangelicals, but liberals like the 19<sup>th</sup> century exegete Prof. Marcus Dods, who wrote that any interpretations of Genesis 1:1¿2:4 that deny the straightforward meaning were `futile and mischievous¿, and that they:</p> <dir><p align='justify'><FONT COLOR='#008000'>`do violence to Scripture [and] foster a style of interpretation by which the text is forced to say what the interpreter desires.¿</FONT></p></dir> <p align='justify'>Dods also said,</p> <dir> <p align='justify'><FONT COLOR='#008000'>`if, for example, the word 'day' in these chapters does not mean a period of twenty-four hours, the interpretation of Scripture is hopeless.¿</FONT></p></dir> <p align='justify'>We can see the results in seminary after seminary ¿ when one generation denied the plain meaning of the creation account, the next generation or two denied the plain meaning of the accounts of Christ¿s bodily resurrection and virginal conception.</p> <p align='justify'> Dr Kelly is highly qualified to write about the theological aspects of Genesis ¿ he is Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina. He cites a number of Church Fathers and Reformers, as well as the expert Jewish commentor Cassuto. <p align='justify'> Although he is not a scientist himself, he augments his case with examples of design in biology expounded by people like the biochemicst Dr Michael Behe. The main materialistic argument against Behe has nothing to do with real science, but an <i>a priori</i> rejection of a Designer. Behe, although not a biblical creationist, has faced the same sort of academic arrogance, argument from authority and chronological snobbery faced by defenders of biblical creation.</p> <p align='justify'> However, since science is not Dr Kelly's forté, it¿s to be expected that there are some inaccuracies. But these have been pointed out by creationist scientists themselves! See the review by Dr Carl Wieland, CEO of <i>Answers in Genesis</i> (Australia), in <I>Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal</I> 12(2):52¿54, 1998 (posted on the <i>Answers in Genesis</i> and TruWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.