Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science

( 3 )

Overview

What did the writer of Genesis mean by “the first day”? Is it a literal week or a series of time periods? If I believe that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, am I denying the authority of Scripture?

In response to the continuing controversy over the interpretation of the creation narrative in Genesis, John Lennox proposes a succinct method of reading and interpreting the first chapters of Genesis without discounting either science or Scripture. With examples from history, a ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$14.46
BN.com price
(Save 14%)$16.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (25) from $8.50   
  • New (14) from $9.34   
  • Used (11) from $8.50   
Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price

Overview

What did the writer of Genesis mean by “the first day”? Is it a literal week or a series of time periods? If I believe that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, am I denying the authority of Scripture?

In response to the continuing controversy over the interpretation of the creation narrative in Genesis, John Lennox proposes a succinct method of reading and interpreting the first chapters of Genesis without discounting either science or Scripture. With examples from history, a brief but thorough exploration of the major interpretations, and a look into the particular significance of the creation of human beings, Lennox suggests that Christians can heed modern scientific knowledge while staying faithful to the biblical narrative. He moves beyond a simple response to the controversy, insisting that Genesis teaches us far more about the God of Jesus Christ and about God’s intention for creation than it does about the age of the earth. With this book, Lennox offers a careful yet accessible introduction to a scientifically-savvy, theologically-astute, and Scripturally faithful interpretation of Genesis.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310492177
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 8/9/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 134,690
  • Product dimensions: 5.02 (w) x 7.44 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

John C. Lennox (PhD, DPhil, DSc) is Professor of Mathematics in the University of Oxford, Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science, and Pastoral Advisor at Green Templeton College, Oxford. He is author of God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? on the interface between science, philosophy, and theology. He lectures extensively in North America and in Eastern and Western Europe on mathematics, the philosophy of science, and the intellectual defense of Christianity, and he has publicly debated New Atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. John is married to Sally; they have three grown children and four grandchildren and live near Oxford.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

SEVEN DAYS THAT DIVIDE THE WORLD

THE BEGINNING ACCORDING TO GENESIS AND SCIENCE
By JOHN C. LENNOX

ZONDERVAN

Copyright © 2011 John C. Lennox
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-49217-7


Chapter One

BUT DOES IT MOVE? A LESSON FROM HISTORY

THIS BOOK IS ABOUT a very controversial topic. Disagreement about it has been rather acrimonious at times. However, even though I am Irish, I am not going to suggest that the best way to approach it is to have a good fight! Indeed, in order to get some kind of perspective on the way we handle controversy, I wish to go back to another major controversy, one that arose in the sixteenth century. If I had been writing a book at that time, I might well have been addressing the question, what are we to think of astronomer Nicholas Copernicus's suggestion that the earth moves, when Scripture seems to teach that the earth is immovably fixed in space?

This may not seen to be a huge deal nowadays, but at the time it was a very hot topic. The reason? In the fourth century BC the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle taught that the earth was fixed in the centre of the universe and that the sun, stars, and planets revolved around it. This fixed-earth view held sway for centuries even though, as early as 250 BC, Aristarchus of Samos proposed a heliocentric system. After all, it made a lot of sense to ordinary people: the sun appears to go round the earth; and, if the earth moves, why aren't we all flung off into space? Why does a stone, thrown straight up into the air, come straight down if the earth is rotating rapidly? Why don't we feel a strong wind blowing in our faces in the opposite direction to our motion? Surely the idea that the earth moves is absurd?

Aristotle's work was translated into Latin, and in the Middle Ages, with the aid of the massive intellect of Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), it came to influence the Roman Catholic Church.

We note in passing that Aristotle believed not only that the universe was old, but that it had always existed. Aquinas had no difficulty reconciling an eternal universe with the existence of God as Creator in a philosophical sense, but he admitted that there was difficulty reconciling it with the Bible, since the Bible clearly said there had been a beginning. The fixed earth was different: it seemed to fit in well with what the Bible said. For instance:

Tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. (1 Chron. 16:30)

Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. (Ps. 93:1)

He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. (Ps. 104:5)

For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and on them he has set the world. (1 Sam. 2:8)

Furthermore, the Bible seemed not only to teach that the earth was fixed; it seemed equally clearly to say that the sun moved:

In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. (Ps. 19:4–6)

The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. (Eccl. 1:5)

So it is not surprising that when in 1543 Copernicus published his famous work On the Revolutions of the Celestial Orbs, in which he advanced the view that the earth and the planets orbited the sun, this startling new scientific theory was called into question by Protestants and Catholics alike. It is alleged that even before Copernicus published his book, Martin Luther had rejected the heliocentric point of view in rather strong terms in his Table Talk (1539):

There is talk of a new astrologer who wants to prove that the earth moves and goes around instead of the sky, the sun, the moon, just as if somebody were moving in a carriage or ship might hold that he was sitting still and at rest while the earth and the trees walked and moved. But that is how things are nowadays: when a man wishes to be clever he must ... invent something special, and the way he does it must needs be the best! The fool wants to turn the whole art of astronomy upside-down. However, as Holy Scripture tells us, so did Joshua bid the sun to stand still and not the earth.

Many of Luther's comments in Table Talk were made tongue in cheek, and there is considerable debate about the authenticity of this quote. Historian John Hedley Brooke writes, "Whether Luther really referred to Copernicus as a fool has been doubted, but in an off-the-cuff dismissal he remembered that Joshua had told the sun, not the earth, to stand still."

John Calvin, on the other hand, clearly believed that the earth was fixed: "By what means could it [the earth] maintain itself unmoved, while the heavens above are in constant rapid motion, did not its Divine Maker fix and establish it?"

Some years after Copernicus, in 1632, Galileo challenged the Aristotelian view in his famous book Dialogue concerning the Two Chief World Systems. This incident has gone down in history as an iconic example of how religion is antagonistic to science. Yet Galileo, far from being an atheist, was driven by his deep inner conviction that the Creator, who had "endowed us with senses, reason and intellect," intended us not to "forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them." Galileo held that the laws of nature are written by the hand of God in the "language of mathematics" and that the "human mind is a work of God and one of the most excellent."

Galileo was attacked for his theory of a moving earth, first by the Aristotelian philosophers, and then by the Roman Catholic Church. The issue at stake was clear: Galileo's science was threatening the all-pervasive Aristotelianism of both academy and church. The conflict was far more between two "scientific" world-pictures than between science and religion. In the end, Galileo had to "recant" under pressure but still (according to the story) could not help muttering to his inquisitors, "But it does move."

There is, of course, no excuse whatsoever for the Roman Catholic Church's use of the Inquisition to muzzle Galileo, nor for its subsequently taking several centuries to rehabilitate him. Yet, again contrary to popular belief, Galileo was never tortured, and his subsequent house arrest was spent, for the most part, in luxurious private residences belonging to friends. Furthermore, the scientist brought some of his problems on himself by his lack of tact.

Many historians of science conclude that the Galileo affair really does nothing to confirm the simplistic conflict view of the relationship of science to religion.

It subsequently took many years to establish the heliocentric view, which my readers, I presume, now accept, being quite comfortable with the idea that not only does the earth rotate about its own axis, but it moves in an elliptical orbit round the sun at an average of 30 km/sec (about 67,000 mph), taking a year to complete the circuit.

But now we need to face an important question: why do Christians accept this "new" interpretation, and not still insist on a "literal" understanding of the "pillars of the earth"? Why are we not still split up into fixed-earthers and moving-earthers? Is it really because we have all compromised, and made Scripture subservient to science?

(Continues...)



Excerpted from SEVEN DAYS THAT DIVIDE THE WORLD by JOHN C. LENNOX Copyright © 2011 by John C. Lennox. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 11

Chapter 1 But Does It Move? A Lesson from History 15

Chapter 2 But Does It Move? A Lesson about Scripture 21

Chapter 3 But is it Old? The Days of Creation 39

Chapter 4 Human Beings: A Special Creation? 67

Chapter 5 The Message of Genesis 1 91

Appendices

Appendix A A Brief Background to Genesis 119

Appendix B The Cosmic Temple View 130

Appendix C The Beginning According to Genesis and Science 150

Appendix D Two Accounts of Creation? 156

Appendix E Theistic Evolution and the God of the Gaps 160

Notes 184

Acknowledgements 188

General Index 189

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 23, 2012

    Good but not great

    The material in this book is very well researched, by someone obviously well versed in the scientific method. I was frustrated by what appeared to be a large amount of material that was presented to prepare the reader for what stand the author was taking in the book. I wish he would have done that in the first chapter, instead the reader has to go through several chapters before you find out what stand the author is taking. Once stated, however, the reader is empowered to make a logical and biblical judgement of whether he or the "young earth" crowd is right. Many will judge the author's stand as heretical outright, I don't think it is. God gave us a mind to understand as well as a heart to have faith. The author's treatment of this subject is a testimony to this fact.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    Highly Recommended

    I appreciated this book written by Christian apologist, Dr.John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford and a Fellow both in Mathematics and in the Philosophy of Science. I feel he is well-qualified to speak on the subject.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)