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Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth Paperback – November 3, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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About the Author

Dr Terry Mortenson (M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Ph.D., history of geology, Coventry University; England) was a missionary with Campus Crusade for Christ for 26 years before joining Answers in Genesis USA in 2001 as a speaker, writer, and researcher. During the past 30 years he has lectured and debated on the subject of creation and evolution in 19 countries. He is author of numerous articles and book chapters on this issue and of The Great Turning Point: the Church's Catastrophic Mistake on Geology-Before Darwin (2004). Dr. Thane Hutcherson Ury (M.Div., Asbury Theology Seminary; Ph.D., Systematic Theology, Andrews University) taught in the Religion and Philosophy Department at Bethel College in Indiana for 15 years, before joining the faculty at the United Wesleyan Graduate Institute, Hong Kong, China, in 2006. He has taught theology, apologetics, and creation related subjects in America, Romania, Nigeria, Trinidad, Singapore, and China.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group (November 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0890515484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0890515488
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #458,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Parrish on May 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
The following review is by Michael J. Vlach, Assistant Professor of Theology, The Master's Seminary Journal, pp. 114-116, Volume 20, Number 1, Spring 2009.

Vlach writes: "The early chapters of Genesis continue to be a battleground in the debate over the age of the earth. The case for six-day creation, a global flood, and a young earth finds a great ally with Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth. The editors, Terry Mortensen and Thane H. Ury, have assembled fourteen formidable theological scholars to defend a young-earth view and critique contemporary old-earth interpretations of the book of Genesis.

"This defense of a literal view of Genesis 1-11, which is also a tribute to the life and ministry of early earth advocate, John C. Whitcomb, is not intended to be a scientific presentation for a young earth. Instead, this book admittedly complements young earth science books by focusing on a correct exegetical and theological understanding of Genesis. As such, it is intended to be a stand-alone text for seminary and Bible college professors and students, pastors, missionaries, and all interested in what the Bible really says about creation.

"Readers should appreciate the two forewords. The first is by Henry M. Morris, who penned his words shortly before his death. This reviewer is glad that Dr. Morris was able to see the fruit of this outstanding book before he left this earth to enter the presence of His Lord. Both editors acknowledge the great influence of both Morris and Whitcomb on their views of Genesis. The second review is by John MacArthur, who also heartily commends this book.

"Coming to Grips with Genesis consists of fourteen chapters followed by two appendices. The first appendix, by Paul J.
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"Coming to Grips with Genesis" is a collection of 14 articles discussing the different interpretations of Genesis 1-11. Though written by 14 separate scholars, there's surprisingly little overlap of material and a high consistency in quality.

It's written in a formal tone. Some articles get somewhat technical when talking about the original language, and the authors assume you know something about Hebrew grammar. However, the footnotes explain a technical point in more detail for those who don't know this information. There's excellent footnoting, so you always know where the information or quote came from. I also liked that the authors quoted the people in question so the reader could see for themselves what was said. Overall, if you have questions about the topics covered or want to be better able to argue the points, then I'd highly recommend this book.

Chapter 1, 2, 3, and 14 explored how Christian theological leaders before the 19th century viewed Genesis 1-11, especially how long they thought God took to create everything. Chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 discussed the different ways Genesis 1 & 2 are interpreted, how to properly interpret Scripture as a whole and how that applies to Genesis 1 & 2, and is nature/general revelation equal in authority to Scripture/special revelation.

Chapter 9 talked about Noah's Flood, especially about the timeline of what happened and what one would expect to find now in the rock layers as a result of the Flood. Chapter 10 discussed the type of genealogies are in Genesis 5 and 11 and how accurate they are for chronological purposes. Chapter 11 and 12 pointed out how Jesus and the apostles viewed Genesis (as real history and real people or otherwise). Chapter 13 discussed how having death and suffering before creation was completed (as long geological ages demands) affects Christian theology.

I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
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The book Coming to Grips with Genesis is a very well written and thoughtful looks at the arguments in favor of a six-day creation, the global Flood and a young Earth. Different men like Terry Mortensen, Richard Mayhue, John MacArthur and William Barrick contributed to this book. It provides the arguments brought back old earth people and shows through Scripture the shortcomings of their view. I found some of the chapters very difficult to read. It does tend to get pretty technical and is difficult reading in certain sections but if you are able to stick with the book, I am sure it will expand your understanding and knowledge of the young Earth view. This book was written in honor of Dr. John Whitcomb, co-author of The Genesis Flood and especially appreciated the short biography provided in the back of this godly man. This book looks at different topics in the debate such as the issue of deep time, how the early Church fathers viewed Genesis, the Flood and age of the Earth, Noah's Flood and its geological implications. Jesus' view of Genesis, the Apostles' view of the Genesis Creation and Flood, and the Biblical Theology of Death and Evil. I would encourage those who already hold to a young earth view along with those who may not to take the time to read this book.
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For all those Christians who say they really want to "engage the science of evolution," and deal with it seriously, here is a book to read and internalize. While this isn't a book on science, very few collections so effectively present the various angles of argument against reading billions of years into the Genesis account from a textual perspective. The end result is that billions of years simply won't fit. Either we must take the Scriptures seriously, or we must abandon them to what scientist currently believe (although this will certainly change in the course of our lifetime, if not our children's lifetime).

This book is a collection of essays, each dealing with a different aspect of the Genesis account of Creation and some specific attempt to place humans much farther back than what a plain reading of the text indicates. The first chapter begins the collection with a look at what the Early Church Fathers --often cited for support in putting billions of years into Genesis-- really taught about these first three chapters of the Scriptures. The result will surprise many who have assumed Christians throughout the ages didn't put any emphasis on the literal qualities of the Creation narrative.

Chapters 2, 5, and 8 deal with hermeneutical issues in reading Genesis 1-11. A general overview of the chapters is given, an overview of modern ways of reading this section, the genre of the section is discussed, and a very targeted examination of the framework approach to reading these chapters is provided. Taken together, these chapters form a strong spine for the thesis that "deep time" simply cannot be embedded in Genesis, a point made clearly in chapter 7.

Richard Mayhue, in chapter 4, deals with the relationship between nature and the Scriptures.
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