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Creation, Fall, Restoration: A Biblical Theology of Creation Paperback – March 10, 2009
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The grand themes that should enliven our thinking are Creation, the Fall and Restoration. In each of these areas, the author discusses the views of scholars, explains their often conflicting perspectives, and shows that biblical theology provides a sure guide for those seeking answers...It is highly recommended to anyone seeking to engage with these issues in greater depth. (Evangelicals Now)
Creation, Fall, Restoration: A Biblical Theology of Creation provides a refreshingly thorough yet eminently readable treatment of Genesis 1-3. Kulikovsky rightly argues that allowing the conclusions of modern science to determine our understanding of creation is basically a denial of the evangelical doctrine of sola scriptura. Sadly, many otherwise excellent evangelical scholars provide a confused or inconsistent hermeneutic in their treatment of the early chapters of Genesis, allowing the current conclusions of modern science to trump normative exegesis of the biblical text. Kulikovsky's work consistently exposes the faulty logic of such an approach. He discusses the role of science in biblical hermeneutics; the view of the Genesis creation account throughout church history; the overall purpose and function of the Genesis account; the days of creation; and the creation of mankind, the garden of Eden and the fall of man and its consequences. While not shying away from controversy, Kulikovsky ably interacts with relevant works representing diverse points of view. Even for those who do not share his conclusions, Kulikovsky's work is comprehensive and thought-provoking. In my thinking, his basic approach and treatment of the creation account is right on target! (Todd S. Beall ~ Chairman, Department of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis, Capital Bible Seminary, Lanham, Maryland)
Andrew Kulikovsky's volume provides its readers with a clear and current overview of the debate among biblical scholars about the interpretation of the creation week in Genesis 1-2 as well as Adam's fall (Gen. 3). (Michael A. Grisanti ~ Professor of Old Testament, The Master's Seminary, Sun Valley, California)
Since Scripture alone reports the details of divine creation, Kulikovsky directs readers back to the biblical record itself. Debates pitting science against creationism too often ignore the biblical revelation. Creationist conferences and consultations primarily explain observable phenomena that support the scientific accuracy of biblical creationism and banish biblical authority to the footnotes. Kulikovsky, however, proves that a young earth springs from a no-nonsense reading of the biblical text. Creation, Fall, Restoration dissolves the old earth fog that envelopes inadequate arguments for a young earth. (William D. Barrick ~ Professor of Old Testament; The Master's Seminary, Sun Valley, California)
About the Author
Andrew S. Kulikovsky has an M.A. in Biblical Studies and Theology from Louisiana Baptist University and an active supporter of Creation Ministries International.
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In the first chapter, Kulikovsky acknowledges the concept (originating with Francis Bacon) that "God has revealed Himself in two `books' - general revelation and special revelation" (p.18) but spends the first two chapters distinguishing one from the other, recognising the unfortunately all too common habit for Christians to, either explicitly or implicitly, give general revelation an equal or higher position than that of special revelation. He rightly points out that whenever the two books seemingly conflict, "Such conflicts are nearly always resolved by simply reinterpreting the special revelation in Scripture ... implying ... that the two are not equal." (p. 18-19). Similarly, "The truth claims of science always seem to trump exegesis, regardless of how thorough it is and how well done." (p.41)
When discussing general revelation, Kulikovsky observes that "It is quite common for theologians and scientists to view science and general revelation as one and the same thing." In attempting to address this mistaken view he cites Robert Thomas, who describes general revelation as "information that is common knowledge to all ... and impossible for mankind to avoid" and that the "subject of general revelation is God Himself ... [and] not the physical world" (p.22) Kulikovsky subsequently argues that "the physical world is not a second book of revelation from God, but a signpost pointing to God the almighty Creator." (p.25)
The book also highlights a major problem in associating general revelation with scientific knowledge about creation; "if general revelation [i.e. our scientific knowledge about nature] ... has been wrong many times, then how can it be viewed as authoritative, let alone infallible?" (p.22)
The appropriate relationship between special revelation and general revelation is addressed in one of the longest and challenging chapters in the book, Scripture, Science and Interpretation. The ideas presented in this chapter were extremely helpful in providing a platform for clear thinking about the "two books" concept and the arguments of those who promote the view.
Surprisingly, the chapter that I found most interesting was Creation, Preservation, and Dominion, which looks at the relationship between God, man, and his environment, and the ways in which environmentalists have distorted God's intentions for us as stewards over His creation. The key point for me in this chapter was that although caring for the environment (including the plants and animals) that God has provided is very important, a biblical view of creation means that ultimately, "...the needs of human beings surpass the needs of any other creature or plant." (p.259).
Kulikovsky frames the debate this way: "...is it acceptable to set aside vast tracts of land for agriculture and/or housing in order to provide food and shelter for hundreds of thousands of people, in exchange for the loss of a particular species of parrot or lizard?" The answer, he says, "depends on the relative value one places on human beings compared to other creatures." Is it right that human beings fulfil their own needs in these situations, or should they sacrifice these needs for the sake of some plant or animal? "For many environmentalists and conservationists, it is human beings who should submit." (p.258-259)
This chapter also includes a very interesting section on the history of DDT. Andrew writes, "One of the greatest ... environmental frauds of all time is the banning of, or restriction of, the use of ... (DDT)" (p.262). I was always taught at school DDT=BAD. But Andrew says, "The truth is that DDT has been comprehensively tested and demonstrated to be a safe and effective chemical pesticide." (p.262).
The book has a thorough bibliography and scripture index, but it lacks a topical index. Perhaps I just have an unnatural fetish for topical indexes, but I cannot count the number of times I went flicking despairingly through the back pages only to be reminded of its absence. I suggest a topical index would be a valuable addition to subsequent editions, but others may find the extremely detailed table of contents sufficient for their topical searches also.
While there are many good books available by creationists on a range of topics, CFR is one of the few books available that provide a thorough summary and defence of biblical creationism. I recommend it to anyone wanting to avoid the straw man caricatures of creationism that I have discovered in a range of other publications.
Because this book calls believers to embrace a literal read of Genesis 1-11 as well as providing an example of how to interpret these chapters, I recommend that you purchase this book and make it a basic part of your reading on creationism. Creation, Fall, Restoration will be basic reading in my classes on biblical creationism.
The author shows that only this understanding can promote a proper understanding of the Fall and curse on creation, as well as the redemption provided by Jesus Christ, the Last Adam, and the future restoration at His second coming.
It addresses the objections to these teachings which are sadly found in the wider evangelical community. This book is written in an engaging style, yet provides in-depth analysis of the original languages, with technical grammatical points clearly explained.
Another useful feature of the book is a creation-based answer to environmental concerns, one also informed by the scientific evidence. This is an important counter to the ecofanatical bandwagon, motivated by alarmism and evolutionism, onto which far too many in the church have hopped.