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God's Pattern for Creation: A Covenantal Reading of Genesis 1 Paperback – October 20, 2003
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"Godfrey gives us an interpretation of Genesis 1 that is clear, concise, and compelling. In this wonderful book he teaches us the practical theology contained in Genesis 1, as well as sound principles for interpreting the rest of Scripture. I heartily recommend God's Pattern for Creation." --Mark Futato
"W. Robert Godfrey understands how to read Scripture texts. In the midst of present confusion regarding Genesis 1, he writes with a clear and proper focus. Genesis 1, according to him, is covenantal and literary and it is for us! I will be giving out many copies of this book." --Bryan D. Estelle
About the Author
W. Robert Godfrey (PhD, Stanford University) is a professor of church history and president of Westminster Seminary California. He is a minister of the United Reformed Churches. He is author of Reformation Sketches: Insights into Luther, Calvin, and the Confessions and God's Pattern for Creation: A Covenantal Reading of Genesis 1. He is coeditor of Theonomy: A Reformed Critique, and contributor to John Calvin: His Influence in the Western World. Godfrey has also written numerous articles. He has been a speaker at many conferences, including the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology, and Ligonier Ministries.
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Godfrey comes to the conclusion the "Days" in Gen. 1 probably were long periods of time based only upon interpretation from the Bible itself. Godfrey is truly a theologian. Nowhere does he give as an argument any discoveries from science, but instead, reaches his conclusion just from the structure of Genesis. Very interesting reading!
Godfrey's ideas have similarities with astrophysicist Hugh Ross's interpretation of Genesis 1, especially in connection with Day 4 (Creation of Sun, Moon, Stars...). Godfrey says: "The Biblical text seems to suggest that day four is not about the creation of a new and different source for the light created on day one but rather is now pointing us to the lights that fill the sky and that always were the source of light. In other words, day one and day four describe the same creative act of God from different perspectives..."
If you want to see a Biblical approach "harmonizing" the Bible's explanation of Creation Days with science (a heretical notion if you're a "24 hr Day" person) Godfrey's analysis comes pretty close explaining how God could have done it.
I highly recommend all of them, including Godfrey's "God's Pattern for Creation," to anyone struggling with reconciling the Bible with the scientific evidence for an old earth or struggling with how to convince young earth creationists that young earth creationism is not the only possible way to interpret the Bible.
In addition to 80+ pages of text supporting compatibility of the Bible with an old earth through a careful examination of the words of the Bible, this book includes appendices on "Calvin on Creation," and "The Reformed Confessions on Creation." It is a worthwhile investment.
Also, this book does not in any way suffer from a jingoistically pro-modern and ultimately offensive, anti-Hebrew perspective that can be found in Jaki's Genesis 1: Through the Ages.