When we open up the Book of Genesis we are immediately brought into the beginning (literally the Hebrew word which Genesis comes from bereshit means “beginning”). The important and common question to ask is, “the beginning of what?”. Unfortunately, many people within Church History and often today pick up the Book of Genesis and assume it is detailing the beginning of the physical cosmos. Gaining an understanding of “Covenant Creation” allows for a more true and reasonable apologetic in regards to the creation account.
A familiarity with the Biblical narrative is required to understand the details in the Bible, or in the very least establishing historical context. It is important to understand how terms like “heaven and earth” are used in the whole of Scripture, how six day Temple Texts were used in the Ancient Near East, and how God worked corporately and coventally with Israel, the progeny of Adam, in order to understand the focus of the beginning. The failure of many to “study to show themselves approved” is evident within the Church as many have proposed all sorts of wild notions regarding the purpose and content of Genesis. This leads Genesis discussions rather than understanding the purpose of the text to establish the One True God’s reign in and among His people. That would have been what was most important to establish clarity about, rather than the specifics of how old the planet is or the physical composition/ creation of man.
In more recent years, understanding these details in regards to the Book of Genesis has come to be known as “Covenant Creation”. This view takes into account the framework of the Biblical narrative as the One True God covenanting among His Creation. As authors Tim Martin and Jeff Vaughn note in their seminal work, Beyond Creation Science, “Genesis creation is a symbolic statement, involving real people in real history, describing the “beginning” of God’s covenant world of friendship and relationship with His people”.
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