Friday, September 7, 2012

In the Beginning We Misunderstood: Book Notice/Giveaway

Over the years there has been a lot of debate over what science can tell us about human origins and what  role the Bible does or does not play. There are those who say that world was created exactly as described in Genesis 1. Others think that science has the answer and that the Bible is a unreliable. While these are important topics to discuss, the average person who is an expert in neither science nor the Bible can be left out. There has been a need for a good book to help the average person in the pew understand what the Bible has to say on the topic.

I was pleased to receive a complimentary copy of In the Beginning We Misunderstood:Interpreting Genesis 1 in It's original Context (Kregel, 2012) written by Johnny V. Miller and John M. Soden. The book is an examination of the creation story and how we interpret it. Here is the description.
For years, the evangelical church and its members have debated whether the Bible should be interpreted literally or symbolically in regards to the age of the earth. In their groundbreaking new book, In the Beginning . . . We Misunderstood, authors Johnny V. Miller and John M. Soden say that all these arguments have missed the point. Rather, what Christians really need to know is how to interpret the Bible in its original context.
Exposing the fallacies of trying to make the biblical text fit a specific scientific presupposition, Miller and Soden offer a new approach to interpreting Genesis 1 that explores the creation account based on how the original audience would have understood its teaching. First, the authors present a clear explanation of the past and present issues in interpreting the first chapter of the Bible. Second, Miller and Soden break down the creation account according to its historical and cultural context by comparing and distinguishing both the Egyptian and Mesopotamian settings. Finally, they explore common objections to help readers understand the significance that the creation account has for theology today.
Christians need not look any further than Genesis 1 to find clues to its meaning. Both irenic and bathed in Scripture, In the Beginning . . . We Misunderstood will equip every believer to navigate the creation wars, armed with biblically sound explanations.

I read the book this past weekend and found it to be quite accessible and informative.  Miller and Soden's goal is not to promote promote nor refute Darwinism. Rather, they want to help readers understand the purpose of Genesis in its original context. While I might quibble with them over a point here or there I found the book to be well-written and a much needed contribution to the ongoing debate. What I like most about it is the pastoral approach that both Miller and Soden take as they tackle a difficult issue. And that is what makes this book valuable. While many books have been written on the topic, this is one for those in the pew who don't have a degree in theology or science. 

Since I think this book would be helpful for many in the church especially those in leadership looking for a good resource, I am going to give my copy away. Put your name in the comment section below and I will select a winner on Sunday, September 9th. I will post the winner's name on that day and you will have 5 days to claim your prize. 

Many thanks to Kregel Publications for the complementary copy!


  1. Sounds awesome, I'm in!

    Adam Parker

  2. Graham Rutter (from the UK, so not sure whether I'm eligible or not!)
    This sounds like a great book!