Dr. Heck presents a theological defense of young earth creationism through a straightforward reading of the first chapter of Genesis as narrative history. This book works well for topic study on creation and for Old Testament studies on the text of Genesis. Much has been written on the creation from the scientific view, but little has attempted to explain the text of Genesis 1. A failure to read Genesis 1 as narrative history almost always comes as a result of the reader bringing presuppositions on the assured results of science. The first chapter of Genesis must be taken as historical fact!
This booklet sets forth the position of the Bible on the message of Genesis 1, particularly as it has to do with the creation/evolution debate. Someone once described himself as having been “liberated from literalism.” Presumably, he was referring negatively to the position that takes Genesis 1 literally, that is, as a statement of historical narrative. As a result of being liberated from literalism, he was enslaved to a falsehood. The issue for a proper understanding of Genesis 1 is not a literal versus a figurative interpretation; it is a question of the intended message of the text. There is nothing wrong with taking literally a passage that is intended to be taken literally, that is, according to the letters. Most of the time, to take a passage literally is to take it seriously.
The Work of His Hands and In the Beginning Set >
About the Author
Dr. Joel D. Heck is Professor of Theology at Concordia University Texas. He holds a ThM in Old Testament from Trinity Evangelical Divinity and a ThD in Exegetical Theology from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
One hundred and fifty years after Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, the origins debate continues to flare in homes, schools, and churches. For those committed to a biblical understanding of reality, responding to claims made in the name of “science” is thus an ongoing challenge—one for which Joel Heck provides timely, useful resources. This book is an excellent short introduction to the meaning and significance of Genesis 1, and will help anyone looking for knowledge and guidance.
—Dr. Paul A. Nelson, Fellow, Discovery Institute, Adjunct Professor, Biola University
It is a rare pleasure to find a theologian courageous enough to take the first chapter of Genesis at face value, disregarding those of his peers who feel they must kowtow to the latest fad in “science.” Dr. Heck explains the passage clearly, showing it is historical narrative supported by true scientific research—not myth, poetry, or vague allegory.
—D. Russell Humphreys, PhD, physicist, author of Starlight and Time
Dr. Heck addresses the creation-evolution debate by starting in the right place: the reliable Word of God. Using scholarly analysis and research, Joel Heck allows the text to declare the wondrous creation account. If you want to tackle the big questions about creation in a faithful and intelligent way, this book is the place to start.
—Rev. Michael W. Newman, author of Struggle Well and Revelation: What the Last Book of the Bible Really Means
Mission and Ministry Facilitator, Texas District LCMS
I am encouraged to read Dr. Heck's strong and uncompromising Biblical stand concerning Creation. It is assuring to one’s faith to know that Scripture means what Scripture records from the very beginning of time itself. Joel offers a perfect balance of clear biblical word study and relevant scientific application that can be understood by clergy and laity alike. This is a gift to the church.
—Rev. Steven J. Misch, author of the Bible study Out of Nothing: The Word, Creation and Faith
Dr. Heck dispels modern “scientific” myths about the origins of life and the world. He affirms that God alone is the Creator of the universe. His booklet is packed with scientific facts and persuasive arguments that support the plain sense of Scripture. You can confidently profess that “God the Father Almighty” is “maker of heaven and earth” (Apostles’ Creed), which is essential for the truth that Jesus Christ alone is your Savior.
—Dr. Christopher Mitchell, Editor, Concordia Commentary Series
This little book is perfect for any pastor or layman who wishes to defend God’s great work of creating the world in six 24-hour days. The evidence is all laid out with great references to the technical literature. The book is a primer to the pastor who needs to be ready to answer the questions of his catechumens and parishioners. This is the evidence you need to set forth your case.
—Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray, Senior Pastor, Memorial Lutheran Church, Fifth Vice-President, LCMS, author of A Year With the Church Fathers
It’s refreshing to read a scholar who respects God’s Word and the doctrine of creation. In a readable style, Dr. Heck explains that Scripture and science are in harmony with “In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth.” This book demonstrates how God’s Word demands an ordinary understanding of Genesis, namely God created the world supernaturally. Joel also provides evidence from God’s Word that science demands the same conclusion. I recommend this book to those seeking the truth about origins.
—Prof. Gary Locklair, PhD, Concordia University Wisconsin