Last night I started an outstanding book by J.V. Fesko, Last Things First: Unlocking Genesis 1-3 with the Christ of Eschatology. A few friends on Facebook kept recommending the book, so I finally broke down and got a copy. It’s really an amazing book. Check out the quotes and information and get a copy!
Selected Quotes from Introduction
“First, many Christians assume that Genesis 1-2 tells how God created. Yet, when one compares the Genesis account with God’s interrogation of Job (Job 38-41), the two passages differ greatly…Of the sixty-plus questions about the creation that God asks Job, none receives an answer…If one assumes the common interpretive theory on Genesis 1-2, Job could have replied to God, “Yes! I do know. I’ve read Genesis!”…Yes, Genesis is historical – but its intended purpose is not to convey scientific information…Yet this type of interpretation ignores the details, particularly what is absent from the opening chapters of Genesis….Contra the claim of Morris, Genesis 1-11 is a selective history – it does not deal with general world history, but redemptive history, the historia salutis…So when we begin to study the subject of Creation in the Bible we ought to start with the first chapter of the Gospel of John, and some other passages in the New Testament, and not with the first chapter of Genesis…When we examine the first chapter of Genesis in the light of other parts of the Scripture, it becomes clear that the intention is not to give a survey of the process of creation, but to permit us to see the creative activity of God in the light of his saving acts, and so, in its structure, the chapter allows its full light to fall upon man, the crown of the creative work…Genesis 1-3, however, does not record merely the construction of the stage but rather shows in shadows and types the person and work of Christ…The Israelites had left Egypt, a land given over to idolatry and paganism: they were preparing to enter the promised land, a land occupied by idolaters and pagans. If this is the setting, far from calculating the age of the universe, the Genesis account reminded the Israelites of the character of and attributes of the God they serve…Because God created all of these, Genesis 1-2 reminded the Israelites coming out of Egypt that these so-called gods were creatures…All of this textual evidence suggests that one should analyze the creation account not with a view to twenty-first-century scientific questions but rather in the theological and religious context of the Israelite exodus and conquest of the promised land.”
The Table of the Contents
1. Man in the Image of God
2. The Garden-Temple of Eden (excellent!)
3. The Covenant of Works
4. Shadows & Types of the Second Adam
5. The Work of the Second Adam
6. The Sabbath
We think that we know the first three chapters of the Bible well ” Creation and the Fall, we say, knowingly. But have we ever stopped to consider that Jesus in the book of Revelation is called “the last Adam” and the “Alpha & Omega—? Should this make a difference to how we look at the first three chapters of Genesis? Dr. John Fesko says that it does and that without seeing Christ and the end days, we cannot understand the first days.
Over the controversies that surround these first three chapters he says “there are many theologians who represent different schools of thought. Is there a better way to approach the opening chapters of Genesis in spite of the debate? The answer to that question is an unqualified, “Yes—… The way through the impasse is to interpret Genesis in the manner presented in the New Testament. More specifically, one must interpret Genesis 1-3 in the light of Christ and Eschatology.”
By doing this, he is able to explain this important portion of scripture from a holistic Christological viewpoint, one that is consistent throughout scripture. If you are tangled up on origins in Genesis then this may be your way through the maze.
About the Author:
Dr. J. V. Fesko is an Adjunct Professor in Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Atlanta. His Ph.D. in Theology is from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He has a MA in Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX and a BA from Georgia State University. In addition to teaching at RTS, Dr. Fesko is the pastor at Geneva Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Marietta, Georgia.
Other Books by J.V. Fesko
- Last Things First: Unlocking Genesis 1-3 with the Christ of Eschatology
- The Fruit of the Spirit
- Galatians (Lectio Continua Expository Commentary on the New Testament)
- Word, Water, and Spirit: A Reformed Perspective on Baptism
- Where Wisdom is Found: Christ in Ecclesiastes
- The Rule of Love: Broken, Fulfilled, and Applied
- Justification: Understanding the Classic Reformed Doctrine
- The Law Is Not of Faith: Essays on Works and Grace in the Mosaic Covenant