Thursday, June 28, 2018

Book Review: The Seven Pillars of Creation by William P. Brown

I almost didn't read this book. In fact, I got it from the library and returned it previously, because I didn't want to read yet another book about Genesis 1-3. That was a mistake. This book starts with Genesis but its focus is spread throughout the canon. The whole point of the book is that there are five other accounts of creation beyond the two at the beginning of Genesis, and we need to read them all together. The other five are Job, Psalms (104 in particular), Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and 2nd Isaiah. Brown's book stands out for several reasons beyond just its canonical breadth: he writes fluidly and poetically about both Scripture and science, mixing them expertly so that you not only think but feel that these are two sides of the same story. Brown is also content to let the accounts clash, and in the last chapter when he brings the seven accounts together the sparks fly. My favorite chapters are on Job and 2nd Isaiah, but the main point is that all these are more than the sum of their parts, and there's no better way to show how big the theology of creation is than to actually step beyond the first three chapters of the Bible.

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