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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publications (1 Jan 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845502299
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845502294
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 13.9 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,090,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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, John 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.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In the 'God Delusion' Richard Dawkins claims that the books of the Bible have very little relation to each other. If that is one of his arguments for dismissing scripture he really ought to read this book. Fesko argues convincingly that the first three chapters of the very start of the Bible (Genesis 1-3) have huge implications for the work of God that is fulfilled in Jesus Christ and link very clearly with the last part of the book of Revelation. The major themes are covered if one wants to understand this. 'The Garden Temple', the 'Covenant of Works' and particularly the work of Christ as the 'Second Adam'. Some might find this a little bit theoretical in places but Fesko always sets his argument within the framework of scripture and by dealing with how the start of the Bible points to the end. This also gives a framework that helps us understand the scripture in between and hence its message. Anyone who is serious about their faith would do well to read this book.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good work in Covenant Theology 30 Jun 2007
By A. Blake White - Published on Amazon.com
J.V. Fesko is a pastor and Adjunct Professor in Systematic Theology at RTS Atlanta. The sub-title of this book (222 pp) is 'Unlocking Genesis 1-3 with the Christ of Eschatology.' I am growing deeper and deeper in love with eschatology. A wrong tendency among Christians is to narrowly associate eschatology with the last days before Christ returns (rapture, millennium, tribulation, helicopters, etc..). I think the Left Behind series is partly blame for this mistake. I hate those movies. Anyway, the New Testament as a whole is eschatalogical. The entire Old and New Testaments are forward looking. When Christ came to earth, he ushered in new age. Fesko argues that we must read Genesis (and indeed the whole Bible) eschatalogically. Here is the layout of the book:
1. Man in the Image of God
2. The Garden-Temple of Eden
3. The Covenant of Works
4. Shadows and Types of the Second Adam
5. The Work of the Second Adam
6. The Sabbath
7. Conclusion
The thesis of the book is that Genesis 1-3 not about science or world history, but about the failed work of the first Adam, a fact which points the reader to the person and work of the second or eschatalogical Adam. Fesko laments the fact that all too often, studies in Genesis focus on science and how God created, when we should instead be focusing on the entry point of the Last Adam. Throughout the book, he shows the important connections between the first and last Adam. Adam was to function as God's image-bearer as a prophet, priest, and king. He was to be a priest in Eden, which he argues convincingly (following Beale) was a Temple, not a farm. Fesko is a covenant theologian through and through (in the tradition of Vos), taking John Murray to task (or attempts anyway) in chapter 3. Fesko walks through the covenants in the OT in chapter 4 showing the continuity throughout. Chapter 5 was worth the price of the book. Chapter 6 shows that Christ is the fulfillment of the Sabbath, and we find Sabbath rest by resting in him.
Overall this book was helpful. Fesko seems to ignore the Davidic Covenant throughout the book though. I am not sure why, but you just don't read much about it. He considers "the three major covenants" the Noahic, Abrahamic, and Mosaic. Also, I am not a covenant theologian. I think the terms covenant of works, and covenant of grace are unhelpful. I bought the book knowing he would be arguing for the validity of both. I still enjoyed it very much though, despite these disagreements.
"Christ will fulfill the dominion mandate--he will produce offspring that bear his image, the image of God, and fill the new creation to the ends of the earth." 177
"Eschatology, therefore, is not merely the final locus at the end of systematic theology. Rather, it is the lens through which all other loci must be understood." 200
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Protology 25 Mar 2010
By RH - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In accordance with his introduction, Fesko's hermeneutic presupposition are applied thoroughly in "Last Things First." He examines Genesis 1-3 in the same way Christ, the prophets, and the apostles did: eschatologically. Christ defines what man ought to be: "Christology defines anthropology." Christ is the perfect prophet, priest, and king. Christ fulfilled the covenant of works. In order to gain a complete perspective of the first Adam, it is necessary to know the second Adam. In order to know the protological - the first things - it is necessary to know the eschatological - the last things.

While the whole work is very fine, the arguments he presents for Eden as a type of the temple are superb. Having listened to one of his Systematics lectures, I could tell even from that brief experience that Fesko knows his typology, and I hope to read more from him along this vein in the future.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fresh Look at Genesis 31 July 2012
By JWAlex - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have found "Last Things First" to be a very refreshing and interesting look at Genesis. He has certainly made and proved his position. It is easy to read and follow his arguments and (for me) the reader finds himself rejoicing in God's greatness in the glorious goal of redemption and restoration.

My only negative is the author's effort to distance himself from the traditional view of creation--that God created the universe is six literal 24-hour days. Science is based on imperical evidence, which disqualifies it from ever arriving at the truth of creation. It makes theories and throws them out only to make better ones, but can never prove first cause.

Otherwise, I highly recommend the read.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After Their Kind 10 Dec 2009
By Jacques Schoeman - Published on Amazon.com
Religious fundamentalists as found In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose To Believe In Creation have through a spirited effort attempted to mobilize public opinion to authenticate their own fraught account of God's announcement of creation, and have subsisted on forcing the thread of modern science through the eye of the divine needle of Genesis. John Fesko lays the framework for the debate in his introduction and the first chapter through the placement of a view garnered from the most archaic of sources, and in a timely riposte shows that there is sufficient historical precedent for the abandonment of the creation science and 7th Day Adventist purview. It will not be conceitedly claimed that the findings of science are synonymous with revelation.

Fesko is not ignorant of scientific advances, or of progressive revelation, but employs care to secure what Scripture (and that is all of Scripture - not the proof-texting of sects!) is attempting to communicate, not as a last resort, but as first recourse: Christ as Alpha and Omega. To inform us of the immediate historical context Fesko rightly begins with the origins of man, 'Man In The Image Of God'. If Adam had fulfilled the covenant of works, we would have been confirmed in righteousness, holiness and knowledge with him. He did not. Therefore, to fulfill the interpretive mandate set by Christ (Luke 24:27), Fesko wastes no time in turning our attention to the eschatological Adam, 'Christ In The Image Of God'. By the first glimpses of divine prothesis, Fesko casts christocentric light on the Authorial intent of redemption: "those whom God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom 8:29). Adam, the first image bearer of God, failed to function as a gifted prophet, priest and king which necessitated and foreshadowed the second image bearer's coming.

In 'The Garden-Temple Of Eden' Fesko recovers the ground lost to simplistic proof-texting by reacquainting us with GK Beale's authoritative findings and Gordon Wenham's 'Sanctuary Symbolism'. Parallels, as are becoming increasingly more clear, are resplendent in Scripture that support the Garden as the archetypal temple, and further used to describe the activity of God and man. Adam's priestly role of "guarding" [Heb: samar] the sanctuary in Gen 2:15 adds a robust philological facet to the spiritual significance of his failure to do so; and Christ's ability to "keep" the commandments of God. Here especially Fesko makes good grounds exegetically to show that 'the presence of the temple set the activity of man in an entirely different light.' p 75

Again, Fesko restores focus on Christ as the covenant consummator by introducing the basic elements of cutting a covenant which are clearly in attendance between God and His creation masterpiece, man. Hence, progressive revelation lends undeniable evidence of Adam's and Israel's failure to keep covenant with Yahweh. The scriptural similarities with Christ's probation are sufficient to draw attention deliberately to Jesus in His representative role as Israel, God's obedient Son (Isaiah 49:3, 5). Expanding on the seminal work of Meredith Kline, Fesko posits creation in a covenantal-christological context and studies the scriptural continuance of this throughout the OT in 'Shadows & Types of the Second Adam'.

Chapter 5, 'The Work Of The Second Adam', also brings Fesko's labors to a climax. Protology is drawn principally from the person and work of the two Adams. The Second Adam takes up the work of the first. Fesko introduces Vos (Biblical Theology p 322) to the scene to augment the exquisite work of the superintending Holy Spirit in hovering and brooding over creation in Gen 1:1, which corresponds to the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove hovering and brooding over the new Adam, found in all four Gospels (Matt 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32). Fesko's scholarly attempt climaxes in crowning his argument with the antitype of them all: "Christ according to the flesh" (Rom 9:5), which Fesko draws from the life, death and resurrection of Christ. The protological hymn of Phil 2:5-6, in alignment with Gen 1:26-27, sees the Second Adam finding divine approbation only by becoming the exemplar par excellence of self-denial. A winsome ecclesiological subadditive by Fesko is 'that the church is the helpmate of the Second Adam'. p 146

'The Sabbath' is highly remedial and archetypal of the eschaton. Fesko cites Professor Gaffin: 'The fulfillment of the church's hope represents nothing less than the fulfillment of the original purpose of God in creation, or more accurately, the realization of His purposes of redemption is the means to the end of realizing His purposes of creation.' The eschatological hope of rest, though still not consummated, may be taken as granted when viewed in the full light of our merit being secured by 'the Man of heaven' (1 Cor 15:49): 'The promise of the protevangelium culminates in the events surrounding the crucifixion.' p 161
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved every minute. 2 Nov 2013
By Christine E Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent! This book helped to create a much needed framework for better understanding redemptive history. Take it slowly and enjoy the well written challenge.
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