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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A valuable contribution to the debate
This book focuses on the creation account given in the early part of the book of Genesis and seeks to interpret it treating the text as authoritative scripture. Professor John Lennox makes the case for allowing scientific knowledge to influence this, where different interpretations are possible. To illustrate this he spends a couple of chapters covering the historic...
Published on 3 Oct 2011 by RMB

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK
Having enjoyed Lennox's other book 'God's Undertaker' I was a little disappointed by this one.

Whilst he discusses the different options for understanding the creation account in Genesis, he seems to come down on the side that the 'days' were actual 24 hr periods but that there were aeons of time between each day, thus fitting with the scientific conclusion...
Published on 7 Dec 2011 by Peter Culbert


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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A valuable contribution to the debate, 3 Oct 2011
This review is from: Seven Days That Divide the World (Hardcover)
This book focuses on the creation account given in the early part of the book of Genesis and seeks to interpret it treating the text as authoritative scripture. Professor John Lennox makes the case for allowing scientific knowledge to influence this, where different interpretations are possible. To illustrate this he spends a couple of chapters covering the historic case of how opinion changed to accept that the earth is not fixed in space and that this is consistent with scripture even though many people initially thought not. He then goes on to explain different models of how Genesis has been interpreted and to argue which view fits both science and the biblical text the best. He argues for old earth creationism with progressive literal 24 hour creation days separated by long periods in between. On these days he sees God as providing information and energy to get life started and cause major changes followed by periods of micro-evolution with human beings created as an act of special creation. His position therefore seems to be one of 'intelligent design.' He then goes on to give the theological message of Genesis 1. The main part of the book is then followed by 5 annexes covering some issues in more detail. The book is short and concise at 192 pages (smaller pages then normal) including the annexes and is easy to read and clear. In my opinion he certainly says a lot of wise and insightful things and I think most people would learn something from reading his book. However, I wasn't convinced by some of his arguments. One of the key problems with his interpretation is Origen's observation that the Sun was created/made on day 4. This is a problem for 'days' 1 to 3. As Henri Blocher points out in his book 'In the beginning' (p45-46) 'made' should not be changed into revealed just to fit an interpretive scheme when the Hebrew of Genesis has a perfectly good word for appear. Also, God commands the land to produce all the different types of plants and animals (1:11-12, 24). God empowers the land to do all this and this fits well with the modern theory of evolution (See John Hartley, 'New International Biblical Commentary - Genesis', p57). So the Genesis text seems to be consistent with macro as well as micro evolution by unthinking material process. Perhaps God had already supplied the 'information' required? Lennox does not explain how his model accommodates the several mass extinctions throughout the history of life on earth or the fact that most species are extinct. In stating a case for a special creation of human beings he does not explain what causes humans to have fossilized genes or why retroviruses are inserted at specific places in the human genome which are at the same place as lower life forms. Perhaps this is too much to expect in a short book like this. For those who wish to read more widely on this subject I recommend Denis Alexander's 'Creation or Evolution - do we have to choose' and Henri Blocher's book 'In the Beginning' (first 2 Chapters) both of which I learned a lot from. In summary, Professor Lennox's book is well worth reading but I'd recommend reading some other books on this subject as well and then critically reflecting on what you have read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading if you don't know what to believe., 9 Aug 2013
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As a Christian I often consider this topic and am not sure what to believe. Scientists want one version, theologians another. This is a clear explanation and from a theologian scientist. Excellent!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good - and then frustrating.., 23 Nov 2012
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The book is very well argued, but in parts leaves me wishing for more detail. An interesting response to Lennox's views can be found in a book review on Answers In Genesis website.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A scientific and theological look at Genesis 1, 20 Oct 2011
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rossuk (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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John C Lennox is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. His first three books focused on the arguments of the New Atheist's. Now he looks at the Genesis account of creation, using the lens of both science and theology. I am an old earth creationist and I adopt the framework view on Gen 1 which Lennox discusses. He has five chapters and five appendices.

1. But does it move? A Lesson from history.
2. But does it move? A lesson from scripture.
3. But is it old? The days of creation.
4. Human beings: a special creation?
5. The message of Genesis 1

Appendices
A. A brief background to Genesis.
B. The cosmic temple view
C. The beginning according to Genesis and science.
D. Two accounts of creation?
E. Theistic evolution and the God of the gaps.

The book is also endorsed by Alvin Plantinga, Ravi Zacharias and Paul Copan among others. This book will suit Christians who have a science background and/or have an interest in science and religion.

NB. Appendix E has an extended discussion on theistic evolution. I would regard myself as a theist evolutionist and Lennox discusses this issue at length. He does refer to Paul Davies, Dennis Alexander and Francis Collins. His analysis on theistic evolution is worth the price of this book.

Appendix B. On the cosmic temple view on Gen 1-3, i.e. it is God's sanctuary. I think that there is some truth to this, in that Rev 21-22 shows the New Jerusalem as a place in which God dwells. The parallels with Eden should be obvious.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A scientific and theological look at Genesis 1, 21 Oct 2011
By 
rossuk (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Seven Days That Divide the World (Hardcover)
John C Lennox is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. His first three books focused on the arguments of the New Atheist's. Now he looks at the Genesis account of creation, using the lens of both science and theology. I am an old earth creationist and I adopt the framework view on Gen 1 which Lennox discusses (p44). He has five chapters and five appendices.

1. But does it move? A Lesson from history.
2. But does it move? A lesson from scripture.
3. But is it old? The days of creation.
4. Human beings: a special creation?
5. The message of Genesis 1

Appendices
A. A brief background to Genesis.
B. The cosmic temple view
C. The beginning according to Genesis and science.
D. Two accounts of creation?
E. Theistic evolution and the God of the gaps.

The book is also endorsed by Alvin Plantinga, Ravi Zacharias and Paul Copan among others. This book will suit Christians who have a science background and/or have an interest in science and religion.

NB. Appendix E. has an extended discussion on theistic evolution. I would regard myself as a theistic evolutionist and Lennox discusses this issue at length. He also refers to Paul Davies, Dennis Alexander and Francis Collins. His analysis on theistic evolution is worth the price of this book.

Appendix B. On the cosmic temple view on Gen 1-3, i.e. it is God's sanctuary. I think that there is some truth to this, in that Rev 21-22 shows the New Jerusalem as a place in which God dwells. The parallels with Eden should be obvious (a river and the tree of life).
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK, 7 Dec 2011
By 
Peter Culbert - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Seven Days That Divide the World (Hardcover)
Having enjoyed Lennox's other book 'God's Undertaker' I was a little disappointed by this one.

Whilst he discusses the different options for understanding the creation account in Genesis, he seems to come down on the side that the 'days' were actual 24 hr periods but that there were aeons of time between each day, thus fitting with the scientific conclusion that the earth and the universe are billions of years old. I suppose I had never thought of this interpretation but I do find it rather strange. I think a better understanding is that the 'days' were not 24 hr periods but rather simply periods of time - how can you have a 'day' as we understand it if the sun did not exist until the 3rd day (which also applies even if the sun already existed but was not used as the source of energy for the earth until then).

He also believes that the last 2 days should be viewed differently from the 1st 5, as on the 6th day God created mankind (supernaturally) and on the 7th he rested, which Lennox believes God is still doing, ie He no longer 'creates'. Whilst I have serious doubts about evolution in explaining the development of life on earth, I am also not convinced that God simply created man and woman by a miracle and placed them in a garden. Still, I wasnt there so who's to know?!

Lennox did make me think about some things which Id never thought about before, eg that man's sin only brought death to mankind, not all living things on earth which many people probably assume. I think alot of us have an image of the pre-fall world as being 'perfect', that all animals were vegeterian and only started to eat each other after man sinned. Lennox also makes the point that God made a 'garden' for man perhaps indicating that it was only within this area on earth that was perfect for man - after the fall he was thrown out of Eden and it was down hill from there on.

I suppose Im the kind of person who wants definite answers to questions, but in the end none of us really knows how it all came to be - we'll find out one day, and just might be surprised.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 10 Feb 2014
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John Lennox displays hugh insight into this subject and yet presents it in a manner understandable even by me. Well word a read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Talk about solid answers..., 6 Feb 2014
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Had to admit I wasn't expecting this! Quite the honest, thoughtful, increasable insightful, intelligent and challenging reflection upon Genesis and how the world came to be.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book for Christian, Agnostic or Atheist alike!, 1 Jan 2014
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This is an ideal book for anyone who works in science or is merely interested in science and finds they find it very hard to accept the claims of Christianity or even any belief in God, on the grounds that science appears to have disproved all that stuff. Especially all that stuff about creation. Prof Lennox eloquently and convincingly looks at the evidence that can be drawn from well documented facts and draws well reasoned conclusions that may surprise or even shock you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, readable, highly recommended, 30 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Seven Days That Divide the World (Hardcover)
In the introduction to this book John Lennox describes how he once met a brilliant professor of literature from a country where it was not easy to discuss the Bible publically. The professor was intrigued that John Lennox was a scientist who believed the Bible and very politely asked a question: "We were taught at school that the Bible starts with a very silly unscientific story of how the world was made in seven days. What do you have to say about that as a scientist?" John Lennox goes on to say that this book is written for people like her, who have been putting off even considering the Christian faith for this kind of reason. It is also written for many convinced Christians who are disturbed by the controversy and by the fact that those who take the Bible seriously do not agree on the interpretation of the creation account.

The first chapter draws lessons from history and looks at the challenge that the scientific theory put forward by Galileo that the earth was moving posed to the generally accepted biblical view of the sixteenth century.

The second chapter looks at some principles of biblical interpretation and applies them to the controversy. The third chapter looks more at the seven days and how they can be considered. In doing this the author carefully analyses the different ways that the creation account is interpreted, as well as considering the views of the church fathers. The conclusion is that the biblical text is probably far more nuanced than we usually consider it to be.

The forth chapter considers the place of humans in the creation account and more particularly the fall and the resulting entry of death. It becomes increasingly clear that we need to pay careful attention to what the biblical text actually says rather than what we think or even presume that it says.

The fifth and final chapter considers what the message of creation is, particularly from a New Testament perspective. It considers something of what God is like; that he is the Light and that he creates by his Word. It also contains some thoughts on the Sabbath day.

There are also some appendices including: cultural and literary background to Genesis; the cosmic temple view and theistic evolution. The latter contains the only disappointing part of the book in my opinion. Having spent a considerable time carefully discussing the possible interpretation of the biblical text in order to establish that an old earth as accepted by scientists is completely in accord with what the Bible says, John Lennox very quickly dismisses evolution without the same careful analysis. His approach to this element of the controversy is in marked contrast to the rest of the book.

The book is in general well written and readable. It is much easier reading than John Lennox's book God's Undertaker and I would highly recommend it. Indeed I have lent it to several people already.
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Seven Days That Divide the World
Seven Days That Divide the World by Lennox John (Hardcover - 20 Sep 2011)
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