Reclaiming GenesisMay 18, 2010
I’ll soon be rolling out another set of 10 Questions For Expositors interviews. Tomorrow we’ll be putting the questions to Melvin Tinker, who is the vicar at St John’s, Newland in Hull. Melvin Tinker has authored a number of books, including “Why do bad things happen to good people?” and “Wisdom to live by.”
Melvin also has a new book coming out, entitled “Reclaiming Genesis”. Those of us planning to preach on the first 12 chapters of Genesis should think about purchasing it.
Here’s the blurb:
Reclaiming Genesis – The Theatre of God’s Glory – Or a Scientific Story?
Due for release on 2010-08-15. Pre-order today.
Some argue for a literal treatment of the first 12 chapters of Genesis; others accept some form of deistic evolution. But what is its real message? Melvin Tinker argues that we should focus on the intended meaning of the text. Genesis challenges the nations surrounding Israel to a different view of the world. For example, God has no genealogy, unlike gods of surrounding nations. ‘The two great lights’ are so described because the words ‘sun’ and ‘moon’ referred to regional deities. When God rested on the seventh day, the day of contemplation of his good creation, this would have upset the Babylonians who considered seven an unlucky number. This is just the start. Genesis is pregnant with meaning and challenges to both the ancient world and the world today. Here are the foundational themes of the Christian faith: God’s mercy; human dignity and purpose; God’s mission to heal the nations.
Melvin Tinker is fully on wavelength in this lively and enlivening series of expositions. His book is wise, popular and powerful. I heartily commend it.
– From the Forward by J.I.Packer
This book is not only a useful commentary on the foundational chapters of God’s biblical revelation, but also an excellent model of serious reading, study and interpretation of the Bible text which also interacts with powerful contemporary issues in our society that confront us all the time in the media. Faithful exposition of Scripture can be insulated from the contemporary world, and interaction with the contemporary world can be insulated from Scripture. Melvin Tinker gives us a fine example and model of how to make those necessary connections, so essential for Christian living, for apologetics and for evangelism. He combines close attention to the text, the insights of Biblical theology, clarity of presentation, interaction with current ideas, and helpful insights from the past. I praise God for this book and its useful potential for ministry.
– Dr Peter Adam, Principal Ridley College Melbourne.
Avoiding much of the polemical heat without light that has surrounded the treatment of Genesis in the church over recent decades, Melvin Tinker has produced a winsome, warm, thoughtful, and pastoral treatment of the first twelve chapters of this critically important book, where all the major foundations of the human predicament and of salvation are laid down. With the typical breadth of learning and clarity we have come to expect from this author, the book should be in the library of any preacher who wishes to make these passages come alive for his congregation.’
Dr Carl R Trueman
Academic Dean and Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia.
While by no means lacking in appreciation for scientific accounts of the origin of our Universe, for Melvin Tinker Genesis does not compete with science. Here he tells us another story, offering an account of the theological significance of the sweep of early Genesis from Adam to Abraham that is fresh and illuminating. Melvin draws out principles about sin and grace, the plight of man and the power of God. He offers a theological commentary of the sort familiar to readers of early generations of Christian commentators such as Augustine and Calvin, written in a non-technical and easily accessible way for modern readers. Most welcome
Professor Paul Helm, Teaching Fellow, Regent College, Vancouver.
Attempts to tackle the early chapters of Genesis can easily yield polemical or eccentric results. I’m delighted to say that Reclaiming Genesis is at once a warm and sensible book. Melvin Tinker draws on the collected wisdom of the church from Augustine to Polkinghorne, but achieves a genuinely fresh and important perspective on the big ticket items of creation, being human and the fall.
This is all done with a wonderfully rich mix of quotations and illustrations from sources ancient and modern.
The value added of this book is that it manages to combine a convincing apologetic- that engages with current objections and obstacles to Genesis-with a faithful and coherent Biblical theology. This is a refreshing and much needed book I commend it wholeheartedly.
Richard M Cunningham Director of UCCF
Too many interpretations of the early chapters of Genesis are not firmly based on the text of Scripture. It is good that Melvin Tinker brings us firmly back to the Bible and its implications for the 21st century. We are given rigorous exegesis, not polemic about evolution or sinning scientists. We have a marvellous Creator, who is a Cosmic Artist, not simply a clever craftsman. Thank God for people like Melvin Tinker who challenge us with scripture and eschew the contrived way in which some modern commentators treat the Creation narratives.’ Prof R.J.Berry, University College, London
“The author makes the early chapters of Genesis come wonderfully alive by first unfolding the texts within their contexts, and then demonstrating the lasting relevance and impact of their message for us in the 21st century in a way that gives full weight to current science. This accessible book is an essential guide for all those who wish to understand how Genesis speaks to us today”. Prof Denis Alexander, Director of the Faraday Institute Cambridge.
‘Genesis 1-12 is a foundational part of Scripture teaching foundational truths and Melvin Tinker leads us through them with clarity, care and insightful application. Whether wanting to understand these chapters for yourself or teach them to others there is much benefit here.’
Melvin Tinker goes beyond the narrow debate about creation and evolution and applies his sharp mind to the text of Genesis 1-12. The result is a theologically rich overview of foundational biblical truths about God, man, creation and Jesus. If you want to see more of God’s glory, read this book.” Peter Comont- Oxford.
After a helpful and balanced introduction to the differing ways Christians have approached Genesis, Melvin Tinker lifts our sights and our vision to the meaning and purpose of these foundational chapters of the bible. He does so with a refreshing and masterful exposition.”
Dr Richard Turnbull, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.
Published: 1st August 2010
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