Literature Reviews

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Book Review by Harold G. Coffin
Geoscience Research Institute

GENESIS IN SPACE AND TIME. Francis A. Schaeffer. 1972. Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press. 167 p.

This paperback is a surprising little book. Surprising because one does not usually expect to find a treatment of the book of Genesis from so conservative a standpoint. The author’s thesis is that the earth, the creation story and other events related in Genesis are clearly part of the flow of Biblical history. No volume that I have read shows as clearly the opinion of other Bible authors and Jesus Himself toward the historicity of Genesis. He who denies that the creation account is a propositional statement of historical events is out of harmony with the rest of the Bible.

Schaeffer is a theologian whose writing has the style and to some degree the vocabulary of theology, but as a scientist I found the book to be stimulating and inspiring. There is an atmosphere of reverence and devotion to God as Creator that uplifts the reader. In addition, the insights and further understandings of these first events in earth history are valuable, especially to those who have occasion to teach or speak on the subject of origins.

This book will not convince the skeptic regarding the accuracy of the Genesis account, but to the individual who values the Bible as an authoritative source of information, this book will provide interesting elucidations of the account of origins as given in Genesis.

There are a few paragraphs where I find it necessary to take exception with the author. Most of these are of minor consequence. There is one, however, of rather serious import. On page 57, Schaeffer discusses the meaning of the word “day.” Although no dogmatic position is taken, he allows for a non-literal creation day. He has taken so literal an interpretation throughout most of the rest of his book, that this deviation comes unexpected. He does not employ the traditional strong arguments for literal creation days. To anyone who bases his observance of the Sabbath on a literal interpretation of the creation week, this is a serious variation in interpretation. However, only one paragraph is devoted to this topic. Despite this fault, Genesis in Space and Time is valuable reading for anyone searching for greater understanding of the first book of the Bible.