9/07/2014

Biblical Portraits of Creation

As the title declares, Biblical Portraits of Creation is indeed a celebration of the Maker of Heaven and Earth. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I plan to use it and encourage its use in preaching and Bible studies. I highly recommend it.

The important, glorious, majestic and dynamic doctrine of creation that emphasizes God as Creator (Gen 1:1) is often a neglected theme of sermons and Bible studies in churches, which favors redemptive historical aspects of the Bible. But Biblical Portraits of Creation faithfully and edifyingly lays emphasis on the utmost importance of God as Creator. It captures the grandeur, glory and majesty of the creation (and new creation) texts of both the Old Testament and New Testament by explaining, expounding and exegeting those texts in an engaging way. (See titles for the 12 chapters and the corresponding biblical text below.) It is an excellent resource for Christians, pastors and lay Bible teachers who wants to preach and/or teach about creation and new creation. The concise and succinct summary points at the end of each chapter is very useful, along with study questions, which can benefit and facilitate group Bible studies and personal reflection.

The epilogue of the book is an appropriate call and a challenge for churches, Bible study groups and preachers to set aside a quarter of their annual Bible studies, sermon series and preaching schedule on multiple texts of the Bible and large blocks of Scripture that proclaims God as Maker of the heaven and earth and of the new heaven and earth, as Creator of life and new life (i.e. redemption). Three months preaching on creation texts seems excessive, but not if the creation message is integrated throughout the 66 books of the Bible with those texts covering all the biblical genres of Historical (Genesis 1:1–2:3, 2:4–25), Wisdom (Psalms 8 and 19, 29, 33, 104, 148, Proverbs 3 and 8, Job 38-39), and Prophetic (Isaiah 65 and 66) books of the Old Testament, and selected passages from the New Testament.

Note: I received this book for free from The Weaver Book Company through Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review. I am under no obligation to provide a favorable review.

1. Wisdom Was There Before God Created the World
     Proverbs 3:19–20 & 8:22–31 
2. In the Beginning God Created the Universe
     Genesis 1
3. A Garden for Adam and Eve
     Genesis 2:4–25 
4. A Divine Ode to Creation
    Psalm 104
5. How Magnificent Is God's Name in All the Earth
    Psalms 8 & 19:1–6
6. The Lord of the Seven Thunders
    Psalm 29
7. Creation by the Word of God
    Psalm 33:6–13 
8. The Noise of Heaven and Earth!
    Psalm 148 
9. Getting the Facts Straight about God and Creation
    Job 38–39 
10. Jesus and the New Genesis Advent
      Matthew 1:1–17
11. The New Heavens and the New Earth
       Isaiah 65:17–25 & 66:22–24
12. Our New Creation Confidence for Proclamation and Living
      2 Corinthians 4:6 & 5:17
      Epilogue: A Call and a Challenge