The creation-evolution controversy is one of the most contentious in Christianity. It may appear to many to be much less important than issues with more direct moral implications. Yet how we view the relationship between science and religion will have a significant impact on how we live and on how we understand our faith and our world.
Herold Weiss comes to this issue not as a scientist, historian, or a philosopher, but rather as a student of Scripture. He believes that the various authors of Scripture view creation in varied and sometimes contrasting ways. Many discussions of creation focus on the first three chapters of Genesis, but Weiss takes in the entire scope of scripture, looking at creation in the prophets, the wisdom literature, Genesis 2, Genesis 1, Romans, the Corinthian letters, Colossians, Hebrews, and finally Revelation.
In a book of this size it is impossible to study all of these areas in depth, but Weiss provides an excellent overview that will help any student of the Bible gain a better perspective on how creation impacts biblical teaching on a variety of issues. His presentation is representative, rather than exhaustive, but it provides a breadth that is much needed, and often lacking, in discussions of this issue.
No matter in which way the biblical authors viewed creation, they were free to affirm their faith in the Creator. Weiss helps us understand that we, like them, can also affirm our faith in the Creator God no matter how we view the natural world and the universe in which we live. The Bible itself demonstrates the independence of faith from any and all cultural descriptions of the material reality of which we are a part.
Publisher's catalog page: Creation in Scripture (includes a list of additional online retailers)
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Dr. Herold Weiss is professor emeritus of religious studies at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana. He is a native of Montivideo, Uruguay and received his B.A. from Southern Missionary College, his M.A. and B.D. from Andrews University, and his Ph.D from Duke University. He was also an affiliate professor of New Testament in the Hispanic program of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary for many years. Dr. Weiss is author of Creation in Scripture, Finding My Way in Christianity: Recollections of a Journey, Paul of Tarsus: His Gospel and Life and A Day of Gladness: The Sabbath Among Jews and Christians in Antiquity, and co-author (with Cosgrove and Yeo) of Crosscultural Paul: Journeys to Others, Journeys to Ourselves. He has been married to Aida since 1962. They have two grown sons and five grandchildren. They still live in the house they built in the woods of SW Michigan in 1973, in Oronoko Township.
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In Creation in Scripture Herold Weiss presents the essential message that the creation story is complex and is addressed in many ways throughout scripture. As it is, much of the hot debate occurs when people take one particular part of scripture, sometimes out of context and sometimes misinterpreted and then baptize this passage as the one and only infallible description of how God really created or creates. This is the first book I have seen that takes this "overview" approach and considers all the Bible's commentary on Creation. Kudos to Weiss for this contribution.
Richard Colling, Ph.D.
Author of Random Designer
Wading into the often truculent conflicts over creationism and evolution, Herold Weiss offers up the refreshing input of a biblical scholar who is fully attentive to the cultural contexts and religious variety of biblical traditions. While insisting that the life of faith and scientific inquiry each be given their proper respect, Weiss challenges those who would speak theologically about creation to consider more broadly the entire range of biblical evidence, rather than privileging a few chapters from Genesis. Crafted with great clarity and a wealth of knowledge, readers are treated to a lavish feast of biblical views of creation, from the prophets and Wisdom literature to the letters of Paul and the apocalyptic world of Revelation. What a remarkable little book: at once a bold challenge to creationism, exposing its reactionary impulses and indicting its ideological abuses of the Bible; and, at the same time, a generous invitation for thoughtful Christians to celebrate the amazingly rich and varied portraits of creation, and thereby to bolster their faith in the Creator in a way that is both well-conceived and biblically based.
Terence J. Martin, Ph.D.
Professor of Religious Studies
St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana
In this brief and concise volume, Dr. Weiss demonstrates the importance of exploring the entirety of Biblical evidence on this all too often divisive topic. With clarity and concrete example, he makes clear that this subject does not lend itself to simplistic answers. This volume makes a significant contribution to conversations regarding creation and the Bible. It is my hope that people of faith will use this helpful book to further future dialogue among those who value both Scripture and the human reason with which we have been graced by our loving Creator God! For those who believe that one can be both scholarly and faithful, this is a 'must read' book!
Rev. Dr. Robert R. LaRochelle
Author, Crossing the Street and Part Time Pastor, Full Time Church
Pastor, United Church of Christ
Most studies of creation in the Bible have focused on the first two chapters of Genesis, with little reference to the rest of Scripture where much discussion of creation is found. With characteristically wide understanding of the languages, and the historical and cultural contexts in which the Bible was written, and with deep theological insight and spiritual sensitivity, Dr. Weiss has made an important contribution toward rectifying this imbalance. Reading this book will reward everyone concerned with issues regarding the doctrine of creation.
Professor of New Testament Emeritus
McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago
This is a “must read” book for anyone interested in the current discussions on the concept of creation in the Bible, its cultural context, and its relation to current views in science and evolution. It is authoritative, cogent, masterfully articulated. I've read widely on this topic and have never read anything its equal. It pulls no punches. Better yet, it is timely, wise, and faith affirming.
La Sierra University