This is the first post in a series of three on John Walton’s The Lost World of Genesis One from IVP-Academic. In this post, I will introduce the author followed by posts overviewing the contents and sharing my personal thoughts. Thanks to IVP-Academic for sending along a copy.
I have high expectations for this book because it comes from someone whose work sits on my desk. The privilege of sitting on my desk is actually a big deal for a book, in case you didn’t know. That means I want the book handy, not wanting to walk the extra five feet to the bookshelves in my office. I have the IVP Bible Background Commentary set on my desk for which Walton was a contributor. Of course, as a two volume commentary, it is not the most in depth reference work, but I find it helpful if I’m reading daily lectionary readings or something similar. Otherwise, I’ve read Walton here and there for papers and the like at seminary.
Others of you might remember Walton from, this:
Well, at least we know Walton has a sense of humor.
The back cover of The Lost World of Genesis One lists Walton as a professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College. I’m not sure there are many more prestigious Old Testament faculty positions as far as evangelical colleges go. He has also written or edited a considerable number of books on the Old Testament and ancient world, including co-authoring an introduction to the Old Testament with Andrew Hill, a commentary on Genesis, a book on the cultural context of the Old Testament, and now another Bible background commentary.
Considering the Walton’s teaching background and the number of books he has written, The Lost World of Genesis One has the potential for being a good book on the first chapter of the Bible from an evangelical perspective. The timing also works out pretty well for me to read this book since my Old Testament introduction will start Genesis shortly.
I can already see that one of my preconceived ideas about the book emerging from thinking about the author’s background will prove unwarranted. I left the evangelical world a number of years ago, so when considering Walton’s background, I would imagine him taking the discussion of evolution in a particular direction. And, that certainly doesn’t turn out to be the case. I’m glad. But, for that you will have to wait for the overview of contents and reaction …