You can find more of our recent discussions here and my review and interaction with John Walton’s book here. I would highly recommend reading Professor Walton’s book, which can be purchased here (or through Amazon).
John Walton’s 2009 publication of The Lost World of Genesis One has attracted a significant amount of well-deserved attention. Walton alerts readers to the importance of the ancient Near Eastern context for properly understanding Genesis 1. A central point of the book is that the biblical text is not concerned about material origins, but with assigning function to the various elements of the created order. In other words, Genesis 1 is not about the creation of the material world, but about ordering chaos. Walton supports his position by engaging biblical and extra-biblical evidence, albeit in a popular presentation. (Walton’s academic treatment of this topic, Genesis One as Ancient Cosmology, is scheduled to appear from Eisenbrauns Press later this year)……
….In August of last year, concordist Dr. Vern Poythress (Professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia) offered just such a response in World Magazine. It is one thing to review a book unfavorably, however, it is another thing to inaccurately summarize what the book says and criticize that. Since World Magazine has a very large audience, many of whom will never read Walton’s book, we felt it was important to set the record straight. Just what is Walton saying? How does this differ from what Poythress says he is saying? World Magazine would only allow a brief response in the form of a letter to the editor. Because of the breadth of World Magazine’s readership, the nature of Poythress’s review, and the importance of the topic to all of evangelical Christianity, we felt it appropriate to publish Walton’s response to Poythress in full here…..
Read Walton’s response here:
If you want a brief summary description of Professor Walton’s book, you can find it here in pdf form.