In January 2008, a reviewer by the name of Sylvester gave MacArthur's book a one star rating, and attempted to justify his rating by asking the following questions:
"Why do these people waste so much energy ignoring physical realities to cling to the obviously metaphoric writings in Genesis? And why is there anything wrong with scripture authors having used metaphor, or having described the world they know in the only way they knew how, but in such a way as to teach about their faith? Why can't we do the same today? How weak is your faith? How small is your God? These people need to grow up and evolve out of whatever lightless caves they've been cooped up in. (Plato says it isn't easy, but you can do it!)"
While the biblical answers to Sylvester's questions are clearly spelled out in MacArthur's book, I feel almost compelled to respond to his review.
Friends, one of the many reasons Christians cannot accept the theory of evolution is because it destroys the clear, biblical concept that human beings are the "only" part of creation that God made in his likeness (Gen 1:26-27). This idea has massive implications for what the rest of the Bible teaches concerning concepts like righteousness and holiness, sin, substitutionary atonement, eternal life, final judgment, heaven and hell, etc.; concepts that apply to no other creature on earth. Therefore, for Bible-believing Christians to buy into a theory of the origin of humanity which contradicts and makes meaningless these concepts, simply because it was forced upon them by a predominantly atheistic and unbelieving educational system, is not only unwise but spiritually unsafe.
I understand the pleadings of those who consider themselves educated. They want Christians to stop "embarrassing" themselves academically by rejecting the old earth evolutionary thinking that is in vogue today. These pleadings, however (which are often given by professing Christians who have given a lot of time and money to purchase what they had hoped would be a definitive education in the facts of God's world, but which are surly the anti-Christian biases of academically respected non-believers), are biblically misguided. I want to remind my brothers and sisters that the facts they learned in school never, ever speak for themselves. The philosophic axiom of an educated person is that facts must always be interpreted, and whoever is interpreting those facts gets to decide their meaning. And the problem with our educational system is that, if influential, atheistic, anti-Bible educators have been doing the interpreting for their students, what possible conclusion will those students come to, other than an atheistic, unbiblical one?
Friends, what we need is a generation of students who don't simply imitate the beliefs of their highly credentialed educators, as tempting as that often is when one is overawed by a teacher/mentor with an impressive list of academic degrees. But what we need is a generation of critical thinkers who are willing to question their educators (who are often either taught by, or are themselves, sin-damaged and spiritually unregenerate), and trust their Creator's Word. And I would suggest that John MacArthur's book is a good place for them to begin their thinking.
Outside the Bible, this is probably the most important Christian book one can read. The destruction of the foundation (Genesis 1-11) of God's Word is why so many do not believe in the teachings of the Bible. To hold a true Christian/biblical worldview, it is imperative we understand how to properly read and interpret the book of Genesis. Sadly, much of the world looks to the scientific community - a community which for the most part has no belief in God - for an explanation as to our origins - of the universe and of humanity. The result is that the authority of Scripture is undermined at the very beginning. This book is a must read for everyone who is a true Christian.
I am enjoying the book. I have always enjoyed Dr. John MacArthur. He is a excellent writer and his subject matter is always on the point and clear to understand. Thank you for delieving my book on a timely matter. will use you again
Excellent discernement of God's infallible Word !To the reader who defends evolutionary faith, it is he who needs to come out of the caves, as creation does not teach cavemen. This is important because our Creator God is He from Whom all knowledge flows. Noting is too hard or impossible with Him. Evolution is so unscientific, it is more in keeping with science fiction.The Bible agrees with science in the order of creation. Science recognizes that time is relative space, therefore there is no wonderthe seemingly oldness of the world. God is, after all, eternal, so His creation reflects eternality.Evolution makes no sense, therefore it is nonsense.
Not really a question of whether your faith is hanging on, but a way to see that other Christians do believe other than what the Bible says about creation. Excellent book by an excellent author. John MacArthur has studied the Bible long and hard, so when you read his comments, usually they are given by God, not just something that he pulls out of a hat. Would highly recommend this book if you have questions or if you even know of people who do.