Using what she calls a "hermeneutic of adoration" Marva Dawn sets out, in this unique, informal, yet serious work, to reorient the way we think about Creation. Dawn believes that human narcissism is driving our interpretations of Genesis 1-3, and what we need to look for is the reality and supremacy of God in Creation. In turn Dawn's hermeneutic allows us to discover how the creation story can influence and shape our lives. As one of the most creative Christian writers, Marva Dawn's book In the Begining, God simultaneously entertains and bursts with theological content.
With the grace and insight for which she is known, Marva Dawn shows how the opening pages of the book of Genesis rivet our attention on God, calling us to worship and to praise. The repeated words, phrases, and actions themselves beckon us into a rhythm of worship which touches our very souls. By focusing on God, we become different people--not by trying to perfect a technique or follow a set of rules, but by allowing who God is to form who we are. As a result, our attitudes and actions change toward the world God has created. Our desire for justice swells. Relationships between men and women are transformed. The consequences of not centering on God are tragic for creation and culture. Yet here Dawn helps us see anew the grace He offers to overcome our rebellious and wandering hearts. Join in this celebration of praise for the difference God makes.
Marva J. Dawn (Ph.D., Notre Dame) is a theologian, author, educator and teaching fellow in spiritual theology at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia. Some of her books include and .
In this eclectic work, which combines relaxed scholarly analysis with theological reflections, personal anecdotes, exclamations of praise and interwoven prayers, theologian and educator Dawn (Joy in Divine Wisdom) argues, in an informal, conversational tone, that today's narcissistic culture distorts biblical reading by focusing on humanity rather than God. Applying a hermeneutics of adoration to the Genesis creation accounts, Dawn suggests that a foundational trust in God's steadfastness will result in an increased desire to worship God, while also accepting God's mystery. Stating a desire to try to get Christians not to fight about Genesis, Dawn offers her own analysis of contentious topics, such as Eve's role in the Fall, human sexuality and the nature of sin. Although vague subheadings and numerous references to other sections give the book a choppy, unsophisticated feel, Christian educators and worship leaders may appreciate Dawn's intriguing analysis of the creation stories as a hymn of praise, and the chapter Keeping the Sabbath Wholly invites sober reflection for harried faithful. (Aug.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
"This book is a successful example of believing exegesis, well researched and yet accessible to all."
"Marva Dawn's writing turns like a kaleidoscope of truth and grace, and this book is no exception."
"Both Marva Dawn and her book are bold, uncompromising, insightful, imbued with humility and fraught with excitement. Chapter by chapter, she drives the focus off of selfish agendas and on to worship. At the core, In the Beginning, God is about spiritual formation, a call to reorient our thinking away from ourselves and around the worship of God. Dawn points us to first things first, inviting us to see the pattern of praise in the order of creation."
"One of her best-written books to date. Sure to spark serious discussion; she does not fit into tidy categories of left or right, liberal or conservative, and that makes her writing all the more intriguing and refreshing."
"The wisdom and care in these few pages reminds me of Eugene Peterson's writing, reflecting not only careful biblical and theological scholarship but also a pastor's heart. For such a small book, its message is truly radical."
"It takes courage to present our deepest beliefs in an effort to spur intelligent conversation--Marva Dawn does this and leads her readers to do the same."
"Dawn refers to the order of creation as liturgy, calling us to see the pattern of praise. And truly, if our goal in reading Scripture is to worship, then it will change our theology. It takes courage to present our deepends beliefs in an effort to spur intelligent conversation--Marva Dawn dows this and leads her readers to do the same."
"Christian educators and worship leaders may appreciate Dawn's intriguing analysis of the creation stories as a hymn of praise."