The debate about human origins has all but overtaken discussions of 'faith issues' in mainstream media. Each side wishes to present the other as a laughable absurdity, and we are led to believe that historic Christianity is singularly proved or undone by the amassing of scientific research. In this scenario, Science has all the credibility; Christianity has none. None of its own, that is. Faith waits nervously for the ax of 'empirical fact' to fall, and only scientists who happen also to be Christian can save it. Dr. Peter Bouteneff, associate professor of theology at St. Vladimir's Seminary, wonders aloud if polemicists - on both sides - are even asking the right questions, and if there could be something within Christian exegesis that might break up the Creation/Evolution polarity. Examining Christian writers from Paul to the Cappadocians, he asks what they have to say about Adam, creation from nothing, sin, death, time -in short, about the whole purpose of Genesis 1. Beyond what we might want or expect them to say, the Fathers give us a deep and textured dialogue with holy writ surpassing our modern use of the same scriptures. Says Andrew Louth, 'Bouteneff unveils the often surprising riches of our patristic inheritance with a rare intelligence and passion.' 240 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
What are we missing when we look at the creation narratives of Genesis only or primarily through the lens of modern discourse about science and religion? Theologian Peter Bouteneff explores how first-millennium Christian understandings of creation can inform current thought in the church and in the public square. He reaches back into the earliest centuries of our era to recover the meanings that early Jewish and Christian writers found in the stories of the six days of creation and of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Readers will find that their forbears in the faith saw in the Genesis narrative not simply an account of origins but also a rich teaching about the righteousness of God, the saving mission of Christ, and the destiny of the human creature.