Book Review: In Six Days God Created
In Six Days God Created: Refuting the Framework and Figurative Views of the Days of Creation, Paulin Bédard, Maitland: Xulon Press, 2013.
In the last number of years, the Canadian Reformed Churches have been troubled by some academics proposing more open-mindedness about creation and its relationship to evolution. Prior to this development, concern was officially expressed about the openness of the United Reformed Churches to the framework hypothesis proposed by Meredith Kline and others. There’s no question that the interpretation of Genesis is a living issue in our churches and others. Therefore, we can be thankful when studious and faithful pastors take up the pen to address these issues and provide sound leadership.
The name of Paulin Bédard will be familiar to many Canadian Reformed readers because so many of us support his missionary efforts in Quebec. Rev. Bédard is a minister of the Reformed Church of Quebec (L’Église Réformée du Québec) living and working in St-Georges de Beauce. He does this work with the assistance of the Owen Sound Canadian Reformed Church and many other CanRCs across the country.
In this book, written in impeccable English, Bédard addresses the troublesome trend towards toleration of anything less than a plain reading of the first chapters of the Bible. In particular, he addresses the framework hypothesis. For those new to the discussion, the framework hypothesis proposes to see the first chapters of Genesis as a theological statement in a literary structure. This structure was not intended to be taken literally, although there may be some historical substance to it. It’s this view that Bédard spends most of his time critiquing. However, he also gives some attention to other figurative interpretations along the same lines as the framework hypothesis.
The author spends the first part of his book answering criticisms of the traditional, literal view of Genesis 1-2. In the second part, he demonstrates how and why the framework hypothesis is problematic. He concludes with a powerful section explaining why this newer interpretation should be regarded as dangerous and not something to be tolerated.
In Six Days God Created needs to get out there into the hands of as many people as possible. This is a powerful and well-argued book on a timely subject. The author grounds his arguments strictly on the Word of God, using biblical and time-honoured methods of interpretation. It is necessary for a book of this nature to venture into the technical side of things from time to time, but I think most adult readers should be able to grasp the points the author is making. Though the book reflects careful scholarship, the main point is clear: we simply need to humbly accept what the Bible plainly and clearly teaches about origins. Such humility and clarity leads me to commend this book most highly. Get it for your home, for your school, and for your church library.
In Six Days God Created can be purchased here and at many other on-line retailers.