Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Next Story - Tim Challies - Genesis 1:28 and Sloppy Exegesis

What follows is my brief review of Tim Challies "The Next Story"

Tim Challies isn't offering anything ground-breaking here: the basic requisition I took was that as a Christian should use discernment with the world of rapidly-changing technology.  Sure. 
But some better exegesis of Genesis in the first chapter would have made a much better lasting impression. In the first chapter, Tim Challies speaks about the creation mandate from Genesis 1 and refers to this as " WAS supposed to be fruitful and multiply." "Was"? Maybe I missed the part in Scripture where this divine injunction was rescinded. He then goes on to make the somewhat ridiculous statement that this mandate has less to do with having children and more to do with "developing the social world by building families, churches, cities, etc." The creation mandate is, at its core, about FILLING the earth, not just Challie's notions about utilizing technology for practical purposes and promoting human flourishing.  That sort of chucked me off early into the reading.

I think there's a bigger issue at state here, overlooked by Challies, and that's that evangelicals today have bought into the secular ideas of being "responsible", limiting their children to 2-3, so that more personal time and resources can be devoted to the latest Sheepware that the Apple store rolls out, so that then technology becomes THE big issue to be concerned about.  But far more important than irrelevant shifting technological patterns would be shifting DEMOGRAPHIC patterns. The Muslims of Europe understand this and are continuing to produce sizable families... are Evangelicals even aware of this or are they too caught up in updating their Facebook profile or being concerned about the irrelevent use and misuse of technology, all of which would be rendered completely useless if and when the power is ever knocked out.


  1. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for the review; I am about halfway through this book at the moment. Did you notice the sentence a bit further along in Ch 1, where he says, "Though man's relationship with God was disrupted by sin, and the world changed by God's curse, the mandate and the desire to create and multiply remained."?
    Cheers, Steve

  2. Thanks for visiting Steve. In terms of Challies view of the creation mandate, if the mandate remains (which I believe it does) why would he refer to it in a past-tense of "was" instead of "is"?

    The creation mandate is an interesting one, much like head coverings in I Cor. 11, in which the command is specifically there, and its never been rescinded, but it seems like many celeb evangelists like to avoid/dodge/dance around these. I'm just a guilty, mind you, but I still think its worth noting when reviewing a book like this. :)