“In some ways [Genesis 1-11] are the most important chapters in the Bible, for they put man in his cosmic setting and show him his peculiar uniqueness. They explain man’s wonder and yet his flaw” (9).
I have never widely read Francis Schaeffer, though after finishing this book, I did order two or three of his other books for future reading. I was initially confused by his title, yet after reading just a few pages and orienting myself with his thesis, I recognized that his intent was to verify Genesis’ validity as historical and true, and then to treat each of the major events of Genesis 1-11 as an historian would, though with a heavy dose of theology alongside. His doing so gives the reader a proper perspective of not only biblical history, but universal history, and personal history as well. As mentioned in his preface, these events laid out in the first 11 chapters of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures define for all humanity how special and yet how depraved we really are. But not only that, they also define how transcendent and yet how loving God really is.
Schaeffer takes his readers through Creation, the Fall, the evil and the righteous lines throughout history, and the Flood. In doing so, he develops a sound foundation for the reality that God has never been without a plan: that even from before Creation, He knew that one day His Son would have to–and would–die for the rebellious, sinful humans He still chose to create.
Although Scheaffer’s eight chapters are relatively short, this book is not light reading. The concepts, however, though deep, are terribly necessary. This is a book essential to the Christian believer who might think that the New Testament is all he needs, that the Old Testament is antiquated, fulfilled, and therefore unnecessary. If one is to properly re-orient his thinking to be in line with the full testimony of Scripture and with God’s line of thinking, then he must understand the deep realities of Genesis 1-11. Without these chapters, the New Testament’s answers to the “Why?” of salvation lose their footing. Missionaries across the globe have recognized the importance of beginning with Genesis when sharing the Gospel with those who have never heard the name of Jesus, and Genesis in Space and Time with help you understand why.