A senior pastor’s faith-based attempt to grapple with the origins of humanity.
“Is it possible one can get so involved in ‘religion’ they miss Christ?” asks McClure (Who Do You Say I Am?, 2013, etc.) at one point in his passionate and rhetorically fluid 2016 book, adding an implicit warning about worship-minded Christians who “know the rules but missed the Savior.” This emphasis on faith instead of faith rituals runs throughout this book, a warning against the ecumenical softening of the present age. “I have been amazed at how many church leaders and Christian education directors have told me that study of the Word of God is too hard and requires too much time,” he writes. His contention is that Bible study is not only essential to the Christian life, but also far easier and more natural than many modern-day Christians believe. He goes on to demonstrate this latter point by conducting a patient, accessible reading of the earliest stories in the book of Genesis, with particular concentration on the creation of humans in the Garden of Eden. “The more I consider Adam’s rising from the dust of the earth,” he writes, “the more I am convinced his origin is the key to unlocking the mysteries of creation.” This key is likewise a familiar theme in McClure’s work, this “hunger” of the faithful for a relationship with God, the duty to “allow ourselves to move deeper into God, closer to the heart of God—to be centered in God.” McClure has read widely and knows his Bible from front to back; his book is softened with many personal stories and peppered with quotes from Scripture. The book contains the usual dangers of a jeremiad: McClure’s “back to basics” approach must ignore legitimate complexity in order to land its points. The combination of personal and pastoral, however, strikes a near-perfect balance between instruction and fellowship. McClure’s Christian readers will read with pleasure.
An energetic, inviting breakdown of sections of Genesis.