Graduate Christian Fellowship Roundtable
The rift between faith and science in Christian circles today often results in the marginalization of Christians engaged in the sciences, impediments to evangelism, and the attrition of young believers who are told that Christianity is incompatible with the acceptance of evolution or an old earth. John Walton’s work in Genesis 1–3 offers a fresh perspective on this complex issue by seeking to understand the message of Scripture within its ancient context. A close reading of the Genesis creation account and an evaluation of its ancient Near Eastern setting raise the question of whether the Bible provides modern scientific information related to our understanding of the natural world (e.g., cosmology, biology, or human origins), or whether it offers a theological, rather than material, framework for thinking about the cosmos—for example, God made everything and is sovereign over it. This question in turn leads us to inquire whether today’s scientific conclusions regarding old earth, common descent, and parentage of the human race necessarily conflict with the Bible or theology.
John Walton is a professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College. He focuses his research on the literature and cultures of the ancient Near East and the Old Testament, with a particular interest in Genesis. Before his role at Wheaton, John taught for 20 years at Moody Bible Institute. Walton has authored many articles and books, including The Lost World of Genesis One, and has served as general editor of the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament. John’s ministry experience includes church classes for all age groups, as well as serving as a teacher for “The Bible in 90 Days”. John and his wife, Kim, live in Wheaton, Illinois, and have three adult children.
For more information, visit Dr. Walton’s website and check out his book: The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate (InterVarsity Press, 2009)
“John Walton’s work is intellectually exciting and spiritually enriching, thanks to his tremendous breadth of knowledge and his deep commitment to the truth of the Bible. His insights into Genesis have remarkable implications not just for science and faith but for our understanding and worship of the Creator God.”
–Andy Crouch, author, Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling
“I hardly know of an issue more contentious, divisive, and relevant to people serious about their faith. John Walton offers a breath of fresh air. He combines intellectual integrity with a commitment to the Bible’s authority, and I listen carefully to what he says about how to interpret Genesis.”
–Philip Yancey, author