The opinions and views set forth in this blog post are entirely mine. If there is a serious argument with the author of the book, I will attempt to address it in a fair, sympathetic, and yet truthful manner. You are welcome to comment on the book review but be sure to do so in the same fair, sympathetic, and truthful manner espoused by my review. Please avoid personal comments, gossip, and slander as they have no place on my blog. Thank you and enjoy the review!
by Albert M. Wolters
W.M. B. Eerdmans Publishing
There are some books that I have from my days at U. Mobile that I have not managed to read; some are glaring like Brian McLaren’s Everything Must Change, but others have been unimposing and honestly unnoticed. My wife Candice picks out two of the three hard copy books I read at a time (I pick the other and all of my Kindle reads), and this round she picked Albert M. Wolters’ Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview. I have considered reading this work once or twice just to start knocking out the books I have had for years and not touched, but something else always looked more interesting. So, when Candice decided on this one it gave me an opportunity to dive in, and I was not at all disappointed.
Creation Regained (CR from now on) is constructed around five main sections that dissect three main themes: Creation, Fall, and Redemption. Wolters opens with the question “What is a worldview?” and proceeds to unpack a Christian worldview around themes of Creation, Fall, and Redemption. A final chapter discusses the issue of structure and direction; he talks these two concepts subtly throughout the book’s course. Finally, there is a postscript concerning how the biblical story’s worldview translates into mission. Thus, CR is organized in a consistent, linear, and clear manner. I do not think that CR was meant for the simple reader; the language would be over their heads. The subject matter is more academic and I think the audience Wolters was shooting for is a niche audience. (+1 Star)
CR addresses the topic of worldview especially in how it relates to Christian worldview of Creation, Fall, and Redemption. Wolters’ own purpose is to “spell out the content of a biblical worldview and its significance for our lives as we seek to be obedient to the Scriptures.” The stated purpose is one that Wolters pursues his entire work, though he focuses more on spelling out the content than digging into the significance of that worldview in practice. (+1 Star)
The content for CR was quite good. I have read a lot of books about the overall meta-narrative of Scripture and this was by far the most thorough but concise work on the subject. Each part of the narrative was masterfully dissected and the implications made clear. The underlying assumption was “structure and direction;” Wolters explains that Creation was structurally made “good” even though the direction of the Creation was taken toward evil by the Fall, an event where Adam and Eve rebelled against God in Eden. Eventually the structurally “good creation” will be made directionally “good” again when the full redemption, purchased by Christ, is realized. There were a few wonky moments when Wolters implied that modern art was wrong because it denied and was in rebellion against the structure of the Creation, but other than that, the work was solid. (+1 Star)
CR is not a sentimental book; there are not a lot of illustrations and a lot of the material is never brought home emotionally. This is the only shortcoming of the entire work, why it is not getting five stars. I enjoyed reading CR because of the content, not so much the emotional engagement. (-1 Star)
CR is not an original work, nor is its formulation of the Christian worldview a new one. However, I was impressed by how concisely, accurately, and clearly Wolters was able to explore the motif of Creation, Fall, and Redemption. His whole chapter on structure and direction was also helpful in understanding how Creation can be good and yet currently bent toward evil. So, while not at all original, the quality of the work makes it unique. (+1 Star)
Creation Regained is a well-crafted look at how the themes of Creation, Fall, Redemption allow the Christian to respond from a biblical viewpoint, rather than the pure science and situational ethics of a fallen world. Because the Creation is structurally good, made so by a good God, there are aspects in which we can glimpse a reflection of the glory of God, even in this sinful, broken world. Right now, the direction of Creation has been pulled toward evil because of our rebellion, but in Christ both here and hereafter, the direction of Creation is once again being pulled to good. Every Christian would benefit from reading this work; we need to understand our story and our place in the narrative of God’s redemption.
1 Star – Don’t waste your money.
2 Star– Only get it if it is on sale.
3 Star – Think about buying it.
4 Star – Save up and purchase it.
5 Star – You MUST have it, TODAY.