It was 7th grade when Mrs Mayo, my public school science teacher, taught evolution.  She prefaced that day stating evolution does not disprove creation but merely explains it (this was in southwest Louisiana, 1982). As I read the bible throughout the years I never really considered that the 6 day account in Genesis was contradictory to an old earth because of the way everything is worded… until I watched a series of videos by a 6 Day Creationist sometime around 1998 who was supremely adamant that evolution was the most formidable weapon of deceit and doubt facing Christians today.  And until exposed to many of the complexities around the issue I considered it for approximately 2 years before dismissing it.  I’m no scientist, but I eventually settled back on the old earth model, thats just what makes the most sense to me.  And like science I remain open to change my views upon further knowledge.

I was faced with the dilemma that I wasn’t comfortable with the 6 Day = 6 Eons theory either, it just didn’t pan out in light of the sequence of days in Genesis 1. For instance Day one begins with the Earth already created, and the stars aren’t there until day 4. So that didn’t add up, how could I be faithful to scripture and not ignore science.

     Walton provides a satisfactory explanation along with a deeper appreciation for Genesis 1, as much more than just an account of creation. He refutes the Concordist model which states Genesis 1 was written to scientifically explain the material creation of life, the universe, and everything.  He shows that this view was beyond the ancient’s worldview and that their main concern was explaining functional origins, i.e. the Cosmic Temple Inauguration model.  And the preeminent thrust of was mainly a teleological account, the explanation of purpose and function.
     The teleological evidence of Genesis 1 is needed today as much if not more than ever. The modern world is so confused when it comes to purpose, we assume that God created us merely to be happy, whether his happiness our ours.  But the authors intention in Genesis is much more profound. The ideas expressed in Genesis 1 as interpreted here are implicitly related to environment, sexuality, family, and every other  aspect of human activity of life and civilization.
     The beauty is that his premise is compatible with both a literal 6 Day Creation model and Old Earth via evolution and/or big bang theory, as well as any other model. The central idea being that Genesis 1 is detailing a functional inauguration, and that since scripture gives no scientific model of the material creation of the universe but states emphatically that God is highly involved in the process no matter the method.
     Science provides no mechanism for the metaphysical question of purpose in regard to the origins of life, it cannot explore the “why” questions only the “how” questions. Science cannot and will not tell us the goal of the universe, why we are here, or even if we have a purpose or not… and it should not… It would not be empirical science if it did.   That is the aim of teleology and metaphysics, which should be taught in conjunction to science, but as a separate entity.
     Any model of the origin of the cosmos and life should be taught along with all its complexities and problems.  And philosophical ideas such as teleology and metaphysics should be taught as objective non-religious ideas, with the aim of teaching students ‘how to think’, not ‘what to think’.  Its is a shame and a waste that there is a conflict that is inherently politicized that prevents textbook publishers and educators to owning up to the problems deep-rooted in the evolution model.  But that is normal science, owning up to and discussing these things is part of the scientific process.
     Science is a great tool for exploring the universe, but it is not the end all of knowledge, nor does it claim to be.  History has taught us that as our knowledge increases the truths of science change.  Whats true and beyond doubt in one generation is not necessarily true in the next.  The process of doing science itself changes over time.  Quantum physics is a huge wrench in the contemporary process.  Again, I’m no scientist, but I’m not ignorant of some of the problems and ideas.
     Lastly, Walton does an outstanding job relating academic ideas in a down-to-earth style. He presents his propositions in a clear and logical manner that is easy to follow. He follows each chapter with a summary, summarizes everything at the halfway point of the book and again at the end so there is not much room for misunderstanding and plenty room for grasping the whole picture. He then answers a few common questions at the very end in a Q & A style. Its pretty concise and logical laid out. Which makes for a great and quick read for such a heavy topic.