The Liturgy of Creation

Joel Duff just posted a review of “The Liturgy of Creation” by Michael Lefebvre (on his site here), which piqued my interest.

Looks like it only came out a few months ago. Has anyone read it? I’ll have to add it to my list (though maybe after I read Walton).

An excerpt from the book description on GoodReads says,

He argues that dates were added to Old Testament narratives not as journalistic details but to teach sacred rhythms of labor and worship. LeFebvre then applies this insight to the creation week, finding that the days of creation also serve a liturgical purpose and not a scientific one.

Here’s an excerpt from the book that Joel included in his review:

This method of assigning dates would be like telling the Christmas story and stating that “Mary laid her baby in a manger on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month.” That was not the date on which Jesus was actually born, but the date would associate that memory with the timing of its annual observance (December 25). For certain, modern historical conventions would regard such a saying as inaccurate, hence the sentiment of many scholars that either the Synoptics or John must be “inaccurate” when giving contradictory dates for the crucifixion. But the problem lies not in inaccurate texts but rather our anachronistic expectations about the purpose for an author’s giving a date to an event.

Another point made in the review is that this may not be a “new” idea necessarily, but one that’s been overlooked these days as we often apply our modern scientific ideas to the Bible without even realizing it.

Anyway, this seems like something that would be right up our alley so I was curious whether anyone’s picked it up yet. It sounds like it might help us to talk about some of the differences in biblical interpretation without making it all about “creation vs. evolution.”

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We posted a piece from Michael Lefebvre outlining his book premise here when it came out! I really liked what it had to say.

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Nice! Thanks, I somehow missed that but will give it a read. I like his perspective too.

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Given LeFebvre’s credentials, I wouldn’t be too surprised if he were more sabbatarian than is popular in 21st century American evangelicalism. That would fit with his suggestion about Genesis 1, and my take on the Christian Sabbath, The Lord’s Day of Rest, supports his perspective, if anybody cares. I also would like to think that it is a godly one and that God cares.

Yes, he certainly is a strong sabbatarian and so it is not surprising that he sees how the sabbath was the focus of the Israelite work week. If I get around to part 2 of my look at his book I will note that he rightly points out that the creation account is a 7 day account but Ken Ham has written entire books in which he never even mentions the 7th day when defending his young-earth view. Its an afterthought when the Israelite would have been intent on seeing how the 6 days lead to the 7th. My own background leads me to appreciate the emphasis on the sabbath but I am sure that most readers will see a lot of merit in his thesis no matter what their NT view of the sabbath may be.

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I’ll look forward to it. Tag me when you do, if you would, please?

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