Al Wolters's Creation Regained is reviewed in Perspectives in Science and Christian Faith (Sept 2006) is now on-line:
CREATION REGAINED: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview by Albert M. Wolters. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2005. 145 pages. Paperback; $12.00.ISBN: 0802829694.
This is a revised and expanded edition of Creation Regained, a book which has been in print for twenty years and translated into eight languages. It has high praise from Nicholas Wolterstorff who evaluates it as “the best statement … of the reformational worldview.” The book’s five chapters have a good many scriptural references, but the book has no footnotes, index, or bibliography.
Why did Wolters write this book?
Creation Regained is offered to the church to equip her in a world that desperately needs to see and hear the good news that God’s kingdom has come: God is renewing the creation and the whole of human life in the work of Jesus Christ by the Spirit (p. 143).
The chapter most likely to appeal to PSCF readers is also the longest and is entitled “Creation.” Wolters defines creation as “the correlation of the sovereign activity of the Creator and the created order” (p. 14). He does not believe in a deist god who forsakes creation after setting it in motion. While God created the planets, oversees the seasons, and makes plants grow and animals reproduce, God has entrusted to humans the jobs of making tools, exercising justice, creating art, and seeking knowledge.
Wolters uses the word “law” to refer to the totality of God’s ordaining acts toward the cosmos. He thinks the word “creation” is too broad in referring to created things and too narrow in excluding God’s providence (p. 15). Creation law includes general revelation, which implies that creation is knowable.
There is some disagreement among Christians as to whether social sciences and humanities are as knowable as natural science. God’s rule of law, while immediate in nature, is mediate in culture and society. Creation without sin is “wholly and unambiguously good” (p. 48).
The other chapters in this book deal with worldview and its practical implications, the Fall, and Redemption. The important issue is how Christians should arrive at biblical views about technology, aggression, political revolution, dance, education, and sexuality (p. 87). On the latter, Wolters observes: “Sexual immorality should be opposed not to repress sex but to show forth its true glory” (p. 111).
This book is widely used in academic settings, and it would be an appropriate book for seminary students, graduate students, pastors, teachers, or informed laypersons.
Wolters is professor of religion, theology, and classical languages at Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario. Mike Goheen, Geneva Chair of Reformational Worldview Studies at Trinity Western University, assisted Wolters in writing the postscript, “Worldview between Story and Mission.”
Reviewed by Richard Ruble, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR 72761.