Summer 2019 Lecture Series:  

Reading Genesis 1 as Christian Scripture

(Audio files below)

The Chapel presented a four week summer lecture series led by our new Pastor Nathan Chambers, who recently completed his doctorate in Old Testament through the University of Durham in England. Below you can find the audio files to listen along to his lectures.

Week 1—Contexts and Questions

We set the stage by asking about contexts and questions for reading. First, the

questions we put to a text affect our reading. Consider, for example, how we might read

Genesis 1 differently if our starting question is ‘How does this text form me for Christian life?’

instead of ‘How old is the world?’ Second, contexts (both the text’s and ours) influence how we

read. After looking at various questions and contexts for reading Genesis 1, it is proposed that

for the following three sessions, we read Genesis 1 in the context of the Christian canon,

asking ‘How does this text function as Christian Scripture?’

Week 2—Maker of Heaven & Earth

We will begin by looking at how the Christian tradition talks about God (Father,

Son, and Holy Spirit) and God’s relationship to the world (simultaneously transcending and

present to the created order). We then turn to read Genesis 1 in light of these concerns, looking

at how this context focuses our attention on specific details of the text. We will especially ask,

‘Who is God according to Genesis 1?’

Week 3—The World as Creation

We will begin by considering some of the classic ways the Christian tradition

describes the created order: contingent, dependent, and yet very good. Then we will again

read Genesis 1 together in light of these classic descriptions, asking ‘How does Genesis 1

describe the world as creation?’

Week 4—Living as Creatures

This week, our starting point is the Christian claim that humans are made in the image

of God. We then ask ‘What does it mean to live as a creature?’ With these concerns in mind,

we turn to Genesis 1-3 and consider how it depicts the human condition. This leads to both

reflections on our own identity as creatures and to the implications for how we should relate to

other creatures, human and non-human.