Donald Arlo Jennings. Genesis Revisited: The Creation. Bloomington: WestBow Press, 2013. See here to buy the book.
Donald Arlo Jennings has a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems and has written about healthcare technology. In Genesis Revisited, Jennings attempts to answer questions about the Book of Genesis.
Jennings asks a variety of questions as he reads Genesis. There is
the famous question of where Cain got his wife. Jennings wonders if the
vast multitude of the people on earth truly could have descended from
just eight people on the Ark. He asks where the races came from: the
Tower of Babel story talks about God creating different languages, but
how did God create different races?
The answer that Jennings proposes involves aliens. For Jennings, God
could have created human-like creatures in outer space and populated
the earth with them. That would explain where Cain got his wife, the
multitude of people after the Flood, and perhaps even the different
races: there are more people on earth than those descended from Adam and
Eve and Noah. Jennings also speculates that God may also have sent
renegade aliens to the earth as prisoners. The wicked people of Sodom
and Gomorrah may have been from outer space, Jennings states. But
Jennings also wonders if Adam himself may have been created in outer
space, or if the Garden of Eden was necessarily on the planet earth.
Jennings biblical arguments have a lot of “What ifs?” Jennings often
speculates, without much basis for his speculation. Occasionally,
Jennings does appeal to phenomena in the Bible. He relies some on the
work of Erich von Daniken. Jennings refers to the shiny divine chariot
in Ezekiel 1 as a possible UFO phenomenon, and he relates the sons of
God mating with the daughters of men in Genesis 6 to aliens having
sexual intercourse with humans. Oddly, Jennings interprets the light
coming into the world in John 1 in reference to UFOs, when the vast
majority of interpreters would rightly interpret that in reference to
Jesus coming to earth.
Jennings also relates stories about UFO sightings and abductions,
perhaps in an attempt to demonstrate that what he is arguing is
possible, even plausible.
Here are some critiques of the book:
A. The book could have been better organized. It was rambling, and
Jennings often repeated points that he had made earlier. He should have
organized the chapters by topic.
B. The book could have been better written. The grammar and the
spelling were all right, but the prose could have been a lot tighter and
more formal. Jennings comes across as someone meandering around,
guessing this and guessing that. He uses “I” a lot, and that is not
necessarily bad, but narrating more in the third person could have added
a tone of formality to the book.
C. The book could have offered more substantive arguments. Jennings
would dismiss evolution and say that he believes in the Bible, for
example, as if that by itself were an argument against evolution. He
should have mentioned arguments in support for evolution and said why he
found them implausible, or at least referred to creationist or
Intelligent Design resources that did so. At times, Jennings indicated
some familiarity with debates, but this book had a lot of unsupported
D. The book could have been better had Jennings imitated an episode of Ancient Aliens, while adding his own questions and thoughts. Many scholars, probably correctly, disagree with what Ancient Aliens says. Yet, Ancient Aliens
can be entertaining because it gets into mythology throughout cultures
and compares it with supposed UFO and alien phenomena. The people on
the show offer arguments and base what they are claiming on at least
something. After watching Ancient Aliens, I often rush to the Internet to find how mainstream scholars explain the phenomena that Ancient Aliens
discusses. With the exception of Jennings’ discussion about Noah’s Ark
supposedly being found, there was nothing in Jennings book that I
wanted to fact-check. Why would anyone want to fact-check a bunch of
E. Jennings’ theological framework was rather unclear. Of course,
he is a Christian and believes in the Bible. But how would he reconcile
that with seeing God’s chariot in Ezekiel 1 as a UFO? Jennings should
have explained how he holds all that together.
I give this book one star.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book through BookLook Bloggers, in exchange for an honest review.
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