Why Eden?

We launched a new sermon series called “Eden” this past Sunday; a 10-week series that will walk through the first three chapters of Genesis.

Why this series and why now?

1. Because the Christian Story begins in Genesis 1:1.

It doesn’t begin with Jesus in a manger but with God and a garden. And therefore, it’s important for our own understanding of God and our relationship to Him that we begin “in the beginning” and not halfway through the Story, as it were. 

2. Because the rest of the Story doesn’t make sense without Genesis 1-3.

Genesis 1-3 not only tells us that things began altogether right and very good but also tells us what went wrong. It explains why the world is, as it is, and how it got that way. If we remove or skip over the first part of the Story then the rest makes no sense. In fact, if we remove or skip over the first part of the Story then the need for a Saviour seems unsubstantiated.

3. Because Genesis 1-3 addresses topics that are pressing in on us today.

Topics related to purpose and meaning, the environment – i.e. creation, gender, sexuality, work, race and the problem of evil, to name just a few. This series will drop in on the conversations that our world is having already and seek to speak into them Christianly.

4. Because Genesis 1-3 explains why we are the way we are.

Genesis 1-3 answers the questions science can’t. Why are we personal beings, why do we crave to love and be loved, why do we pursue the transcendent and why are we moved by that which is beautiful? It’s questions like these, and many more besides, that Genesis 1-3 answers.

5. Because the beginning of the Story gives us hope for the end.

The Bible begins and ends with a tree of life. In other words, the Bible goes full circle and doubles back on itself. What we see in the garden before the Fall of chapter 3 will not only be returned to but it will be better than it was! This is our hope and certain promise and one that the Story calls us to hold onto as we journey forward. 

A final comment

Although Genesis 1-3 is very helpful and put together exactly as the Spirit intended, it’s not exhaustive on all matters related to the origin of things and other topics found on its pages. Additionally, a Sunday sermon is limited by time and therefore, every nuance of each topic being addressed in “Eden” won’t be hit fully and completely – it’s an impossible task. Therefore, we not only encourage you to commit yourself to your CG over the next couple of months but to give yourself to personal study as well. To help you in that we have included a bibliography below—in this post—where you can find resources. Just scroll down to see it! Happy reading!

P.S.—an ask for prayer

Please be praying for those who will be preaching over the course of this series. Pray, specifically, that God would give them wisdom, insight, boldness and favour, by the Spirit’s help and infilling. I ask also that you pray the same for Westside’s CG Leaders who have the great, and sometimes very difficult task, of taking what was said on a Sunday and making sense of it during the week. We love and praise God for our CG Leaders! And last, but certainly not least, please be praying that during this series people will come to know Jesus and/or grow in their love of Jesus. The Creator who came to His creation. What a Saviour!

Humbly and joyfully submitted,



Eden Resources for further study

The books and resources listed below, although not exhaustive, are helpful and insightful but that doesn’t mean that every view in them is shared and agreed upon. They simply share various opinions on the variety of issues that Genesis addresses. Happy reading.

Books on the Pentateuch

  • From Paradise to Promised Land by T.D. Alexander
  • The Pentateuch As Narrative by John Sailhamer
  • Exploring the Old Testament: A Guide to the Pentateuch by Gordon Wenham

Books Providing an Overview of Genesis

  • Genesis in Space and Time by Francis Schaeffer
  • Encountering the Book of Genesis by Bill T. Arnold
  • Old Testament Theology by Paul R. House

Detailed Studies of Genesis 1-2

  • In the Beginning: The Opening Chapters of Genesis by Henri Blocher
  • Genesis Unbound by John Sailhammer
  • Creation and Change by Douglas F. Kelly 

Commentaries on Genesis

  • Genesis by Bruce Waltke
  • Genesis by John Sailhammer
  • The Beginning of Wisdom by Leon Kass
  • Genesis by Walter Brueggemann
  • Creation and Blessing by Allen P. Ross
  • Genesis edited by Bill Moyers

Books Debating Views of Creation

  • The Genesis Debate edited by David Hagopian
  • Three Views of Creation and Evolution edited by Stanley Gundry

Books on Creation and Intelligent Design

  • The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel
  • Intelligent Design by William A. Dembski
  • The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions about Intelligent Design by William A. Dembski
  • Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design by Thomas Woodward
  • By Design: Science and the Search for God by Larry Witham
  • Scientific Creationism by Henri M. Morris

Books Critiquing Evolution

  • Where Darwin Meets the Bible: Creationists and Evolutionist in America by Larry Witham
  • Answers Book: The 20 Most-Asked Questions About Creation, Evolution, and the Book of Genesis Answered by Ken Ham
  • Darwin on Trial by Philip Johnson
  • Lie: Evolution by Ken Ham
  • Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton
  • Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth by Jonathan Wells
  • Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds by Philip E. Johnson
  • Darwin’s Black Box: The Biomechanical Challenge to Evolution by Michael J. Behe

Books on Particular Issues Related to Genesis

  • One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism
  • The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications by John C. Whitcomb
  • Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of the Human Fossils by Marvin L. Lubenow
  • Primeval Saints: Studies in the Patriarchs of Genesis by James B. Jordan
  • The Land of Promise edited by Philip Johnson
  • New Creation in Paul’s Letters and Thoughts by Moyer V. Hubbard
  • From Creation to New Creation by Bernhard W. Anderson
  • The Genesis of Sex by O. Palmer Robertson
  • The Christ of the Covenants by O. Palmer Robertson

Books Seeking to Reconcile Science and Scripture

  • The Genesis Question: Scientific Advances and the Accuracy of Genesis by Hugh Ross
  • The End of Nihilism by Gordon Carkner
  • The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Latest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God by Hugh Ross
  • Beyond the Cosmos by Hugh Ross
  • Big Bang and the Bible by Gerald Schroeder
  • God, the Evidence by Patrick Glynn
  • Science and Evolution: Developing a Christian Worldview of Science and Evolution by Charles W. Colson
  • Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution by Kenneth R. Miller
  • The Quest for the Historical Adam: Genesis Hermeneutics and Human Origins by William Van Doodwaard
  • Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion and Naturalism by Alvin Plantinga
  • The Story of Reality: How the World Began, How Ends, and Everything Important that Happens in Between by Gregory Koukl
  • The Mystery of Life’s Origins by Walter Bradley
  • The Well-Tempered Universe: God, Cosmic Fine-Tuning and the Laws of Nature by Robin Collins

Books Examining the Foundations of Science

  • Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law and Education by Philip E. Johnson
  • Christianity and the Nature of Science by J.P. Moreland
  • The Biblical Basis for Modern Day Science by Henry M. Morris
  • The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundation of Naturalism by Philip E. Johnson 

Books on the Age of the Earth

  • Creation and Time: A Biblical and Scientific Perspective on the Creation-Date Controversy by Hugh Ross
  • A New Look at an Old Earth by Don Stoner
  • The Young Earth by John D. Morris
  • Creation in Six Days: A Defense of the Traditional Reading of Genesis One by James B. Jordan 

Websites on Creation

Videos on Intelligent Design

  • Icons of Evolution by Philip Johnson
  • Unlocking the Mystery of Life by Philip Johnson
  • The Privileged Planet by Guillermo Gonzales
Categories: Sermon Series,Teaching,Written