Better Than in the Beginning
Richard C. Barcellos
This book is not a typical book on creation. It seeks to take the reader from the original creation to its intended goal–the new creation. The Bible is allowed to comment on creation’s author, act, purpose, covenantal context, and goal. This book will help readers see the Christocentric and Christoclimactic nature of biblical revelation. Creation is seen to be for the Son of God to bring glory to the triune God in bringing many sons to glory. What Adam failed to do the Lord Jesus Christ does.
Here are the chapter titles: 1. The Ultimate Reason for Creation: Creation for the glory of God; 2. The Divine Agents of Creation: Creation by the triune God; 3. The Son-Tilted Focus of Creation: Creation for the Son of God; 4. The Revelatory Function of Creation (I): Creation tells of His glory; 5. The Revelatory Function of Creation (II): Creation testifies of His existence; 6. The Initial Act of Creation: Creation out of nothing; 7. The Six Days of Creation: Creation “in the space of six days”; 8. The Image-Bearing Apex of Creation (I): Creation in the image of God; 9. The Image-Bearing Apex of Creation (II): Creation in the image of God; 10. The Sabbath Rest of Creation (I): Creation’s coronation and goal; 11. The Sabbath Rest of Creation (II): Creation’s coronation and goal; and 12. Conclusion: Better than the beginning.
If you are interested in the purpose of creation (and recreation/redemption), the Trinity, biblical theology, covenant theology, the history of redemption, hermeneutics, eschatology, soteriology, and Christology, this book is for you.
Creation is controversial, and truly we need to defend biblical doctrine concerning the origin of all things. Yet sometimes in the midst of controversy we can lose sight of the purpose of creation itself. Richard Barcellos uses the creation of the world like a great telescope to look up at the beauty of the Creator. His book focuses our attention on the triune God in Christ. He draws his doctrine from a careful exposition of the Bible, applies it to our practical lives, and calls us to sing the praises of Him who is worthy, “for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11). This is an edifying book, and I hope that many will read it.
Joel R. Beeke, Ph.D.
President of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Although many Christians have been engaged in a life-or-death battle to defend the truth of creation against evolutionary attacks coming from inside and outside the church, there has been little exploration of the doctrine of creation in all its glorious height, depth, width, and length. Richard Barcellos has begun to remedy this neglect with a God-glorifying, soul-edifying, life-transforming survey of this majestic and practical subject.
David P. Murray, Ph.D.
Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
Grand Rapids, Michigan
After reading this book, I wonder, ‘is it possible that we are functional deists?’ Have we been so profoundly influenced by the secular culture around us that we fail to see the centrality and foundational character of the doctrine of creation? Is it possible that even while giving lip-service to the doctrine we fail to live in the light of its implications? In this work, Dr. Barcellos shows us why this doctrine is so very important. Not only does he reflect upon the account of creation in Genesis, but he also demonstrates the implications of creation found throughout Scripture. In a day of increasing secularization, it is refreshing to think of the divine purpose in making and sustaining the world. Read this book, and you will deepen your understanding of the Lord’s purposes in bringing the world into existence.
James M. Renihan, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Historical Theology
Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies
It is with special pleasure that I recommend both my friend, Richard Barcellos, and his volume entitled, Better than the Beginning. In a day of massive confusion about the significance God’s relationship with Adam and departure from the pivotal Reformed understanding of the covenant of works, it is nothing short of refreshing to see both the heart for and insight into this subject that God has given Dr. Barcellos. While the New Perspective on Paul and other evangelical and “Reformed” scholars are manifesting deep insensitivity to Scripture on this subject, Richard provides clear and penetrating insight into God’s purpose to bring the human race to a condition that is “better than the beginning.” Christ brings the creation train derailed by Adam to its original glorious destination! This insight is vital to an understanding of the gospel and the vital, scriptural distinction between the law and the gospel. May God give this volume great usefulness!
Samuel E. Waldron, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Systematic Theology
Midwest Center for Theological Studies
About the author
Richard C. Barcellos, Ph.D., is pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church (www.grbcav.org), Palmdale, CA, and author of In Defense of the Decalogue: A Critique of New Covenant Theology, The Family Tree of Reformed Biblical Theology, and The Lord’s Supper as a Means of Grace: More than a Memory, forthcoming from Christian Focus Publications.