Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A New Interpretation of Genesis
By John R. Coats 

OVERVIEW: In this vivid new interpretation of Genesis, former Episcopal priest John R. Coats looks at the ancient text and its characters in a new light, as stories about people whose day-to-day concerns, triumphs, and failures are not unlike our own. In Original Sinners, these characters take on stunning contemporary relevance as they find themselves confronted with extraordinary situations and circumstances that they'd neither asked for nor had anything to say about. Using stories from his life as well as the lives of people he's known, Coats creates a model that can be used to examine your own life and discover aspects of yourself in the characters whose lives unfold in these stories.

AUTHOR: John R. Coats holds master's degrees from Virginia Theological Seminary and Bennington College Writing Seminars. A former Episcopal priest, he was a principal speaker and seminar leader for the More To Life training program in the United States, Great Britain, and South Africa and an independent management consultant.

MY REVIEW: "Even if Mommy and Daddy say it's not you, if everyone else hates your guts, it's probably you: Joseph" When I read these words from the article "Five Lessons from Genesis (About Being Human) That Still Apply Today," by John R. Coats I thought I want to read his new book, Original Sinners--A New Interpretation of Genesis. As a preaching minister for forty-seven years I have read widely in the field of theology and many books about Genesis. This was a first for me! I began reading this book already knowing that Coats' views were entirely too liberal for me. But I wanted to learn all I could from him and give his book a fair reading.

There is much about the book I don't like. Coats uses language that I consider vulgar and draws conclusions that I believe to be liberal and unwarranted. But I did learn some things from his "new" interpretation. I do not recommend this book to the average reader of my blog. Do I think I am better prepared to "handle" this kind of writing than you are. Maybe! Yes, I probably am better prepared than the "average" (whoever that is) reader of my blog. I do not mean this in a condescending way. It's just that years of reading and studying in these areas of interest makes it less likely for me to be shocked by John Coats' boldness.

This interesting book caused me to think and rethink many things about Genesis. I found myself laughing out loud at some of his observations and interpretations. John Coats has moxey and common sense. His book is very readable with  nitty-gritty honesty and humor. Read this book if you want to go on a wild religious ride. Don't blame me if you get thrown off.


Down on the Farm said...

Humm. I guess I am in the 'average reader' category. I will take your word for it and stay away.

Heart2Heart said...


Thank you once again for always providing a very honest review to the books you are reading. This is why I love coming here and reading your reviews.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Loren said...

I love your reviews Clif ~ There is no doubt that you can handle a book like this and discern the truth! Thank you for sharing this very honest review.....I think I will pass on this one!

Jenny said...

Doesn't sounds like the kind of book I'd read, so I think I'll pass. But would you mind explaining what exactly his model was and what you found wrong with it? Thanks.