In recent years, it has been my joy to serve as pastor to a wonderful and gifted young lady named Lita Cosner. It has also been my joy to read her new book—From Creation to Salvation: What Jesus and the New Testament authors believed about Genesis. I must admit that her dedication line caused me to get a bit choked up when I first opened her book. She writes, “Dedicated in memory of my great-grandmother Lois Brown (1916-2011) in the hope of the resurrection which will reunite us in the presence of Christ.
The foreword is written by Dr. Kenneth Gentry and in his opening words, he writes the following:
Christian once cleverly complained: “If God through that creation was so important, why didn’t he put it closer to the front of the Bible?” This amusing query speaks powerfully to the significance of creation in Scripture: the Bible actually opens with this doctrine…In this insightful, practical, and compelling book, Lita Cosner demonstrates why it is impossible for the truly Bible-believing Christian to deny recent, six-day creation (7).
The book itself is arranged into two main sections. The first section is centered on the doctrine of creation in the New Testament and the second section is focused upon Adam in the New Testament, which as you can imagine, begins with the historic Adam and ends with the Last Adam—Jesus Christ.
All through the book, Lita connects the dots from creation to salvation. In her opening line, she writes, “If you don’t understand the doctrine of creation, you can’t properly understand the doctrine of salvation” (11). Interestingly enough, Lita begins with an emphasis upon the Son’s role in the work of creation as revealed to us in the pages of the New Testament. This is a theme she picks back up in full in the fourth chapter. What was somewhat veiled in the Old Testament has become unveiled in the New Testament.
This book also begins with a focus on the connection of other key doctrines to the doctrine of creation. Lita writes, “Creation was also used to ground practical doctrines as well. Question so marriage (Matthew 19:1-9) and order within the church (1 Corinthians 11:2-12; 1 Timothy 2:8-14) were decided based on details of creation” (20). This is a critical point of consideration, especially for those who minimize or seek to deny the doctrine of creation.
In the second section, Lita begins with an important focus on the historical Adam. Unfortunately, over the years many liberal interpretations have been accepted which denigrate the authenticity of the progenitor of the human race. Not only does this view do violence to the real human named Adam—it does violence to the Word of God. Lita writes:
This is transparently an attempt to salvage Christianity in the face of what they view as the ‘fact’ of evolution and its obvious discord with the book of Genesis. But Christianity, unlike many other religions, is built on events which are claimed to be historical (115).
In her final section, she covers a great deal of ground in a short number of pages. However, without being rushed, she deals with important themes such as Jesus as the promised offspring who would contend with the serpent’s offspring, the ability or inability of Jesus to sin, the defeat of the serpent at the cross, Jesus as the Last Adam, and how the last enemy—death itself is defeated by Christ.
As a form of conclusion, Lita writes the following:
There are many views of Genesis that are considered to be within the bounds of Christian orthodoxy today; some take Genesis to be almost entirely mythical, while biblical (‘young earth’) creationists take it as entirely historical, and there are many views in between. But the ‘gold standard’ for a Christian view on anything should begin with the question, ‘What did Jesus believe?” We have seen that Jesus believed Adam and Eve were created in the image of God at the beginning of history, and they were the first married couple. Jesus believed righteous Abel was the first martyr, and He believed Noah’s Flood was a global catastrophe that killed all outside the Ark.
Not only do I believe this is a good book for the local church, I believe it’s a great resource for the home. Is your group looking for a good book to read over coffee on Saturday mornings? You need to consider Lita Cosner’s book. It’s not academic and non-practical. In fact, she does a great job of condensing rich biblical truths into a theologically accurate and practical book. The church needs more ladies like Lita who have a passion for truth.