Whitworth, Michael. The Epic of God. Bowie: Start2Finish Books, 2013. 396 pp. $16.49. Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for much less.
Michael Whitworth is a pastor in Bowie, Texas. He is also the mastermind behind Start2FinishBooks, a website dedicated to providing the people of God with resources that will deepen their faith, help them mature in Christ, and better understand the Word of God. This particular book is an informed look at the Book of Genesis.
Divided into fifteen chapters, Michael looks at the big picture story units as unfolded in the book of Genesis. For example, chapter one, “In the Beginning,” looks at Genesis chapters 1 and 2. “Paradise Lost,” chapter two, consists of Genesis chapters 3-5. Chapter three introduces the doctrine of deliverance by looking at Genesis 6-10. He continues on through Genesis in like manner. From a look at the Cradle of Civilization (Gen. 10-11) to judgment (Gen. 18-19) and family matters (Gen. 32-36), He offers explanation of the entire book of Genesis.
Furthermore, he is not afraid to break up the chapters in his treatment, either. In chapter five, “Two Steps Back,” he looks at Genesis 12 and 20. Each chapter ends with a “Talking Points” section. In this section, Michael offers some perspective and Scripture by which the reader can engage a bit deeper in the discussion. It is here that he begins to show the importance of Genesis for the rest of the Bible and for the life of the Christian.
I must confess that I was pleasantly surprised by the content of The Epic of God. There is so much junk floating around claiming to be biblical that is so far from truth that one cannot help but see a ramping up of the prophecy in 2 Timothy 4:3-4. It was refreshing to read from another’s pen the truth that Genesis 1-2 are to be taken as literally true and that Genesis is the foundation for the rest of the Bible and, consequently, the Christian life.
While you will not agree with everything he says, for example, P. 130 he references the Keswick formula of “let go and let God” which I have a theological problem with but understand the heart of what is being shared there. Perhaps the best aspect of this resource is found in the footnotes. Where you do disagree with him, you can trace his arguments to where he found it in Scripture or where he supported it with the writings of others.
Though it is rather lengthy at nearly 400 pages, it is a quick read and will leave the reader with more knowledge about the most important book found in Scripture. Ultimately, if Genesis is not true, then the rest of the Bible caves in on itself. This is a point Michael makes over and over again throughout The Epic of God.
I am grateful for Michael Whitworth and his writing of The Epic of God for a number of reasons. Perhaps the greatest is its centrality of Scripture and his adamant refusal to allow the world to interpret the work of God. Instead, he appeals to Scripture and allows Scripture to interpret Scripture. Further, he is a new voice in an age old debate. Many are familiar with ministries like Answers in Genesis, but not everyone will have heard of Michael Whitworth or Start2Finish Books. He shares the same conviction that the Bible is the Word of God and should therefore not take a back seat to any book or science authored by man. At only $2.99 for the Kindle version, you would do well to purchase this book and read it cover to cover.