Better Than the Beginning: Creation in Biblical Perspective

Jim Cassidy reviews Better Than the Beginning: Creation in Biblical Perspective by Richard Barcellos.

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Jason Delgado

6 years ago

The book was refreshing to me cause it just dealt with what the Bible said about creation and not get into modern debate (which is not wrong, just a nice change).

Your listeners may be interested to know that the author was interviewed here for over an hour on this book: http://confessingbaptist.com/podcast004/ part 2: http://confessingbaptist.com/podcast005/

Links also include links to books he suggested on the subject, which included some y’all talked about. Oh, and he loved the cover 😀 so hope this doesn’t bum him out ;P

Rich Barcellos

6 years ago

Thanks for the review. The book should be available at Reformation Heritage Books any day. http://www.heritagebooks.org/better-than-the-beginning-creation-in-biblical-perspective/


6 years ago

Thanks for the review. I also read and enjoyed the book.
Just to comment on Adam as a pre-fall type of Christ and what appears to favor supra:

In Romans 5, the analogy between Christ and Adam is mainly based on federal headship. The actions of one were applied to the many. The fact that one sinned and the other obeyed is simply an illustration of the principle of federal headship. For that reason, Adam and every federal head after him (Noah, Abraham, David) were types of Christ, the federal head that is better than the beginning federal head.

Was Adam thus a type unto himself of some greater federal head that he needed? Given that revelation and typology unfold progressively, types are not always discernible to those living in them. Abraham may have known that there was a country better than Canaan, but Adam did not know that there was a federal head better than him before the fall. He didn’t need to know until Genesis 3:15. That doesn’t change the fact, however, that in the fullness of God’s revelatory disclosure Adam’s role as a federal head in a covenant of works was indeed a type of Christ’s role as a federal head, not only in Adam’s fall but even in his original commission to take many sons to glory.

That’s my 2 cents.

Jim Cassidy

6 years ago


The typological relation in Rom 5 seems to be premised on each Adam’s act relative to the law – one is disobedience and the other obedience. Both are, of course, federal heads. The idea of the federal headship of the second Adam, however, only makes sense in light of the fall. In other words, there is no typological relation until after the one act of disobedience. Again, there is no need for a second federal head apart from sin, and the first Adam would have been perfectly sufficient himself had he obeyed. The second Adam doesn’t even come into view until there is a fall and the need for a redeemer.

Now, the harder texts to deal with are 1 Cor 15 and Eph 5 where Paul seems to be making a typological connection between the prelapsarian state and Christ. Especially in Eph 5 the question could be put this way: Is marriage given for the sake of revealing the coming relation between Christ and the church, or does the relation between Christ and the church draw upon an image that is already there in creation to illustrate a redemptive reality? Paul seems to be saying the former option in Eph 5, but I would have to study more on that. Though in 1 Cor 15 Paul is almost certainly drawing a typological connection between Adam as unfallen and Christ.


6 years ago

Jim, thanks for the reply.

I agree that Rom 5 centers primarily around each Adam’s act relative to the law. The point I was trying to make is that what underlies the analogy between the two is their capacity as federal heads. Thus, there is a relation between the two aside from the fall. I was also trying to make the point that typology sometimes assigns typological status to things that at first did not appear to be typological, thus at least making it possible for Adam to be a pre-fall type. Perhaps another way to state that is that prospectively (from Adam’s perspective and the perspective of canonical revelatory progression) Adam was not a type, but retrospectively (from the perspective of fuller canonical revelatory progression) he was. Does that make sense?

Nevertheless, I Cor 15 and Eph 5 definitely offer more material to flesh out that relation in terms of Christ’s image and Adam’s image (which once again presumes the federal headship of the two) as well as the union of spouses and Christ and the church.


Rich Barcellos

6 years ago

Does viewing Adam as a type of Christ (in any sense) prior to the fall into sin necessarily imply supra? I am not sure it does.

Cameron Porter

6 years ago

Hi Jim,

You wrote: “In other words, there is no typological relation until after the one act of disobedience.”

Since disobedience assumes, among other things, both an antecedent command unto obedience and precepts to be obeyed, would there not be obvious typological relation seen in the Edenic Pre-Fall Adam (to the last Adam, Jesus Christ)? Does not Genesis 2:15-17 along with Genesis 3:1-5 parallel with Matthew 3:15 to Matthew 4:11 in demonstrating that the typological relation is seen both in the probative failure of Adam (and of course, the antithetically parallel probative perfection of Christ), but also in the fact of the probative reality that preceded Adam’s disobedience?

Think also of the typology of OC Israel (“national Adam”) and Christ. In our covenant theology parlance we regularly connect dots between Adam, Israel, and Christ in showing the typological relationship between the first two and the last, and in speaking concerning the disobedience of the first two and the perfect obedience of the last. In the case of Israel, a “national Adam”, they bear a biblical typological relationship to Christ prior to their Sinaitic covenant breaking.

Also, with Ephesians 5:25 and following in view, the analogy that Paul brings to the fore regarding marriage and Christ & His church (specifically the Gen 2:24 citation) strengthens the argument for the pre-fall typology of Adam since, for only one example, the formation of Eve from Adam is typological of the church from Christ.

In addition, pre-fall Adamic typology is seen in the geneological identification of Adam in Luke 3:38.

In any event, I think as well that the biblical theology of the decrees of God, specifically at the point of the covenant of redemption (and all it entails), demand nothing other than pre-fall Adamic typology.


Rich Barcellos

6 years ago

so Jim, was Adam a type of Christ after the fall? 🙂 I think he was a type of Christ while he functioned as a public person.



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