The Professor’s Bookshelf: Dr. Ken Keathley

This series at Between the Times highlights Southeastern faculty members as they share about books which they are enjoying now, books which have shaped them personally, and books they consistently recommend to others.

This week, we interview Dr. Ken Keathley.

Dr. Keathley is Senior Professor of Theology and is the Director of the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture and holds the Jesse Hendley Chair of Biblical Theology
at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

What are some books you are reading right now?

Thank You for Being Late” by Thomas Friedman; “Original Sin” by Alan Jacobs; Just finished (science fiction) “The Thing Itself” by Adam Roberts; “The Theological Origins of Modernity” by Michael Allen Gillespie; and “The Day the Revolution Began” by N. T. Wright. I recently read Tom Wolfe’s “The Kingdom of Speech.” What a hoot.

What are some of the books which have had the largest impact on your life, thinking, or teaching?

How Should We Then Live?” by Francis Schaeffer opened up a whole new world for me. He was the first author to challenge me to think “Christianly.” I love Millard Erickson’s “Christian Theology.” He presents the great truths of the Christian faith with such clarity. I go back to it again and again. As a young pastor I read John Piper’s “The Pleasures of God.” It challenged me to take pleasure in whatever pleased God. And then anything written by C. S. Lewis.

What are some of your favorite works of fiction?

I like to read good science fiction. Not long ago I enjoyed reading Michael Faber’s “The Book of Strange New Things.”

Are there any books which you re-read on a regular basis and why?

I read and re-read J. I. Packer’s “Knowing God.” It reminds me of what great writing looks like, and it simply blesses my soul.

What is one book which you would recommend to a church member and why?

Probably C. S. Lewis’ “Surprised by Joy.” His account of how he came to faith in Christ is genuine and encouraging.

What is one book which you would recommend to a seminary student to read beyond what they might encounter in class and why?

John Stott’s “The Cross of Christ.” He presents the work of Calvary with a remarkable balance of learning and devotion. After reading, one will understand salvation better and love Christ more.

How Should We Understand Genesis 1-2?

The opening chapters of the Bible have been the subject of many debates. Since it is the account of the beginning of the entire created universe, it raises many questions that relate to cosmology, biology, theology, and hermeneutics. What is really being said in those first two chapters of Scripture? Dr. Ken Keathley invites us to ask ourselves what the worldview of the original audience would have been, as well as determine the purpose of creation account. Once we get our hermeneutic right, we can start to ask the questions that involve science and other studies such as: “Were they 6 literal days of creation?” and “How old is the earth?” Take a couple of minutes to watch this video where Dr. Keathley provides some expertise, as well as a helpful perspective on such a controversial couple of chapters.

Exploring Hope Podcast: Should we believe in a historical Adam?

On this week’s episode of Exploring Hope Podcast, Dr. Dew has Dr. Ken Keathley in the studio to discuss theology and the Genesis account. Dr. Keathley is asked the important question of whether or not we as Christians should hold to a belief in a literal, historical Adam. There is much debate as to how much of the first chapters should be interpreted. In light of its genre, as well as scientific evidence about the first humans, the age of the earth, etc., many have moved away from literal interpretations of some of the events. So, naturally one would ask whether or not we should interpret Adam and Eve as metaphorical, poetic, or figurative characters, or two real people who lived in history and whose deeds were recorded in Genesis. Dr. Keathley explains the importance of this question and helps us understand how we should view the issue. Tune in!