Extracurricular Activities 5.16.15 — Pew Religious Research, Stetzer Responds, & Enns on Adam

Jeremy Bouma on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

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Call for Papers: LATC 2016, The Voice of God in the Text of Scripture

Starting today and running through July 17 there is an open call for papers for the 2016 Los Angeles Theology Conference. The conference this year (to be held in mid January at Fuller Seminary) has the title “The Voice of God in the Text of Scripture,” and our plenary speakers will be William Abraham, John Goldingay, Richard Hays, Amy Plantinga Pauw, and Daniel Treier.

Those five speakers already guarantee a worthwhile conference, but as in previous years, Oliver Crisp and I are hoping to select nine more presentations to enrich the schedule even more.

As the call says, we are seeking “theologically constructive accounts of Scripture, describing how God is said to speak by means of the…

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Four Views on the Historical Adam: William Barrick Says “A Historical Adam, Young-Earth Creation”

Jeremy Bouma on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,.

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If you've been following along here the past day you know that this week we are engaging in what one theologian calls "a groundbreaking science-and-Scripture dispute." This so-called dispute is over the historical Adam. And a new resource is helping us navigate this important discussion, Four Views on the Historical Adam

This new timely book lets four leading evangelical scholars advocate for the dominate positions concerning the historicity of our biblical ancestor. Like every Counterpoints book, these key contributors present their positions, respond to each other’s arguments, and seek to clearly delineate the central biblical and theological issues at stake.

Yesterday we heard from Denis Lamoureux, who argued for no historical Adam and evolutionary creation, and John Walton, who advocates a historical Adam and archetypal creation. This morning we heard from C. John Collins, who says Adam is historical and creation is old. And now we wrap up our four views with William Barrick, Professor of Old Testament at The Master's Seminary.

For Barrick, Adam's historicity is foundational to a number of biblical doctrines, which is why he insists Adam is real and the head of the entire human race. He rejects what he terms "accommodation" to evolutionary science and instead upholds that the Holy Spirit superintended the author of Genesis to write an "objective description of God's creative activities in six consecutive literal days." (197)

He holds to a literal Adam—rather than an archetypal or a biological evolutionary product—not only because Genesis represents him as such and the New Testament relies on his historicity, but also for theological reasons: "without a historical first Adam there is no need for Jesus, the second Adam, to undo the first Adam's sin and its result." (197)

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Four Views on the Historical Adam: C. John Collins Says “A Historical Adam, Old-Earth Creation”

Jeremy Bouma on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,.

9780310499275

This week we are engaging what Richard Ostling calls "a groundbreaking science-and-Scripture dispute." This so-called dispute is over the historical Adam. And a new resource is shepherding this important discussion, Four Views on the Historical Adam

The new timely book offers four leading evangelical scholars to advocate for the dominate positions concerning the historicity of our biblical ancestor. Like every Counterpoints book, these key contributors present their positions, respond to each other’s arguments, and seek to clearly delineate the central biblical and theological issues at stake.

So far we've heard from Denis Lamoureux, who argued for no historical Adam and evolutionary creation, and John Walton, who advocates a historical Adam and archetypal creation. This morning we come to another voice, that of C. John Collins, Professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary.

Collins believes the best way to understand the biblical presentation of human origins is to understand that Adam and Eve were both real persons at the "headwaters of humankind." He also believes that such a presentation "should keep us from being too literalistic in our reading of Adam and Eve," leaving the door open for an old creation. (143)

By "biblical presentation" Collins refers to Genesis 2 as well as the larger biblical story line, "which deals with God's good creation invaded by sin, for which God has a redemptive plan; of Israel's calling to be a light to the nations; and of the church's prospect of successfully bringing God's light to the whole world." (143) It also accounts for our everyday human experience with sin as something that must be forgiven and struggled against. (146)

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Four Views on the Historical Adam: John Walton Says “A Historical Adam, Archetypal Creation”

Jeremy Bouma on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,.

9780310499275This week we are engaging what Richard Ostling calls "a groundbreaking science-and-Scripture dispute." This so-called dispute is over the historical Adam. And a new resource hopes to shepherd this important discussion by offering four leading evangelical scholars as advocates for the dominate positions.

The resource is Four Views on the Historical Adam, featuring key contributors who present their positions, respond to each other’s arguments, and seek to clearly delineate the central biblical and theological issues at stake. This morning we heard from Denis Lamoureux, who argued for no historical Adam and evolutionary creation. This afternoon we want to hear from John Walton, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College.

Walton believes Adam and Eve were historical people, yet he is persuaded the Bible is more interested in them as archetypal figures who represent all humanity. He argues that Genesis 2, the account of humanity's formation, isn't "addressing their material formation as biological specimens, but [is] addressing the forming of all humanity: we are all formed from dust and we are all gendered halves." (89)

If this is true, Walton goes on to say, "Adam and Eve also may or may not be the first humans or the parents of the entire human race. Such an archetypal focus is theologically viable and is well-represented in the ancient Near East." (89)

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Four Views of the Historical Adam: Denis Lamoureux Says “No Historical Adam, Evolutionary Creation”

Jeremy Bouma on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,.

9780310499275For the better part of a decade I have noticed a shift within evangelical origins conversations from merely the temporal and methodological to the ancestral. Rather than the debate pivoting around six literal days or six billion years and evolution vs. creation, the conversation has shifted to the veracity of a historical Adam.

Four Views on the Historical Adam hopes to shepherd what Richard Ostling calls "a groundbreaking science-and-Scripture dispute" by offering four leading evangelical scholars as advocates for the dominate positions. You can view a preview of the positions, here. Throughout this week we will be highlighting interesting and intriguing points from each of the views, beginning with Denis Lamoureux, Associate Professor of Science and Religion at St. Joseph's College in the University of Alberta.

Lamoureux embraces so-called evolutionary creation, "the belief that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit created the universe and life, including humans, through an ordained sustained, and intelligent design-reflecting natural process." (37)

He helpfully distinguishes this view from so-called theistic evolution, saying such a view "places the process of evolution as the primary term and makes our Creator secondary and merely a qualifying adjective." (43) Instead his scheme emphasizes a Creator who used the method of evolution to make the universe and life.

He rejects the "assumption that God revealed scientific facts in the Bible thousands of years before their discovery by modern science," insisting instead that the Bible features an ancient understanding of the physical world and biological origins. (37) 

His goal isn't to win people over to his view, per se. Rather he has a more pastoral concern in mind: "I want young men and women to know that there is a Christian view of origins that accepts evolution and recognizes that our faith does not rest on the existence of Adam." (38)

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