If the foundations be destroyed...

Thanks to Derek Thomas for reading Peter Enns' newest book. It deals with the historicity of God's special creation of a first man (Adam). Dr. Enns, formerly of Westminster Seminary, now denies an historical Adam.

Enns concludes:

"...the scientific evidence we have for human origins and the literary evidence we have for the nature of ancient stories of origins are so overwhelmingly persuasive that belief in a first human, such as Paul understood him, is not a viable option." (P.122).

"Admitting the historical and scientific problems with Paul's Adam does not mean in the least that the gospel message is therefore undermined. A literal Adam may not be the first man and cause of sin and death, as Paul understood it, but what remains of Paul's theology are three core elements of the gospel: 1. The universal and self-evident problem of death 2. The universal and self-evident problem of sin 3. The historical event of the death and resurrection of Christ. These three remain; what is lost is Paul's culturally assumed explanation for what a primordial man had to do with causing the reign of sin and death in the world." (123-124).

I am stunned by the arrogance that casts aside the very clear teachings of Scripture. I have to wonder where else Dr. Enns believes Paul leads us astray. Of course the unavoidable conclusion is that Jesus also erred in his conclusion that man was the special creation of God and not the outcome of natural selection from a common ancestor. Enns is simply wrong to say that denying an historical Adam has no implications regarding the gospel. Unless, of course, he is planning on re-writing Romans.

You may want to check out Dr. Jack Collins' book Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?

HT: Ref21