The book is well-written, informative, engaging, and relentlessly provocative. Despite these strengths, however, the book failed to convince me. It exemplifies what many Christians on the sidelines find concerning as they watch these science-theology debates unfolding. And once again—to borrow a Mark Twain misquote—rumors of Adam’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
We shouldn’t miss the deep irony. One of the authors’ main motivations for writing this book is to remove a stumbling block for young people. McKnight goes on to tell us, repeatedly and insistently, that most lay believers consider the “historical” Adam central to the faith. As we’ve seen, his main thesis is that there is no historical Adam in the Bible and that Adam, contrary to what most Christians believe, plays no central role in Scripture’s redemptive-historical structure. But in doing so, he places a massive stumbling block to their understanding of the faith. The pastoral dilemma cuts both ways. More.
One wonders whether, these days, Adam and Eve are as hot a topic in faith struggles as they were decades ago. Science’s reputation has taken a beating (often for good reasons). So, for many people, “scientists now think” is right up there with “The New York Times’ editorial board now thinks,” in terms of how it should influence their own view. Readers?
See also: “Adam never existed” theologian responds to critics
Blinkers Award goes to… Tom Nichols at Scientific American! On why Americans “hate science”
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