Justin Taylor – The Loss of Historical Adam and the Death of Exegesis

Steven Wedgeworth, commenting on the revisionist work of Peter Enns and J. R. Daniel Kirk and the agnosticism of Tremper Longman on the historical Adam:

What we are seeing in theological circles is a new refusal to exegete at all. Instead of demonstrating the ways in which the rest of the Bible supports a figurative or mythical reading of Genesis, we are told that it doesn’t matter if even the Old and New Testament writers were mistaken. Dr. Kirk asks, “Is it possible to affirm the point Paul wishes to make—that God’s grace, righteousness, and life abound to the many because of Christ—without simultaneously affirming the assumptions with which he illustrated these things to be true?” His answer is typical of the new hermeneutical shift:

To accompany Paul on the task of telling the story of the beginning in light of Christ, while parting ways with his first-century understanding of science and history, is not to abandon the Christian faith in favor of science. Instead, it demands a fresh act of faith in which we continue to hold fast to the truth that has always defined Christianity: the crucified Messiah is the resurrected Lord over all. Belief in Christ’s resurrection was a stumbling block for the ancients, and it is a stumbling block for us moderns as well—and increasingly so as we learn more about our human story and the biological processes entailed in life on this Earth. We do not give up on the central article of Christian faith when we use it to tell a renewed story of where we came from. On the contrary, we thereby give it the honor which is its due.

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