Does Paul’s Christ Require a Historical Adam

Adam-Eve2Recently in Fuller Theological Seminary’s Spring 2013 issue of “Theology, News, and Notes,” New Testament professor Daniel Kirk posted an article that causes much discussion and debate these days – Does Paul’s Christ Require a Historical Adam? It’s a hot topic due to engagement with scientific findings and the desire for many Christians to maintain a historically orthodox faith.

This topic is of great interest to me these days, but more theologically than scientifically. I’d like to get more in to the science of things, and I’ve got some books that can be of help (Francis Collins’ The Language of God or Denis Lamoureux’s I Love Jesus & I Accept Evolution). But I’m drawn more to think through things theologically, since I love the disciplines of biblical studies and theology.

Hence why my attention was drawn to Kirk’s article – a theological look at Adam as presented in both Paul, and the whole of Scripture, while discussing whether Adam must be a literal, factual human being (also noting that I appreciate the way Kirk writes and thinks, as evidenced in his book Jesus Have I Loved, But Paul?).

You see, here are how things unfold in the discussion (or debate) over the nature of the first chapters of Genesis and Adam himself. Continue reading

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What Is the Image of God?

In the opening chapter of Genesis, we read that humanity, being both male and female, were created in the image of God. The more popular phrasing to use today is the Latin, imago dei. We read in vs26-28:

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

There is a lot that could be said about and addressed within these 3 verses alone. But I want to focus in on the image of God pronounced over humanity.

What is this image of God? Continue reading

Rethinking the First Valentine’s Couple – Adam & Eve

It’s Valentine’s Day. So, in honour of such, I wanted to post about some recent discussions and debate surrounding the biblical first Valentine’s couple, Adam & Eve. They were the first lovers.

If you aren’t aware, there is a lot going on in both the book and blogosphere world discussing the literal historicity of Adam (and, by association, Eve). Actually, this has been going on for some 150-200 years, but has moved into the more popular arena of theology in recent years. Continue reading

John Walton on Genesis 1

Below is a video from BioLogos in which John Walton is interviewed about the question of understanding Genesis chapter 1. These thoughts might challenge us, especially if we believe Genesis 1 is exact in its literalness. But Walton shares some interesting insights we must consider about this ancient text.

Some of the thoughts that Walton shares are expounded on his book, The Lost World of Genesis One. I have not been able to read it just yet, but I make you aware of the book.

N.T. Wright on Genesis

As I mentioned last week, I have really been engaging with a lot of the resources available at the BioLogos website. This is an extremely helpful resource for Christians wanting to engage with understanding our faith, the Scripture and science.

As I said, I am ok with science informing our faith. All truth is God’s truth and, so, good science is God’s good truth. And science informing our faith, or beliefs about Scripture, has happened through the centuries. The greatest example is that of the 16th century when people like Copernicus and Galileo began to teach that we live in a heliocentric universe where the sun sits stationary in the middle and the planets revolve around it. This was contrary to the current geocentric opinion of the day that the earth was in the centre of the universe.

None of this was done to destroy the faith or what the Bible taught. Simply stated, the authors of Scripture were not able to engage with science like they were in the 16th century or even today. Thus, they described things as they saw them and understood them. It didn’t make them ‘wrong’ in the sense of making false statements in Scripture. Rather they were communicating truth within the context of their historical and cultural understanding of the world.

With regards to some of the issues of our understanding of Scripture, much discussion has centred around the early chapters of Genesis. Questions arise such as: Are the early chapters literal? Were Adam and Eve literal, historical figures? What is Genesis 1 teaching us about the ‘creation days’? And so on and so forth.

Below are two videos at the BioLogos website containing interviews with N.T. Wright on the the historicity of Adam & Eve as well as how the early chapters of Genesis related into the world of the New Testament times. Though the interviews are brief, I think some helpful light is shed on these issues.