That’s the question floating around the internet as of late. The issue has been brought to our attention once again with the publication of Peter Enns’ new book, The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins, in which Enns argues that an evolutionary worldview doesn’t allow for an historical Adam. As an interesting aside, I recall one of my seminary profs suggesting alternatively that theistic evolution was entirely compatible with an historical view of Adam, because there had to have been a first human being.
The discussion of the book and the debate over the historical Adam have, not surprisingly, begun to float around the blogosphere. Peter Leithart has questioned Enns’ reading of Genesis on the one hand and his reading of Paul on the other. Pastor and author Kevin DeYoung last week posted “Ten Reasons to Believe in a Historical Adam,” a post in which he suggested this is a standing or falling gospel issue.
James McGrath has responded to DeYoung with his own post entitled, “Ten Really Bad Reasons to Believe in a Historical Adam,” in which he comments on what he takes to be the problems with each of DeYoung’s arguments. And to come full-circle, Enns himself has jumped in with his two cents on DeYoung’s post.
What do you think? Do you believe in an historical Adam? Does an evolutionary worldview rule out any conception of an historical Adam? Or can you reconcile the two? Or does it matter? Must the Bible be reconciled with science? If so, how? How does this question affect the way you read Paul? What is at stake in this debate?