Review of Peter Enns, The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn't Say about Human Origins

Vaughan, Matthew

This is a book review of Peter Enns' 2012 book "The Evolution of Adam."
Enns' thesis is a simple, two-part argument, each suggesting a theological reading of Genesis for the modern church: (1) comparisons between the genre and context of ancient Near East creation myths and the biblical creation narratives call into question the assumption that a literal reading of Genesis 1-3 is true to the text, and (2) Paul's reading of Genesis 1-3 in Romans 5 is also contextually defined and, while Paul probably presumed its historicity, a literal reading of Genesis is not the only interpretation that is faithful to Paul's theology. Let me offer some of the qualities of this book that set it apart from other resources like it: it is written by a critically thinking Evangelical for like-minded readers; despite its scholarly basis, the book's short length makes it accessible to undergraduates, church leaders, and lay Christians; it lacks academic jargon; its writing is clear and humble; when making arguments, its tone is balanced and courteous; vying for the attention of an Evangelical sola scriptum constituency, it deals almost exclusively with the biblical text; it takes Paul seriously; and the book's aims are succinct in that they center around establishing the context and genre of the creation narratives and their canonical interpretations.



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Union Theological Seminary
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June 12, 2013