William Craig on the Historical Adam. Apologetics Impulse vs Doctrinal Formulation

This post should not be construed as an attempt to cast doubts on William Lane Craig’s (WLC) commitment to evangelical orthodoxy or to minimize his immense contribution to the intellectual defence of Christian faith. It only seeks to demonstrate how the tension between WLC’s apologetic impulse and theological formulation of doctrine may cause confusion for his readers, based on an analysis of his recent article published in First Things, “The Historical Adam.”

On the one hand, WLC’s categorization of the Genesis 1-11 as “mytho-history” raises questions about the existence of the historical Adam:

1) Regarding the book of Genesis
– “The primaeval history of Genesis 1–11, including the stories of Adam and Eve, functions as Israel’s foundational myth, laying the basis of Israel’s worldview…Rather, the claim is that the primaeval narratives belong to the genre of myth principally on the basis of their sharing common mythic themes and their effort to anchor present realities in the deep past.”

“In terms of genre, Genesis 1–11 has key characteristics of myth…On the basis of comparative studies of Sumerian literature, the eminent Assyriologist Thorkild Jacobsen proposed that we recognize a unique genre of literature, which he dubbed “mytho-history…If Genesis 1–11 functions as mytho-history, then these chapters need not be read literally. The accounts of the origin and Fall of man are clearly metaphorical or figurative in nature, featuring as they do an anthropomorphic deity incompatible with the transcendent God of the creation account…Then there is the infamous snake in the Garden.” /1/

“Since the Pentateuchal author [is the use of the singular evidence of WLC’s evangelical commitment?] has an interest in history, he intends for his narrative to be at some level historical, to concern people who actually lived and events that really occurred. But those persons and events have been clothed in the metaphorical and figurative language of myth. If the stories are not meant to be read literally, what central truths do they convey?

After listing ten central truths conveyed by the Pentateuchal author on the nature of God, man and sin, WLC concludes, “Such truths do not depend upon reading the primaeval narratives literalistically.” Continue reading “William Craig on the Historical Adam. Apologetics Impulse vs Doctrinal Formulation”

Did Adam and Eve Live Recently? William Lane Craig + Joshua Swamidass

This is a most stimulating & instructive discussion between Joshua Swamidass and William Craig that tries to integrate the latest scientific and paleoanthropology findings, biblical hermeneutics, philosophical and theological anthropology.

Some challenging questions that arise from the discussion include the following:

1) What criteria would a scientific-theological model of human origins need to fulfill before it can be accepted as scientifically plausible and hermeneutically consistent with divinely revealed scripture? Continue reading “Did Adam and Eve Live Recently? William Lane Craig + Joshua Swamidass”

The Origin of Life Has Not Been Explained

It takes expert knowledge, courage and integrity for Prof. James Tour  to challenge the majority of the professors in the academic establishment who have chosen to exaggerate the ability of science to synthesize life in order to secure research grants, and the media which readily promotes sensational news which sell. Hmm, perhaps there is a deeper spiritual reason when highly intelligent people persist in promoting ‘scientific’ non-reality. Is it because it is abhorrent to them to consider the alternative – that the origin of life is none other than the Creator God? Continue reading “The Origin of Life Has Not Been Explained”

Science Uprising and Beyond

I see a World in a grain of sand,
And a Heaven in a wild flower
William Blake

Time for Science Uprising
Scientists like Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Lawrence Kraus claim that the existence of God has been discredited by new discoveries of modern science. To them, contemporary cosmology, evolution and neuroscience have demonstrated conclusively that the universe spontaneously emerged from a quantum vacuum and that human beings are nothing more than evolving complex bio-chemical machines. The idea of God is unnecessary and irrelevant to our quest for knowledge and understanding of humanity and the universe.

Such atheistic claims are not surprising since these scientists espouse a form of scientific naturalism or “scientism” – the view that all phenomena are fundamentally physical. Since all events (including the mental realm of human beings) are due to physical causes, scientific investigation must be restricted to what is physically observable and measurable. Continue reading “Science Uprising and Beyond”

Who Was Adam? Scientific and Theological Perspectives: Preview

A monkey in the zoo was heard asking the question, “Am I my keeper’s brother?” The theory of evolution answers the question with an unambiguous “YES!”Apes and humans share a common descent. Given below are several evolutionary interpretations of the relationship between humans (hominin) and apes (hominid) based on an unproven assumption – that any … Continue reading “Who Was Adam? Scientific and Theological Perspectives: Preview”

A monkey in the zoo was heard asking the question, “Am I my keeper’s brother?” The theory of evolution answers the question with an unambiguous “YES!”Apes and humans share a common descent.

Given below are several evolutionary interpretations of the relationship between humans (hominin) and apes (hominid) based on an unproven assumption – that any similarities found between them is due to a common ancestor. Continue reading “Who Was Adam? Scientific and Theological Perspectives: Preview”

Another Rumor of the Death of Adam

Scot McKnight’s latest book which he co-authors with Dennis Venema promises to deliver a combination “left-hook, upper cut” knockout punch to demolish the traditional doctrine which teaches Adam and Eve to be historical figures. Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture after Genetic Science (Brazos Press, 2017) Authors: Scot McKnight and Dennis Venema. ISBN – 9781587433948 … Continue reading “Another Rumor of the Death of Adam”

Scot McKnight’s latest book which he co-authors with Dennis Venema promises to deliver a combination “left-hook, upper cut” knockout punch to demolish the traditional doctrine which teaches Adam and Eve to be historical figures.

Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture after Genetic Science (Brazos Press, 2017)
Authors: Scot McKnight and Dennis Venema. ISBN – 9781587433948

A new post in McKnight’s popular blog Jesus Creed, Adam According to Jesus” offers several reasons to reject belief in Adam and Eve to be historical figures. While I disagree with Scot McKnight’s misreading of the Bible on grounds of theological hermeneutics, I admire his honesty in going public with his rejection of orthodoxy – unlike other scholars who portray themselves as ‘progressive’ evangelicals despite rejecting several central doctrines of the Bible. Perhaps, this only confirms my suspicion that many ‘progressive’ evangelicals are really closet liberals with no guts.

But readers may echo Mark Twain and rest assure that the report of the death of Adam has been greatly exaggerated. I refer readers to two accessible critiques of McKnight-Venema: Continue reading “Another Rumor of the Death of Adam”