The Historical Adam: William VanDoodewaard
The First Man and Woman
Pretty much everyone, including Peter Enns and myself, agree that this is the mainstream, historic view of Christian orthodoxy. We both agree to the claim "the church has never questioned the historicity of Adam and Eve." Enns argues that this, however, is irrelevant, "since the history of the church did not have evolution or any scientific discoveries to deal with until recently." While this statement misapprehends what the patristic through Enlightenment era church actually did engage, it is reflective of those pursuing alternate Genesis interpretations on human origins today. The re-interpretive edge argues, "evolution and ancient texts that put the biblical story in its cultural context are new factors we have to address." While this compels some, and evolution and ancient texts do need to be intelligently engaged, I believe the biblical story is actually what places both evolutionary hypotheses and ancient near eastern texts in context. Scripture illumines, and it reveals Adam and Eve marvelously created by God, apart from any ancestry, in less than one of our days.
This article is part of our Symposium on the Historical Adam:
William VanDoodewaard is a Professor of Church History at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is an ordained minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and the author of two books, including his most recent publication, The Quest for the Historical Adam: Genesis, Hermeneutics, and Human Origins.
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