We started a discussion Tuesday centered on David Livingstone’s book Adam’s Ancestors. This is a fascinating look at the history of the development of ideas about Adam and the context within which they arose. It is only indirectly a look at the theological implications of Adam as the first man and progenitor of the human race. We will return to Adam’s Ancestor’s next week – but today I would like to take a short detour and put up a video conversation with Peter Enns for consideration (see another discussion centered on the video at BioLogos).

The most significant challenges in the consideration of Adam as progenitor of the human race are the connections that Paul draws between Jesus and Adam, the nature of the fall and the entry of evil and sin into human life. In this video Pete Enns emphasizes that “Paul’s a first century man and what he says about Jesus and Adam must be understood in that context.(1:55)” There is nothing in the nature of revelation to suggest that God gave Paul lessons in geology, geography, paleontology, or science (my way of putting it – not Pete’s words). On the other hand Jesus was revealed to Paul and known in the flesh to his contemporaries, James and Peter among others. Paul takes the importance of Adam from a grounding in the story of the Hebrew scriptures, he takes his understanding of Jesus from contact with eyewitness and his own encounter with the risen Lord. This leads to a question I think worth some conversation.

What is the theological truth underlying Paul’s use of Adam in Romans 5 – and how does this impact our understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ? 

Or more succinctly …

What was revealed to Paul and taught by him to the church?

(A second related video excerpt is posted after the jump)

Another video excerpt from Enns was posted yesterday on Science and the Sacred:

The doesn’t deal directly with Paul – or Adam, but introduces some interesting ideas as well.

If you wish to contact me directly you may do so at rjs4mail[at]att.net

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