Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Central Issue in this Debate

Peter Enns again, this time cautioning us about being too quick to “know for sure” what topics the Apostle Paul meant to settle for us definitively by what he wrote. Theology, certainly; but questions of science? Perhaps we too casually assume that this ancient man was addressing our modern concerns.

Paul’s view on Adam is perhaps the central issue in this debate among Evangelicals. But the entire question turns on whether Paul’s comments on Adam are prepared to settle what can and cannot be concluded about human origin on the basis of scientific investigation.

Citing a few verses as transparent prooftexts does not relieve us of the necessary hermeneutical work of what to do with Paul’s words. Paul’s view of Adam does not end the discussion, as DeYoung thinks; it begins it.

via Thoughts on Kevin DeYoung’s Restless Comments on the Historical Adam | Peter Enns.

Stories that Share a Conceptual World

Pete Enns discusses Kevin DeYoung’s defense of the historicity of Genesis 1-3. Both men claim that the Genesis creation account is meant to supplant the mythical creation accounts of Israel’s neighboring cultures. However, Enns disagrees with DeYoung about why the Hebrew stories were better.

Israel’s stories do not supplant the other stories by being somehow “historical” by contrast–to show those Babylonians “what really happened.” Israel’s stories offer an alternate theological account of their God by employing mythic themes and imagery of other cultures–even if those themes and images are reframed and re-presented by the biblical writers, which they certainly were.

The polemic of Israel’s creation stories works because they share the same conceptual world of their neighbors. DeYoung seems to think the polemic works because it abandons that conceptual world.

via Thoughts on Kevin DeYoung’s Restless Comments on the Historical Adam | Peter Enns.

Prayer of St. Brigid

I think I should like to use this prayer.

Since today is the feast day of St. Brigid, let me commend a prayer of hers that might be said before the meal at the People’s Prayer Breakfast:

I should welcome the poor to my feast,

For they are God’s children.

I should welcome the sick to my feast,

For they are God’s joy.

Let the poor sit with Jesus at the highest place,

And the sick dance with the angels.

God bless the poor,

God bless the sick,

And bless our human race.

God bless our food,

God bless our drink,

All homes, O God embrace.

via slacktivist » Occupy the National Prayer Breakfast.

Thinking Hermeneutically

I know many Christians who understand the scientific issues and are convinced that evolution explains human origins. They are looking for ways to read the Adam story differently. Many more—at least this is my experience—are open to the discussion, but are not ready simply to pull the trigger on evolution. They first need to see for themselves that the Adam story can be read with respect and reverence but without needing to read it as a literal account of human origins. Both groups are thinking hermeneutically, though they approach the issue from different sides.

via Behind the Book: Peter Enns’s The Evolution of Adam.

Here am I.