Monday, May 4, 2015

God, Adam, and You: Biblical Creation Defended and Applied

God, Adam, and You: Biblical Creation Defended and AppliedGod, Adam, and You: Biblical Creation Defended and Applied by Richard D. Phillips
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

P&R Publishing has put out a collection of essays on a topic that remains incredibly relevant to our culture in general and ever-increasingly relevant to me personally.  The compatibility/incompatibility of evolutionary theory and the Bible has been a personal issue of interest for quite some time.  This new volume, edited by Richard Phillips, will be one that I return to time and again.

The list of contributors gives the reader confidence that this will be a work filled with theological precision and fidelity.  Derek Thomas, Joel Beeke, Kevin DeYoung, Liam Goligher,  Richard Phillips, and Carl Trueman all contribute one or two essays from their confessional, Reformed perspectives.  It goes without saying that these men respect the Scriptures as the revealed Word of God and seek to submit all other forms of knowledge to God’s Word.

The subtitle of the work is Biblical Creation Defended and Applied.  I was guilty of not reading the subtitle well and was half-expecting this volume to be a simple apologetic for creation and polemic against evolution.  While the reader will definitely find positive arguments for Biblical creation and negative arguments against atheistic and theistic evolution, this work shines most brightly when the contributors venture into the application of these competing truth claims.

I am accustomed to the simple, slippery-slope type arguments where the reader is warned that a rejection of a literal Adam inevitably leads to a rejection of inspiration, inerrancy, the authority of Scripture, the historicity of any of the Old Testament, original sin, substitutionary atonement and leads to an embrace of an allegorical reading of Scripture, egalitarianism, abortion, homosexuality, and anY/every form of licentiousness one dare to even think of.   While there is a bit of that argument to be found scattered throughout these pages, the contributors move beyond simple bogeyman language and lead the reader through the necessary consequences and implications of rejecting a literal Adam.  To say the least, these consequences are far reaching and paradigm shifting.

The interaction between science and faith, specifically in the realm of evolutionary theory and conservative Christianity, is a persistent topic of debate and dissension.  This subject proves worthy of substantial and sustained scholarship, study, and conversation.  I feel confident in saying that God, Adam, and You will show itself to be a commendable and lasting contribution to that important conversation.

I received a review copy from P&R Publishing.

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