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Did Adam exist and does it matter?

By Matthew Barrett–

In the fall of 2013 we have some exciting resources coming your way. In particular, Ardel Caneday and myself (Matthew Barrett) are editing a new book with Zondervan, Four Views on the Historical Adam, to be released November 2013. Contributors include Denis Lamoureux, John Walton, C. John Collins, Bill Barrick. Having read the initial chapters by each contributor, we are looking forward to the release of this book and believe it will be an important contribution to the ongoing debate.

Today we would simply like to point you to a host of recent resources on the topic.

Michael Reeves, theological adviser for the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF) in the United Kingdom and editor of the Theology Network, has just written a short post at Desiring God ministries, “Why the Good News Turns Bad Without Adam.” He begins his article: “Picture the scene: George Whitefield has just been preaching. Everywhere, eyes are shining and people are talking of the wonderful grace of Christ. Thousands of hearts have been overthrown and melted; lives have been remade. Now, if the church gives up believing in a historical Adam, we will never see such scenes again. Too far? A bit strong? Not at all. . . .” Read his entire piece here.

John Piper has also recently addressed the topic in two audios:

John Piper, Ask Pastor John podcast, Was Adam For Real, and Does It Matter? (Jan. 15, 2013)
John Piper, Ask Pastor John podcast, Why Adam Matters for Global Missions (Jan. 16, 2013)

Also, if you are interested in attending a conference or two on the topic, here are two conferences coming soon in Grand Rapids:

 Talking Points Spring 2013 — Creation in Scripture

Monday, March 18, 2013. Speakers: John Walton, David Turner, John Hilber, Michael Wittmer.

Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology 2013 — In the Beginning: God, Adam, and You

Plenary Speakers: Joel Beeke, Kevin DeYoung (MI), Liam Goligher (PA), Richard Phillips, Derek Thomas

Dates: Grand Rapids, MI — March 15-17, 2013; Philadelphia, PA — April 19-21, 2013

Or if you are looking to jump into the literature of this debate head-first, here is Peter Enns’s book where he lays out his case against a historical Adam: The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins.

And here is C. John Collins’s book-length treatment making his case for a historical Adam, Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? Who They Were and Why You Should Care, as well as his review of Enns’s book (also see Hans Madueme’s review).

If all of this just sounds overwhelming, get your feet wet by reading Richard N. Ostling’s Christianity Today cover story, “The Search for the Historical Adam.”

Finally, if you are looking to read the long list of internet blog posts on the topic, see Peter Enns, Kevin DeYoung, among many others.

Matthew Barrett (Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of Christian Studies at California Baptist University (OPS). He is also the founder and executive editor of Credo Magazine. Barrett has contributed book reviews and articles to various academic journals, and he is the editor of Whomever He Wills: A Surprising Display of Sovereign Mercy, as well as the author of several other forthcoming books.

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