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This Is Why I Care | The Historical Adam

A controversial Calvin College professor whose views about the existence of Adam and Eve became national news chose to retire this year so his studies would not ‘cause harm or distraction,’ the college’s acting provost said.” – The Grand Rapids Press

This is why I care.

Over the past few weeks I’ve frequently returned to the debate over the historicity of Adam. Often the question has been raised of why we should care, and don’t we have more important things to talk about.

Well, this is why I care. The historical Adam debate is front and center in the church, and has resulted in a growing number of resignations and dismissals in evangelical colleges and seminaries, including in my own hometown.

There are other reasons I care of course – how it affects our reading of the text, the ways the question brings to a point the questions of science and faith – but this is why you might sense some immediacy in my tone.

It’s not merely an interesting intellectual exercise, it’s not a topic I write about for “fun,” it’s a pressing debate with significant implications in the church and academy.

Case in point, the story coming out of Calvin has two quite different sides, as the Press reported here and here.

I’m still figuring out where exactly I stand on all this, but I’d echo Daniel Kirk in saying that whichever side we find ourselves on we need to get better at asking tough and honest questions, and wrestling with difficult answers.

We cannot ignore it as if it were unimportant, or turn our heads and hope it goes away on its own.

If we do, this Calvin story is going to be repeated time and again.

– What has your reaction been to the resignations and dismissals during this debate?

– How do you thing colleges and seminaries should handle the debate?

– Where do you think evangelicalism is headed on the question of Adam?

 

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Mason is a husband to Melinda, seminary student, youth pastor, blogger and freelance writer in, Grand Rapids, MI. He is passionate about theology, community and justice. What little time is left amidst his busy schedule is devoted to reading, coffee snobbery and a new adventure in home brewing.