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Phil Ledgerwood

Hey Lee,

Thanks for these various reviews. You've bulked up my Amazon wish list tremendously.

One thing I noticed in this post in particular that I wanted to ask you about, though, is how appropriate it is to use systematics to evaluate the value of these books.

For example, Collins' scenarios appear to me to basically boil down to, "As long as you can make your theories about Adam support traditional systematics, they're good theories." Even your mini-review of Enns' book (and I should probably read the longer one to see if this observation is fair) seems to be, "This is a bad book because it denies the doctrine of original sin."

But should systematics really have that kind of authority on exegetical and historico-critical inquiry? I mean, advances in biblical theology -should- challenge systematics. It -should- be saying, "Hey, guys, this thing we've been saying for years, we kind of got it wrong."

I might be misunderstanding you, but it seems that traditional systematics is playing a heavy role in your evaluation of the value of these books and what counts as good or viable, and if you have the time, I'd like to understand your thoughts on that further.


Phil, a couple of thoughts. First, if you read Collins, you'll see that he does not use systematic theology at all to support the concept of historical Adam and Eve and a historical fall. Instead, he appeals to biblical theology -- the Bible's creation-fall-redemption-consummation story.

Second, it is not some new biblical-theological insight that leads Enns to reject a historical Adam and a historical fall. He even admits that Paul believed in those things. Rather, it is his use of the ANE myths to perform a "genre calibration" on Gen 1-11 in order to overturn the traditional view that the text claims to be a historical account of what actually happened. This is why I have underscored the importance of Jack Collins' work on this in Appendix 1.

Phil Ledgerwood

Thanks, Lee. That helps me understand where you're coming from. I've got Collins' book on my wish list.

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