We’ve been looking at the question of beginnings from the perspective of the early church fathers using Peter Bouteneff’s book, but it is also useful to listen to what contemporary Christian thinkers have to say about the question of Adam. This 5 minute clip comes from the new BioLogos film From the Dust directed by Ryan Pettey. The film is intended as a conversation starter – and is aimed at a Christian audience addressing the questions that many Christians wrestle with when it comes to science and the Christian faith. Few questions raise more problems than the question of Adam. In this clip N.T. Wright, Alister McGrath, Chris Tilling, Michael Lloyd, and David Wenham comment on the question of Adam – Paul’s Adam in particular.
N.T. Wright opens the clip with a look at Romans and the way Paul uses Adam in the book of Romans. The thrust of the clip is that we have to look at Adam and Paul’s use of Adam in light of the story of Israel. Paul’s use of Adam is not a scientific statement – it is a theological statement. Paul’s theology does not depend on his scientific understanding. All five of the theologians featured in this clip express the idea that we need to put Paul’s use of Adam firmly into the Jewish narrative – not into our modern scientific categories. Jesus is the faithful one, the truly human one. Anyone who is in Jesus the Messiah is truly human.
How important is Adam as progenitor of the human race to Paul’s use of Adam?
What was Paul doing when he contrasted Paul and Adam?
A study guide for From the Dust has been prepared by David Vosburg, associate professor of chemistry at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. The guide was developed especially for use with college students, but can be used with a much broader group.
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