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Archive for June 16th, 2014

Barrick

Dear Dr. Barrick:

We at The Domain for Truth would like to express our sincerest gratitude to you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do an interview with us.  It was not too long ago since we first fellowshipped together at the Shepherds’ Conference.  For our readers, I think it is important for them to be informed that you contributed to a recent book entitled, Four Views on the Historical Adam and many other works that are immense blessings to God’s people.

For those of you who are not acutely aware of Dr. Barrick and his ministry—He is a husband, grandfather, an elder at his local church, adjunct professor at the Master’s Seminary, and an author.  For more information about him, please see these links for a brief description about him and his ministry:

Without further ado, here are some questions we have for you, Dr. Barrick:

  1. What should our readers be aware of concerning the accommodation of evolutionary science being used as a method to argue for the historical Adam?

We all need to think clearly about the logical result of accommodation to evolutionary science. Peter Enns writes in his book The Evolution of Adam, that “evolution requires us to revisit how the Bible thinks of human origins” (82). Where does that path take him? In his own words, “If evolution is correct, one can no longer accept, in any true sense of the word ‘historical,’ the instantaneous and special creation of humanity described in Genesis, specifically 1:26–31 and 2:7, 22” (The Evolution of Adam, xiv). I disagree quite strongly with Enns, but I admire his intellectual integrity. He sees quite clearly where such accommodation leads. Unfortunately, many evangelical Christians choose to take the path of accommodation without facing the reality of its serious implications and results. Evolutionary science is antisupernaturalistic and dominated by secular humanism. It comprises a direct attack on biblical inerrancy, integrity, and authority. Evangelical scholars sometimes deny that their rejection of literal six-day creation or of a historical Adam has anything to do with evolutionary science. However, I suspect that they started down those paths of rejection in an attempt to try to find some way to hold to both secular evolutionary science and the Bible.

  1. In the Four Views book you mention that it is important for evangelicals to uphold the uniqueness of the Genesis record and give it priority over the ANE (Ancient Near Eastern) materials and modern science.  Can you elaborate on this?

Too often scholars assume that the ancient Hebrews were merely a primitive agricultural people dominated by the literature and philosophy of the pagan cultures around them. We need to understand that those Hebrews who truly believed in Yahweh held to views antagonistic to the surrounding cultures. Yahweh instructed them to avoid the idolatry and false religions of the nations (Exod 23:13, 24, 32-33). No matter what any ANE religion proclaimed, Yahweh’s people were strictly commanded to adhere to the biblical view that He had created the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them in just six literal days (Exod 20:11). Therefore, they were to work for six days and then rest on the seventh. That command was inscribed by God Himself on the stone tablets that Moses took up with him on Mt. Sinai. Therefore, God Himself bears witness to the accuracy of the six literal days of creation in Genesis 1. The Genesis record is unique in that it came from an eyewitness to the creation—God Himself. No man was there as an eyewitness. No scientist was there to be an eyewitness—and no scientist can reproduce the creation in any lab setting. Both ANE literature and modern science depend solely upon human thought and reasoning; the Scriptures depend upon divine revelation. God did not commit His revelation to unbelieving Hebrews who were uncommitted to His covenant—He gave it to righteous believers who would preserve it and convey it faithfully and who would adhere to the identification of the Creator and the truth of His words. Sometimes modern evangelicals depart from the uniqueness of the Genesis record by forcing it into the mold of ANE literature and thinking. Sometimes they accept what the Bible says only if they can find confirmation of its words in ANE literature (especially ancient histories) or in archaeological evidence. That approach subordinates the Bible to both ancient and modern secular historians.

  1. There seems to be four dominate views on the historic and biblical Adam.

There are actually more than the four views presented in the book. These four were selected as being representative of the most widely held views.

A.  Denis O. Lamoureux (Evolutionary Creation View that denies the historical Adam), John Walton (Archetypal Creation View), C. John Collins (Old Earth Creation View), and William D. Barrick (Young Earth Creation View).

B.  Since it may be a good idea for our readers to read the book to get further details, could you briefly explain which view is the good, the bad, and the ugly?

Obviously, I would claim that my view (Young Earth Creation View) is the “good” view, because I believe it to be the most biblically consistent. The view that is less “good,” but not totally “bad,” would be that of C. John Collins (Old Earth Creation View). John Walton’s view (Archetypal Creation View) would be the “bad” and Denis Lamoureux’s view (Evolutionary Creation View) would be the “ugly.”

C.  Is there a particular view in the Four Views book that you would consider unorthodox   and/or liberal?

I would definitely put Lamoureux’s view in the “unorthodox” camp. Because of his theological position on Christ and salvation, I would have a hard time placing him in the “liberal” camp. In fact, I would be reluctant to label any of the other three men as “liberal” in their theology. Although I believe that their views on Adam and Creation are unsound at times and have serious implications regarding biblical inerrancy, they all claim to be evangelicals. I doubt the degree to which Lamoureux and Walton might be truly evangelical, but I need to leave room for the possibility that I might have misunderstood portions of their views or that they might have inadequately explained their views.

  1. We would like to do a separate interview with you concerning inerrancy since it is such a pertinent and hot issue at the moment.  I know that Shepherds’ Conference will have a summit on this topic next year.  But since inerrancy is inseparable from this topic at hand, can you please explain how one’s view concerning the topic of the historical and biblical Adam may determine if one upholds inerrancy or not?

When the entirety of Scripture (Old and New Testaments) give clear testimony to the historicity of Adam as the singular progenitor of the human race, any denial of that testimony implies that the biblical witness cannot be trusted. It implies that the Scripture writers have not accurately conveyed the facts—in other words, that the Bible is mistaken, in error. Some biblical scholars will say, “Yes, the Bible presents Adam as the single originating head of the human race, but I cannot accept that because . . . .” In my thinking, they cannot honestly sign the inerrancy statement of the Evangelical Theological Society, because of their reservations.

  1. Does the denial of the historical Adam impact any biblical doctrines?  If so, which doctrine/doctrines? In addition, how severe are its implications for the church?

The implications arising out of a denial of the historical Adam mount up quickly, but the three major ones include the following:

        • The inerrancy, integrity, authority, and sufficiency of Scripture are placed in question.
        • The universal fallen nature of man cannot be held if Adam is not the single progenitor of the human race.
        • The necessity for the Second Adam to become the historical substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of mankind becomes a moot point if there was no historical First Adam.
  1. What book or resources concerning this topic would you recommend reading?

Of course, the Four Views book itself.

C. John Collins, Did Adam and Even Really Exist?:Who They Were and Why You Should Care (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011).

Andrew S. Kulikovsky, Creation, Fall, Restoration: A Biblical Theology of Creation, Mentor (Geanies House, UK: Christian Focus, 2009).

 

Sincerely,
The Domain for Truth

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