The Afterword does not need to be reviewed as it offers nothing to the argument, it simply cavalierly says ‘don’t worry, be happy’ it doesn’t matter if there was a historical Adam and a historical origin to human fallenness. Yes it does matter, it matters if the Biblical authors think and say it matters. It even mattered to Jesus who said that marriage is an idea that God came up with ‘from the beginning’ and involved the first couple, Adam and Eve (Mt. 19;Mk. 10). The Biblical religion is irreducibly an historical one, grounded in history from start to finish. The theology of Christianity grows out of the historical situations, circumstances, events. It is not a building of theological castles with no historical foundations, whether we are talking about the creation of the human race, its fallenness or its redemption.
As a final comment, I do honor Scot and Dennis’ attempt to have a meaningful engagement between science and Biblical theology. This book does an excellent job of having a respectful presentation, teasing the mind into active thought. And I think their aim is noble, to rescue various Christians students from a fundamentalist approach to either of these subjects. What this book is not, however, is a meaningful dialogue and debate between Venema and McKnight about what each other says.
Sometimes one‘s urgencies leads one to argue in a way that goes beyond the evidence and indeed even against the Biblical evidence in particular. And I’m afraid this has happened in this book on several counts. ‘Let the reader understand’ that these things are complex, and equally devout Christians can come to very different conclusions on such matters.