Q. How do you view the relationship between history and theology when it comes to Adam’s existence, his sin, the Fall etc.?
A. I am purposefully ambiguous if not agnostic because I can’t make up my mind on the basis of the Bible. There are elements in the Bible –the genealogies for instance — that suggest a real man and historical person. There are other elements in Gen 1-3, like a talking snake, a man named “Dusty” and a woman named “Momma of all Living Beings” that sound like ANE stories in some ways. The genre, as you know, of Gen 1-11 is a much debated question but after reading the discussions I simply don’t know what to decide. I see the text functioning as a revelation of the vocation of Adam and Eve in this world; I see it telling us that humans are exiled for their sins; I see it telling us that Adam and Eve’s sin followed by a murdering son; these are what I see. As such, I side with the many Jewish texts that inform us Adam was seen as a moral archetypal human who was told how to live before God and chose not to. I don’t oppose original sin etc but I’m unconvinced anyone in the Bible explicitly teaches it. I’m not Eastern and I’m not Western; I’m convinced that Adam and Eve sinned and I’m convinced the Bible says we are sinners and need redemption.
Q. In evaluating the genetics arguments in the first half of the book, if you were to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the argument of Dennis Venema from a Biblical and theological point of view, what would you say?
A. Nothing, I like what Dennis wrote.