did the apostle Paul (or God) believe in a literal Adam?

Many Christians are concerned that Adam in the book of Genesis is to be understood as a “first” human of some sort–either literally so or “first” in terms of importance. In my book The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins, I spend half its pages talking about what [Read More…]

Genesis, creation, and two very different portraits of God (or, you can’t pin God down)

Marc Zvi Brettler, Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Literature at Brandeis University, and also one of my co-authors on The Bible and the Believer: How to Read the Bible Critically and Religiously, recently posted some thoughts at TheTorah.com on the two creation stories in Genesis and how each portrays God differently. I think this will be [Read More…]

defending a literal reading of Genesis: an elderly pastor’s hill to die on

I recently stumbled upon a lengthy, passionate defense of a literal reading of the biblical creation story. This was posted by G. I. Williamson, a name likely not known outside of very conservative Presbyterian and Reformed circles, but within the Orthodox Presbyterian Church he is a revered and authoritative voice. I am not posting this to [Read More…]

Episcopalians on Science and Faith: gettin’ it done (evangelicals could learn something)

“The goal of human knowing is neither to exalt science over other forms of inquiry nor to use theology as a magic wand to make things we can’t otherwise explain vanish. The goal of human knowing is instead to seek to engage God, the world, and ourselves in one unified frame of meaning.” ~The Very [Read More…]

On Creation and Killing Canaanites: One Simple, Hardly Worth Mentioning (but I feel that I should) Thought

In recent months, these two issues–creation and Canaanite extermination–have been among the more heat-producing that I have dealt with on this blog. Today, I want to make one simple point that concerns both of these issues, and others like it. Nothing creative or profound. Pretty standard stuff, actually, though when push comes to shove (literally) [Read More…]