Leaving Paul Behind

Leaving Paul Behind January 25, 2012

Enns again: He admits that Paul, given the culturally assumed and conditioned conceptual framework he inherited from Judahism, believed that Adam was a primordial man whose disobedience was the cause of sin. Enns doesn’t believe that Adam is a historical first man, and acknowledges that he is leaving Paul behind: “my suggestion here leaves behind the truly historical Adam of Paul’s thinking.” He argues, accurately I think, that anyone who wants to “bring evolutionary and Christianity together” will have to leave Paul behind in some fashion. Still, Pete says, we don’t lose those features of “Paul’s theology” that are “core elements of the gospel” – the universality of death and sin and the event of Christ’s death and resurrection.

In addition to the standard objections to this line of thinking, I have two questions: What does Pete think Paul’s theology (or biblical theology as a whole) is if it is not an interpretation of history ? And, having left Paul behind, how does he account for the contingency of sin and death – which, it seems, is a necessary presumption if we are going to talk about Christ’s victory over death and sin?

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