Apologetics: Defending Christianity or Defending a Good Idea?
by Sarah Flashing
Recently I stumbled upon a discussion among some Christian apologists discussing whether or not belief in an historical Adam is necessary to Christian theism. Part of the conversation involved Peter Enns’ recent book addressing the topic, Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say About Human Origins. I’ve not read this book yet, so please do not suppose this to be a review of it.
As the conversation progressed, someone suggested it is logically possible to hold to an historical fall of humanity without the necessity of an historical Adam. He noted that Adam’s presence in the historical record may serve as an analogy of humanity’s fall into sin. Take note, this discussion was more of a thought experiment. Even the logical possibility of an analogous Adam made this individual uncomfortable. But the entire discussion about Adam as a historical person as opposed to an “analogy” contained in Scripture caused me to consider another important question. While I agree that Scripture doesn’t give us every answer we want–though it does give us every answer we need and the ability to discern this information–I need to ask a question of those who are defenders of the faith.
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In answering the call to give an answer for the hope within, are we about defending Christianity or defending a great idea? In other words, are our arguments intended to give an answer for the life and beliefs that bring us into intimacy with our Savior or are we defending the general, though very good idea that there is an intelligent Creator of this obviously orderly universe? Are we seeking to establish the veracity of general principle that God exists or are we defending the specific teachings of Scripture? You may think I’ve created a false dilemma, and perhaps I have…
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