Sunday, September 30, 2012

Adam in the New Testament by Richard B. Gaffin

I heard, a few years ago, that Genesis chapter one was allegorical, and that Adam wasn't real. And also, UFO's existed and God used evolution to bring about the earth. All at the Aldersgate Convention, an annual event held by the Methodist Churches of Singapore. I remember feeling very disturbed by the speaker and my suspicions were confirmed by the pastor.

If only I had known of Creation Ministries at that time. Or if only I had read Adam in the New Testament. This book is the perfect answer towards the whole "Adam did not exist" theory (although it says nothing about UFOs).

Adam in the New Testament is a short, translated book looking at whether Adam is a mere teaching model (and hence just allegory) or a historical figure. There are many who claim that whether Adam actually existed has no bearing on Christianity. I happen to think that they're wrong. As the introduction puts it, one of the biggest implications is that it results in

"a radically altered understanding of sin, particularly of the origin and nature of human depravity and the corresponding abandonment of any meaningful notion of the guilt of sin. This changed view of sin, in turn, results in a substantially changed notion of salvation. Eclipsed or even denied is Christ's death as a substitutionary atonement that propitiates God's just and holy wrath on sin and removes its guilt. And these shifted perceptions of sin and salvation are inevitably followed by a significantly different assessment of the Savior. Stressed is Christ's humanity, especially the exemplary aspects of his person and work (he is the "ideal man" realised within the constraints of the evolutionary process), an emphasis that minimises or even denies his deity."

If you still don't think this is significant, you seriously need to re-consider why you're still a Christian and what you believe in.

The book first explains the concept of the "Teaching Model" and then goes on to examine Romans 5:12-21, the verses that are central to this concept. After this, it examines other New Testament data and then rabbinic references to Adam. Lastly, the book sums up the arguments and its consequences.

If it sounds heavy going, it's not. Even though the original text is looked at, it's written in an understandably style and can be understood by anyone. It's also fairly short at under a hundred pages. In short, this is a book that should be on your bookshelf. We are commanded to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, and this book helps us understand that

"Whoever divorces the work of redemption from the framework in which it stands in Scripture no longer allows the Word to function as the norm that determines everything."

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

No comments :

Post a Comment

I really do appreciate all comments, and I'll try my best to reply within 24 hours!