Four Views on the Historical Adam

adamThis debate-book releases on December 10:

Matthew Barrett and Ardel B. Caneday, eds. Four Views on the Historical Adam. Counterpoints. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013. 288 pp.

I read an uncorrected proof of the book, so I won’t quote from it. But I’m happy to relay that it’s stimulating (as Counterpoints volumes usually are).

The book has three sections:

  1. The editors helpfully introduce the issue.
  2. Four contributors debate each other by (a) presenting their views, (b) responding to each other’s views, and then (c) adding a rejoinder to the responses. (This is one of the few Counterpoints volume that includes rejoinders—a welcome addition.) Here are the four views:
    1. No Historical Adam: Evolutionary Creation View | Denis O. Lamoureux
    2. A Historical Adam: Archetypal Creation View | John H. Walton
    3. A Historical Adam: Old-earth Creation View | C. John Collins
    4. A Historical Adam: Young-earth Creation View | William Barrick
  3. Greg Boyd and Phil Ryken pastorally reflect on the book. Boyd doesn’t think it’s critical that Adam was historical, but Ryken (rightly) does.

Of the four main contributors, Collins and Barrick are most persuasive, and I’d give Barrick the edge.

Related: other posts tagged “creation.”


  1. says

    Thanks for the summation, Andy.

    I’m curious about the content of Walton’s view. He was my Genesis prof in my days at Moody, and I never got the impression he doubted a historical Adam & Eve. I know he pushes for a “cosmic temple” in Genesis 1 (I think he was formulating that even in my time, which has been quite a while ago).

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