On November 28 a number of pastors and theology wonks will hang out here to listen to Stan Fowler, Professor of Theological Studies at Heritage Seminary, discuss the question of whether the biblical Adam was historical. In lead-up to that, I hope to post a series on RearViewMirror dealing with Adam. As Carl Trueman warned in a recent blogpost, the debate over Adam will be a dominant one in days to come. Already there was a controversy related to the subject that resulted in the dismissal of Peter Enns from Trueman’s own Westminster Seminary. Those who espouse theistic evolution like Bruce Waltke or Tremper Longman believe that there was a pre-hominid line that led to Adam in the course of God’s providential, evolutionary leading. So, I’m very interested to see how Dr. Fowler handles the subject.
I begin with a series of posts by Spencer Boersma, a former student of Dr. Fowler’s, and a sometime “gatherer” with us at the Bishop and Belcher. Spencer is a doctoral student in systematic theology at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto; his supervisor is Joe Mangina. Spencer blogs at “After Orthodoxy?” and is an intern at a Fellowship Baptist Church in Bradford, Ontario. While I’m not sure how Spencer would categorize himself theologically, his reading interests include theologians like Stan Grenz, Kevin Vanhoozer, Karl Barth, and George Lindbeck. Philosophically, as he said today, he is more “continental” and prefers the writings of Heidegger and Wittgenstein. Incidentally, Spencer and I shot the breeze over coffee this afternoon.
In this series, Spencer advocates a more Barthian or Brunnerian (?) read of Adam as theologically significant, but not necessarily an historical person. As you can imagine, I would disagree with this.