Continuing the Fox in the Hen House! series of blog posts exposing heresy about Genesis …
Is a Bible scholar trustworthy who proclaims, “Adam is a myth!”?
Such false teachers lead people astray concerning Genesis and concerning New Testament teaching based on Genesis, even to the point of subverting the Gospel.
The heretics include respected scholars claiming to be evangelicals. They question the truth of Scripture and undermine the doctrines of the divine inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible.
This series of reports focuses primarily on scholars associated with the BioLogos Foundation. BioLogos is committed to the marriage of scientism and Christianity through persuading Christians to accept evolutionism and billions of years for the age of the earth by arguing that Genesis 1-11 is mythical or metaphorical.
This seventh post of the series continues the analysis of the work of the BioLogos Senior Fellow of Biblical Studies Dr. Peter Enns on Genesis that was begun in the preceding two blog posts. Enns is a former tenured professor of Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary who was removed for his heretical beliefs (more to come on this in a future blog post). He is writing a Bible curriculum for children that is being marketed to homeschoolers. A subsequent blog post in this series will cover Enns’ curriculum in more detail.
Peter Enns’ teaching is fraught with unorthodox, even heretical, positions. To read Enns’ views for yourself, click Peter Enns Articless for links to many articles by Enns on the BioLogos site.
Watch this 50-minute video lecture “Paul, Adam, and Evolution” by Enns at Westmont College on February 9, 2011. Hear for yourself how Enns denies and twists the plain truth of Genesis and Romans.
Commentary on Enns’ Video Lecture
In the lecture, Enns disputes Paul and arrogates to himself the authority to correct the Apostle Paul. Several times he admits, “Paul understood Adam to be the first human being, that seems very clear.” (at 42:25ff; 19:40) But, says Enns, “Scientifically that understanding was wrong.” (at 42:42ff) Enns says, “Paul may be wrong on the cause of the problem (death), but he is right on the problem itself and the solution (Jesus).” (at 43:05ff)
Enns says that Adam is not the first man, but rather he is a metaphor for the nation of Israel (4:10 ff). This directly contradicts the record in Genesis which reports Adam as the first man and as the ancestor of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the progenitors of Israel. Adam could not merely be a metaphor for Israel, since genealogies in Genesis, 1 Chronicles, and Luke trace the Israelites back to Adam. Metaphors do not have real-life descendants.
Several places in the lecture Enns says “the Adam story is a very flexible story; it’s open to a lot of interpretation.” (at 29:50ff). This is dead wrong. The Genesis account of Adam is a historical narrative laying out simple factual events. The only reason to claim it’s “flexible” is if one wants to impose one’s own meaning on the text. There’s nothing inherent in the text that indicates “flexibility.”
The Apostle Paul, speaking with the authority of Jesus Christ who sent him to teach on His behalf, gives the definitive “interpretation” of the Adam account, and as Enns admits, Paul presents Adam as a real man.
In the lecture, Enns’ repeated reference to the record of Adam in Genesis as “the Adam story” conveys the connotation that it’s “just a story” as opposed to a factual historical account. This terminology subtly introduces doubt about God’s Word.
What does Genesis 2:23 mean when it records Adam as saying Eve was “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” if Adam was a metaphor? Metaphors don’t have flesh and bones. How could a metaphorical Adam have relations with Eve and produce children, one of whom killed his brother?
Genesis records that Adam died at age 930. What does it mean for a metaphor to “die at age 930”? Clearly, for the author of Genesis, Adam was a real flesh and blood man.
Genesis records that God made Adam from the dust of the ground, that He extracted a rib from which He made Eve, that Adam talked, ate, wore clothes, worked, had relations with his wife, and fathered children. These are not behaviors of a “metaphor.” These all testify that Adam was a real man.
Enns asserts (10:50ff) that Cain’s wife was not his sister and then concludes that there were therefore other people. This is adding assumptions to the Genesis text that are not present and not needed. See Where Did Cain Get His Valentine? for a clear explanation of Cain’s wife.
Enns says that Genesis is one of the hardest books to understand (at 46:50ff). This is only because he refuses to accept the plain truth of Genesis. It’s actually one of the easiest books in the entire Bible to understand, since it is straightforward historical narrative. It is only the attempts to wrest it to fit human opinions that introduce complexity.
Enns says “Evolution is a pressing theological issue.” (48:55ff) It’s only “pressing” because he’s on a mission to synthesize evolution and Christianity. My next post will critique Enns’ attempt to synthesize evolution and the Bible.
Clearly Peter Enns does not accept the plain literal truth of the Genesis record. He does not believe in a specific individual named Adam who lived on this earth about 6,000 years ago. He does not believe in Adam’s specific act of disobedience in eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He does not believe in a single human pair (Adam and Eve) from whom all humans descended.
Near the end of the lecture (48:45ff) Enns asks, “How does how I live affect how I read the Bible?” This question highlights his problem. He has it backwards. His commitment to evolutionism and scientism has affected how he understands the Bible, instead of the Bible showing him that evolutionism and scientism are invalid.
Instead of interpreting the scientific data in light of the truth revealed by Yahweh in Genesis, Enns perverts the Genesis record to fit an interpretation of the data that is currently popular among scientists, namely evolutionism and billions of years.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Read the prequels in this Fox in the Hen House! series of blog posts exposing
heresy about Genesis:
1. Fox in the Hen House! – BioLogos Promotes Heresy
2. Fox in the Hen House! – BioLogos Rejects Inerrancy
3. Fox in the Hen House! – Colleges Compromise on Genesis
4. Fox in the Hen House! – BioLogos Founder Rejects Adam
5. Fox in the Hen House! – Enns Rejects Adam
6. Fox in the Hen House! – Enns Rejects Adam #2
Read the sequel:
8. Fox in the Hen House! – Evolution Trumps Bible?
©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3)
Thursday June 9, 2011 A.D.
Read my May 2011 newspaper column:
When the Sun Stood Still.
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)