Adam, Eve, and the Culture Wars
In this video Conversation, BioLogos Senior Biblical Fellow Peter Enns discusses why Adam and Eve seem to be at the center of the Culture Wars. In particular, he considers why questioning the historicity of this particular origins narrative is so threatening to evangelicals.
Enns notes that challenging the literal interpretation of Genesis and its “first parents” frightens people. He suggests that much of this fear is a factor of the time in which we live—where there has now been 100-150 years of battle and conflict behind us. Consequently, we have been taught that the only way to protect the Bible is to protect its literalistic reading and interpretation. Enns notes that the ongoing debates are primarily motivated by fear—not flawed theology.
One way to get over the fear—which will take time—is to help people become more self-conscious or self-aware, says Enns, about the assumptions that we carry. Instead of believing that the Christian worldview and faith hinges on our interpretation of Adam and Eve, we should instead view their narrative in its proper context as one biblical passage.
“A central component is the centrality of Jesus and what he did for understanding of the Gospel and of the Bible itself,” Enns explains. “That is our epicenter—that is our beginning point as Christians and I think we work out from that.”
Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.
Pete Enns is a former Senior Fellow of Biblical Studies for The BioLogos Foundation and author of several books and commentaries, including the popular Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament, which looks at three questions raised by biblical scholars that seem to threaten traditional views of Scripture.