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Four Views on the Historical Adam


3.83  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  38 reviews
As a part of the Counterpoints series, Four Views on the Historical Adam clearly outlines four primary views on Adam held by evangelicals, featuring top-notch proponents of each view presenting their positions in their own words and critiquing the positions with which they disagree. You will come away with a better understanding of the key biblical and theological issues a ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 10th 2013 by Zondervan Academic (first published November 26th 2013)
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Terry Kreutzkamp Hey Daniel,
I think I was looking for a more scientific angle to the arguments presented and a lot of it seemed to deal with textual interpretation. As…more
Hey Daniel,
I think I was looking for a more scientific angle to the arguments presented and a lot of it seemed to deal with textual interpretation. As well, the format of one guy giving his view, then the other 3 responding, then the one guy responding to the critiques just made for longer, repetitive discussions. Overall it raised more questions than answers around origins, though I do like to wrestle with this mystery. I've yet to find a book that completely satisfies me on this topic.(less)

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3.83  · 
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Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Lamoureux’s argues that Genesis 1-11 is essentially a myth and not to be taken as anything more than an ancient explanation of origins. It is a manifestation of God stooping down to the scientific level of his audience in a way that means little to us today, as we have advanced scientifically and these first eleven chapters of Genesis will mislead more than they will inform.

It is not that God lies, for Lamoureux repeatedly affirms that God does not, nor cannot lie. His explanation, instead, is t
Josh Pannell
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Review of Four Views on the Historical Adam

Overall, this book was a good read. I have already given summaries on the specific views so this post will only be regarding the book itself. For my review of the 4 views go to The book begins with an article by Barrett and Caneday on the rise of liberal theology and evolution in the church as well as the reaction of the fundamentalists. This article is very helpful for a fuller understanding of the 4 views and should not be skippe
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This counterpoints installment by Zondervan is an excellent addition to anyone looking for a serious introduction to the ongoing discussion for the historical Adam. Contrary to most books, the introductory chapter written by two of the editors is an excellent way to begin the book and should not be missed. Each position is set forth by its respective author and is followed by a couple pages from each of the other contributing authors on their objections. Each chapter closes with a reprisal from ...more
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
This book could prompt its own book in response, but in short(ish): I found the essays of varying quality, but reading each of them in conversation was a valuable experience.

Lamoureux has covered this ground better in other places. His hermeneutic is interesting, but he ends up with some leaps in logic. Keeping in mind his thoughts on accommodation, concordism, and the Message-Incident Principle are useful, if only for humility in conversation and respect of various positions. He gets a little o
Matthew Richey
This is one of the better "views" books I've read. 3 of the 4 authors (the exception being the Young-Earth Creation View by William Barrick) are well-argued, thoughtful, interact well with each other's perspectives, and offer helpful critiques of the others' viewpoints.
Bret James Stewart
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it

Four Views on the Historical Adam edited by Matthew Barrett and Ardel B. Caneday provides the views of six contributors. The primary four are Denis O. Lamoureux, John H. Walton, C. John Collins, and William D. Barrick, each of whom is recognized scholar in the field. These contributors will provide their views on creation and especially in regard to whether or not Adam existed. Each author will then critique the view of the other. Following is a pastoral response from established preachers, Greg
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For the last few years the historicity of Adam has been a topic of controversy and debate within Evangelical academia. It comes at no surprise that Zondervan would come out with a book in their Counterpoint series addressing this topic. Four views are given a hearing in this book represented by Denis O. Lamoureux (Evolutionary Creation View that denies the historical Adam), John Walton (Archetypal Creation View), C. John Collins (Old Earth Creation View), and William D. Barrick (Young Earth Crea ...more
Autumn Kotsiuba
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is a discussion between four academics on the major views of Adam--evolutionary (Lamoureux), archetypal (Walton), old earth (Collins), and young earth (Barrick).

Lamoureux and Walton did an excellent job of defending their beliefs; Collins had some flaws but was overall interesting, and Barrick...well, let's just say I still have no reason to believe in a young earth (and I was raised young earth; an elder in my church once told me that the bones of dinosaurs were "strategically placed
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This has been a topic that I've always wanted to research specifically but never got around to. After reading it, I now have an excellent foundation for further studies in this topic and a newfound respect for the hermeneutics of the creation story in Genesis that I never quite had before. Personally, I feel Walton (archetypal) and Collins (old earth) made the strongest cases for their views, however Lamoureux (evolutionary creation) made a strong impression on me as well. Sadly, I felt Barrck ( ...more
Todd Miles
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Edited volumes are always uneven, but each of the essays in this book makes a contribution. Even the authors with whom I disagree the most gave insight into their positions and I found their work helpful. This book does not debate the interpretation of the scientific data; it is a book dedicated to the biblical and theological implications of the existence of Adam that focuses on interpretation of biblical texts.
Mike Holmes
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
pretty solid counterpoints entry. The views of the first three authors in the book are probably the best-argued. It is definitely an in-house debate among evangelicals, but a worthy read nonetheless.
Derek Brown
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Late in 2013 Zondervan released another installment in their Counterpoints series–this particular contribution offering different perspectives on the historicity of Adam. Since their inception several years ago, I have appreciated these multiple-view books. Although I usually come to and leave these books holding firmly to one of the views, I am always grateful to learn, first-hand, how proponents of different positions articulate and defend their views. I am also encouraged to think afresh abou ...more
Jerry Hillyer
Title: Four Views on the Historical Adam


Denis O. Lamoureux
John H. Walton | BioLogos Forum
C. John Collins | Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?
William D. Barrick | The Masters Seminary
Greg A. Boyd | ReKnew
Philip G. Ryken | Sermon Audio

Publisher: Zondervan

Year: 2013

Pages: 289 (e-book)

Additional Information:

Counterpoints: Bible & Theology Logos Software

General Editors: Ardel B. Caneday | Matthew Barrett

[I was provided with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased and fair
Glenn Crouch
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
It has been awhile since I last read a "views" style book, back in the early 80s these were very crucial for me as I came out of a very "closed" fundamentalist pentecostal group - back then it was more about Baptism and Millennial Views. So thought it was time to see what some of the more recent volumes are like.

The discussion of the Historical Adam seems to be getting more popular these days given that Theistic Evolution (or Evolutionary Creation) seems to be gaining much ground, and that more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian
Most of these authors have book-length works that explain their views of Adam and the closely related topic of creation generally. This was a nice way to get a sampling in 1 book instead of 4. While it was theoretically interesting to have each author directly respond to the others, I didn't find this to be as insightful as I might have hoped. This was largely redundant with the body of the main essays. I appreciated the generally collegial tone though. The intro and concluding theology essays a ...more
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Counterpoints Series, of which this is a volume, is designed to present several common viewpoints on an issue, rebuttal from representatives of the other viewpoints, then a pastoral reflection from different perspectives. I liken this series to the Bedford Critical Editions for literature in that they too present different schools of thought using a common work as a focal point.

This volume deals with the question of Adam's historicity. The presentations are quite good (I'm not saying they ar
Joshua Rowland
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A welcomed challenge for the reader and a model for respectful interaction among men with stark disagreements on a major topic.
Daniel Crouch
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
While the book was a nice survey of positions, it didn't address all the positions or points of disagreement that many readers will hope to find answered in a book of this title
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lamoureux and Walton make great arguments.
J.K. Turner
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-challenge
My Rating – Put it on Your List

Level – Somewhat technical, requires a higher level knowledge of Genesis and some theology, somewhat short, but at times reads longer than it is.

This book is exactly what the title says, though there is one different aspect that I haven’t seen in other volumes of the series. Outside of the intro but the series editors and the four chapters on the different views, there is a final chapter called ‘pastoral reflection.’ This is basically a ‘unity & love’ ch
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
At the very least, this book is a fairly good introduction to many of the issues surrounding the question of whether the Adam of the creation/fall account in early Genesis was a historical individual or not. It interestingly divides the question into four perspectives: the evolutionary creation view, the archetypal creation view, the old-earth creation view, and the young-earth creation view.

I found each of the different perspectives very readable and, as much as possible, I felt somewhat sympat
Roger Leonhardt
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Proverbs 18:17 reads, "The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him."(ESV)

This scripture has become a motto for me in connection with my theological studies. From the earliest time in my Christian life, I have "tried" to consider the other side, if for no other reason than to be able to give an answer for my own beliefs. I put "tried" in quotes because I understand that it is impossible to be totally unbiased. The desire to see more than one view of a sub
Paul Bruggink
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the historical Adam debate and/or the creation-evolution debate
One no, two maybes, and three yeses. I know this adds up to six, not four. The two extra views come from two pastoral reflections at the end of the book: a personal “I would prefer yes” from Gregory Boyd and a strange and resounding “no” from Philip Ryken.

Denis Lamoureux begins his essay by describing his personal journal from young-earth creationism to evolutionary creation. He then summarizes his case against scientific concordism and for his conviction that no historical Adam does not have to
David Holford
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Considerations that need to be taken seriously

Three of the four positions in this book are expounded and defended well. Lamoureux's principal essay and rebuttals are the strongest. He has the advantage of having been a young-earther and thoroughly understanding that view and all of its implications, before moving to the only view in the book that actually disagrees with the historical Adam. This book could almost be called Two Views on the Historicity of Adam and Three Views About the Historical
Brian Collins
Jan 03, 2015 rated it liked it
The advantage of multiple views books is the quick survey they provide of controversial issues from multiple points of view. But these books have a danger as well. The best argued position is not necessarily the best position. I believe that is the case with this book.
The book begins with an introduction written by the editors. This is followed by the four views: Denis Lamoureux argues that there was no historical Adam. The other three contributors argue for a historical Adam but from three d
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
The quick and dirty:
1) Lamoreaux is too much scientist and not enough biblical scholar. He insists on referring to "inerrant spiritual truths" or principles that the Scriptures teach. First, this is redundant. Second, it implies that the words of Scripture lack inerrancy, though the principles are inerrant. This conflates the interpretation of Scripture with its inspiration. The writings of Scripture are inerrant.
2) Walton's thesis is compelling as it relies heavily on Adam's role as a represen
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fairly interesting light read. The four views presented on the historical Adam were written on a easy enough level that someone not familiar with the issue would be able to read the book and follow. At the same time, enough detail was presented to make it a more than worthwhile read for those interested in the debate. I like "Four Views" books like these as they serve as good summaries of issues and are good for recommended reading for others who aren't familiar with the breadth of op ...more
Mark James
Ryken's closing chapter is the best part

Lamoureux's position is easily the most refutable and he fails to adequately interact with the critiques in his rejoinder.
Walton and Collins give good defenses of their positions and do a good job in their rejoinder even though I disagree with them.
Barrick poorly argues what I believe is the Biblical position. I wish they would have gotten somebody else to better argue and defend the traditional position.
Ryken's closing chapter is pure gold and he could
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a great book. These projects can be tricky and often fall into a devolution (no pun intended) where nothing is learned and the conversation ceases to be productive. Of the 4 writers, 3 were very good (Barrick was dissapointing to say the least, continually creading ad hominems and making fantastic claims with no warrants).

As far as the winners, I believe it is as follows:
1. Denis O. Lamoureux
2. C. John Collins
3. John H. Walton
4. William D. Barrick
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“Rather than confusing the biblical writers and their readers with modern scientific concepts, God accommodated.” 0 likes
“What is a firmament? And what is the water above it? Of course, my problem was that I was reading Scripture through my modern scientific mindset (eisegesis). If I would have respected the Bible and tried to view nature through ancient eyes and an ancient mindset (exegesis), then creation days two and four would have made perfect sense.” 0 likes
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