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Theologian Peter Enns rejects a literal Adam and literal Eve and a literal Fall. Thus he has destroyed the foundation of the gospel. Peter Enns also does not believe the book of Romans deals with the gospel or that God through Paul refers to a literal Adam back in Genesis.
Many of you may be familiar with Peter Enns, who is a former fellow with BioLogos, an organization dedicated to promoting a form of theistic evolution (or “evolutionary creation” as they call it). We both spoke at the same homeschool convention a few years ago.
During my talk, I showed a few video clips of him, demonstrating in his own words that he doesn’t believe in a literal Adam or Eve or in a literal Fall. After we were told by conference organizers that I could critique Enns’s beliefs during the conference, we had informed them that we were considering it, and we were cleared to do so. Well, I was dropped from the next homeschool convention and Peter Enns was retained.
In many ways this cancellation was a turning point in the national homeschool movement, as homeschoolers in droves showed their support for me and for AiG for standing on the authority of the Word of God. There is much on the web about what happened and subsequent events, but our account of the whole situation can be read on our articled titled Kicked Out of Two Homeschool Conferences.
Well, Dr. Enns is coming to Dayton, Ohio, (which is not far from the Creation Museum) on Monday to be a keynote speaker at a conference (sponsored by First Baptist Church of Dayton) on science and theology. The goal of the conference is to present what organizers believe are alternative positions to biblical creation, such as theistic evolution. So I thought it would be important to present a new critique of Enns’s theological positions.
The pastor of First Baptist Church, Dr. Kennedy, said the following in one interview:
“The conference has one goal, to offer alternative truth claims to those that are presented by the Creation Museum and other advocates of a literal six-day creation of the earth,” said Rodney Kennedy, lead pastor of First Baptist Church on West Monument Avenue in Dayton. “Science has taught us that the universe is about 14 billion years old, and that the best available explanation for the beginning is the ‘big bang.’ There is nothing in scripture to refute the big bang. God created the heavens and the Earth, and I believe she took her sweet time doing it. . . .The report continues as follows:
My desire is that conference attendees will be strengthened in their faith by hearing our 21 presenters offer an alternative to six-day creationism, intelligent design and scientific creationism.”
The main sponsor of the conference is First Baptist Church. This conference is offered through a grant from the Fordham Institute. Conference co-sponsors are Temple Israel, Christ Episcopal, United Theological Seminary and the University of Dayton Continuing Education Department.Interesting that on the church’s website, we read this statement: “We study the Bible along with the gift of critical scholarship through the ages. Literalist interpretations are left to others.” So it's not surprising at all this church is sponsoring this conference that undermines the authority of God’s Word and the gospel.
Associated Baptist Press has released an article on this conference. The reporter did speak to me for a considerable length of time. It is a shame he didn’t include the information I gave him as to why it is important to take Genesis as it is written. I was asked why it matters what one believes in Genesis—as long as one preaches the gospel.
I explained that to compromise Genesis is not a salvation issue per se (salvation is conditioned upon faith in Christ—not what one believes about the age of the earth or days of creation). However, compromising on Genesis is an authority issue and a gospel issue. It is an authority issue because reinterpreting Genesis is undermining the authority of God’s Word and exalting man’s fallible words. It is also a gospel issue because to believe in evolution and/or millions of years is to blame God for death and evil in the world instead of blaming our sin in Adam.
It’s interesting that in this article Peter Enns is quoted as saying the following:
Enns disputes Ham’s take on the situation and said he never heard of the term “historical science.” “I wonder if he made that up,” said Enns, affiliate professor of biblical studies at Eastern Universityin St. Davids, Pa.Well, even Enn’s friends at the compromising BioLogos foundation recently wrote an article discussing “historical science.” Even the liberal website rationalwiki.org details information about the term historical science. The fact that Peter Enns doesn’t understand the use of the term is one of the reasons he has been greatly influenced by the secular world in regard to beliefs about origins.
You can read the Associated Baptist Press article at this link. Sadly, most of what I explained is not discussed in the article.
If you want to hear Enns for yourself, I would encourage you to watch this video of a talk he gave at the Erasmus lecture at Westmont College of Santa Barbara in California (a Christian college that also has profs that teach students to reject a literal Adam and to believe in evolution):
Peter Enns even believes that Jesus is wrong in places (see our article on this subject called Was Jesus Wrong? Peter Enns Says, “Yes”). The ABP news article reminds the readers that “Enns has been battling creationists and biblical inerrancy for years. In 2008, he was suspended from Westminster Theological Seminary over his 2005 book Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament.”
In 2012, Enns published his book, The Evolution of Adam, which basically teaches believers that evolutionary ideas can be mixed with God’s Word. But more than that, Enns totally rejects a literal Adam and Eve and a literal Fall. Now, the book is really divided into two sections. One section covers the book of Genesis and another covers the topic of Paul and his statements about Adam in Romans and 1 Corinthians. Of course, Enns’s treatment of Scripture related to biblical creation is appalling—in fact, it is heretical. Once you reject a literal Fall of man, then your teaching is heretical. Now, let me be clear: I am not calling Dr. Enns a heretic. But he has a very low view of the Word of God and some of his beliefs are certainly not a part of orthodox Christianity and thus are heresy.
We at Answers in Genesis stand uncompromisingly and unashamedly on the authority of God’s Word beginning in Genesis.
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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.