The origins debate has received quite a bit of attention in recent months with the publication of Peter Enns’ The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins (Brazos Press, 2012). In his magnum opus, Dr. Culver addresses many of the concerns raised by Enns and others taking part in the origins debate. Over the next few weeks, we will share a series of selections from Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical focusing on the origin and unity of mankind by creation that will be helpful for those wanting to engage in the origins discussion. Part 1 follows below:
In systematic theology, logically everything that follows anthropology grows like a many-branched tree out of anthropology. The views one takes of mankind’s original constitution and primal history determine in a direct way views one takes of Christ, His work of redemption, the doctrine of salvation and even of final destiny (in heaven or hell). It is therefore important that we seek to understand the first part of the Bible about human origins in the light of how the rest of the Bible understands it. There is a unity of teaching.
No Pre-Adamites and No Non-Adamites
That there was an original, single, first male is a revelation of the familiar narrative of Genesis. There were no pre-Adamite human predecessors. What puts this out of all question, with those who believe the divine revelation, is, that it is expressly said, that before Adam was formed, ‘there was not a man to till the ground,’ (Gen 2:5). ‘And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul’ (Gen 2:7 KJV). All we really know about the origin of mankind is furnished by the accounts of Genesis 1 and 2.
Excerpted from Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical by Robert Duncan Culver (Mentor, 2005).
Where to Buy:
Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below: