In recent years, a concerning phenomenon has emerged: issues that once divided evangelical Christians from liberals are now debated within evangelicalism itself.
Heavily influenced by the tenets of evolutionary orthodoxy, prominent writers are increasingly going for the jugular. We evangelicals must, they insist, relinquish the traditional view of a literal first man. Adam and Eve, it is claimed, cannot have been the progenitors of the entire human race. Genetics and palaeoanthropology demand that we modify our stance on Genesis 1–3. And yes, that does include a radical rethink of how we understand the doctrine of the Fall, if it is to be accepted as historical at all.
Thankfully, it is not all one-way traffic. There have been some helpful, scholarly responses to this worrying trend. New books representing various viewpoints are released almost annually. Recent contributions include The evolution of Adam; Four views on the historical Adam; Adam, The Fall, and Original Sin; The lost world of Adam and Eve; The quest for the historical Adam; and Adam and the genome.
Simon Turpin’s new book is different from the foregoing in appealing more to the layperson. In fourteen short chapters, the reader is challenged to grapple with the authority of Scripture on the subject. In the first half of the book (some 60 pages), he helpfully defends the supernatural creation of Adam and the historicity of the Fall in the face of theistic evolutionary critiques.
This is followed by a heart-warming defence of Christological aspects — the Last Adam’s incarnation, ministry, view of Scripture, death, resurrection and his supremacy over all things.
I heartily recommend this book. It should make readers think seriously about core issues of the Christian faith. For instance, Jesus declared to the religious leaders of his day that Moses and his writings would be a witness against them because of their rejection of himself (John 5:45–47). Turpin highlights the requirement that witnesses under the Mosaic Law be reliable (Deuteronomy 19:16–19) and points out, ‘If Moses did not write the Pentateuch, how could the Jews be held accountable by him and his writings?’ Aligning ourselves with the Last Adam’s view of Scripture is surely of paramount importance.