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A couple of days ago, James K. A. Smith posted a review of The Evolution of Adam on his new science/faith website “The Colossian Forum.” Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College and senior fellow at newly minted Colossian Forum, which hopes to provide a “new kind of conversation” free of fear and animosity–an admirable goal.

The next day, J. R. Daniel Kirk (assistant professor of New Testament at Fuller Seminary) seemed quite eager  to oblige Smith in his quest for conversation. Kirk was none too happy with Smith for advancing a theological approach to the science/faith issue that he felt simply circumvents the difficult and unavoidable historical challenges that beset the Bible’s presentation of human origins.

I have always (and still do) respect Smith’s contributions to Christian thought, which are many and often penetrating. In this instance, however, Kirk anticipated some (not all) of my own significant reservations with Smith’s theological approach to the historical phenomena of Scripture.

I plan to contribute to this conversation in the next few days. In the meantime, perhaps the exchange between Smith and Kirk will be of benefit to some of you. (Note, too, that Smith has a lengthy comment on Kirk’s post, which you may want to look at.)

Pete Enns, Ph.D.

Peter Enns (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Abram S. Clemens professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He has written numerous books, including The Bible Tells Me So, The Sin of Certainty, and How the Bible Actually Works. Tweets at @peteenns.