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Products>Adam, the Fall, and Original Sin: Theological, Biblical, and Scientific Perspectives

Adam, the Fall, and Original Sin: Theological, Biblical, and Scientific Perspectives

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The Christian doctrines of original sin and the historical fall of Adam have been in retreat since the rise of modernity. Here leading scholars present a theological, biblical, and scientific case for the necessity of belief in original sin and the historicity of Adam and Eve in response to contemporary challenges. Representing various Christian traditions, the contributors shed light on recent debates as they present the traditional doctrine of original sin as orthodox, evangelical, and the most theologically mature and cogent synthesis of the biblical witness. Including scholars and theologians such as Thomas R. Schreiner and Carl R. Trueman, this fresh look at a heated topic in evangelical circles will appeal to professors, students, and readers interested in the creation-evolution debate.

For more on the historical Adam and the fall, check out the Baker Academic Old Testament Bundle (29 vols.).

Resource Experts
  • Represents various denominational traditions
  • Offers historical, biblical, and theological perspectives on original sin
  • Gathers together the work of biblical scholars, ethicists, theologians, and pastors
  • “Adam and Eve in the Old Testament” by C. John Collins
  • “Adam in the New Testament” by Robert W. Yarbrough
  • “Adam and Modern Science” by William Stone (a pseudonym)
  • “Original Sin in Patristic Theology” by Peter Sanlon
  • “The Lutheran Doctrine of Original Sin” by Robert Kolb
  • “Original Sin in Reformed Theology” by Donald Macleod
  • ““But a Heathen Still”: The Doctrine of Original Sin in Wesleyan Theology” by Thomas H. McCall
  • “Original Sin in Modern Theology” by Carl R. Trueman
  • “Original Sin in Biblical Theology” by James M. Hamilton
  • “Threads in a Seamless Garment: Original Sin in Systematic Theology” by Michael Reeves and Hans Madueme
  • ““The Most Vulnerable Part of the Whole Christian Account”: Original Sin and Modern Science” by Hans Madueme
  • “Original Sin in Pastoral Theology” by Daniel Doriani
  • “Original Sin and Original Death: Romans 5:12-19” by Thomas R. Schreiner
  • “The Fall and Genesis 3” by Noel Weeks
  • “Adam, History, and Theodicy” by William Edgar

Top Highlights

“Our basic thesis is that the traditional doctrine of original sin is not only orthodox but is also the most theologically cogent synthesis of the biblical witness.” (Page xii)

“All of this allows us to see that Genesis focuses on the ways in which God has made new starts after Adam and Eve—with Noah, and then with Abram and his offspring. Hence Noah, Abram, and Israel are ‘new Adams,’ which shows how fully Genesis 1–2 is integrated into the whole Pentateuch.” (Page 7)

“That is to say, the Old Testament views Eden as the first sanctuary, where God is present with his covenant partners (Adam and Eve); the tabernacle, and later the temple, reinstate this Edenic blessing. What makes the Promised Land special is that it too is to be like a reconstituted Eden, whose fruitfulness displays God’s presence to the whole world.” (Page 17)

“One of the chief themes of Old Testament messianic hope is the expectation that under the leadership of the Messiah, the people of God will succeed in bringing God’s light to the gentile world. The shape of this biblical story assumes that all human beings have a common origin, a common predicament, and a common need to know God and have God’s image restored in them; this assumption comes from including Genesis 1–11 in the story, with some version of the conventional reading of the ‘fall’ of the whole human family.” (Page 7)

“The threat of 2:17 is expressed by means of a Hebrew infinitive absolute so that it reads literally ‘dying you shall die.’ This construction is usually a way of adding emphasis and seriousness to a statement. Yet the immediate consequence of the eating appears to be shame and fear rather than literal death.” (Page 294)

This collection of essays clarifies these debates and exposes their pastoral relevance. The volume does not pretend to answer all the challenges, but for candor, faithfulness, and clarity on these topics, it holds pride of place.

D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Madueme and Reeves have brought together a clearly reasoned set of essays in a volume that seeks to shore up traditional, orthodox accounts of original sin. They do not shrink from the complex difficulties this doctrine raises for contemporary theological and scientific accounts of human origins.

Oliver Crisp, professor of systematic theology, Fuller Theological Seminary

This is a long-overdue book on a crucial flash point in evangelical faith and theology: the sin that dare not speak its name (‘original’).

Kevin J. Vanhoozer, research professor of systematic theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Hans Madueme is assistant professor of theological studies at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, and an adjunct professor at Trinity Graduate School, Trinity International University. He also serves as a book review editor for Themelios.

Michael Reeves is theologian-at-large at Wales Evangelical School of Theology. He previously served as head of theology for the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF) and is the author of several books, including Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith.


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  1. Daniel M. Mandery