April 30, 2012

Discussion of Peter Enns, The Evolution of Adam

I read Peter Enns' interesting and provocative The Evolution of Adam a couple months ago. It has a lot of interesting things to say about the important issue of how the science-and-religion dialogues (and the related issue of the rise of critical biblical scholarship) of the past century and a half (and beyond) come to an interesting head in the discussion of the historicity of Adam and Eve. Really, in my opinion, this is one of the key points at which, with regard to the larger science-and-theology dialogue, the rubber meets the road, so to speak. I found his book interesting, though not all-together satisfying. But others are engaging Enns as well.

Jamie K. A. Smith has recently published a review of Enns focused largely on methodology, specifically pressing him on what he sees as a "flattening" of Scripture by functionally excluding divine authorship. J. R. Daniel Kirk responds to Smith's review, and in the comments of his critique, Jamie Smith and also Alan Jacobs enter with some push-back. It makes for an informative conversation about the role divine authorship plays as we look at difficult interpretive issues in Scripture. Do read, and do read Enns's book, critically.

April 26, 2012

Scot McKnight's announcement, pt. 2

After yesterday announcing he was leaving North Park, today Scot has announced that he is taking a post at Northern Seminary. May his ministry there be blessed, and may he keep writing outstanding books.

April 25, 2012

Scot McKnight leaving North Park

Scot McKnight, whose books I have greatly appreciated and whose voice is a valuable one in evangelicalism today, has announced today that he is leaving North Park University. We have to wait until tomorrow to hear his destination. But this first announcement warranted some mention.

April 03, 2012

P. D. James, Devices and Desires

This twenty-year-old novel proves once again that P. D. James is truly a master of the mystery genre. In this installment of the Adam Dalgliesh mystery series, her protagonist finds himself on England's sparsely populated headlands to attend to matters of his deceased aunt's estate. Meanwhile England's latest serial killer is on the loose. And his latest victim is an employee at the near-by nuclear power plant that dominates the headland. Though Dalgliesh is off-duty while out in the country, his proximity to events, and his discovery of what seems like the latest victim while walking along the beach involves him in the mysterious events.

This book, like all of James's mysteries, is filled with well-developed characters that give verisimilitude to her stories, that give real humanity to the victims, to those touched by the killings, and even to the suspects. This serves both to give depth to the narrative and to heighten the tension of the mystery, as it makes suspects more interesting but also keeps you guessing as to who the real perpetrator may be. Devices and Desires also contains some great dialogue that probes deeper issues, such as the detective's relationship to death, or the possible continuing relevance of the category of sin, or the possibility of justice in a world full of twisted devices and desires that enmesh our lives. This mystery does not disappoint. It is well written, thoughtfull, and entertaining, and comes to a satisfying conclusion. I highly recommend it.