In the last decade the church has witnessed a resurgence of scholarly and pastoral wrestling with the genre and historicity of Genesis 1–11. In this new addition to Zondervan’s “Counterpoints” series, seasoned Old Testament scholars James Hoffmeier (= history), Kenton Sparks (= fiction), and Gordon Wenham (= neither) cordially debate these issues, with editor and theology professor Charles Halton (= fiction?) providing introductory and concluding comments. My review of this volume on The Gospel Coalition website is brief yet meaty, and you can access it here. An extended version of the review is now published in Themelios 40.3 (2015): 485–90, which you can access here.
While this volume will best help seminary students and pastors grapple with the issues, every Christian who savors salvation from God’s wrath and who affirms the necessity of the historical, bodily resurrection of the last Adam (1 Cor. 15:14, 17) should consider how important the factuality of Scripture’s earliest chapters is.
This review emphasizes the implications of the three views on the historic Jesus and his saving work. I conclude with a plea for unity around the Jesus of Scripture, “the one who affirmed the historicity of Genesis 1–11, who died a substitutionary death to overcome the sin and wrath problem historically introduced by Adam, and who himself was genealogically connected to the first man, Adam, the son of God.”