Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight – Adam and the Genome

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Episode: Evangelicals, grab your Noah’s ark replicas. Atheists, seize your Darwinian fish symbols. It’s the mother of all culture wars. Except Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight, who both hold traditional evangelical Christian convictions, suggest that the war is needless. It is okay to acknowledge the Jesus fish and to affirm that humans and fish descend from common ancestors. How did Dennis, an evolutionary biologist, and Scot, a New Testament scholar, come together to collaborate? What new evidence has emerged about the human genome in support of evolution? And the crux: How can we make sense of the Bible’s description of Adam and Eve as the first humans in light of multiple strands of evidence that suggests humans evolved as a group of no less than 10,000? Hosted by Matthew W. Bates.

Guests:  Dennis Venema (PhD, University of British Columbia) is Associate Professor of Biology at Trinity Western University in British Columbia. He is a fellow of BioLogos, where he writes a popular blog, Letters to the Duchess. He has also penned numerous scholarly articles.

Scot McKnight (PhD, Nottingham) is Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL. The author of more than fifty books, Scot runs the highly influential blog Jesus Creed and is a world-renowned expert on early Christianity. Some of his popular titles include The Jesus Creed (Paraclete, 2004; a Christianity Today book of the year); The Blue Parakeet (Zondervan, 2008), and A Fellowship of Differents (Zondervan, 2014). McKnight has also written many books for a scholarly audience, including The Epistle of James (NICNT; Eerdmans, 2010), and one of my personal favorites, The King Jesus Gospel (Zondervan, 2011).

Book: Dennis R. Venema and Scot McKnight, Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture after Genetic Science  (Brazos, 2017). Genomic science indicates that humans descend not from an individual pair but from a large population. What does this mean for the basic claim of many Christians: that humans descend from Adam and Eve? The authors conclude that genome research about evolution and Scripture are not irreconcilable.

The OnScript Quip (our review): The evidence of nature or Scripture? A tiresome false dilemma. Interpreting the data with clarity and verve, Venema and McKnight show us how cutting-edge science and thoughtful Scripture scholarship can move us beyond faith-versus-science polemics and toward an integrated Christian worldview. — Matthew W. Bates, Quincy University, OnScript

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2 thoughts on “Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight – Adam and the Genome

  1. Did McKnight just reproduce Schliermacher, with his emphasis on Human vocation, and thus salvation, as consciousness? This all sounds theologically shallow and a repetition of similar debates that emerged in the late 18th/early 19th century. I don’t know why, but I’m continually disappointed with how weak Scot McKnight is as a theological mind, even as he is an interesting scholar of the text itself.



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