I liked it fine. Nothing entirely earth shattering, but I had to confront the issues with Genesis from day 1 in my religion classes so I’m used to the arguments by now.
To summarize the key points for people who haven’t read it, Enns basically argues that evolution and the Bible, particularly as it pertains to Genesis 1 and 2 and Paul’s discussion of Jesus as the Second Adam, cannot be reconciled in the way we usually discuss them. He proposes instead that we rethink both Genesis and Paul.
Enns believes that the main reason people are reluctant to accept evolution is not simply because of the accounts in Genesis, but, more importantly, the way Paul talks about Jesus. Paul’s explicit comparison between Adam and Jesus the Second Adam means that Adam must exist as a historical person, because otherwise there are severe implications for Jesus. And so people end up fervently defending the existence of a historical Adam (and Eve) against any more generalized evolutionary process.
Enns doesn’t believe that is necessary, and seeks to reframe the issues:
A proper Christian understanding of the creation narratives will follow the lead of the New Testament writers in seeing the gospel as the culmination of the ancient message. Christians should not search through the creation stories for scientific information they believe it is important to see there. They should read it, as New Testament writers did, as ancient stories transformed in Christ. (76)
I basically agree that Paul is making midrashic comments on the Adam story; he’s rereading it in light of Christ and the formation of the church. And I also agree that the evangelical idea of reading the Bible ‘literally’ is a very modern one, and one that at times is very ill-suited to understanding the Bible as it is and how the original writers and readers would have seen it. I just wish he had spent more time trying to come up with an answer to the theological issues raised about God’s wrath and the necessity of Jesus’ death if Adam didn’t exist.