Re: “Evangelicals & the Bible”

Dan Johnson
Kendra Dahl
Thursday, September 1st 2022
Sep/Oct 2022

May/June 2022

I really admire Kendra Dahl’s work, “Restoring Eve,” in the May/June issue. It is a solid effort, but I think it illustrates the problem of putting too much weight on philological exegesis. Maybe we should instead “read the Scriptures like the church fathers”? More time is spent on the philological arguments than is justified by the light they shed on the Scriptures. I think her conclusion, that woman’s desire is for marriage, is sound exegesis. I see this as a blessing rather than a curse! I also think an exegesis of Genesis 3:21 as emblematic of God’s gracious care for fallen humanity would be a good addition to her analysis. God sacrifices innocent animal life to preserve human life. Of course, this is often preached as foreshadowing the cross. I would call Genesis 3:15–19 a prophecy rather than a curse. The serpent is cursed, but God protects and preserves his children, making the best of a bad situation. Actions have consequences. Genesis 3 shows us the response of a just and merciful God to unrepentant sin. The unconditional blessing of Genesis 1:28 is affirmed. However, that blessing will be enacted in a world fallen into sin and death. In this sense, the blessing is impaired; but as Dahl points out, there is more continuity than curse. All of God’s creation is still good, including women, men, and marriage. Yet all of creation—including women, men, and marriage—is tarnished by sin. I do feel her arguments could be strengthened by an exegesis of Genesis 2:18–25. It is unwise to engage in psychological analysis of our first parents. Leave that to Paradise Lost. However, in both Genesis accounts, there is a strong theme of the unity of men and women before the Fall. Men and women are meant to be together as partners in stewardship. Overall, I think “Restoring Eve” is a great exegetical essay and the kind of item that MR should continue to publish! —Dan Johnson

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Thursday, September 1st 2022

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