Fearless Questions

Following our Questions to Freedom

Episode 31: Dr. John Walton

Our first podcast conversation of 2018 is a bit unique in that I’d like to introduce you to a professor that has really challenged my thinking in how we read the Bible (especially the book of Genesis). 

I’ve been stretched by Dr. John Walton’s books and as you listen along today, I hope that your thinking will be stretched significantly as well.

Dr. Walton is an expert in ancient literature and reads the Bible…particularly the Old Testament…through those eyes.  While he might challenge some of the mainstream evangelical understandings of Scripture, he does it as someone who holds a high view of Scripture.

My guess is that a few of you might feel a bit uncomfortable with the natural implications of his observations in Genesis, but I hope while listening you can remember the questions and reactions that rise-up in you.  In our conversation, John mentions that “We try to make the Bible answer questions it was never intended to”…I do wonder if you will resonate with that thought after listening today.

One (of many) fascinating observations Dr. Walton makes is that when talking about the traditional story of Adam and Eve, people often bundle a few issues together that he thinks should not be.  They include:

– the Biological Material Origins of Humankind

– the actual Historicity of Adam and Eve

– the Nature of the Image of God 

– the Origins of Sin

For some people, this might seem like a theological conversation best left to seminaries, but one of the real pleasures of Dr. Walton’s work is that while holding a high view of scripture, he is also able to make observations of the text from a non-religious technical and historical viewpoint. 

Walton’s work is the sort that has motivated well-known scientists like Francis Collins (head of the Human genome project) to advocate the way that Walton “elevates Scripture to a new level of respectable understanding, and eliminates any conflict between scientific and scriptural descriptions of origin.”

For any of you who have questioned the ability to hold a reasonable reading of Scripture together with today’s world of science, I think you’ll be grateful to get to know John Walton’s heart and research.

Remember:  You’re going to want to jot down a few questions or thoughts you have during today’s show to return to after listening!

About Jeff Blackburn

Jeff Blackburn is a Spiritual Coach and passionate Truth-Seeker. An alumnus of Oxford University, Jeff is someone who advocates for Freedom and Fullness of Life for All. He believes Jesus offers good news for people everywhere today…not just eternity. Jeff is the Executive Director of Fearless Questions, Inc. and has spent the past 20 years working with people searching for God.