Longman, Literalism, and Genesis 1

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Justin Taylor posted a video of Tremper Longman discussing Genesis 1 and the historicity of a real person named Adam. His main claim seems to be that we shouldn't insist on the text requiring an actual historical person to have existed and that it's an overly literalistic interpretation that requires that. I read through the comment section, and I think a lot of people are making some mistakes both in interpreting what Longman is saying and in what it implies about his view of scripture.

Several points seem to me worth emphasizing.

1.Longman has denies neither plenary inspiration of scripture nor inerrancy. What he has done is deny a view that many people here take to be implied by (a) inerrancy or the plenary inspiration of scripture together with (b) a certain view of what Genesis 1 and/or other texts of scripture, when interpreted correctly, actually teach.

2. If Longman is incorrect about the matters (b) describes, then his view is compatible with inerrancy but incompatible with the correct interpretation of scripture. But lots of people have views incompatible with the correct interpretation of scripture, and we don't claim that they are therefore denying inerrancy. Do continuationists claim that cessationists are denying inerrancy (or vice versa)? No! They simply disagree with their interpretation of scripture. It would be another thing to say that a text really means something but that what it says isn't true. The Fuller Seminary view of scripture allows for that. Longman's doesn't.

3. Longman didn't actually say that Genesis 1 should be taken in such a way that there was no single Adam. What he said is that we shouldn't insist that it must be. He also didn't say that the same is true of other passage of scripture. It's possible, for all he said, that he thinks Genesis 1 doesn't necessitate a single Adam but other parts of scripture do. I get the sense from his language that he's more interested in recognizing that people can accept inerrancy and accept the conclusion of the consensus of science than he is at arguing that we ought to take any particular view of how to interpret Genesis 1.

He does say that insisting on the traditional interpretation is overly literalistic, but he doesn't actually go as far as saying that merely taking it that way is overly literalistic. He says that insisting on taking it that way is overly literalistic. There's a difference. One is insisting on keeping the borders of inerrancy intact rather than confusing them with heremeneutical issues. The other is insisting on a certain interptretation of a certain passage. He doesn't in this video do the latter. I'd have to hear more from him to know his full view, therefore, but I see no insistence that there was no single Adam. We ought, at least, to keep that in mind.

4. There are ways to fit the non-individual approach to Adam to the other texts people are citing. It does mean a somewhat unnatural reading of a few statements (such as Paul's comparison of the one man Adam and the one man Jesus), but it's possible to take those statements as true while not referring to an actual one man Adam but to the one man Adam in the Genesis account. I don't think this is the most natural way to take either the Genesis narratives or Paul's statement, but it's possible to take the Genesis narratives as true in the sense parables are true and Paul's statement as true in the same sense that it's true that the Good Samaritan helped the man that other passersby ignored. It's true that the Good Samaritan did this. It's just truth within a story. The character in Jesus' parable did that. It's just that he was telling a parable and not implying the existence of a real person who did what the Good Samaritan did.

Someone could take Genesis' early chapters in a similar way, teaching about how we are all fallen and how we all do what Adam and Eve did, thus in NT terms taking there to be an explanation of why there's a need for a savior, without believing there was a real individual person whom the Bible calls Adam and a real individual person whom the Bible calls Eve. So the other passages that Longman doesn't discuss don't necessitate denying scripture in other places. The fact that he only mentions Genesis 1 doesn't mean he'd have to say that someone holding the view he wants to make room for (but doesn't seem to endorse) is denying some other part of scripture. It just means he didn't address those other passages, and a fuller presentation of such a view would have to do that.

So, short of further information, I'm not seeing any justification for some of the claims I've seen in the comment section of Justin's post. Longman doesn't deny inerrancy or the plenary inspiration of scripture. He doesn't endorse the view he's making room for and doesn't say the traditional view itself is overly literalistic but just says that insisting on the traditional interpretation as the only possible one is overly literalistic. He doesn't comment on other passages but presumably could, and it's not as if there are ways to fit such a view with the rest of scripture without denying inerrancy. There's plenty of room for arguing about whether such a view is the best way to take various texts, but there's no room in my mind for claiming that this approach is a denial of a high view of scripture itself. It's just a denial of common interpretations that, together with a high view of scripture, would lead to the view of a historical individual Adam.



Thanks for your thoughts on this.

I agree with your general thoughts with regard to inerrancy. But the trickier part is what to do with the authorial intent of the NTers. E.g., if we grant (a) that Jesus and Paul believed in a historical Adam, and (b) that they intended to convey this in citing God's dealings with Adam (re: marriage, divorce, male headship, creation, Adam-Christ federal headships, etc); then wouldn't (c) the denial of such historicity amount to (d) the denial of inerrancy--namely, that Jesus and Paul's intended meaning was factually incorrect?



A little off the thrust of your post, but somewhat related:

What is the demarcation between theological error and theological heresy? In this particular instance... if someone denies the historicity of Adam, is that theological error or theological heresy?

Or neither?

It would, Justin, if your definition of inerrancy necessitates that the biblical writers had to be always 100% correct in every historical or scientific assertion they made.

I would observe that (a) it is impossible for us to know precisely what Jesus or Paul "believed" about the historicity of Adam. They never directly commented on that issue. I know that the claim that they did is based on them speaking as if he were a person, but just to be pedantic for a moment, I could do that just as easily with Paul Bunyan.

(b) Actually, I'm inclined to think (though as I said, I can't prove it) that it is most likely that Jesus and Paul did believe in a historical Adam. So what? They were men of their time and culture, and that was the unquestioned belief of Jews of that time, most likely. Yes, I know Jesus is divine, but there are multiple examples in the gospels that his divine origin did not obscure the finitude of his human understanding. He himself admits there are things he does not know.

(c) This is the part that is so hard for us moderns to grasp: one can speak of something that is not strictly historically true (in our modern historiographical sense of that word)without "lying." In both the case of Jesus and Paul, the truth of what they said is the theological truth, which stands whether or not the example used in the theological statement actually existed or not. Compare this to Jesus' story about Lazarus and the rich man. Most commentators, even quite conservative and literalist ones, assume that this is a fictional story. Yet Jesus names one of the characters, unlike any other story he told. There is a school of thought that this story may have been a familiar folk tale of the time. Can we say for certain whether or not Jesus thought this Lazarus was a real person and that he was relating an actual incident that really happened in heaven? I would submit that we can't be sure, and that it doesn't matter one whit to what the story is being used to teach.

I agree with you Mark, you're going down a similar path to what I argue in my post here: http://zetountes.blogspot.com/2009/09/difficult-question-but-well-take-them.

I think too often we slip into anachronism when defining inerrancy.

Here are the two questions which both of you should answer before going forward:

[1] What is the formal definition of "inerrancy" when we speak of the theological category "inerrancy of Scripture"?

[2] How does that definition apply to the genre and subject of the book of Genesis, and Genesis 1-3 in particular?

Unless one of you balks at the clarification, I'll keep my opinions about this exchange (mostly) to myself.

Ok, Ok: I have to offer this opinion at least.

Mark said this:
This is the part that is so hard for us moderns to grasp: one can speak of something that is not strictly historically true (in our modern historiographical sense of that word)without "lying." In both the case of Jesus and Paul, the truth of what they said is the theological truth, which stands whether or not the example used in the theological statement actually existed or not. Compare this to Jesus' story about Lazarus and the rich man.

You know what? Breaks on.

Everybody I know, moderns that they are, can read Psalm 1 and realize that the blessed man there is probably a hypothtical person and not a particular person, and when the Psalmist says, "He is like a tree planted by plenty of water," we all get that the Psalmist is not saying, "he's like an Ent -- something part vegetable, part animal, which obviously is a historical category now. Take THAT, evolution!"

The problem with what Mark is here trying to suggest is not that the "modern" reader can't "get" the way truth can be conveyed via metaphor, parable, fiction or even poetry because we are somehow too literal or too shallow: the problem is that the Bible never once considers that Adam is a hypothetical person. His wife Eve is said to have been personally deceived and to have been saved by child-bearing. Adam is listed in one of the geneologies of Christ, and surely we cannot believe that the whole of the nation of ISrael is amythic tale, can we? The one-to-one correspondence between Christ and Adam is so important in Paul's theology that to change Adam into a type of mankind rather than the father of us all makes Christ into a myth and not a real man who really died for real sin and offers us a real resurrection.

It is also a little insulting to say, in the nicest way possible, that one side of this argument is illiterate. Really? We don't know how to read Shakespeare and Goethe and Cicero and Grisham and Lewis and Tolkien and Taylor and Spencer (both the long-past Edmund and the living Michael) and on and on because we can't pass a basic literacy test to know when a text is referencing a historical event and when it's telling us an edifying story? That's simply too much.

If we were talking about Job here, I'd be willing to cut a lot more slack to Mark and his side of the argument -- but we are actually talking about the book of Genesis which makes no significant genre transition from Gen 1-3 to Gen 4 or Gen 20 or Gen 50.

I'm thinking the actual articles (as opposed to the exposition) in the Chicago Statement of Inerrancy should be taken as a good starting point to what most inerrantists mean by the term. I see nothing in what Longman says that takes issue with any of those articles, and there are only 2-3 sentences at most even in the exposition that might be seen as problematic for his view. Even that isn't clear to me, depending on how you mean those statements. But those are intended as an outworking of the articles, and one can hold the articles without accepting that exposition of them.

There seem to be two separate issues with Jesus and Paul's reference to people who might not have existed historically. If Jesus refers to Jonah but the book of Jonah is a parable, as some have claimed, then is it a denial of inerrancy of Jonah? Certainly not. Is it a denial of inerrancy of Jesus, though? Is it possible for a human author to intend something by a statement that the divine author didn't intend? I think it's I Peter (or maybe II Peter) that speaks of the things the prophets said but didn't fully understand. They must have had some false beliefs about some of what they said if they didn't fully understand what they were saying, but what they were saying was nonetheless true and passed through their human understanding in the process of becoming the prophecy that has been passed down. Could the same be said of Paul and Jesus?

Maybe, but if the human author is Jesus then even that maneuvering space gets thinned considerably. Even if Jesus wasn't omniscient in his earthly life, presumably he didn't have false beliefs and certainly didn't have false beliefs underlying his teaching. If Jesus really thought Jonah was a real person, then teaching what he did about Jonah implies that Jonah was a real person, if Jesus' teaching is inerrant. But can Jesus' teaching clearly tell us that Jonah (the one of the book of Jonah, as opposed perhaps to the one in Kings was a real person who really had those things happen? Jesus himself taught in parables. Jude refers to events in apocryphal books that most every inerrantist would say never happened, the same way I might refer to Obi-Wan Kenobi or Wolverine in something I might say that illustrates a true point. Couldn't Jesus mean by referring to Adam the same sort of thing if the approach Longman is allowing room for is correct? It's not clear to me that he couldn't.

The significant transition in Genesis is between ch.11 and ch.12. Those who, like Ben Witherington, don't take chs.1-11 to be historically-focused but more symbolic in some sense generally take ch.12 on to refer to actual historical people and events. I'm pretty sure it's people like Witherington that Longman is talking about here.

As I said above, there are plenty of arguments for not taking this view of Adam, and some of them have appeared in the comments. If you find those arguments decisive, then in doing so you have accepted a particular view of how to take Adam, not a view on the nature of scripture. The view of scripture in the articles of the Chicago Statement, together with that view on Adam, will make it impossible to accept Adam as non-historical without denying inerrancy. But someone who doesn't follow that argument in the same way will possibly still accept inerrancy without accepting the implications inerrancy has for those who accept that argument. The disagreement isn't over inerrancy but over how to take the particular parts of scripture that are agreed by both parties to be inerrant.

As for the one-to-one correspondence, I think that's being overplayed here. There's already a sense in most Protestant interpretations of something that isn't going to rely on a historical Adam. To the extent that justification is forensic, it doesn't literally happen to us. If that also means that what Adam did doesn't literally cause our sin but merely represents it the way Christ represents us on the cross, then we're already accepting Adam as a mere representative without any mystical identification with a real person. So on a traditional penal substitution view, Paul's inverse analogy between Adam and Christ doesn't really rely on a historical Adam who actually caused sin in one blow. I'm not sure this is the best way to read Paul, but it's certainly a way to read Paul, and the most obvious way to read a text isn't necessarily the correct one. So those who hold the view Longman wants to make room for might not really have a serious problem here.

Jeremy Pierce: "The view of scripture in the articles of the Chicago Statement, together with that view on Adam, will make it impossible to accept Adam as non-historical without denying inerrancy. But someone who doesn't follow that argument in the same way will possibly still accept inerrancy without accepting the implications inerrancy has for those who accept that argument. The disagreement isn't over inerrancy but over how to take the particular parts of scripture that are agreed by both parties to be inerrant."

Hi Jeremy,

Technically, of course, you are probably correct. Yet may I assume that you are familiar with the Chicago Statement on Hermeneutics? Article XXII states:

"WE AFFIRM that Genesis 1-11 is factual, as is the rest of the book.

WE DENY that the teachings of Genesis 1-11 are mythical and that scientific hypotheses about earth history or the origin of humanity may be invoked to overthrow what Scripture teaches about creation.

Since the historicity and the scientific accuracy of the early chapters of the Bible have come under severe attack it is important to apply the "literal" hermeneutic espoused (Article XV) to this question. The result was a recognition of the factual nature of the account of the creation of the universe, all living things, the special creation of man, the Fall, and the Flood. These accounts are all factual, that is, they are about space-time events which actually happened as reported in the book of Genesis (see Article XIV).

The article left open the question of the age of the earth on which there is no unanimity among evangelicals and which was beyond the purview of this conference. There was, however, complete agreement on denying that Genesis is mythological or unhistorical. Likewise, the use of the term "creation" was meant to exclude the belief in macro-evolution, whether of the atheistic or theistic varieties."

I could imagine that many of the signers and drafters of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy also signed onto the Chicago Statement on Hermeneutics. And given Article XXII, they certainly affirm the historicity of Adam. Which leads one to believe (hopefully with sufficient justification) that affirming CSBI inerrancy leads to the logical or natural conclusion that doing so entails (perhaps loosely, or maybe not) the affirmation of the historicity of Adam also.

Thoughts, Jeremy?

There's one question I have about this discussion, especially in light of reading the comments at Justin Taylor's site.

Why is there this seeming insistence that, if Genesis is not literally describing an exact account of the fall of a historical Adam, that mankind is not fallen and does not need a savior? This seems to not only be an issue, but THE singular issue at stake in this discussion, yet somehow it manages to go unaddressed.

Are people really saying that there was one - only one single possible way - for sin to enter the world, and for humanity to be fallen? Or are they saying that, if the beginning of Genesis is employing some literary devices to illustrate an event, that it must be a pure myth and devoid of truth? The first claim strikes me as wildly implausible. The second seems like an extreme exaggeration of what many (Like Longman, and possibly Pierce here) are saying.

I'll give myself as an example. I would affirm a real and actual fall for humanity. I would affirm that this fall resulted from disobeying God directly, and that the descriptions in Genesis are affirming a real primeval event/events. I would affirm that humanity needed, and received, a savior. And I think the view Jeremy Pierce offers here about how to read references to Adam in the NT is very justifiable.

At the same time, I wouldn't insist that a person who affirms a "literal" Adam was heretical, or even demonstrably wrong. Indeed, I have to wonder if -I- would in effect be affirming a "literal" Adam, or at least something very close, purely by affirming a real fall and a real primeval event resulting in that fall.

great topic -
i'd appreciate it being widened out a bit as i have just written a paper on the necessity of an historical fall. once one has concluded that an historical fall is necessary i'm really not sure how you can proceed without an historical adam, although i haven't really thought extensively on the issue am not entirely decided either way.

a key consideration is that luke's genealogy, which attests to christ's humanity and representative headship, depends on the toledoth, and these begin in the first 11 chapters of genesis. i'm happy for genesis to be illustrative, or 'saga', but any dysjunction between 1-11 and ch.12ff when one is considering historical existence of the characters is quite arbitrary.

what jeremy raised in the last paragraph of his comment - imputation - is the critical point. i'd appreciate peoples' thoughts here :
the lynch pin of paul's argument is that adam's deed is said to be as actual as christ's deed, and this in the framework of imputation (however one understands it). i am aware of the difficulties that imputation presents, but even if one doesn't have a fully fledged federal theology, it is difficult to skirt this, and it makes me think that the issue of an historical adam will hang on what one makes of imputation.
(jeremy, i would appreciate it if you clarify your comments about representation and 'mystical identification' in this light)

It does seem that Longman would disagree with a few sentences in the Chicago Statement on Hermeneutics. I don't think that changes my contention that the view he wants to make room for still falls under inerrancy according to the core meaning of that term. There are certainly things in the second Chicago statement that are false, and it even contradicts itself within a few sentences, so I wouldn't place as much stock in that one as I do in the first, which I think they did admirably well at putting together (and only blundered, to my knowledge, when it comes to getting infallibility right, although they do better than Fuller Seminary, George Marsden, and company by a long shot on that question).

Bruce, why couldn't it have just been an entire generation who fell at once? That's Peter van Inwagen's view, and I think it's compatible with the basic doctrines of a fall.

As I said, I think there are good reasons not to hold the view Longman is wanting to make room for. There are strong arguments against the view, and some of them have appeared in this comment thread and Justin's. But my contention is that it's not itself at odds with inerrancy. It's just not the best interpretation of the text, especially when taking the entirety of biblical revelation into account. But those who hold such a view might still be inerrantists. Lots of people who have views that aren't the best interpretation (and who even get things radically wrong) are inerrantists. I happen to think classic dispensationalism is drastically wrong, even a harmful teaching in many ways, certainly quite at odds with the large scope of scripture's teaching. But I don't think those who hold it deny inerrancy.

I happen to think penal substitution and mystical identification with Christ are compatible. My sometimes co-blogger Wink does not, and he thus affirms penal elements to the atonement and substitutionary elements to the atonement but denies that any particular aspect of the atonement is both penal and substitutionary, since he thinks those contradict each other. If you go with just the penal substitutionary element without the identification, then there's no actual death on the cross with Christ. It's just that God treats us as having died with him. If you go with just mystical identification, then he didn't literally die in our place because were were mystically identified with him on the cross in such a way that we did literally die with him and were literally raised in his body with him when he was resurrected.

My point is that on the common penal substitution view without the mystical identification (which as I just said isn't my view; I think both are true), you get no literal dying with Christ and being raised with him. It's all in God's mind. When God looks at us, he pretends we have Christ's righteousness. It's a legal fiction. On such a view, if you hold the parallel literally, then you have to say the same of our inheritance of sin from Adam. God treats us as all being in sin with Adam even at points where sin hasn't yet occurred in a small child. I think this is a crazy view, but once you hold penal substitution in its common form that denies mystical union with Christ, and you combine it with the exact parallel between Adam and Christ, you get this crazy result that original sin is a legal fiction. Since this is an implication of a common enough view among inerrantists, I think we ought to recognize that inerrantists can deny the full analogy between an actual historical Adam and Christ while still affirming inerrancy, because so many do that. Keep in mind that I'm not arguing here for the correctness of the view Longman wants to make room for (as he himself does not). I'm simply saying it's not itself a denial of inerrancy. You have to hold inerrancy plus some other view about what's the best interpretation of particular passages in the light of the whole of scripture to get a problem, and Longman recognizes that someone can fail to hold the latter view (even if it might not be the best interpretation of scripture to do so).

Hi Jeremy,

Steve Hays, a far more erudite and eloquent fellow than I, has blog-posted a response to your blog post: here.

P.S. Do you mind if I continue the conversation with you over at Steve's blog? It's easier because it's not moderated.

Jeremy said this:
The significant transition in Genesis is between ch.11 and ch.12. Those who, like Ben Witherington, don't take chs.1-11 to be historically-focused but more symbolic in some sense generally take ch.12 on to refer to actual historical people and events. I'm pretty sure it's people like Witherington that Longman is talking about here.

They can say that: it has to be credible in some way. Somehow the geneologies in Gen 10-11 are therefore of a different quality that the geneology in Gen 5?

Color me doubtful. About the explanation, not the text.

BTW, I think article XIV of the Chicago statement presents significant problems for the advocate of the non-historical Adam position.

The genealogies wouldn't necessarily be where the qualitative difference is found. That would be just as much as a stretch as looking at the usage of YHWH vs. Elohim and deciding there must be different authors.

Frank, the division is between 11 and 12, so the genealogies in 10-11 would be in the same section as the geneaologies in 5.

This division is pretty much accepted by every commentator on Genesis, too. It's not that it's an artificial division. From ch.12 on, we get the particular work of God in the people of Israel beginning with their forebear Abraham, to whom the promises were given, whereas before that we have the focus on the nations, particularly those in opposition to God and his ways. Virtually everyone accepts that literary dividing point.

Article XIV of which Chicago Statement? I don't see how XIV of the initial statement on inerrancy would do that. Longman isn't denying the internal consistency of scripture either. The view he's making room for just puts it together differently. One might argue that the best way to put it together doesn't allow for a non-historical Adam, but that doesn't mean the statement in XIV doesn't allow it. Whether it does depends on your judgment on that other matter.

jeremy, the idea of a group-fall is probably the only alternative but this encounters difficulties when it is argued with natural selection backstage. i noticed on longman's video clip that he does seem to have evolution in mind. i don't want to elongate too much (it is your blog after all!) but original righteousness is a corollary of an historical fall. one encounters all sorts of problems with the notion of original righteousness if there are evolutionary assumptions behind the group-fall idea and distinctions between natural and moral evil.
concerning the 'mystical identification', imputation is a word that i would be using rather than identification - i think romans 5 in particular moves beyond identification, but i know that there are serious questions about freedom and alien guilt etc.
perhaps you start a series of comprehensive posts on the topic?
it is amazing how many people have seen that longman clip!


This same issue of inerrancy and hermeneutics popped up when I was TAing my Intro Theology course. The flash point there was 24-hour days in the week of Creation as opposed to the Historical Adam brouhaha going on here, but the points and contours of the debate were the same. I was amazed at how much time and effort got swallowed up over what I saw to be a very simple and basic point: you can agree that Scripture is telling the truth while disagreeing about how to interpret that truth.

Jeremy - you've said everything as well or better than I could. So good luck with it.

Frank - The division between Gen 11 and 12 is pretty clear--look at how the timeline compresses after 12 compared to before it. It is a perfectly reasonable thing for a writer to start a book in one genre/style and finish it in another.

Take the book of Revelation as an example. The letters to the churches at the beginning of the book are pretty clearly a different genre than the prophecy which follows after them. If you had two people who hold that the letters to the churches are true, but one interprets them as being primarily only for those individual churches (and secondarily written for the church as a whole), while the other interprets them such that the letters are primarily meant for certain church archetypes (and secondarily for individual churches), I don't see that either would have grounds for saying that the other is not an inerrantist, even if they hold each other's hermeneutics suspect.

bruce - the idea of a group-fall is probably the only alternative but this encounters difficulties when it is argued with natural selection backstage.

Not too difficult to get around. If you posit that the first generation of humans all fell together, you can posit that those prior to that first generation were simply non-moral (i.e. they were non-spiritual beings for whom the categories of human morality did not fit).

concerning the 'mystical identification', imputation is a word that i would be using rather than identification - i think romans 5 in particular moves beyond identification

Beyond mystical identification to what? To imputation? Typically, mystical identification (a.k.a. Union) is seen as a *closer* relation than imputation. Indeed, it is often seen as the closest relation that maintains distinction.

wink - i think what you have outlined is precisely the difficulty: a development from natural to moral evil. some evolutionist theology even acknkowledges the difficulty posed by making a distinction between the forerunners and the first 'theological man' on the basis of human responsibility / morality. i assume that is why the idea of original-selfishness or immaturity is suggested in place of original (originating) sin.
concerning union, you may need to be a bit more specific for me - do you assume a realist understanding of imputation? i cherish the truth of being united with Christ, but his righteousness is an alien righteousness and i would have thought union requires some discussion of imputation for it to accomplish substitution.


The best place to look for Wink's Penal Union view (or Participatory Atonement) is his post here. I just re-read it and looked over the comments again, along with several of his other posts on the subject, and I'm not still entirely sure what he would say about imputation. What I suspect he should say is the following, but if he manages to come back into this discussion perhaps he can clarify.

Penal union, I think, is going to have one element that you might see as involving a kind of imputation but in some respects not. There's definitely no mere imputation of our sin onto Christ. If our sin actually died on the cross, then the union with him that allows that means it's got to be more than mere imputation. The righteousness we have in Christ is actually his righteousness, and it's not just that we become more righteous to resemble him. The only righteousness we have is his righteousness in that we are united with him spiritually.

At the same time, God is seeing a righteousness that in one sense isn't ours (it's Christ's) as if it's ours. That happens by spiritual union with Christ, so it's not merely a legal fiction or a purely forensic declaration without a reality behind it. But it's still a declaration of it to be fully accessible to us as if ours, and I think that's a kind of imputation. Maybe Wink won't agree, but I'll leave it to him to disagree if he's so inclined. My own understanding of his view and its implications is that it is an alien righteousness in one sense but not in every way that penal substitution takes it to be.

Very nice post, Jeremy! I don't have anything really to add; just wanted to say that.

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