Top positive review
 I was quite pleased with this work
Reviewed in the United States on February 21, 2018
I was quite pleased with this work. John Walton's "The Lost World Of Adam and Eve" is the most persuasive Evolutionary Creationist treatment of the topic of Adam and Eve. First of all, Walton takes Adam and Eve to be historical individuals and takes Genesis 2-3 to be referring to real events in time and space, and does so for the reason young earth and old earth creationists do (e.g the genealogies, Paul's teaching in Romans 5). I was quite pleased with this, as too many evolutionary creationists are quick to relegate The Bible's opening chapters to myth or allegory, to label it as just one big parable and that real biblical history begins with Abraham in Genesis 12. Walton does not take this more liberal view of the text. He affirms the historicity of Adam and Eve and their fall.
Walton, however, argues that Genesis 2-3 is not concerned with telling us the material origins of Adam and Eve, but about the story of Adam and Eve as archetypes of humanity and as priests in God's "cosmic temple" to serve in "sacred space". Walton also argues that The Bible as a whole does not require us to view Adam and Eve as THE first man and woman. There is room for seeing them as one couple among others. With regards to Adam's creation, Walton appeals to several references from the Old Testament, Walton shows us that for Genesis 2 to say Adam was "made from dust" is likely not meant to say Adam was literally transformed into a man from a pile of dust, ergo having no parents and not being descended from pre-human hominids. Rather, we are all made of dust. Psalm 103:13-16 says "As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him. For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust. As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field; For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more." Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 says "The fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again." Abraham and Job also talk about themselves as being made of dust.
Walton's point is that the Genesis text is just saying God created Adam mortal, rather than literally scooping up a handful of dirt and miraculously transforming it into a person. Genesis 2 is presenting Adam as archetypal of all people. All of us are made of dust. All of us are mortal. Of course, it has been traditionally been held by many Christians that humans are created immortal, and ergo Walton's view contradicts The Bible. Doesn't Romans 5 say that death was brought to humanity through Adam's sin? Yes, it does. But this doesn't mean that humans had inherent immortality. Walton points out that God had placed a tree in the garden called The Tree of Life. When Adam and Eve sinned, they were cast out and barred access to it. Genesis 3:22 gives the reason: so that they can't reach out for it, eat of it, and ergo live forever. Walton rightly points out that a Tree of Life is superfluous to creatures who have immortality in and of themselves. Death came to humanity by being barred access to the tree of life, not by having an inherent ontological immortality stripped of them.
Walton also points out that In Genesis 4, Cain is driven away from his homeland, and presumably from his family, but Cain is scared of people who might find him and kill him. Cain is later the founder of a city. To be a "city", there would have to be a large number of people. This seems to imply that other people besides Adam, Eve, and a few of their children were around.
Walton draws his conclusions heavily from the biblical text itself but, like his previous work, he draws from ancient near eastern literature as well, as the cultural context of the text can help shed light on it.
I highly recommend this book to the following groups of people. I recommend this book to those who are interested in studying the creation/evolution debate, and I recommend it to those who are convinced of Darwinian macro evolution but are also convinced that The Bible is God's Word, that proper exegesis leads to a view of Adam and Eve as historical individuals, but are uncertain of how to harmonize these two conclusions. Moreover, I would recommend it to non-Christians who have evolution as a stumbling block preventing them from entering into a relationship with God.