Nice thing about having access to the ASA backfiles: you can find real gems that you might have missed a few years back. Carol Hill wrote an article called "A Third Alternative to Concordism and Divine Accommodation: The Worldview Approach" in 2007 that is available as a pdf file from their site.
As nearly as I can tell, this view most closely mirrors my own and it is nice to find another person who has struggled with these issues and resolved them in this way. One thing that my wife and I have argued about for some time now is the historicity of the Primeval History. Her perspective is that if you don't take Adam literally, then there is no reason to accept the Lordship of Christ and his death meant nothing in an "original sin" sense. Given what I know of human evolution and the age of the earth, I have resisted accepting the literal existence of Adam. While I don't buy all of Dr. Hill's arguments in this article, she may be onto something. She writes:
I would like to offer a third alternative to “concordism” (Ross’s position) and “divine accommodation” (Seely’s position). I call it the “worldview approach.” The basic premise of the worldview approach is that the Bible in its original text accurately records historical events if considered from the worldview of the biblical authors. By “historical” I mean not only history and pre-history in a traditional sense, but also the historical, time-related, scientific disciplines such as archeology, geology, and astronomy. If the Bible is to be trusted for its theology, then it must also be trusted for its historical accuracy.
She correctly pours water on the concordist approach by pointing out something that scientists have know for years: that the march of evolution does not match the Genesis 1 account very well. Put simply, in the Genesis account, things are out of order. This, however is not important:
It means that our concepts of modern science are not contained in Genesis, and that we should not read our twenty-first century scientific worldview into the text.
Contrast this with the mission statement of Answers in Genesis, which reads, in part:
The account of origins presented in Genesis is a simple but factual presentation of actual events and therefore provides a reliable framework for scientific research into the question of the origin and history of life, mankind, the Earth and the universe.
As far as Adam is concerned, she writes:
The “divine accommodation” position of Seely would say that Adam was not a real person and that this story is just a myth that God accommodates into his Bible. The “concordist” position of Ross would say that Adam was a real person and the biological father of the whole human race, so to be in concord with science Adam had to live 50,000 years or so ago (or almost 200,000 years ago if one is talking about the first Homo Sapiens found in the fossil record). The worldview approach does not ascribe to either position. It would say that Adam lived in the Neolithic (because the Bible puts him there in real time) and that he was not a mythical person, but a real historical person whom God made the spiritual father of the whole human race.
Of course, the drawback of this viewpoint is, what does one do with the anatomically modern humans that have been walking around since 160 kya? There is no evidence that their intellect was any less than that of you and I. If we ask the question "then why did they use primitive stone tools for thousands of years?" we might as well ask "why didn't people in the seventeenth century have computers?" Where populations are small, people use what works. When there are many people in an area, they bounce ideas off each other and compete with other. That is what drives technology. So, given that they were as intelligent as we are, did the people that lived during this time period simply not have souls? That is a little difficult to square with what is known of the personality of God. If they did, what was the final disposition of their souls? This was a question addressed by Davis Young in his article The Antiquity and Unity of the Human Race. In it, he writes:
Ironically, it would seem that trying to preserve the traditional confessional idea of the biological descent of the entire human race from Adam and Eve forces us to adopt positions which require abandonment of aspects of literal historicity of the early chapters of Genesis. Either we need to interpret the text so that Adam is not the father of Cain or we need to explain why the culture of Genesis 4 really does not include the elements therein mentioned. On the other hand, adherence to more literal exegesis of the text puts us in the position of redefining the traditional position on original sin.
He then suggests, as Carol Hill does in this article, that the solutions to these problems will require a closer look at the literary nature of the creation texts—an idea that is not new but seems to be lost of your average young earth creationist.
Then she tackles the flood, which she interprets to be local in origin:
The duration of rain (up until 150 days; Gen. 8:2) could have been caused by the stalling of a Mediterranean cyclonic front over the Mesopotamian area in combination with maritime air masses moving up from the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean. This stalled storm would have been associated with southerly winds (the sharqi and/or suhaili), not with the northwesterly shamal wind, and these could have been very intense winds both in strength and duration.
In this perspective, Noah and his family are real people that survived a real flood in the Mesopotamian basin. There is one initial problem in this interpretation. The Gilgamesh epic involving Utnapisthim predates the biblical story of Noah and the flood and there are considerable parallels between the two. It is suggestive that there was a common story from which the two accounts worked that is shrouded in antiquity. This is essentially the argument put forth by Ryan and Pitman in their book Noah's Flood. The other problem with this interpretation is the "memory hole" problem. No one seems to remember Noah and his sons. This problem is especially acute (perhaps inexplicable) for promoters of a global flood. If, as she suggests, that Noah, Atrahasis and Ziusudra are the same person, that takes care of some of the issues but not the vastly different lives these people led. Ziusudra was the king of Shuruppak, while Noah led a humble life before the flood. People would have listened to a king. Nobody listened to Noah. They thought him to be a kook. Those issues need to be addressed.
She closes with a nod to Conrad Hyers:
To faithfully interpret Genesis is to be faithful to what it really means as it was originally written, not to what people living in a later time assume or desire it to be.
True words. There is more to be expounded on about this issue. I just need to sit down and do so.